Brick by Brick is a motto or affirmation to keep grinding because I know I’m no teacher, and my rewards are definitely here on earth. The same can be said about Erenna Blaq, whom I first saw on episodes of 2022’s VS Class, where he made it to the semi-finals. The same year, he signed up for Boomplay‘s Pass The Mic to do his thing again.
That got me interested in this human that continued to take every opportunity to be in front of a new audience and sell them his art. I discovered he’s been working! He’s got over three projects under his belt, and he doesn’t seem to stop soon. Why? His eyes are on the bigger picture, and he believes his works will take him to places he’s only dreamed about. Talk about Brick by Brick.
Born Erenna Ikoli in Port Harcourt and raised in Bayelsa, the Nembe emcee holds a degree in Philosophy from Nigerian Open University (NOUN), and this is his JJC interview.
The interview has been edited for clarity purposes.
I grew up on the streets of Bayelsa. I like to identify as a ghetto nigga and my story is something I like to share to encourage others like me. We’ll leave that for another day
Your First Encounter with Hip-Hop
My first experience with rap music goes back to when I was 12 years old. I listened to DMX, Eminem and 50Cents with my uncle regularly on an old CD player. I think that was the baseline of my passion for music.
I started writing hip-hop lyrics when I was 15 years old and did my first recording session when I was 17.
Hip-Hop Head to Emcee
Nas, Eminem and Royce da 5’9 inspired my early hip-hop days. I remember my friends back then claimed I sounded like Royce in some of my songs because I unconsciously picked up his style and flow. Royce is still my mentor to date.
Even from my early days of rapping the few people who listened to me loved my style. Though my first lyrics were filled with a lot of difficult words. I laugh now when I remember it. The trick is to work on yourself.
For the Nigerian hip-hop scene, I got inspiration from Mode 9, M.I Abaga and Boogey.
Your Most Underrated Song/Verse
My most underrated song/verse is probably my single, His Pain. Actually, there are quite a few.
While my worst song/verse is Green on the Gills. I think that beat was terrible. The beat was created by a producer friend and I just couldn’t use it.
The song never made it to the net though.
My album Roadless Travel will be out soon. I am also excited about all the amazing content I’ll be sharing with the world this year. I have a few more things up my sleeve but it’ll be known in time.
Blaq Unicon is my baby. It is a music production and talent management brand I am patiently working on. I’m not in a hurry and taking my time to build it up.