Exclusive Interview With CDQ: Too Much Bass
Why the crop of Lagos based celebrities have decided to cook themselves up in Lekki is still a phenomenon that baffles me. I mean, the place is literally on water! Yes, maybe I suffer from acute aqua phobia and yes the place is serene, but still, why the Island? I pondered this as our driver, Peter went past Lekki. The first hurdle of the day actually was caused by CDQ’s manager. You’d think that finding the address of the Yoruba rapper’s home would be the simplest of things but not when his manager gives you directions. After he was done spewing what could only have been a mixture of Yoruba, English and German, we decided that if we didn’t consult Google Maps, we might end up driving to Badagry. Relief was visible on my face when we finally drove into the compound, I mean, it could have been worse right? We could have driven to Alaska.
By Tersoo Achineku
Entering his plush home, we found one of his homies trying (In vain) to beat his CPU opponent in a game of FIFA 16. As everyone who knows me, I do have a soft side (acute addiction) for video games and as I stood, entranced by the game play of the Playstation 4, Leonard, my good friend smacked me into reality. Pretending like I wasn’t see stars, I proceeded to pretend like I was in control and ordered my crew to unload the equipment, looking for the right spot to position the camera. After a few minutes that consisted of camera hoisting, sound checks and a few jokes from my crew/friends, we settled to await the entrance of Mr. CDQ.
To those who do not know CDQ, let me do a brief summary. Sodiq Abubakar Yusuf is one of the biggest names in the Yoruba rap music industry. A graduate of Economics from the Lagos State University, CDQ became prominent after being signed with hit maker, Masterkraft. He came into limelight with the hit track, Indomie, alongside Olamide. And he’s been on a roll ever since with tracks like Woss Wobi and Salaro.
It literally took 2 hours for CDQ to come downstairs. Within that time frame, Leonard had hissed 748 times, Cuebitz had taken 9, 021 unnecessary pictures, Emeka had lost 6 pounds and our driver Peter had made himself at home (By taking off his shoes and dozing on CDQ’s couch).
Looking dapper in a black shirt complemented by a pair of jeans (same colour), CDQ stepped out with the candor of Kanye West. He took out his pair of Ray Bans as he went round the whole crew to apologize for his bad case of time keeping. Satisfied that we had accepted his apologies (like we had a choice), he took a seat to kickoff the interview.
My first question was to ask if he had a clock upstairs but I held my tongue and urged him to explain his childhood. As I’d read on so many of his interviews, I was expecting a short and simple answer, but that was not to be case as it seemed like he was going to reward my long wait with in depth information about himself.
As an ambassador of the streets, it wasn’t really a surprise to learn that he’d grown up in Orile, a project part of Lagos. After adolescence brought out the stubborn part of him, his father, Mr. Yusuf decided that it was time for him to switch environments before puberty hit and sent him to Ilorin, Kwara State, where he attended Secondary School. After he’d completed his learning process, he came back to Lagos to attend the Lagos State University.
Piqued, I pressed on to inquire about his best childhood moments and wasn’t disappointed as he actually showed that he grew up in the 90s. In his words: “My best moments where playing with those small horse toys that you’d have to pump in order for them to jump. I also remember licking some really excellent candy that was locally baked.”
CDQ also revealed a very interesting part of his childhood in that he was once a very big bully, which is a bit of a surprise as one of his role models included the late Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie (and not Sani Abacha).
“I never knew that I would become a musician to be frank. I thought I’d become a basketballer as I played for Milo and NIS at the National Stadium. I eventually started dancing with Kaffy and we had a group called EMagnito. I was the social prefect in my school at that time, but that was it, I wasn’t really a musician. Most people do not even know that I almost stopped doing music when my father died in 2008. But Masterkraft convinced me that passion beats everything and I decided to push for what I love. In all, music was never my first choice for a profession.”
The interview would have been useless if we didn’t talk about Masterkraft, the leader of General Records and creator of multiple hits. CDQ gave us a brief explanation of how they compose songs. “We have reached the point where we have gotten enough chemistry to not even be together to create a hit. He could create songs off the top of his head and I’ll jump on it. Also, in the same vein, he could be creating a beat and I’ll just rap to it. Kinda like Salaro. We’re currently working on my album which should drop in May on my birthday, by God’s Grace.”
I decided to end the interview by asking how he relaxes, a bit clichéd, yes, but I had a reason. I asked which video game he preferred and much to my own disappointment, he picked FIFA 16. I wasn’t happy with that, at all. But I’ll spare you the reason why, maybe on another day.
The shoot turned out to be more successful than I’d expected, even though the Keke Marwa driver ran away and I had to chase down another one under the terrible sun.
Happy that we’d done a more than successful interview, I and the crew jumped into the car and as I blasted a bunch of cray tracks through the car speakers, one thing tugged at my brain, CDQ was actually cooler than I’d expected. For someone from the streets, he had seriously done well for himself indeed. “Turn off that damn music!” Cuebitz screamed me back into reality.
For Full Interview, Get your copy of GENESIS INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE, (Issue 10). Available with the vendors, and online on jumia.com.ng, konga.com. Available also internationally in the USA in all Barnes & Nobles Stores, Chapters booksellers in Canada and isubscribe.com in UK.