TERRY THA RAPMAN
Terry Terhemba Madaki alias Terry Tha Rapman is one of the hottest Nigerian rappers living today. He got into Hiphop right from his secondary school days and slowly but steadily made a name for himself with his multiple talents. Tha Rapman, who is well ahead of his time, rap wise that is, told Weekend Magazine that he is diversifying his act to include movie acting. He also talked about his new deal with November Records and the reason why he had to leave the Paybacktyme Records among others.
Tell us briefly about Terry and what makes him Tha Rapman. Terry Tha Rapman is a true Nigerian. Tha Rapman is short for Rapmanifestation, the title of my first album. I am the first born in a family of three. I got into Hiphop music as far back as 1991, in secondary school shows, rapping and exchanging freestyles with fellow school mates. I also featured on a talent-hunt show on DITV Kaduna called “Beatz of our Tyme” shortly after graduating from secondary school in 1993. I wrote and co-produced the jingle.
We've not heard from Tha Rapman for quite a while now. What's up?
I am cool. I am currently in Lagos and I am with a new record company called November Records. We are working with MegaPhunk productions and we are about to push out an album 'Tha Rapman Beginz' in a couple of weeks. We have a video that's been out 'Na Beanz?' which has been doing well. We just pushed out another video For The Second Single only '4 naija.'
So you are no more with Paybacktime. What's the new deal with November Records like?
Yes, I am no more with Paybacktyme. The deal went sour after my first album 'Tha Rapmanifestation.' It was poorly promoted and marketed. The deal with November is a partnership deal, I had already done like 80% of the album before I met Charles Novia, the record owner. I was already in a label called MegaPhunk so he offered to distribute and market the album and we split the percentages.
You seem to get along well with Mode9, what's your relationship like with other rap and hiphop artists?
Mode9 and I were friends since the Paybacktyme days. He respects me a lot as an artiste. I featured in some of his songs like 'Spazmodic'. We also collaborated on other. I'm also cool with a lot of other artists here in Lagos and Abuja.
You are no doubt original in your acts. What forms the core of your lyrics? Real life experience or just imagination?
I get inspired a lot from real life experience. A lot of stuff I say on a record either happened to me or a friend, unless I'm just bragging on a track about my lyrical prowess. For instance, the song 'I am a Nigerian' tells the story of life as a Nigerian, from a Nigerian's point of view.
One thing troubling the music industry in Nigeria is piracy, what are you doing to check that?
Piracy is bad, not just for us the artists but those engage in the evil act too. Living on the sweat of others is pure wickedness. But for now, I think the government or rather the copyright commission should try and look more into that. They have the power we don't. We thank God, however, that some of them have turned to legal distribution companies. I am actually working with one.
Any plans about going back to school?
I don't know, maybe. Education is good and requires concentration and I'm so busy right now. I would love to though.
Are you planning a sort of reunion of the former Croc City Click?
Everyone in the former Croc City Click, my former group is into one thing or the other now. People just move on, the only active member apart from me is Ayuba Tete popularly called A.T. He has been on numerous songs on my album. He also features prominently with other artists like Six Foot Plus, Bouqui and Jeremiah Gyang.
Who is your major influence in the music world?
There is the old school: Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy and Ice Cube. Then, you have the new school: Jay Z, Eminem, Talib Kweli and Fat Joe.
What makes Tha Rapman different from others?
Tha Rapman raps different, believes in self expression and freedom of speech. I rap about stuff most rappers won't think about. Even if it's already done I do mine in a more creative way. I am an emcee, most of them just rap.
How do you spend your spare time?
Whenever I have the time I like reading especially books on literature. I also like writing songs or poems, watching movies. I am also in love with graphic art.
Talking about graphic art, do you still draw?
Yes I do. But it has been a while, actually. I couldn't sketch for some time now because I have been very busy promoting my new album. But I still plan to go back to graphics. It's really fun.
Any plans regarding starting a family soon?
Haa! We'll see. But right now there is so much to achieve.
How do you deal with female fans?
I am cool with them but I am not fooled. I know some of them just want to be with me because I'm on TV or whatever. I stick to the real fans, who listen and appreciate my music.
Any plan to venture into other areas in the entertainment industry?
Oh yes! I just appeared, and prominently too, in a movie directed by Charles Novia. The name of the movie is 'Caught Up' and features stars like Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) and Dakore Egbuson, it was really a memorable experience. I also plan to go into other fields like TV presenting, not just acting.
You were recently in Kaduna together with Mode9 to encourage upcoming artists. What did you tell them?
This music industry is real hard; it takes a lot of patience, hard work and determination. You don't just make it overnight; and even if you do your career is short-lived. Make sure it's what you love doing, take time out to write! Be inspired (by topic or beat) before doing so. Be original then leave the rest to God, with God by your side you'll be fine.