By Chux Odoh
Nollywood is not new to performances from Rappers.
Actually, over the years, audiences have seen (mostly in the Nollywood VCD era), Rappers take to the screen to interpret roles in Nollywood films.
Yoruba Nollywood may have the boasting rights for this more than any other arm of the Industry though. In recent years, we have seen, in Yoruba speaking roles, Rappers and Artistes longer than we have in any other arm of the Industry.
There was Eedris Abdulkareem’s performance in the late Sikiru Adesina aka Arakangudu film back at the peak of Eedris’ career. And while many may not remember the movie or much of Eedris’ performance, it may or may not have set the ball for others who eventually plied that route.
While both of these extremely popular and talented Rappers may not have looked up to any of their senior colleagues, who in the past have taken up roles in Nollywood, they most definitely would have people looking up to them in future. It is literally impossible not to after you see them in Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys.
The reason is extremely simple; they put up amazing and noteworthy performances. Performances that have you forgetting for a brief moment, that both men have actual careers in the Nigerian Rap industry, careers that have spanned years.
Reminisce comes on screen as Makanaki, a fearless, sometimes disrespectful but very well respected thug who is a kingpin in his own right.
The first time we see him as Makanaki, he is in the hood, leaning against a car, looking extremely bored as one of his boys draws up a tall tale. Anyone who sees this scene and hears this goon, knows he is telling a ridiculous lie. The lies flood through like Lekki on a rainy day – extremely unmistakable. However, what grabs your attention isn’t the storyteller who has cooked up a story that’s ludicrous but nonetheless entertaining, it is Reminisce as Makanaki.
He listens but his expression says otherwise. Something that’s probably not what you notice the very first time the camera cuts to him. It is when it comes back, that you realize that there’s a skill to listening without giving a damn and without uttering a single word about what you truly know is ‘tales by moonlight.’ And this is the skill Reminisce uses often in this movie – his ability to give subtle reactions, expressions without ‘acting’ while giving the appropriate reactions where necessary. Actually, by the time the movie is over, you have most likely forgotten that Reminisce is a Rapper responsible for chart-topping hits.
You would also most likely long for a sequel with him in it or at least, more Nollywood on screen time.
The same goes for Illbliss Gorretti whose entrance in this film is pure gangster. Oga Boss would come to mind as a term with the way he shows up, nice car, slow-mo, and appropriate mood music. But by the time he opens his mouth as Odogwu Malay, the only thing he has in common with his actual self would be the term ‘Oga Boss’ because just like Makanaki, Odogwu is a kingpin in his own right.
Scenes with Ill Bliss and Reminisce playing Odogwu and Makanaki respectively are entertaining to say the least and drama-filled without being too dramatic. A notable scene in King of Boys is when Makanaki confronts Eniola Salami aka Oba aka King of Boys. As they both sit a the edge of the table where other powerful men of the underworld surround, Makanaki puts it to Eniola Salami that her reign should have let up by now.
He shakes the throne, spits on the throne and demands that the throne be is. It is literally one of the most iconic scenes in King of Boys and one where actions could have easily been over the top.
Especially since Reminisce was exchanging lines with one of the best leading ladies of drama in the history of Nollywood, Sola Sobowale.
Still, he manages to hold his own without being riled up or feeling the need to ‘overdo’.
This scene and many others will put it in the minds of thousands that these two men, would do well in Nollywood if they ever decided to take up roles more often.
It would also, prove to many others, that Nigerian Rappers just may have a future in the world’s third largest film industry; Nollywood.