The long wait is finally over. Rapper, Ruggedman’s third album, Untouchable was released November 20. Expectedly, it contains the feverishly awaited response to his former collaborator, 9ice‘s earlier diss track, Talk, I am Listening which was released on September 20. Ruggedman’s birthday, While 9ice’s totters on crudity, Ruggedman‘s A Word is enough for the 9ice is as blistering as it is laden with braggadocio and advice.
Featuring up and comer, Ella, the hook of the song is an interpolation of the 1975 classic of unsung juju maestro, General Prince Adekunle and his Supersonic Sounds’ Awodi n fo ferere which is the parable of an eagle soaring higher than its normal altitude because it wants to meet God – a vain, fatal attempt. Prince Adekunle’s orginal version opens the song and sums up Ruggedman‘s lyrical package to 9ice.
Tracing the genesis of their relationship to when 9ice was ‘a studio rat‘ in producer, ID Cabasa‘s studio, Ruggedman said he took him in, upgraded him, showed him the ropes and put him on the music stage where he found fame and fortune. He didn’t stop there. He says, “I gave you the money, the fame and the wife that changed your life and gave you a son. In other words, I gave you a life.”
Sounding rather penitent, the rapper said he had to leak his private telephone conversation with 9ice on the Internet because he was fed up with myriad accusations that he was overly familiar with the latter‘s estranged wife.
There had been a groundswell of finger pointing in Ruggedman‘s direction when 9ice‘s song, Once Bitten, Twice Shy off his Tradition album hit the streets. The subsequent breakup of the singer’s marriage to his wife, Toni Payne further aroused interest in who 9ice was actually referring to in the controversial song. According to Ruggedman, “All I wanted was to clear my name of the dirty rumour,” admitting, however, that he went about it the wrong way out of desperation.
Then, like a hypocritical guardian of privileges, he launches into a clinical tirade on the things he did and didn’t do for 9ice: ”You tried to tarnish my image and that of your wife because you wanted to sell CDs, God bless you. You can tease me all you want, but it would never change the fact that the first big stage you got on was through me. The first award you won was through me. You started making money after I introduced you to the world. The wife you married, I introduced to you. The first child you got was from the woman I introduced to you. I helped you come up in the industry……Never pay back good with evil. Be respectful to your elders.”
Earlier, one of Ruggedman’s protégées, Chinaydu had replied 9ice in a track entitled, And The Beef Goes On which samples the beat of 70s American R&B group, The Whispers‘ song of the same title.
9ice’s manager, Dehinde Fajana, tells us, “We won’t dignify Ruggedman with a response.” As the war of words between the two artistes reaches frightening dimension, well-meaning older entertainers have not ceased to mediate but none of them seems ready for a truce.