Yung6ix, also known as Onome Onokohwomo, released his album “Introduction to Trapfro” that is defined by both African and western interpretations of rap, trap and hip-hop music. Under his belt, he has garnered two iTunes World top 10 albums and collaborated with prominent Afrobeats stars, such as Wizkid, Davido, Mr Eazi and Yemi Alade.
Ever since Yung6ix’s 2011 debut mixtape Green Light Green, he amassed millions of juggernaut dreamers, which is the name of his fanbase and gained over three million social media followers.
Growing up in Warri in the southern part of Nigeria, Yung6ix started dancing at the age of six. According to him, Michael Jackson was his icon, and he claimed that he loved rap music because his aunties adored Tupac.
“They would always bring video cassettes with Tupac videos,” Yung6ix said. “There was one with a performance of an award show where Stevie Wonder performed ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ with Coolio on stage.”
He continued, “Those two tapes where my favorites, but at that point I always saw music as a thing for grown-ups until I watched ‘Sky’s The Limit’ by the great Notorious B.I.G.”
Yung6ix’s perspective changed from that day and realized he could rap, even though he was only a kid. After secondary school, he listened to many Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Kanye West and Young Money’s music — the perfect time to hone and grow his craft.
According to the artist, Lil Wayne and Jay Z were his biggest influences when he was defining his style and the context of his contents. They became the standard for all his verses.
“From Wayne, I learned how to add character to how I delivered my flow. From Jay, he was like another me in a different world. We have similar lifestyles and similar stories too,” Yung6ix mentioned.
He continued, “I even went as far as adding an ‘S class’ to my car collection and realized Jay Z did the same. I’ve learnt more from Jay Z and Lil Wayne than I ever did in a classroom.”
The artist was a student at Federal Government College in Warri where he participated in rap battles. He later became a member of the hip-hop group G-Squad.
“G Squad was the beginning of the dream. We showcased a lot of talents, and we all just bonded together after our press week,” Yung6ix said. “We contributed to pay for sessions, and that was how I got into the studio for the first time.”
He commented, “We performed at an event together, and ever since I came down from that stage, I always wanted to climb the next stage.”
The idea of Yung6ix’s album “Introduction To Trapfro” started as a solution. According to the artist, he saw his people withdraw themselves in embracing homebred hip-hop stars because “they felt that the hip-hop culture wasn’t theirs.”
“I saw that this narrative forced a lot of hip-hop talents to seek for commercial success in order to fit in,” Yung6ix pointed out. “I knew I could create a balance, so I started experimenting in 2012 and eventually released my first experiment in 2013 “One Tweet (Notice).”
The artist reasoned that during that time, he called it “Afro Hip Music” in an attempt to create an acceptable version of African Hip Hop.
“Trapfro” originated from Trap Music and Afrobeats — a representation of the African sound. The idea of fusing seminal trap and afrobeat in his album emerged after Yung6ix listened to many Western songs. “I always wanted to create music that didn’t have territorial or regional boundaries.”
Yung6ix acknowledged that every record in his album has a different message. Some messages are motivational while others are conscious. Some are love songs and others are aspirational songs with a variety of Trapfro records.
“I want people to motivated when they listen to ‘Wake Up,’ ‘Decisions,’ ‘On a Daily,’ and ‘Work.’ I want people to dance when they listen to ‘Shole,’ ‘What If,’ ‘Ina The Benz’ and ‘Step 1.’”
The artist revealed that his favorite song to perform from the album is “Energized” because it represents a recent experience he undertook. Moreover, it was the last song he recorded on the album, so he emphasized that the track sounds the newest to him.
Yung6ix finished with an advice to other aspiring singers who are underrepresented in the music industry, “Build your catalog and build your team around people who believe in your dream. Stay consistent and trust your process.”
Featured Image Courtesy of Ayo Adepoju