Influences: Magugu

 

Out this week after enjoying numerous spins on Radar and Reprezent, 'King Kong' is a vibrant collaboration between UK duo/tribal bass dons Boa Kusasa (who are involved in Glastonbury's Babylon Uprising soundsystem) and fast rising Nigerian MC Magugu. It's the second release on the BITW imprint, following Kwam & label head Lorenzo BITW's joint track 'Goo'.

Magugu – who grew up in Lagos before moving to the UK – has a commanding flow and spits in Pidgin English. His mixtape Pidgin W(rap) came out back in 2016, and he's since collaborated with the likes of Shiftee and Stagga. He describes his music as "a fusion of Africa and the West" and that's exactly what he's given us for his Influences selections. Dig in below:


King Kong is out 19th Jan on BITW, buy it here. Follow Magugu on Facebook and Twitter.

Fela Kuti - Teacher

Fela is my biggest inspiration in music and in life. The first piece of music I can remember hearing when I was a kid. I learnt so much about life and how the world works through him. He is one of the main reasons I rap in Pidgin, and why I have the love I do for Africa. The inventor of Afrobeat music – simply a musical genius that used his music to educate the masses. He was a revolutionary, a freedom fighter. To me there’s no one greater. I had the privilege of seeing him live in Nigeria when I was a kid but it’s just vague memories. F = for E=Ever L= Lives A=Africa. ‘Teacher’ is one of my favourite songs by Fela… talking about how the colonial masters purposely built a rigged system to destroy Africa.

  • Fela Kuti - Teacher

    Fela is my biggest inspiration in music and in life. The first piece of music I can remember hearing when I was a kid. I learnt so much about life and how the world works through him. He is one of the main reasons I rap in Pidgin, and why I have the love I do for Africa. The inventor of Afrobeat music – simply a musical genius that used his music to educate the masses. He was a revolutionary, a freedom fighter. To me there’s no one greater. I had the privilege of seeing him live in Nigeria when I was a kid but it’s just vague memories. F = for E=Ever L= Lives A=Africa. ‘Teacher’ is one of my favourite songs by Fela… talking about how the colonial masters purposely built a rigged system to destroy Africa.

  • Shabba Ranks - Ting-A-Ling

    Dancehall played a big role in my life and at that stage Shabba was the King… I just loved everything about him, his confidence, style and his deep monotone voice. How much his music made me dance… we all know the smash song ‘Mr Loverman’ but ‘Ting-A-Ling’ is one of my favourites. I just love the raw ghetto feel about it, reminds me of back home in Nigeria. If you listen to my music you can hear the Shabba Ranks influence. Also I met him when I was a kid, when he came to Nigeria for the first time.

  • Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

    Probably the most creative and exciting rapper ever. Busta Rhymes is a very unique individual and cannot be imitated. The way he raps and flows on a beat is like no other, and his music videos were just incredible. His energy is very contagious and just wants to make you jump and have a great time. ‘Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See’ is one of my favourite songs ever, and the fact he used the concept from ‘Coming To America’ for the video was the icing on the cake for me. Busta is the man.

  • So Solid Crew - Oh No (Sentimental Things)

    Garage music made a huge impact on my life. I remember listening to my first tape and was blown away by this sound. Then when So Solid Crew came through it was like, whoa… this was when I stared messing around MCing. So Solid were untouchable at one stage, especially if you were in South London before they became nationally known. They took garage music from an underground sound to mainstream media, they were the UK version of Wu-Tang. It felt more real because I was seeing them live in garage raves before they became famous. They turned the bubbly sound of garage to a darker sound and most people will agree they kinda started grime through the dark bass on their tracks etc… I will forever be a So Solid fan. Game changers.

  • Daddy Showkey - Ghetto Soldier

    I grew up in a place called ‘Ajegunle’ in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s a famous ghetto with a lot of talent, but also known for crime etc. Daddy Showkey was the first Aj artist to break into the Nigerian mainstream music scene back in the ’90s. His famous ‘galala’ dance was the moves everyone was doing back then. He was like our local hero that gave a lot of people hopes of living their dreams. This video for ‘Ghetto Soldier’ was mostly shot on the street I grew up in. Daddy Showkey was a direct influence on me because I saw him rise from nothing to a legend.

  • Nas - Nas Is Like

    Probably my favourite rapper of all time. Whenever I listen to Nas I feel inspired. The way he uses words really excites me and the beautiful way he tells stories. I’ve listened to every album he’s released, I’ve seen him 3 times in concert, and would go and see him again and again. In general I just love his persona – very cool and collected. When I really wanna listen to bars I put on Nas.

  • Super Cat - Ghetto Red Hot

    Da Don Dada… I listen to Super Cat today like he’s a new artist even though he’s been out since the ’70s, that’s how great his music is. His style and pattern is the blueprint for a lot of dancehall artists – very versatile, lyrical, crisp flow and very clear delivery. I remember hearing ‘Ghetto Red Hot’ for the first time, I kept on rewinding the tape because I couldn’t get enough of it, I still play that track repeatedly today. I have a Super Cat Super Mix I listen to all the time and I take a lot of inspiration of him.

  • Fokn Bois - Gimme Pinch

    When I decided to start rapping in Pidgin English I was trying to find other artists who rap in pidgin too, then I came across this duo from Ghana and I was blown away and became a fan immediately. The level of creativity in their music was top notch and it was similar to what I wanted to do, use pidgin on hip-hop beats – so basically a fusion of Africa and the West as I grew up in both parts of the world. Their Album ‘FOKN with Ewe’ is one of my favourite albums ever and it inspired me to dig deeper and be more free with my music. It also gave me a direction of where I wanted to take my music. Huge fan of them, I call them the Pidgin Rap gods.

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