6:15 am, Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, I stepped into the cab and was headed to the pickup point. What could be the reason for this early rise in the Federal Capital Territory on a weekend right after a public holiday, you may wonder?
Rebelwav, the boom-bap Queen is returning to the hip-hop scene with a new single and documentary, after a brief hiatus. She invited me on set, and here’s the gist of how it went down.
Mide and Abbas (camera crew) joined up with me before 7 am at a garden in Gaduwa. We talked trees and day’s plan; well we talked trees, while they talked plans for another 45 mins before we made our way to Gwarinpa, to the Director’s crib.
The ride down there was quite enjoyable as it was a cold morning with clear skies, roads – shoutout to Lagosians -, and the cruise going on while we covered the almost 10km journey in about 15mins.
We arrived at Shane’s crib, whose Security Guard, by the way, is passionate about his job. After a brief exchange that ended with “Wait, I dey come”, he returned to escort us to Shane’s flat.
Out the door was a caucasian beauri, about 5’11, tomboy fashion sense, tattoos on her arm, well-groomed long black dreadlocks welcomed us in. With her was a small bitch – belongs in the class of indirect height-temper proportionality – called Lunar.
I was a bit wary around the dog – had 2 separate terrible experiences with small dogs while growing up – but was later impressed at her minding her business. Unfortunately, the praise was short-lived. While we waited for the star of the show, we talked trees, the production crew talked plans, and Lunar stuck by me for petting. For that reason alone, Shane labelled her ‘Ashewo’.
In no time, the star of the show arrives; hands full with her wardrobe, a mobile recording stand, and other props. Her face was all up in serious mode, despite the fact that Aunty was late. The greetings went on and instantly, I could see the excitement and worry that comes with planning an event right behind her smile. Relying on Nigerians to do what is expected of them is usually an extreme sport.
The worry came from the yet to arrive last prop for the first Act, the car. The crew and Rebelwav decided to go ahead with the shoot, and when the car arrived, they’d move on to the scene. A while after the first scene, the car arrives and we all packed up and went on to scene 2. I was the reflector guy for the scenes, call me DoP. It was a wrap and off we were to Act 2.
Headed off to Act 2 at 6th Avenue in the Gwarinpa area. The set was cozy, but the power supply wasn’t available at the time. After waiting a while and the power wasn’t restored, we were about to go ahead with the shoot before AEDC in a ‘giveaway mood’ restored power. AC came on, lines were rehearsed, and we went on to shoot the real thing; just a heads up, I’m a terrible actor.
After the interview scene, we took 2 hours’ permission from the Camera crew (Mide and Abbas) to go enter the pool. Shane, Rebelwav, and I hurried to the pool like kids off to the tuck shop during break-time or recess (for our polished folks). Played a bit of ball with 3 other ladies in the pool.
An hour and red eyes later, I left the pool to go wash down all the bacteria with Smirnoff Ice (to take antibiotics when I returned home). Another party, Sirzee and his crew joined us while waiting out the rest of the break. The whole team then made its way to Life Camp roundabout at 2:30 pm for the 3rd and final Act.
This scene started with a bit of delay – fender bender – at the location, which was sorted almost immediately. Rebelwav entered her Lagertha mode for the music video shoot.
Lo and behold, the heavens opened up and there was a downpour that was ready to wash away all our sins. Why I took shelter from the rain with someone else’s umbrella, the rest of the production team went on shooting; Nothing would stop them from achieving their goal on that day.
At the end of the Act, we called it a day and dispersed because of the rain (we were all drenched). Hitched a ride with Sirzee back to Gaduwa (Mide’s crib), changed into fresh clothes (took em for the shoot), and we (Abass and I) were served steaming hot joll-of rice. I kid you not, I shed a N***a Tear after that plate of rice, tripe it saved a Local Man.
Watching Rebelwav do her thing with the same determination she started with earlier in the morning, despite the random and spontaneous challenges that popped up, was glorious.
Not to be deterred by them; letting go of some scenes due to unavailable props, and improvising others with her crew on the go was the highlight of my day. The same energy is brought to her new song to be released on Sunday, 10th Oct., Lagertha.
The Queen is back.
All-in-all, it was an awesome experience, and have decided to turn this experience and future ones into a series – The Grind. Simply have me spending the day with hip-hop personalities, and witness as they tackle planned and spontaneous obstacles while carrying out the day’s activities.