Wednesday , August 10 2022
To whom little is given, less is expected: What the Headies rebuke says about Portable [Pulse Editor's Opinion]

To whom little is given, less is expected: What the Headies rebuke says about Portable [Pulse Editor’s Opinion]

Portable: The Man to whom little was given

Born Habeeb Okikiola, Portable hails from Ogun State, where he had his primary and secondary education. His journey to Lagos was motivated by his desire to push his music career, after he discovered his love for music while in secondary school.

Portable grew up idolizing indigenous rappers and street kings such as the late DaGrin, Lord of Ajasa, Olamide, QDOT, and CDQ, amongst other Yoruba-speaking rappers. And it was this love for music that inspired him to abandon his education.

While fame and success drove Portable to the continent’s entertainment capital, he would sooner be exposed to the hardship that accompanies a life without means in an unforgiving City.

Portable, young and impressionable, began navigating life in the slums where he was possibly exposed to elements of inner-city Lagos.

If you take away Nigeria’s harsh economic realities, Portable is not very different from a kid who grew up homeless in the projects of Peckham. A kid exposed to the drugs and violence of the streets of Peckham, and who had no choice but to partake of the realities that unfolded in front of him daily.

Perhaps, no moment better captures the brutal poverty and dangerous life that Portable was exposed to than the video of the rapper stripped naked and being beaten, after he was accused of stealing a Keke Marwa (Tricycle) and an iPhone.

That video is proof of the real and measurable poverty that was Portable’s life. It’s not a line of a song that is included for no reason other than it nicely rolls off the tongue. It’s not a story that is fraudulently employed to inspire sentiments. The story is a true tale of the life of a young man to whom little or nothing was given.

Portable: The Musician Artist who Music captures his Reality

All through his life on the street, Portable never lost his passion for music. He held out the hope of someday becoming a musician even as he was continuously influenced by Fuji and street music that is popular in Lagos slums.

While the point at which Portable began putting out music cannot be determined, he has an EP Wanted on music streaming platforms dated June 2, 2020. And before then it will appear he has been putting out music which has made him noticeable in a corner of Lagos slums.

In the singles on the ‘Wanted EP,’ Portable repeatedly referred to himself as ‘Wahala Musician’ and ‘Idamu Adugbo (Street Menace)’ which are tags he still maintains.

The EP contains his raw and unrefined talent, and it heavily mirrors his street mentality and harsh realities. His music sounds like it was recorded in a drug haze and the artist looked and still appears like a man who is almost never lucid.

The jarring sound, incomprehensible street slang, and crude content of Portable’s music which makes his music more or less unbearable is nothing more than a sonic representation of the artist.

Portable: The man who has gained much but still gives little

Portable’s career and life changed when his song ‘Zazzu Zeh’ was noticed by Dancer Poco Lee. Poco Lee’s involvement led to an Olamide remix, and the rest is history.

Since achieving mainstream fame with ‘Zazzu Zeh’ Portable has gone from an incoherent, controversial unknown artist to a trendy, controversial and known artist.

Portable had barely spent a week in the spotlight when he accused his label boss and Poco Lee of attempting to steal his song. While Portable’s claim was not entirely substantial, he made some points and he even enjoyed the support of lots of Nigerians on social media.

Since becoming popular, Portable has gone from being practically poor to going to shows, being gifted a Range Rover, and earning millions.

However, his music, behavior, appearance, and approach to his career are no different from when he was a young man juggling music and alleged social vices on the streets.

There hasn’t been a week since ‘Zazzu Zeh’ remix dropped that Portable hasn’t caused trouble on social media.

With the success of ‘Zazzu Zeh,’ much has been given to Portable in terms of support, patronage, attention, and even patience, but the 28-year old has failed to live up to the standard that would be expected of an adult.

Portable’s most recent childish antics saw him post a video, where he threatened other fellow nominees and the Headies Academy, should he fail to win the award for Rookie of The Year.

While the embarrassing manner with which he conducts himself is no longer surprising, it continues to serve as a reminder of why he needs a serious team to manage his affairs.

At the height of his fame, Portable was picking a fight with everyone and was spending his money on luxury cars. Both acts are opposite of what he needed at that point in his career.

The Headies’ response to Portable’s threats is more or less a sign that while some might still find his troublesome nature to be funny and endearing, others would sooner get tired and will be unable to stomach his antics.

With his talent being insufficient to sway fans to overlook his poor conduct, Portable is at risk of becoming an irritant, whose antics and music will inevitably be ignored. Even worse, he could become a risk to himself and his incredible talent.

If he wishes to sit at the same table as other artists and enjoy the largesse of the Nigerian music industry, Portable must begin to conduct himself accordingly.

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