On Friday, award winning Rapper/MC, Payper Corleone shared his fourth studio album “Fly Talk Only” across all stores.
Since release, Payper Corleone’s “Fly Talk Only” has gone on to shake up the music scene, particularly the Nigerian Hip-Hop community as it stands it’s ground as one of the best Hip-Hop albums of the year so far.
It is no news that when Payper drops, you know it’s no child’s play as the album debuts relatively huge. It peaked at #47 on the NG Apple Albums chart and trended at #3 on the Nationwide Twitter trends list on the release day. Making it one of the most exciting Rap projects drops of the year.
On this piece, our correspondent gets in a sit down with the chilled and unique rapper as we try to get a picture of where Payper Corleone’s mindset is situated at the moment and everything about “Fly Talk Only“
Q: Tell us a little bit about you and your background, Payper.
P: My full names are Asikpi Tombra. I’m from Ekeremoh Local Government in Bayelsa State but grew up in Oregun-Ikeja, Lagos. Started frequenting Bayelsa state from the year 2007. I was in and out because my Father had been transferred there for work and I hadn’t been there since birth. Then in 2009, I gained admission to study English & Literary Studies at the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa. I’ve been In and Out ever since.
Q: Growing up, at what point did you know you were going to do music? What created that spark, what inspired it? And was it always rap from the get go?
P: Props to my older cousin, Isaac Ighorodje. We used to call him “Ja Rule”, we still do. Lol. He always had Hip-Hop songs on blast at home. Especially songs from Ja Rule & DMX. My uncle played 2Pac and 90s rap around the house as well. So that was the kind of energy I was taking in. Slowly it went from enjoying the songs to analyzing and understanding and then trying to recreate those verses.
P: My personal favorites growing up however were Juelz Santana, Lil Wayne, Fabolous, Sauce Kid, Naeto C and 2Pac…. For the most part. Now this is pretty much the early 2000s and it was the VCD Era. I spent a lot of church offering buying Hip-Hop CDs. God Forgive Me. Lol. I was 13 around that time I think.
P: I always knew I was going to chase a career in music since my first recording in 2009. Now the reason is, I know where I’m coming from. We aren’t poor but opportunities in my household was limited. You got what you got but nothing was promised for sure. Now I know if I want to live the kind of life I foresee for myself, I’d have to find a way out of these limitations. Music is that for me.
It’s still a long journey but come on, look how far we done came. Gotta be thankful 🙏. In Bayelsa we say “If At All”.
Q: If at all😅. The music struggle. Was it a struggle for you, did it affect other things you had going on? Did you have something different on the side in terms of making a living and how were you able to balance that?
P: It was a struggle, it still is a struggle. For me, I always want my next move to be better than my previous. Asides finance, which everyone will tell you is a major challenge, what I struggle with is juggling being there for the people I care about. You know spending time with them and having to explain your absence isn’t something you want to be doing all the time.
Q: So the financial aspect wasn’t a struggle? I know a lot of people that go into the music always put that as the forefront of their problems…
P: It was, but like I said, it’s cliché. Money always is a problem. Lol. It still is. If I had a Rema or Buju type backing you know we’d be saying a different thing I wouldn’t be here. I’m just saying while the money is a problem, not getting to give loved ones and family quality time too is a struggle.
Q: Let’s talk about the rap game in Naija. Currently who are the rappers you hold in high regard or respect highly?
P: Alpha Ojini, Hotyce, Odumodublvck, Abstraktt, Paybac, Holyfield, Vector, AQ, The Guy, Maxino, Ladipoe, Chyn, YP, Eeskay. I know it’s more but off top, these are some of the very ones I highly respect.
Q: I know you’ve worked with the majority of these fine MC’s, but is there one you’ve yet to work with and wish you could?
P: Naeto C… why I didn’t mention him is you know, he’s some what retired but getting a Naeto feature would slap so hard and mean the world to me. There are a bunch of other rappers I’d like to collaborate with from other countries.
Q: If there’s anyone that could bring him back, I reckon that’ll be you. I mean, we get to listen to Khalil on your new album!
P: Yeah, I take pride in that. I’m just yet to make the necessary moves but I pray when I do, he gives in. 🤲
Q: Payper, what is your take on The Guy, MI Abaga?
P: He’s done the MOST for Hip-Hop and taken us the farthest as far as Rap goes. He changed the game FR!! Brought in a large number of audience. People started fucking with rap cuza him… I mean average Nigerians. He was that bridge we needed at that time.
Q: Now the most controversial topic on the net. Hip-Hop Nigeria. Is there some truth to it losing its value on the mainstream scene? Is it dead or rather dying?
P: It’s neither Dead nor Dying. It’s only evolving. As easy as that. We just need more people to hold it down at the forefront. And by forefront I mean on the mainstream. Like Ladipoe’s doing.
Q: As a young rapper, coming into the game, a lover of the hardcore rap, the undiluted Hip-Hop. Would you say he can’t thrive?
P: It will be difficult but I would be wrong to say it can’t thrive. Collaboration is key to me and plays a huge role in gathering new fans to your already existing fan base. I’m always open to working with talented artists regardless the genre.
Representing a genre like Hip-Hop, if I’m trying to get to the level these Top Afrobeats artists are, I believe I’d have to put in as much work as they put in and also keep an open mind to working with them as they are in a lane that’s thriving more than that which I’m in.
Q: A whole lot of artistes need to see this. It comes from an honest place. So… Kaligraph Jones vs Payper Corleone. What was the feud all about?
P: Yeah, I do respect him. But I Gotta defend the home turf. Lol. First responder type stuff.
Q: So officially your 4th album. How many projects would you say you’ve got under your belt?
P: 7/8 thereabout. Coming up, I was rocking with the mixtapes heavy because that was like scrimmage for me. Gotta do what you gotta do when you from the bottom of the food chain.
Q: How long have you been working on this project for, Payper?
P: about a year approximately.
Q: FLY TALK ONLY. What inspired that album title?
P: My project titles are a reflection of the type of frequency I’m on at the present time. With Fly Talk Only, I feel great because I’m able to do certain things I couldn’t in previous years. Travel more, Experience life away from what I’m used to. I’ve been fly but The finesse is on a different level this time and that’s on everything.
Q: What’s the morale going into the release of “FLY TALK ONLY”?
P: I’m hyped, as much as everyone around me is. We’re all excited because we know it’s going to do better than ‘In Don We Trust’(His last album). I hope it’s widely accepted by lovers of Hip-Hop and good music in general. I know it will sha because I have so much faith in the artists that I collaborated with.