|Adesola Adesimbo Idowu|
|Other names||Weird MC|
Weird MC (born Adesola Adesimbo Idowu on January 1, 1970) is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter, and producer. Known for her English/Yoruba lyrics. Weird MC - also known as Shola Idowu and The Rappatainer - is one of Africa's token number of female rap artistes, and one of the few Nigerian women associated with Afrobeat.
Ogun-native Idowu was born in England to conservative parents who did not encourage her to go into showbusiness, yet she was not discouraged. She had her secondary school education in Nigeria, where she made friends with four other girls, with whom she formed the hip-hop group Weirdos. Despite their popularity on the campus circuit, they failed to land a record deal, and soon disbanded.
Idowu gained admission into Ogun State University to study Law, but left a year later to focus on her music career. Influenced by Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, Da Roots, Miriam Makeba, Queen Latifah and Jimi Hendrix, Idowu travelled back to England where she competed in rap contests in London, including Club 291 contest, similar to America's Apollo, in which she came third. After working with music producer Kevin Best for two months, Idowu released the single Wanna Make You Jack/Let's Get Wet, which received positive reviews from music critics and reached number one in the Choice FM charts. By now, Idowu had began to use the name by which she is now known - Weird MC, which was coined from the name of her former group.
After a long sabbatical, Idowu returned to her homeland where she released the album Simply Weird, a blend of American-style hip hop and Afrobeat, and featured the video-single Allen Avenue - she was the first Nigerian artiste to release a video-single, which she also produced. The Allen Avenue video raised controversy, as her androgyny made fans question her true gender.
Simply Weird has been described as the first ever full-length rap album, yet this milestone was reached a decade before, with artistes like Emphasis, Junior 'n' Pretty, and Sound on Sound. Nevertheless, despite the popularity of Allen Avenue, the album failed to sell an impressive number of copies. Critics agreed that Simply Weird was ahead of its time ("People felt it was too foreign… not rootsy, or ‘African’ enough."). Despite this setback, Idowu was honoured with several awards, including the very first AMEN award for Best Hip Hop Album.
In 2006, Idowu released her second album, After Da Storm. Hip hop was now recognised as a major form of music in Nigeria, and the Don Jazzy and JJC produced single Ijoya - which means Time To Dance - was a massive success. Ijoya earned her an AMEN award for Most Pop Song, and a Channel O Music Video Award for Best Special Effect. Following the success of After Da Storm, Idowu studied Music Technology in London.
Award and nominations
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