Veteran music producer, Sossick was a guest on Pulse’s Loose Talk podcast, where he shared a touching account of his time with late rapper Dagrin.
Sossick was responsible for crafting the classic album “C.E.O (Chief Executive Omota)” album with Dagrin, which propelled the rapper to the zenith of Nigerian rap music. He died at the age of 22 on April 22, 2010 after a vehicle accident in Lagos, Nigeria.
From the meeting in Lagos to recording sessions, Sossick shared stories of his key moments with Dagrin, and his reaction after his passing.
The interview below has been condensed and edited for clarity.
First Time I heard about Dagrin
I was in the studio and Gino came to the studio. He said, ‘Yo, you hear this boy, one ‘Grin’ something like that.’ He said he saw his video and the guy raps in Yoruba. I was like was he better than AY? Gino said I should forget. The way Gino spoke about this boy was impressive. He said ‘This boy dey kick bars for Yoruba!’
He said he will call me anytime the boy was on air. But that never happened, and I never got to see that video.
Meeting With Dagrin, First Record
One day I was in school, and my phone rings. The voice said, ‘Hey yo, is this Sossick,’ I was like yeah.
‘Baba na Dagrin’, he said. I rap. I then remembered that this was the guy Gino was crazy about. He said he wanted to see me, and asked where I was. I told him I was in school, and he said he was coming over. Dagrin came through to Yabatech. He was accompanied by Sati Ramoni. We went to a fast food joint, and he was surprised. He kept saying ‘Sosizay Baba, na you fit do am.’ The way he believed in me, nobody in this life has ever believed in me like that.
I told him I have heard about him and said we will work together. Sati said I should do one or two songs for him, and I gave him my pricelist. They said they will pay. I used to charge N100,000 back then.
There was this beat I was making for Bnaky W, but it didn’t work out. So Dagrin came, I played the beat and he liked it. He took the beat home and went to write on it. The next day he called me excitedly and said he was ready.
He came alone to my hostel and said we should go record this record. I hear the first verse, and I told my guys “Yo I dey go house…I have to record this. The song was ‘Moti Gboro’.
We went home to record, and my head burst. It was one take, right there. I sang the hook originally, and gave it to Isolate to record. The way he rapped, my head was blown. I told him we should record more. That was the easiest recording we ever did. It took us 20 minutes.
Creating ‘Pon Pon Pon’ Beat and Recording it
Dagrin loved 50 Cent. He wanted to be the new 50 Cent. He loved him deeply. I had made the beat for ‘Pon pon pon’ four months before I met Dagrin. A lot of people came in and I played it for them. I was trying to market it but they wanted something else. They wanted something closer to Shank’s ‘Julie’. They all admitted that the beat was great but no one wanted to buy it. I had once played it for Ruggedman too. But he turned it down.
The moment Dagrin stepped into the studio and heard the beat, he simply took off his shirt, and said “Baba na this one.” He had one saying back then which says: After Jesus Christ, na Sossick.’ I made that beat for Traffic, but he didn’t like it. Other rappers didn’t connect with it. They didn’t get it.
Dagrin heard the beat and he flipped. He took off his shirt and was stunned. He said we have to piece it together. He sat down and began to piece it together. Grin was in the studio recording, and we now got to the point where we had to come up with the chorus.
The rap had already finished my head. When I saw the romance between the beat and the lyrics, I felt like we didn’t need a chorus.
Dagrin knew what he wanted to be. He wasn’t like the dopest rapper, Modenine was probably doper, but he knew what he wanted to be.
While we were recording the album, he would say the game would change when this album drops. We will keep working, and while listening to the songs, he say randomly, ‘If this album drops, everywhere will scatter, we will change the game and scatter 0everywhere.’
When Dagrin died, we still had a lot to do. I didn’t want to believe. I felt that like it was one of those news that they got wrong. I thought that at some point they will announce that it was fake news. I was at the hospityal, and I said everyone should just relax. I said they should relax because Dagrin will wake up.
I considered a lot of things. I thought T.B Joshua would help us. I never moved one because I kept believing that something would happen and he would come back, I kept feeling that it doesn’t have to end here. Dagrin had a lot to do.
How do you move n from something that great? How do you move on from something that changed your life? I didn’t understand life at that point, I had questions. How can you get there finally and this just happens?
I had a lot of things on my mind. I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know that people died at their peak. It was fucked up, especially when we had linked up to make a second album. We had huge plans, and I didn’t know what to do, where to go, how to act. I didn’t see it coming.
I was seeing him at the hospital, he looked good, and I thought he was going to bounce back. It was abnormal. I just felt like going to sleep for a while. Where do you go from there? I thought we had found our home.
In this life, nobody really knows. I couldn’t sleep at home. I would simply enter my car, drive around Lagos until the morning. I didn’t feel right. I was haunted, I felt that something was coming for me. At that point, I forgot the industry.
Rest in peace Dagrin.