TRIBUTE GALORE FOR DAGRIN
The Ebony Private Vault, in Atan Cemetery was prepared to host only 150 people. But thousands ended up showing up – friends, fans, family members, acquaintances, journalists, thugs and passersby – to witness the burial of one of Nigeria's most promising rappers, and pay their last respects.
The late rapper, Dagrin, who died on Thursday April 22, eight days after a car crash that left him unconscious, lived a rough and tough life; spending many years in lack, and unable to get tertiary education because of funding. He made do with odd jobs, and faced a future of artisanship; until music rescued him. Music gave him life; gave him hope. Music rescued him from the streets and provided him with a total turn around. Music took his shame away and brought him fame.
And, as he was laid to rest last week, the one thing that attracted many; that made those who never knew him in person shed tears like he was a sibling, was the music he played. Dagrin's music was bold and confident. Frank and real. His verses, sharp and convincing.
It was the music that won him the kind of followership he had, within such a short career span. It sounded like he was boasting, when he said, before his death, that he didn't have fans, but followers. But, with the turnout at the service of songs organised for him, on Thursday April 29, and the thousands of youths that showed up the next day for his burial, it was glaring that Dagrin knew what he was saying. Interestingly, he wasn't the only one who knew the extent of his musical influence.
The tributes from his colleagues are overwhelming. The comments are shocking. Everyone agreed on the one fact: Dagrin may have lived a short life, and died a tragic death, but he was a truly great man whose art and life touched millions. A rose that grew from a concrete, encouraging others to embrace focus and determination, and shame the forces holding them down.
'Dagrin is evergreen,' said Zeez, the late rapper's friend and label mate. Zeez was with Dagrin's manager, Tunde Peters at LUTH for the entire eight days the rapper was there. He cancelled shows and called off engagements. At the burial, which Dagrin's parents could not attend, Zeez and YQ were the chief mourners. 'Wish I could still see you everyday bro. RIP Dagrin. You're evergreen,' Zeez wrote in a Blackberry broadcast message to friends hours after the burial.
'We've lost another street solicitor. There'll never be another Dagrin'' respected producer, ID Cabasa told e-Punch.
Primetime's Dayo Adeneye, told us, 'It's a great loss to Nigeria. The nation has lost not just a musician, not just a rapper; Nigerian has lost one of the bright minds she's ever produced. It's a big loss.'
And Wazobia FM OAP, Yaw, hit the nail on the head, 'Everybody keeps saying Dagrin lives on, Dagrin lives on. I hope that after this for the next one year, you will still see them representing Dagrin. Because guy bone, most of them na lip service. After 1, 2, 3, three weeks, give them one month, they will stop playing that CD of his. That's one. How many people remember Sammy Needle today, how many people remember Sunny Okosun, but then there at that place, the wake-keep everybody said, Sunny Okosun lives on, he lives on in our hearts.'