Might not be general knowledge but we all know being born to Nigerian parents in oyinboland has way more perks than being insulated from a fluctuating currency and PHCN’s incessant flip-flops. For Philadelphia born Tunji Ige, the greatest perk of all is access to steady internet resources to gain exposure, brush up his talent and promote his music. Of course, we have that in abundance in Nigeria.. sort of, but that’s beside the point.
Born Olatunji Ige, Tunji is an American rapper born to Nigerian parents in Philadephia, USA. According to Fader Magazine’s Carrie Battan, his style consists of “switches between rapping and singing, between aggressive, pitched-down vocal tracks and soft, breezy ones.
Any gruffness is hedged by sensitive confessions and strong melodies”. Ige’s acclaimed style has been likened to Kid Cudi but the rapper actively distances himself from the comparison, and distincts his music enough for fans to have a reason to listen to him instead of picking up a Kid Cudi CD.
Thanks to his Nigerian parents, education has been a must for the young rapper who has been making serious moves in the underground to stay in the game for many decades to come. His debut mixtape, The Love Project was released in 2014, his sophomore year at West Chester University, alma matter to fellow hip hop artiste, Asher Roth, whom Ige refers to as somewhat of a legend in the school.
Ige’s strongest suit is his songwriting which can switch between hard-core braggadocio hip hop numbers to more relatable late-night conversation, both of which are two characteristics Nigerian music lacks at the moment. Critics have also cited his production skills as a plus for him, thanks to his ability to chop the right samples into his beats or intelligently mimic chord progressions to the same effect.
According to Ige, he grew up with his parents listening to Fela, so afrobeat is not a foreign genre to him despite his American upbringing.
We don’t apologize for famzing Ige as a Nigerian, we just hope like Wale he finds fame and brings it home soon. His latest body of work titled Missed Calls EP was released earlier this month and it’s already getting major buzz in his local Philadelphia music scene. You can preview it via Soundcloud below.