A summary of our tweetchat with all round creative Chuka Obi, DaSuKi following the release of his album, Coat of Arms.
Hello Chuka, it’s great to be chatting with you this evening. Hope you’re doing very well?
Haha hey WTS! Good to be hear as always! I’m doin on good, let’s get to it!
Haha. Always glad to have you here. First of all, can you please breakdown your name DaSuKi for the uninitiated?
As a teen, it used to mean :
Then in my mid 20s I changed it to just mean DaSupremeKing—The One who I answer to. I chose DaSuKi because I was in a group named The Kalifate—because we decided to all use stage names relevant to Nigeria.
That’s super interesting and detailed. Thank you.What’s your music discography like so far, for those who may not really be familiar?
As a member of The Kalifate, we have 2 albums—JIHAD (2005) & Re-Ink-A-Nation (2009). Both albums will be up on all streaming platforms once my WTS fam @Sorple_ is done remastering them. As a solo artist, I have 4 projects: 2006- The Manifesto Of The Lyricist Party, 2014-The B.I.A.F.R.A.N Tape, 2017- The B.I.A.F.R.A.N Tape(Biafra@50 Anniversary Edition).
BIAFRAN is an acronym for Because I Advocate For Reorientation Among Nigerians.
Wow. That’s a rich discography. We definitely have some catching up to do. As an emcee, who are the rappers that have inspired your craft the most – lyrically, flow-wise and in general style?
The Notorious BIG is the greatest influence on my rap career followed by Nas, JayZ, WuTang Clan, Sunz Of Manz & OutKast. These are the guys that shaped me as a rapper. My only “recent” influence is Jay Electronica.
So how did the journey of creating Coat of Arms begin? And when did you start working on the project?
It started in September 2015 when @itsMOSA sent me a beat (“The Renaissance”). Once I got it I just knew I had to make a new album, then my guy Okwy sent 4 beats but I picked 1. That beat became Yello (A Song For Sisi). All in 2015. I wrote most the songs in 2015 but lost them, my Notes app inexplicably deleted whole songs. Had to rewrite them all. I finally did and recorded this album in 2016, finished in 2017. But during that period I got promoted to Creative Director of DDB & then got married a few months later and it took up all my time.
Interesting. What made you go in this direction for the content of the album? ‘Coat of Arms’?
As @amusicintime observed, I have a thing for conscious, nation-building themes. All my albums whether solo or as a group are titled along such themes. Coat Of Arms was already mentally agreed as a follow up to Uncivil Wars 1: The BIAFRAN Tape.
So this is actually Uncivil Wars 2 as I had promised on my single “State Of The Union” ft. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe & Ken Saro-Wiwa that was released on 12/12/12, I said on the Outro “Uncivil Wars coming soon…Coat Of Arms coming soon…”I’m sorry Coat Of Arms came 8yrs later. But here it is.
What was your typical writing process like? Which song was the toughest to write and why?
The easiest to write was Coat Of Arms I think.
The hardest was “Yellow”—I had to let the words come to me. I knew the story I wanted to tell but it had to be right. I binned some verses I wasn’t feeling & replaced them with old loosies—Verse2 of Judgment Day was written in 2002! I think the process for me always starts with a theme.
I had the titles of all the songs before I had lyrics or beats for them. I would create a tracklist design with the tracks & see if they fit. Then when I get beats I would see which fit which track idea.
Wow. A 2002 verse still slapping really hard 18 years later! How did you select the other artists you featured on this project? Also, did you record physically with them, or did they send in verses?
I already had people I wanted to work with, mostly my friends I vibe with who had made it clear they wanted to be on songs with me. The rest I chose based on what I felt a song needed—@realkemena, @edWORDlive, @Clayrocksu. We recorded physically for all the songs except with this three.
Let’s talk about “Coat of Arms” ft @illBlissGoretti, “Wailer” ft @daSuspekt and “Judgement Day” ft @Clayrocksu. Those are 3 of the standout tracks from the project for us. Can you give us some tea on how these songs were made?
WAILER- Wailer is the only song on this album that was conceived this year. I chose @daSuspekt to mix & master this album, & as we worked one day he told me had a song that would fit perfectly into the album. He played Wailer complete with the hook already done. The start of the rap- “37 billion to renovate wetin happen…” was all him. He knew exactly how he wanted me to rap on it. I took his first 4bars & continued with “everyday na gbas gbos…” Wrote all my parts in one sitting…didn’t take more than 30-40mins. Done.
JUDGEMENT DAY- The beat was made in November 2015, by @itsMOSA. Just like with “The Renaissance” where I sent him a Victor Uwaifo sample & he sent me magic, I sent him the Celestine Ukwu sample, & he sent me this monster. I wrote & recorded 2 verses, but discarded the first then moved the 2nd verse to become the 1st and tacked a my 2002 verse I wrote for a Kalifate song titled “Divine Intervention”, produced by @iamfr3Style of the Trybesmen but was never dropped. Originally I had planned for Mosa to do the hook, as it would be quicker & easier but something in me said to reach out to @Clayrocksu. So I did, i didn’t know her from anywhere & she didn’t know me. But she was extremely gracious and we wrapped it up in record time. I sent her the beat, she sent me her vocals, & didn’t charge me. I’m super grateful.
COAT OF ARM- in January 2016, @majorbangz1 called me & said “I’ve sent you another beat, e get sample. You go like am”. It was the last of the beats he sent me. I was standing on the Landmark road (Water Corporation), & I really didn’t want another foreign sample beat. However i remember that I had my headphones with me. The choir sample came on and I said to myself “But I told this guy to use a local sample!” Then the drums came on & I was blown away. I had already written the verses before this , took my like an hour to write the whole song .Then I played the beat to @illBlissGoretti one day & he mentioned how the chorus should be in Igbo. Immediately I felt it was perfect & told him he would be the one to do it.
I wanted poetry from a woman to be the break in the song because the song was also about protecting them so I reached out to my closest poet friend. She loved it & promised to kill it. Fam, I waited for 4yrs.
When I decided I couldn’t wait any longer & this album must be wrapped up this year, I reached out to another good poet friend. I waited for 4 months. Nothing. I reached to a new poet I had high regard for, & we reached an agreement. I waited another 4weeks. Nothing. With @daSuspekt breathing down my neck to finish the song, I just took an excerpt of one of the interviews smartest guys I know on here & cut it to fit the space. The person I’m referring to hear is @DeleFarotimi
I always get joy listening to him talk, and his words were a perfect summation of what the song was about.
What do you want people to take away from listening to ‘Coat of Arms’? How do you want the audience to feel?
I want just people to know that they’re not crazy & these things that never get spoken about in songs deserve to be talked about—from paedophilia to abortion to self-esteem issues to life as a lower class Nigerian to all the various struggles we face. They deserve to be in songs.
Really compelling overall. What should we be expecting next from you? Any music videos?
Yep, will have music videos for some of the tracks. Maybe we should have a poll to choose the 4 songs that must have a video?
Are we expecting new projects in 2021 and new collabs?
10/10/21, we drop #BlackGodZilla—so titled because it’s produced by BLACK Intelligence (@Intel360), illGOD (@Illgod_) & TeckZILLA (@TeckZilla108)
Features @GemmieStone @RHEYMO @dageminiparadox @Nnestainless @Tafatruth_show @shofarr Illgod & The Kalifate. Tracklist concept is 🔥 BlackGodZilla is the first time i deviate from the Nationalist themes that seem to always follow me lol. Then after that, CHUKWUKA.
And then a special project that I’ll talk about when it’s in its advanced stages.