I will always hate the Iron Fist series but If I were to depict Boogey as a superhero in the mold of its protagonists, he’d be a way more swaggier Danny Rand combined with a defter Coleen Wang; iron fist on one hand and a katana on the other. He’s that dope of an emcee. Whether he’s decking the beat to submission or slicing through, Boogey’s lyricism is a thrill to listen to every damn time, even if you have qualms with the overall quality of his music.

While we expect the music to only get better on his upcoming album Niveau Nouveau (23|02|2018, save the date), Boogey decided to start off the year with a reminder of his mic melting ability, releasing an awe-inspiring freestyle over a combo of Niniola’s “Maradona” and Olamide’s “Wo.”

Taking on two of last year’s biggest hit songs, Boogey’s tacks in with an off-the-wall flow, only revving up the tenacity to accommodate the beat switch without letting off. And as usual, it’s a firework of punchlines and quotables, perfectly leaning into the catchiness of both songs.

Being one of the few rappers who did not feed directly into the controversial hype created by M.I’s “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives” with an immediate reply, it was quite interesting to hear Boogey’s take on the matter on “Maradona + Wo (freestyle),” albeit in passing. His reaction is simply derision at rappers (and fans) for picking sides, you can feel him shaking his head when he raps;

They told you to fix up your lives, debated on who got the sickest replies/uhhhh some of that shit was aight.

Based on equal parts of truth and hypocrisy, no one can escape sharing in the blame for the stark condition hip-hop is in – fans and rappers. While he’s extensively covered the attention deficit on the fans side of the equation on his music, Boogey’s has his gaze firmly fixed at rappers – mainly acclaimed veterans – on “Diplomatic Immunity (remix).”

Upending the somewhat blasé energy exhibited by Drake on the original, Boogey’s remix brings a snarl to give his words bite over the laid-back beat. In similar fashion as J. Cole’s “False Prophets,” Boogey questions the legitimacy of 5 Naija rappers usually named in goat debates, using an “if the shoe fits” type of writing.

I looked up to false prophets, most of my idols lying/

Separate the truth from the lies, I rip out the bible spine/

They used to kill every verse, it was graphic by design/

Now attention seeking is how they shine

On the joint which has wowed a lot of listeners, the subliminals are scarcely disguised giving the listeners more clues than a treasure hunter would usually be afforded. But Boogey wouldn’t be nicknamed “the brain” if he didn’t tangle up some things in a bid to send fans on a wild goose chase, and chase they have, with a couple of theories running around twitter.

With immense help from fellow FilterFree scribe Ehis Combs who cracked it and in the order they come up on “Diplomatic Immunity (remix)”, here are the 5 rappers we believe Boogey is sending early Valentine’s day cards with a couple of words in them.

5. Dagrin

Releasing just two albums – of which his sophomore C.E.O (Chief Executive Omo-Ita) was the only impactful album – before his unexpected passing (R.I.P 🙏🏽 ) the brief span of Dagrin’s career is what Boogey questions in sizing up the GOAT claims many fans have hailed Dagrin with. Even though Boogey could not understand a word, he obviously has massive respect for what Dagrin achieved (“I couldn’t understand a word but the impact is impressive/I’m guessing he was on some real shit”), but the light-skinned emcee believes Dagrin’s death was the embellishing catalyst for the high pedestal he’s been placed on, “wonder if they called him a legend ‘cos he died,” Boogey thinks out loud. Yardsticks differ, but longevity always find a way to sneak in during goat, except in the case of rappers dying at their prime, a lot of us somehow become double standards connoisseurs. Boogey’s clear-eyed observation loudly proclaims a different perspective, one that has been hushed around by few in a bid to keep the online trolls aways. Boogey doesn’t care about trolls then, I think.

4. Sauce Kid

Immediately Boogey relates that no. 4 is behind bars, Sinzu aka Sauce Kid is the obvious choice. Easily one of Nigeria’s most talented rappers to ever hold a mic, everyone waited with bathed breathe to see Sinzu turn his ability into accolades. His impact with hit songs (off mixtapes) like “Yebariba” and “Omoge” was immediate, only setting him up for great but somehow, Sinzu dropped the ball. Being in jail is what is keeping him from a glorious re-entrance, one many would like to, Boogey inclusive. Not only does he expect Sauce Kid to “get back to your old name bro, you have to use it,” Boogey dishes out a few words of admonishments for Sauce if he’s to make a renaissance that will quell the questions surrounding his top 5 validations; “a perfect 10 is a pro’s evolution, it’s not too late to become a legend.” Catch the extremely clever PES wordplay? Hey, I mean, this guy can rap.

3. Olamide

Ever since joining the trinity of indigenous rap in yelling “streets ti takeover,” Olamide has continually delved into street influenced sounds to create music, going deeper with each foray. While the rap DNA is usually ever present, his latest album Lagos Nawa, is an unendurable mess of listening to Olamide painfully sing his way through 80% of the album. Boogey echoes a lot of our sentiments by rapping “even if it’s pop, I hope he’ll be rapping on the beat.” With 8 albums in 7 years, there’s the fear of an impending burnout with Boogey hoping that “he doesn’t get passive or lose the passion to compete.” Well, me too.

2. M.I Abaga

“No 2 can’t be No 1, he slacking, I feel like money and fame are starting to distract him.” Many times a lot of people have referred to M.I as being the goat emcee but on other days, there have been suggestions that the abundance of corny lines – especially on an album like TheChairman – have seen him fall short of sealing that status. Boogey further goes on to say that he “feel[s] like nobody can test him, when he’s really rapping,” with M.I’s classic verse on Choc boi anthem “Nobody Test Me” as an Easter egg that clarifies one of the more debated spots. A more personal vignette than the others, there’s allusions to their seemingly souring relationship which dates back to when M.I featured Boogey on “Ridiculous” off Illegal Music2 tape.

1. Modenine

“No 1 is prolly going to be pissed/even though this is not a diss.” We all know that Modo gets easily pissed at everyone and everything that sounds like a diss. “I think he is the Goat, or at least he had his shot once/was busy being mad at the industry for hardly respecting him, instead of giving birth to an army.” 98% of hip-hop fans in Naija will have one common name on their goat list – Modenine, the boom-bap god is still easily referred to as the goat emcee even if his best years are far behind him. But Modenine’s major vice is how he portrays the image of a purist who likes to sit on a high horse, an elegant emcee with an equal amount of arrogance.

Modo has severally complained about the steady decline of the public’s appreciation for his art. Later on, Boogey raps; “He had his grip tight on the mic, I wish he would loosen up and let it go,” an implied reference to Modenine’s “Let it Go,” making him the calculated pick for number one spot.

Words by Ayo Dennis and Ehis Combs