Show Dem Camp is Nigeria’s prominent rap duo who have displayed a rare level of skill, consistency and artistry, but long before their emergence was the legendary group called the Rooftop Mcs.
The duo of Adekunle Adeyoola [Soul Snatcha] and Olaitan Hughes [So Kleva] together known as Rooftop Mcs (The name taken from Matthew 27: 10) made a splash on the scene in 2002 with the song ‘Shock Therapy’ from the same titled album released in 2003, but their biggest industry success would arrive four years later with the release of the smash single, ‘Lagimo.’
With the turn of the new millennium, listeners of not just gospel music but Hip-hop on the Nigerian scene recognized the phenomenal feats of the duo for how they fused rap with Alternative Rock Music and a bit of Fuji to create their lane.
Rooftop MCs, who have over five projects to their name lead the rank as the pioneer Alternative pair in the modern era of Nigeria’s pop music. They describe their vision as one that emphasizes the fact that Christianity is a lifestyle and not a religion and they found balance scoring commercial triumphs in bringing a thrilling newness to how young music lovers can identify with the message of Christ.
Released in 2008; religion, morality and spirituality are the prominent features on the 11 track sophomore album and arguably the most successful , ”The Minority Report.” [Perhaps named after the 2002 Tom Cruise classic movie]
The album opens with the hit single, ‘Lagimo’ featuring producer Cobhams Asuquo, a song that talks about dealing with fame and not missing one’s purpose on earth as Kleva rhymed, ”You gave me the music, but I abused it, music brought fame and yes I misused it…”
My best memories of this song outside its captivating video is watching clips of them performing it at the 2008 Headies Awards and the standing ovation they received from everyone in the hall as Cobhams Asuquo went on his knees delivering his verse epitomizes everything that a classic record stands for.
The song was nominated in the ‘Best Rap Single’ category at the awards.
The follow-up track, ‘Chop Your Mouth’ is another favorite as they address music fans who don’t know the lyrics to a song but are always eager to sing along when in the crowd. On the Frenzy produced, ‘Elenu’, they take it to the street, tapping into the popular slang, rapping in a mix of English and Yoruba as they reply their critics and take a moment to roll out their contributions to the game.
There are songs like ‘Foolish’ and ‘Real Bling Bling’ where they switch it up a bit with their flow, while ‘Silence’, the first single from the album is another song that stands out not just because of its relatability but the sheer brilliance.
From the rolling drums to the infectious hook, Rooftop reinstates the old prophetic saying that ”silence is the best answer for a fool”, and almost 11 years later, some of their lyrics still ring true of present human actions.
”Funny how some people stand on the sideline, make their choices, then they decide mine, it’s not the best one, so they suggest one”
‘Still Got Game’ featuring Protek sees Rooftop showing that they could also hold their own as lively Mcs spitting over Boom Bap beat. The reverb-heavy guitars and drums laced ‘True Identity’ talks about not losing oneself in the allures of the world.
The album comes to its close with two bonus joints in ‘The Second First Impression’ and ‘Shock Therapy’, a song which typifies everything the duo stand for, sonic explorers who stretch the confines of their creativity and yet attain commercially appealing results without losing the most important part of their ministry, the message.
Rooftop Mcs were the hip-hop boundary breakers that long proved that your love for rap should not in anyway limit one from spreading the gospel and the pair displayed a chemistry that made more noticeable each others strengths.
”The Minority Report” outside birthing a number of hit records, delivers amazing material from start to finish with very little moments of superfluity.
The album, which ranks as the best in their catalog, one that have stood the test of time, is created in a place where there are no rules, only purpose and conviction and over a decade later, it offers forth not just as an uplifting body of work but at the same time accomplishes a marriage between Hip-Hop and living for God over streetwise themes and production.