It’s no news that Nigerians received with rude shock the news of the death of Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, professionally known as MohBad or Imole, one of Nigeria’s finest afrobeats’ talents who passed away at the young age of 27.
MohBad’s death shook not only the entertainment industry, but the entire country, as Nigerians across different states held candlelight processions in his honour as a street hop maestro, as his music resonated with all lyrically and beat wise.
He was best known for his hit songs, Ponmo, Peace, Sorry, Feel Good, and KPK (Ko Por Ke) You Will Always Be Remembered with Rexxie, which was nominated three times for The Headies awards 2022.
His debut album, Light (Imole) in the fourth quarter of 2020 was a follow-up to his viral song, Ponmo, which featured his estranged friend and former record label boss, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley and Keshinro Ololade, better known as Lil Kesh.
MohBad was listed in Audiomack’s Top 21 Afrobeat artistes of 2021. His hit record, Peace, produced by Rexxie peaked on the TurnTable Top 50 in 2021 and Top 100 in 2022. After the announcement of his death, the song became a major hit, reaching No. 1 on Apple Music in Nigeria and was accompanied by his single, Ask About Me, at No. 2.
As of September 15, Beast & Peace, the opening track on his Extensive Playlist (EP), titled, Blessed, his first after leaving Marlian Records World and released in June 2023 under his own label, Imolenization, was at No. 4 and Feel Good at No. 5. Between September 12 to 14, 2023, his streams increased by 702 per cent, from 990,000 to 8.02 million.
On September 18, he ranked No. 1 on TurnTable’s Official Artiste Top 100, just as his Blessed EP reached a new peak at No. 4, and Light made its first chart entry at No. 20 on the Nigerian Official Top 50 Albums chart. For the week of September 23, Peace debuted on Billboard’s Hot Trending Songs chart at No. 2. On September 21, streams of Blessed increased by over 530 per cent.
The late MohBad was announced the 46th best-selling digital artiste on September 23, surpassing international artistes such as, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, 21 Savage, Lady Gaga, and Chris Brown. He was nominated five times for The Beatz Awards 2021.
As the late musician’s music continues to enjoy a commercial resurgence, different artistes in the country have also recorded songs to pay their respects to him as a dear colleague. Streaming platforms are filled with numerous tribute songs notably from emerging street acts whose inner city realities the late Mohbad documented in his music.
Some of these songs are original recordings while others are covers of MohBad’s songs. In all, they form a cache of songs that capture how greatly he was loved and the impact of his music, especially on the inner-city artistes whose realities he shared.