Illbliss: Redefining The “Oga Boss” Title – Chief Original Gangstar
One of the highest honorific titles one can attain in the Nigerian social circle is Oga Boss. The severity of this title is even evident in how people try to reject the title when someone tries to force it down their throats. Have you ever encountered two men engaged in the back-and-forth battle of calling each other Oga Boss? It’s a prestigious title, and anyone should be glad to have it, right? Wrong! The title, Oga Boss, depicts that the bearer is someone in a position of authority; both financially and socially. Therefore, just as uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, this title comes with a LOT of responsibilities, which are usually measured by the intensity of the impact they make. For us, there is only one man who wears this crown perfectly because the cultural and societal impact his deeds have packed is second to none, especially in his motherland.
In today’s issue of Chief Original Gangstar, our COG is Tobechukwu Ejiofor (known as Illbliss), a 43-year-old Nigerian rapper who, due to his desire for independence, signed himself and became his own boss. He is also one of the artistes whose contributions to society over the years have earned him our immense respect. In this issue, we will be revealing why he deserves the well-earned title and the different sources through which he is raising talents, promoting the rich African culture, and giving back to his motherland.
When Illbliss’ album, “Oga Boss”, was released by the rapper in 2012 to crown himself as a self-made artiste, no one knew the title would stick and still be fresh and strong even after 11 years. Despite the original intent of producing the album, the significance of the “Oga Boss” recognition is no longer only tied to his album or his status as a renowned rapper but has extended to other capabilities. Besides steadily cooking one of the best sounds in Nigeria and Africa, Illbliss, who was a banker for 4 years before venturing into a career in music, is a businessman, and the owner of the talent managing organisation, The Gorretti Company. It is worthy of note that it is this company that launched the careers of Chidinma and Phyno, popular Nigerian artists who have blessed the world with their unique sound. Besides these National gems, the Gorretti Company has also launched wonderful talents that are making waves in society, one release after another.
Those who are familiar with Hero Lager Beer, which is everybody, may also have seen Illbliss in the popular documentary produced by the brewery company, “The Apprentice Story”, as well as many others. Besides the popular knowledge that Illbliss is one of Hero’s most esteemed ambassadors, It should be known that both parties are using this partnership to promote some indigenous cultures and talents in Nigeria. Illbliss has always expressed pride in his Igbo background and has attributed that he uses his art to show and project his amazing culture. Hero Lager Beer, being the king of beers in the south-east and south-south regions of Nigeria did not just collaborate with one of the most qualified sons of the soil to help achieve its vision towards cultural development, but also joined forces with one who had the talent and charisma to effectively deliver. Early this year, Illbliss was at the forefront of Hero’s Uru Dia campaign; a platform for creatives to showcase their worth and get rewarded for it. And throughout the duration of this campaign, Illbliss mentored artists, providing professional help and advice.
Illbliss has been praised as one of the Nigerian artists who have been selflessly using his social influence to promote the southeast, its businesses, its talents, and other diverse ecosystems that the region harbours. Being a unique talent himself, Illbliss has received many nominations and awards, most notable among them being the Award for Best Hip Hop Video for the song, “U Go Wound O”, at the 2008 maiden edition of the Soundcity Music Video Awards. The award was presented to him by American hip-hop star, Nas. In an exclusive interview, Illbliss also mentioned that he has 3 Headies for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Single, and Lyricist, amongst a lot more. In 2019, Illbliss made his debut as an actor by starring in the movie, King of Boys, as Odogwu. He appreciated Kemi Adetiba for encouraging him to take up the role as she believed that it was perfectly made for him. Even Kemi Adetiba knew that he possesses the qualities of a real Oga Boss.
Although Illbliss had stated that he likes a quiet life that does not require a lot of attention, we can’t help but turn the spotlight on him once again because he has won our prestigious COG award.
Rosemary Kasiobi Nwadike
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