Nezifah Momodu is a 26-year-old artist currently in Dallas, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and she’s one of the best rappers coming out of the diaspora right now. She recently released her album, Seasons, and it’s one the most polarizing albums to come out this year. With songs like “Temper Temper” and “Grapevine”, its evident that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Her rapping skills don’t just make her one of the best “female rappers” but one of the best rappers around period. We reached out to Nezi to delve a bit more into the album and her artistry.
One of the first times you received major recognition was when your verse at the Texas Tech Cypher went viral. Were you surprised on how far that video spread?
Yea, I didn’t think it would really go that far because I didn’t have the best verse in that cypher, but I am grateful.
Who inspires you?
My family, my life, my surroundings… my culture. But if you meant artists, that list is too long to name. But I’m sure you can hear who they are from listening to the Interlude: “my favorite rappers.”
Explain the artwork and who that is on front cover of Seasons
That’s my homeboy Xavier On the cover. The cover is supposed to represent all four seasons and it really just worked out on the painting.
Why did you decide to call your project Seasons?
It’s based off a song on my EP that I felt most represented the stages of my life while I was overcoming various stages of depression, so I decided to expand on that.
Why did you decide to include interludes between almost all the tracks on the album?
Because once upon a time, albums were an art form. They were like going to the theatre, they were vivid and told a story. That’s what this has, a complete message.
“Another Lover” sounds like a very personal record. Is it about somebody specific and do you hesitate to put personal stories like that in your songs?
The album is personal, so no I don’t hesitate anymore regarding shedding my skin for the world to see. There’s a song about rape, about the death of a very close friend of mine, about the shame I had regarding myself and my culture at points growing up. They are all true and very open stories about things I’ve experienced lol and another lover is a feeling I’ve experienced but I wouldn’t consider it one of those personal stories. It’s just general.
“Temper Temper” is a great homage to Eminem’s “Guilty Conscious”. What made you want to make a song like that? And what mental state did you have to put yourself in to create these types of lyrics?
I explain that my dream was always to pay homage to the rappers who got me through hard times. I express that I have a lot of anger and Eminem was my hero cause he would channel it through song. It didn’t take me up to an hour to write the song once I pictured it in my head. I didn’t have to be in any mental state. I’m not proud of it but I’ve once cracked someone’s face open with my Jordan’s because he felt the need to approach me in a parking lot when I was in my vehicle. That night I thought of all the things that could have gone terribly wrong. I could have hurt him way more than him just bleeding on the concrete. I could have been arrested for assault. My anger is something I deal with every day, so that song was literally me just writing my thoughts.
“Grapevine” is another polarizing track about the “female MC” stigma. How much does that affect you?
A lot. Enough to write songs about it.
Do you ever plan to work with African artists or maybe try an “afrobeats” sound?
If there’s an Afrobeat instrumental I rock with hard enough that is a blend of who I am without sounding like I’m trying to hop on a fad, then yea. I don’t want to work with Naija artists and do Afrobeat just because it’s in now, Nigerians will see right through that. I want to do something genuine and if that happens then it happens. I’m already Nigerian, I’m already an Agbaya, there really is no need for me to prove more.
What do you have planned next?
Working on another project with more street and hard beats. It’s something I really wanted more of in this album so now I think it’s time for me to do as much as I can.
You can stream Seasons everywhere, and follow her on YouTube, SoundCloud, twitter and Spotify @ Nezi Momodu