Popular rapper,Michael Ugochukwu Stephens,aka Ruggedman,has been around for a long time.Renowned for his controversial song,Ehen,in which he came down heavily on some Nigerian artistes for singing songs that were below par,he has won himself many enemies along the line.However,more than a decade after he burst onto the scene,his name still rings a bell.In an online chat he explains how he has managed to remain in public consciousness. “Like I said in my song,Baraje,I blend with the trend and stay forever like culture.I always move with the times and I make sure I stay on top of my game.I also work with the people who are making waves at any particular time and I keep making good music,” he said.
Speaking on his early days in the industry, he said, “I am happy that many of the things I spoke about in those days are still happening. I have always been campaigning for the use of our mother tongue in our songs.When I started,some people felt I was just a troublemaker;they didn’t know that I was fighting for the industry.Like I said in another of my songs,I will always speak my mind;whether people agree with it or not.
I stand on the side of the truth and that is what I’m known for.I wouldn’t go out of my way to diss anyone;I will just say the things that people know but don’t want to say.Truly,I have lost a lot for speaking my mind,but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Now,we all know that Nigerian songs have taken over the whole African continent.I can confidently say that I’m the first rapper to make money off rap music in Nigeria.”On when he would be getting married, the rapper said, “I have chosen to keep my relationship,and my private life in general away from the press.I have vowed not to have kids out of wedlock and I am bidding my time to do the right thing.” Maintaining that his clothing line is doing well,he said, “Twentieth September Wears is still very much around.I started making clothes a very long time ago and it is something that I’m passionate about.We produce outside the country and that is actually one of the challenges that we have because of production logistics.There have also been some factors that have cropped up along the way, but we’re doing well.”