Once you hit play on Blaqbonez, you’re immediately sucked into a vibe that cannot be duplicated. This Afrobeats recording artist is best known for his spitfire rhymes and versatility — captured within his different personas.
At the young age of 13, Blaqbonez was already spitting, releasing his first project called Hip Hop Is Blaq while attending Obafemi Awolowo University. Soon, he made a name for himself amongst the students, which eventually transferred to social media. Boasting 1.4 million followers on Instagram alone, Blaqbonez even coined himself as BRIA: Best Rapper in Africa.
Three words to describe Blaqbonez? Unpredictable, exciting, and spontaneous. He states, “I’m a rapper, singer, Afrobeats artist. I can make so many different sounds. I consider my music very exciting. It’s a different brand to it. To me, it’s a little more unpredictable.”
Fast forward to 2023, Blaqbonez returns with his highly-anticipated sophomore album titled Emeka Must Shine, solidifying his role as a transformative figure in the world of Afrobeats. The 14-track project hails standout appearances from Victony, Ludcaris, Zlatan, and more.
AllHipHop caught up with Blaqbonez during his few days in Los Angeles, with Akon personally calling him to perform with him at the “GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” Live Concert Special . Read below as we discuss.
AllHipHop: Growing up in Lagos., did you ever think you’d be here today?
Blaqbonez: When I was a kid, I never thought I’d be coming in and out of the U.S frequently like this. So far, I’ve been to the U.S 5-6 times this year alone. That is a lot for someone like me. Being a kid from Nigeria, I neer have thought I would ever be in the U.S yet alone this often. I am grateful for the path I have been on and the trajectory of my career so far.
AllHipHop: What do you like about Los Angeles?
Blaqbonez: Man, I love the scenery here. I love that it is always sunny and there are so many palm trees. I love the hills and the vegetation. I love LA so far.
AllHipHop: I’m curious what Lagos looks like.
Blaqbonez: Lagos is nice, but Lagos could have had better city planning. Lagos has great spots here and there. Llots of great people and great things came out of Lagos and Nigeria in general, but the planning and structuring out the city could have definitely been better.
AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?
Blaqbonez: Funny story, it was my friend’s name. He wasn’t using it, so he gave it to me. From then, the name just stuck with me.
AllHipHop: You just released Emeka Must Shine. What’s one thing you want fans to take away from this project?
Blaqbonez: Man, I want this project to be part of my fans’ happy moments. I want it to be part of the celebrations they have in their lives. When you go to the club and hear my music, I want you to have a good time. During your exciting week or celebrating something, I want my album to be part of your good times. That’s what this album is for me. That’s the takeaway.
AllHipHop: I was listening to “Like Ice Spice.” Has she heard it?
Blaqbonez: I’m sure she has and I hope she liked it. The song is dedicated to her beautiful self.
AllHipHop: What do you like about Ice Spice?
Blaqbonez: She’s so sexy. When she did the “Munch” video, I liked the way she would go down and shake her ass. “Like Ice Spice” is a tribute to her and how Ice moves.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about what it was like linking up with Zlatan on “Bad Till Eternity.”
Blaqbonez: This song is definitely for the culture man. It was nice linking up with my bro Zlatan. We’ve known each other from way way way back, so when we met up we decided to make a song to honor the late artist MohBad. His death really hit a lot of us in the game, so it was nice doing this with Zlatan for his tribute.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about getting that call to perform with Akon in Los Angeles for a pre-Grammys party.
Blaqbonez: Yeah man I just got a call and they said Akon wanted to bring me out for a Grammys tribute concert. After my mouth dropped, I said “say less I am there!” It was exciting when I got that call, because I was shocked Akon knew who I was. Akon personally wanting me to perform with him is one of the highlight moments for me this year. I am excited about it and can’t wait for you all to see it.
AllHipHop: What’s you guys’ relationship like?
Blaqbonez: Me and Akon? He’s f#### with what I’m doing and the music I am making. I love that. I always looked up to him growing up, so now that I get to actually work with him I am thrilled and blessed. I can’t wait for everyone to see the GRAMMY Salute To 50 Years Of Hip-Hop” Live Concert Special.
AllHipHop: How’d you end up working with Ludacris?
Blaqbonez: I do sessions with other artists so much. It always happens so easily and organically. With Luda, his team reached out to my team that Ludacris would love to make an Afrobeat song with me. From there, they flew me out to Ghana where he was doing a session camp. That’s where we made “Cinderella Girl.” Having him do a verse for that song was everything!
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Blaqbonez: My phone, weed, and a drink…usually it’s water. Those are my essentials in the studio.
AllHipHop: Best encounter you have with a fan?
Blaqbonez: There’s so many. I love my fans and every time I meet them it is an exciting moment. I really make sure to give them that time, because they are the ones really pushing me to continue this.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Blaqbonez: Right now, I’m trying to figure that out, because I am always working and I love working. However, when I am not working, I like to Netflix and chill. I also love gaming with friends. I rarely go out unless I have to.
AllHipHop: Anything else you’re excited for?
Blaqbonez: So many exciting things are coming up. My team and I are trying to set up a tour to continue pushing the album. I am working on a few more collaborations and features that will come out next year. I’m really just enjoying this ride. I am grateful for my team, my fans, and that this album is finally out. I really hope the world enjoys it.
AllHipHop: Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Blaqbonez: My goal right now is to have a song in the Billboard Hot 100. That’d be nice. Long term goal is to get a Grammy since they finally created an Afrobeats category. I cannot wait to see what’s to come.