Astrap King introduced himself to a larger audience with his MonsterVerse last year. He showed us his potential and his current skill level in making hip-hop music as an Artiste and a Songwriter.
Damola Haastrup, an Ibadan-born and raised rapper wasn’t born the best rapper on the block. Instead, he worked his way there by soaking up a lot of knowledge from rappers as far back as a student of International School, Ibadan. I had a sitdown with this lyricist emcee to discuss him, his hip-hop way, and what drives him to keep climbing up the rap music stratosphere. He takes back to the early days of his encounter with rap music and the Hip Hop culture.
“I started listening to rap early on in secondary school”, the rapper mentioned, as he talked about how the Seniors listened to rappers who are certified wordsmiths and lyricists with little or no commercial success back then. He listed emcees such as Method Man, Modenine, Terry tha Rapman, Freestyle, Overdose as those he was aware of and knew their styles.” They didn’t really get me into the genre”, rather “they made me aware of the genre”. It would all change when he discovered Nas, purchased his first-ever hip-hop CD, I Am… LP.
“When I realised he was of Nigerian descent, it blew me away. This is the cat said to be on the same par with Jay Z and Eminem is part Nigerian? I began to go deeper into rap. I started jamming the reigning guys then; 50 Cent and Lil Wayne.” It was at this moment he developed an interest in lyrics. He did this by replacing the original lyrics in a song with his own while leaving the delivery, flow, and style untweaked.
RAP/HIP HOP MUSIC
“I didn’t consider making music until I heard Kanye West. I considered him the most creative rapper at that time, and the Graduation. Up until that point, all I did was appreciate skill sets and punchlines. From then on, I decided I have to make my own rap songs, and my songwriting journey began from that point forward.”
“The moment I realised I do have something was when I freestyled for about a minute for my Seniors, and I just felt I had said rubbish. They then asked me to spit something I haven’t written before… They lost it when I told them I just did. It’s forever etched in my memory”
YOUR MOST SLEPT ON SONG OR VERSE
“I did a cover of two songs… for M.I‘s The Box. I didn’t use M.I‘s version, instead, I took the original song he sampled The Box by Tay Iwar… and Desiigner‘s Panda. “I mixed it together and wanted to be heard and seen as a rapper and put all my skills on it.” M.I hadn’t acknowledged the track during the competition and he felt it was because he “didn’t use M.I‘s original beat. For a while, it f**ked with me because I felt I really killed that track.”
YOUR WORST SONG OR VERSE
“It has to be Bigger with FireboyDML. I just wanted to do something commercial, so I had to ease up on the lyricism. I felt I didn’t do well enough on the song because of this.”
“I spent 2020 connecting with the rap community and discovered I needed to up my game and the direction to take my sound. A number of songs will be released this year, and I’m certain it would have people wondering and awed at the same time”
The underground rapper turns 28 on October 28th, but with his penmanship, delivery, and ear for sound, it is quite certain that this emcee is headed for critical and commercial success before he reaches his 3rd decade on earth. We wish him the best in his future endeavours and hope he fully realises his potential.