Lagos, Nigeria – It is a dark night in Ikeja, capital of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic powerhouse and de facto entertainment capital of Africa. Deep inside the bowels of an empty factory is the award-winning rapper Remilekun Khalid Safaru, aka Reminisce.
The factory is pitch black, the darkness broken only by small pools of blinding video lights. As a crew sets up the scene to shoot a music video for Why, the rapper’s song with singer Oxlade, Safaru sits in the back seat of his SUV nearby, waiting for his cue to be on set.
The scenario is an apt metaphor for the rapper’s brand as a well-known celebrity who likes to play in the shadows and only come out when he is ready. In a career spanning two decades, Safaru has methodically crafted timelines for the release of his music, thus remaining somewhat of a mysterious figure despite his fame.
On his 2020 EP, the six-track Vibes & Insha Allah, the 42-year-old peeled back a few layers to show his complex nature and maturity as a devoted husband, father and elder statesman.
The EP was a stop-gap project designed to punctuate the seven-year gap between his last studio album, El-Hadj, and his anticipated fifth album, Alaye Toh Se Gogo, which is to drop this year.