The Nigerian Battle Rap Community greeted him with an unparalleled reverence after his performance at Bars Are Back 2. He is not to be disregarded or disrespected in any way, shape or form. It was his first time on stage, yet, an ordinary observer would have sworn he had been on the big stages countless times. Video clips from his battle travelled across borders, through the internet, and veteran battle rappers around the world approved of his generational talent. He is no other but the amazing Slimbuck.
In this interview, Itekume Oghenemine, popularly known as Slimbuck, gave Rhyme & Reason® a glimpse of his state of mind. He speaks about issues concerning battle rap, social living, the music industry and many more.
R&R®: Hello and welcome to Rhyme and Reason. It’s an honour to have you here.
Slimbuck: Thanks, honoured to be here too fam.
Let’s get straight into it. I’m certain your fans will like to know more about you. Who is Slimbuck?
Well, Slimbuck is a lyricist who has passion for rap music, always been a fan of competition, and luckily found himself around the battle rap world.
What part of Nigeria are you from?
Delta State, Ughelli-North to be precise… which means I’m a full blooded Urhobo boy.
What was it like growing up there?
Well, growing up in Delta gat gifts and curses. It’s the state with a big heart and so are the people… then one is forced to be tough due to happenings you know lol.
You have a very unique stage name; Slimbuck. Any story behind it?
Yeah, there’s always one. I was in my mother’s womb when I heard …… scratch that lol. Actually it’s from my stature and a pocket full of cash. I’ve never been rich man sha, but hopefully getting there.
What first got you into battle rap?
Well, I’ve been a textcee since 2009. For those who don’t know, textcees are a bunch of guys battling with text, majorly on Facebook and Nairaland (there are other platforms though). So being one, the will and ability has always been there and I understood the basics. This certainly drew my attention to video battles both in and outside the country.
Speaking of outside the country, which foreign battle rapper do you admire, and why?
Daylyt, JC and Rum nitty are my guys … their pen game and level of creativity is off the roof. I still admire the work-ethic of Danny Myers, and the smoothness/humour of Pat Stay.
Your electrifying performance against 5th arguably put you in the limelight. What was your motivation for that particular battle?
Yeah, that was the game changer. I actually did a couple of social distancing battles on WhatsApp and guys f*cked with them. The 5th joint was my first live battle and a lot of guys wanted to see how good or how bad I’ll do on stage ..
So the level anticipation was the motivation for me.
‘You go know me today’ seems to be your slogan. How did that come to be?
Lol well, it wasn’t planned. I’ve always been the rapper that loves spicing my shit with a bit of pidgin English, which is our known lingua. So I wrote that part of the verse like every other without knowing it was going to get the reaction that it did.
Let’s talk about your upcoming battle with TobyDaPenPreist, shall we? PenPriest is considered one of the greatest punchers in Nigeria battle rap, are you worried about this?
Of course I’m worried .. who wouldn’t be ?
Do you see it as your biggest challenge yet?
For now? Yes. Although 5th was as big too, and I’ve battled really dope guys like, Icon Bagz, Wilxon etc. The more the competition, the cleaner the classic.
Have you ever gotten into any trouble as a battle rapper?
None that I know of.
How do you feel the internet has impacted battle rap?
The internet has done a lot of good. The easy access to contents, and even putting African battle rap on the map.
Where do you stand in the league war between BRN and BRL?
BRN for life … though I have nothing against other leagues, they doing amazing jobs as well.
Outside battle rap, we’ve heard you rap on beats quite a number of times, should we be expecting a studio project from you?
Yeah! Started with rapping on beats… got a track with BlaqBonez… been involved in features alongside some growing names… As for a project ? That’s certainly in the works. Hopefully I might drop something after the PenPriest battle.
Your ability to come up with relatable bars is one of the many reasons why you are respected. What is your creative process like?
Thanks yo! Though a huge part is Grace my man. The other is a combination of me wanting to outclass my opponent in the best way I can, eating good food, exercising, drinking water and resting. I love writing during the early hours of the morning. Like from 1AM.
You are often compared to Holyfield, how do you feel about that?
Outrageous . There’s only one Holyfield and he’s the best at what he does. When he was battling live I was still a textcee and a fan behind my phone screen(still a fan)… But you know battle rap fans. It’s always a competition when there’s potential, and I appreciate that.
You belong to the battle rap group, Hydra. What are the benefits that your membership attracts?
[Laughs] Well, we’re a group of dope n****s. It’s more than just a battle rap group, and one of the benefits is looking out for each other in real life. It’s a brand, a movement, and there’s also this healthy competition amongst us.
What’s your favourite punchline from another battle rapper?
This is a tough one. A lot of amazing ones I’ve heard. If I have to pick at gunpoint.
How about your own favourite punchline?
‘Now u gettin exposed faster with a jigsaw/N***a be like “Architect of graphic texts”… you a big fraud/While u scammed these vets with those big words/I was the real architect/I drew out plans 2 show the 5th flaws”
What advice do you have for anyone out there who wants to battle rap?
Stay humble, know boundaries, pun intended. Don’t stop learning and respect the OGs.
Lastly, let’s play a game called ‘this or that.’ 40 Bars OR E-Hart/ Loaded Lux OR Murda Mook / JCole OR Kendrick/ Vector OR M.I Abaga
40 bars … at least she looks better Loaded Lux. Beloved all day.
Cole World… Jermaine.
M.I. Mr. Incredible himself.
Thanks for your time, Bro. Wish you the best of bars.
[Laughs] Thank you. Have a good one.