The Shuffle: In loving memory of MC Loph and his “Osondi Owendi” hit single featuring Flavour

We continue to cherish his memory through the timeless music he gave us

Nwaozo Obiajulu immortalized himself as one of the fondest rappers to come out of Nigeria when he released “Osondi Owendi”, featuring Flavour, under his MC Loph alias in 2009. The rapper’s career came to an abrupt end when he lost his life in a fatal car crash on the 14th of September, 2011, but the music he made remains evergreen.

Listening to “Osondi Owendi” today is a small journey into the past at a steady pace that appreciates the patience of artists who recognize music gets better with time. The song charms you with its utter simplicity, sampling Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe’s 1984 highlife record of the same title. At the song’s core is the relaxed guitar melody of the original highlife instrumentals, around which Flavour performs a captivating rendition of the Igbo classic while MC Loph adds plainspoken rap bars like “Make we dey flex/ If you dey vex, you be enemy of progress” imbibing an effortless ease to the celebratory song.

In a way, “Osondi Owendi” was our introduction to the pairing of artists harnessing their indigenous influences for distinct aesthetics; while Flavour’s retained the traditional melodies, MC Loph went the hip-hop route, rapping in a fluid mix of Igbo and English. Their lyrics and earworm melodies worked magic on dancefloors, but thanks to the cinematic music video that accompanied the song, we also see how it was an ode to the seemingly outdated highlife sound while wholly resonating in the hip-hop sound of their present moment.

It’s hardly a surprise his death was mourned so profoundly by the music industry with several artists offering their condolence and even recording tribute songs. 8 years have passed since MC Loph passed on but we continue to cherish his memory through the timeless music he gave us.

Stream “Osondi Owendi” by MC Loph and Flavour below.

Featured Image Credits: YouTube/Bongorep
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You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

ICYMI: HHP and Naeto C’s “Boogie Down” was last week’s Shuffle