DAGRIN… A YEAR AFTER

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I must confess that I didn’t know the right words to use all day, and this has caused the delay of this post, dedicated in loving memory of Dagrin.

I can’t really remember the first time I met Dagrin, but I remember when he came to my office (Hip-hop World Magazine) at Ogundana, off Allen with his friend, Lala who was then, signed to Sati Records. They brought two promo CDs – “Nla”, a song by Lala featuring Dagrin and “Slow Slow” by Chuddy K. Both songs are still on my list of favourite songs. Well I didn’t see for a while but once, he calls me to say what’s up and reminded me not to forget him in any project that may concern him. I also remember when “Pon Pon Pon” was released, he had told me he was coming up with some 50 Cents grimy sh*t, produced by Sossick. He didn’t bring the CD to me himself, DJ Neptune did. I remember Neptune asking me if I have heard Dagrin’s new single, I said yes but not closely… he gave me a copy and to other guys in my office at the time.

I remember when a colleague’s brother was marking his birthday at Oniru Beach. She told me Dagrin was the guy’s favourite artiste and he’ll be very happy to see him at his party. I called Dagrin to know if he was available to hangout that weekend and he said yes. His song, “Pon Pon Pon” was big then, and I’m sure my colleague’s brother will never forget that day, like me and a lot of peops at that party.

I still remember the last time I saw Dagrin…Wednesday, April 14, around 3 in the afternoon… hours before the ghastly auto-crash that led him to his early grave. It wasn’t too long after he bought his Nissan Maxima. I was teasing him about it, calling him a “Big Boy” while he smiled humbly and blushed in response.

As I gathered then – He was on his way back from an assignment. We got a tip off that he was involved in an accident. We called his manager, Tunde immediately to confirm the story. Tunde concealed information at first, saying it was just a minor accident, “I was in the car with him and a truck driver mistakenly hit his car and damaged his fender but everything is okay now” was Tunde’s initial response. However, rumours describing the magnitude of the accident spread further and this compelled us to pressurize his manager who eventually admitted and confirmed the accident.

Dagrin was alone and on his way home (Sunshine Estate, Oko-oba, Agege), after receiving a call that he had a guest waiting for him. We gathered that he kept calling his house asking them not to lock the gate that he was on his way back. Time check relays that he actually ran into a stationary truck 2 minutes after the call and this was around 2am, in front of Alakara Police Station, off Agege Motor road, Mushin, Lagos.

Eyewitness revealed that, minutes before the accident, the truck driver who was carrying cement was negotiating a request of N12, 000 by the men of the police force when they heard a loud bang.

Dagrin was initially rushed to Tai Solarin Hospital (Baba Olosha Bus stop, Mushin), but later transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba at the intensive care unit.

Four days later, we gathered that the rapper had undergone surgery and moved to a private wing of the hospital. In between this time frame, rumours spread that the rapper had died but close friends refuted the information stating individual testimonies of seeing and having a word with him at the hospital. Tunde, his manager also granted an interview on TV, confirming that the young dude was responding to treatment and fast recuperating.

We gathered that the rapper had to be tied to the bed because he kept making efforts to move, each time he recognized any of his guests.

Crisis started in the early hours of Thursday, April 22 when the rapper went into coma again. His heart reportedly stopped beating later as the doctors ran helter-skelter to revive him. The recuperating machine was used 9 times on him but to no avail. He died.

Dagrin, full name Olaitan Oladapo Olaonipekun officially started his music career in 2006 with an album titled ‘Still On The Matter’. The most popular track off the album was “Rap Rules Anthem” but it was not big enough to register the album as a success.

His sophomore album, “C.E.O” (Chief Executive Omoita), released in 2009, housed hits like “Pon Pon Pon”, “Kondo”, “Gboro” and “Ghetto Dreams”. This album placed him on the path to the top, as he became one of the hottest and most wanted artistes.

His first album was released on the axis of LEO Entertainment while C.E.O was released on his indie label called Missofunyin Entertainment but he later signed a managerial contract with Edlyne Records.

Dagrin died at the age of 26 as confirmed by his father who also signed the official press release earlier released by Black House Media.

Dagrin departed at a time he was supposed to reap the fruit of his hustle in this hard industry of ours… but his legacy remains.

You know his several nick names…you know his songs…some of you knew his pain…you know what it is…but he knew what it was.

Below is my last interview with the late rapper…

JARMZONE’S LAST INTERVIEW WITH DAGRIN (december, 2009)

Jarmzone: Did you make any resolution in 2009 and what is the state of your resolutions in terms of achieving them?
Dagrin: Yeah, I made a resolution this year that I’m gonna drop my much anticipated album and I’m grateful to God that I’ve been able to do that successfully.

Jarmzone: What is the fondest memory, you have of this season?
Dagrin: My fondest memory this year is still about my latest album, I’m fulfilled.

Jarmzone: What is the thing you dearly hope for in 2010?
Dagrin: Hmmm… I hope to work with more artistes in Nigeria and I’m also hoping to work with the likes of 50 cent and Lil’ Wayne

Jarmzone: If Santa ask you to state specifically as possible, what you want for Xmas, what would it be?
Dagrin: Haaaaaa… that should be…. To have more rhymes and word play to rap with

Jarmzone: If you were going to give Jesus a birthday present, what would it be?
Dagrin: I’m going to rap for Jesus and also let him know that I really appreciate what he has done with my life

Jarmzone: Rate this year on a scale 1 – 10?
Dagrin: I’ll rate it 5/10, because things are not working as we planned. The global recession really affected a lot of thing, but we still thank God.

Jarmzone: Where would you be on new years’ eve?
Dagrin: I’ll definitely be jamming with my hommies and after that praise and thank God for a 2009 well spent

Jarmzone: How do you plan to make the world or this part of the world at least a better place in 2010?
Dagrin: My plan is to change the rap industry and let people embrace our local dialect and also to let the whack emceez know that there is no hiding place for them.

Jarmzone: Any regret in 2009?
Dagrin: I don’t have any regret, so far.

Jarmzone: What will you not be caught doing in 2010?
Dagrin: I won’t want to be caught pant’s down with my best friend girl-friend and I don’t want to be caught robbing a bank.

Jarmzone: Who’s your favourite local artiste of 2009?
Dagrin: 2face is the number one, and a whole lot of other cats

Jarmzone: What philosophy of life do you intend to apply in 2010?
Dagrin: Don’t do to me, what I won’t do to you

Jarmzone: What did you do in 2009 that you will not do in 2010?
Dagrin: I did nothing bad in 2009 but I’ll like to improve in my rapping skills

Jarmzone: How much was the first pay you got in 2009?
Dagrin: (Laughs) I can’t really remember at the moment

Jarmzone: Where would you love to visit before 2010 runs out?
Dagrin: I would love to visit all the nooks and crannies of the world

Rest in peace Dagrin…

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