Before every artist in the country could now sing about “Yahoo” in peace, before 9ice could do “Living Things,” before Oladips could do “Chache,” there was Olu Maintain. He did a song about it, and even named his album after it. Called “Yahooze!” And, that was a decade ago. Not four years, not five years. Oladips should be about 10 then!
Even though they were a group of “wack rappers,” Maintain, which Olu co-formed, are still regarded as one of the pioneers of hip-hop in Nigeria. Before Rugged Man came, and changed shits and M.I Abaga arrived hot. After M.I came, it wasn’t “safe” out there, anymore. Many of the so-called hip-hop groups disbanded, everybody went solo, trying to break into a market that now understands what quality music is.
Then came Olumide Edwards Adegbulu with “Yahooze!” It must have sold millions of copies, because even we that were living in the village at that time had it. What am I saying? Every house had that CD, everybody could sing it word-for-word. It was deep inside the pop culture. The new rave of pushing your single with a dance started from there, too. Yahoo oh oh, yahooze.
The song talks about balling, some sort of TGIF song, and particular, it’s an ode to Yahoo. Yahooze was one of those few songs that were about the infamous act, then. (The video was a top-notch visuals.) “$1m ? Elo lo ma je t a a ba se si Naira ? Owo,” which translates to “How much will $1m be, when converted into Naira?” This spread out rumours on Olu being a yahoo boy, and that he actually got $1m. Some still refer to that, when they cite how unserious he got with the music, after that Yahooze. That is, he’s not living off music.
Olu Maintain, now 45, wasn’t doper than everybody then, but his “relatability” gave him an edge over other pop artists who only talked about love and how hot they were.
His major effort after the Yahooze-Era in 2007/2008, was 2015’s “Cinderella,” which featured Legendary 2Baba. A song that samples Sir Victor Uwaifo’s hit, “Guitar Boy.”
Today, he might not be one of those that are contending for Greatest Of All Time, but his “Yahooze” album remains a classic. Like Yung6ix sang on Respeck On My Name : “People rise and people fall.” But y’all remember there was a man called Olu Maintain who broke all the rules!