What made Da Grin such a great artist?

What made Da Grin such a great artist?


At the time when Tekno, musician from Nigeria, is partnering with an online casino, it is perhaps apt to take the time to reflect on one of the other Nigerian greats. It is some 12 years since the passing of Da Grin. There is little disputing the fact that Da Grin was a genius. He was seen and remembered as the most promising rapper to emerge from Nigeria.

At the age of just 25, his death was certainly untimely. However, what Da Grin achieved in those few years has ensured that he will never be forgotten. He did something that no one else has ever achieved when he combined his native Nigerian direct with English. Unashamedly a bad boy of music, what was it that Da Grin had that made him so special?

All about hip hop

If you’re a fan of music then there is no doubt that you’ve heard of hip hop. The thing is, this genre of music wasn’t always recognised amongst the masses. What Da Grin achieved was to bring hip hop to the mainstream. What he did, during his short career, was to make hip hop a style of music that was recognised across cultures. It became a style that was acknowledged by the masses.

If you listen to any of Da Grin’s lyrics, he was speaking on behalf of the streets. He sang with pride at serving a near impossible upbringing and he was full of criticism, and sarcasm, for anyone who dare to speak out against him. He tried to use his music to bring the struggles of others to light. his song ‘Ghetto Dream’ laid bare his hopes and aspirations as well as those of others from the street.

Remodelling of music

When you look at some of the best songs to come from Da Grin, it becomes impossible not to acknowledge what he achieved. While hip hop had its own pigeonhole, Da Grin managed to merge this with pop music and suddenly there was a whole new audience enjoying the sound. The likes of Pon Pon and Kondo demonstrate this point.

The reality is that since the passing of Da Grin there have been other Nigerian rappers. Some of these rappers have achieved more success. However, what is clear is that these musicians would never have existed without the groundwork laid by Da Grin. Had he had more years he would have, undoubtedly, experienced more success.

If I die

In hindsight, there is always the possibility that ‘If I die’ was a premonition. Da Grind certainly understood his mortality. What no one expected though, was for this life to be taken quite so soon in a horrific car accident.


While being treated at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Da Grin was pronounced dead. While he may have left us, what he has left behind is an influence on music that can never be undone. Hip hop lives o and we have Da Grin to thank for this.

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Author: Lucille White