OG Mage storms the Meat and Greet Concert in Abuja, with Odumodublvck


It is not often that you find a show as riveting as the Meet and Greet event OG Mage headlined at Doxa Park, Abuja, on the 27th of April 2024. I can take a gander and say that perhaps you have never seen a show like that.

When was the last time you saw an artist perform more than one set with costume changes in between? Maybe clips from the Renaissance concert last year. Beyonce’s intentional costuming is one thing that makes every dollar in her concert tickets count. That is the same feeling I got when watching Abuja’s finest rapper, OG Mage emerge as the final act in the April Full/Meat and Greet Concert that evening.

Doxa Park is a nice patch of grass that sits by the Kado Expressway, sharing a border with Papies Meatro, Abuja’s famous playground. It is a great spot to hold an open-air concert, sitting just downhill, effectively blocked off from any prying eyes by a natural knoll lying between the field and the road. A stage was set with the brightest of lights, and the soundcheck featured a rundown of music that kept the crowd’s spirit up for an unnatural amount of time.

Perhaps what kept the spirits up was the expectation of meat. At one corner of the field, a whole goat hung over the roasting pit, and beside it, hands worked tirelessly, peeling off cooked strips of meat and replacing them with fresh ones. This would be the meat that everyone would munch on as music filled their ears. Now I do not know about anyone else, but there was a lot of meat to go around and I am thankful that I stuck around.

The opening acts included artists like Chronic Daf and Emiwizzy. One of the organizers explained to me that the purpose of this concert was to put Abuja’s gifted artists on the map. This would first highlight the crop of talent the FCT had so organizers would not have to request acts residing in Lagos to come down to Abuja. This would effectively lower ticket prices and enrich the concert experience. I thought it was great thinking. And I thought that it was even more genius that OG Mage was chosen as the face of this edition.

OG Mage has always championed the FCT. His breakout track, Welcome to the Capital, says it all. The city has the sauce, and he strongly believes that his team can take the whole scene international. The Nigerian music industry has always been headquartered in Lagos. But OG Mage has broken the mold and for the past two years, has intentionally built his music career independently, growing from success to success, defying the idea that everything artistic dies in Abuja. If anyone has had doubts about what OG Mage is building, his latest performance at the April Full Meat and Greet should melt those doubts. He is doing something new.

OG Mage got on the stage as the final act and called for his OGs. A few people came forward, with about three-quarters hanging back, unsure of what was going on. Perhaps they are too meat-filled. Some are weary of standing, but he was not deterred by the tired faces. Dressed in a shirt, sleeveless jacket, and waistcoat all colored off-white with the alter egos ready to pop; I thought he looked a little nervous as the success of the entire event hinged upon his performance. The event may have started four hours late, but that doesn’t deter him. The audience must eat.

The first song comes on—an unreleased track titled Far Away. It reveals OG Mage’s new personality. Far Away takes on that eclectic Pidgin English flow. I watched the audience sway awkwardly, uncertain about what to expect. OG Mage may have put this song as a warmup to feel the temperature of his OGs in the circle. From a backstage perspective, the people in the crowd did not know they were witnessing one of the first performances of this song.

OG Mage invited Mannie Tseayo onstage for the next song, and that is when the real party started. Surely, you know her. The multi-talented Mannie always creates magic with OG Mage. It is no surprise that Beggin, their collaboration off the Up To No Good EP, drew the crowd in. Both rappers leave singing aside and simply go off when Mannie previews Andromeda Aibes. It is the best hook I have heard live all year.

When a stagehand came up and handed OG Mage a long white coat, the artist reintroduced himself and informed us that a queen was going to join him onstage. Who could that be? My head cycled through his other collaborations. And then the queen appeared.

How to describe the feeling in the crowd at this point? I would say it was the beginning of hypnosis. Jummie emerged onto the stage in an immaculate dress, looking like she was teleported from the highest-profile ballroom in 19th-century Europe. Her ballroom gown spread like a perfect tent, colored in a cool white to complement OG Mage’s warm off-white outfit. This is a full English ballroom get-up. The stitching is unbelievably seamless. The stage was immediately transformed into something special.

The hypnosis took immediate effect when both artists performed Baby. There was so much to look at. Was it the unchecked chemistry between them as they circled each other in perfect marriage? Was it their yearning as they sang to each other? These perfect characters were so beautiful that the crowd greedily licked up everything on stage. This was the best moment of the night. The ten minutes where Jummie and OG Mage glittered on stage allowed all of us to dream. I remember feeling at that very point that this was what Abuja would be characterized with, a scene where the artists put on real shows rather than treat every concert like a pub hangout. The culture today may not be Nigerian, but the substance of its representation was thick with potential, and it was arguably the best thing Abuja had seen. The only thing that took away from that moment was that the rest of The Capital was not there to witness it.

OG Mage and Jummie at the Meat and Greet
OG Mage and Jummie at the Meat and Greet

Jummie remained on stage for one more song and took our hearts go with her when she left. We all felt that something we could never go back to had ended. OG Mage gave us some time to let the experience sink in when he disappeared backstage to prepare for Act II.

“This is Beyonce-esque. Perhaps it is a Virgo thing,” my fiancee commented. High praise, I must add

OG Mage returned in a sleeveless jacket, cargo pants, and boots. We instinctively know that we are about to enter the high-octane-fueled act of the night because that is an outfit you can sweat in. The line-up starts with Your Way, which is my personal favourite song from the Up To No Good EP. It is followed by Like An OG. I begin to suspect that this act has something we were not expecting.

OG Mage Act 2 at the Meat and Greet
OG Mage Act II at the Meat and Greet

I was right.

What is a night at an Abuja concert with a live rendition of Welcome to the Capital? Reeplay bursts onto the stage, and we know it is on because that guy has a full tank of gas and a top-up in his back pocket. We could be here all night. By the time the song is over, we’ve chanted ourselves hoarse. Reeplay performs two more tracks backed up by OG Mage. The crowd is increasingly hyper, and the real unexpected thing happens.

Odumodublvck comes onstage.

Odumodu at the Meat and Greet

This just blew everybody’s mind. The crowd cakes in towards the stage. The stage itself shook as the show devolved into drill, rap, and testosterone. Some people retreated to the edge of the field, putting a little too much distance between them and the happenings on the stage. Standing in the middle, I thought to myself that this unprecedented surprise may have stopped us from stewing in the original magic that OG Mage prepared for us. Nonetheless, it is huge that Odumodublvck came to co-sign OG Mage. If anything, this is perhaps the biggest stamp of validation any independent artist can get.

OG Mage ends the night with his latest release, Hot Boy, buoyed by the immense energy that has gathered on the stage. It is a fantastic closer.

I am sure there will be bigger concerts. Abuja will come up, this is just the first, OG Mage makes me understand. I believe him. Even more so. Because for the most part of the night, before the self-acclaimed Industry Machine stepped on stage, OG Mage hypnotized a crowd he was mostly a stranger to, and by the end of the night, he could have asked for anything, and the crowd would have given it to him. That, to me, is the true success of any performance. And I would not want to miss his next one, come what may.

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