FIVE THINGS ARTISTES NEED TO LEARN FROM BLAQBONEZ Emeka Akumefule popularly known as Blaqbonez is one of the rising stars and most prolific Nigerian rapper in the Nigerian Music industry of today. The Former OAU alumnus started gaining prominence as a rapper as far back as 2012 when he was featured on Terry tha Rapman ‘World Domination’ Album. Over the years, he has released a string of successful projects like ‘Last Time Under’, Bad Boy Blaq , Bad Boy Blaq Reup and Mr Boombastic before penning a deal with Foremost record label, Chocolate City around 2019 which saw him releasing major singles like Shut Up, Haba and BBC. In this article, we examine some essential features for success which rising stars and artistes must imbibe from Blaqbonez's career run. 1) SELF CONFIDENCE – Blaqbonez last project before he got signed was titled ‘Last Time Under’, a perhaps prophetic declaration of his imminent career progress. At a point, he generated heated controversies and a string of diss singles when he proclaimed himself the best rapper in Africa between July and September 2019. From going on the streets of Lagos to announce his projects, to releasing a track warning Kanye west not to release a project on the same day he is releasing his Mr Boombastic project, to publicly wooing big artistes for features, Blaqbonez has shown that his confidence level is on steroids. He has on several interviews proclaimed himself the best and indeed, he has been working to prove same. This is the same confidence level every creative should have. Confidence will help you make better records and negotiate better deals. Confidence is a must have trait for creatives. 2) CONSISTENCY - Even before he blew up, BlaqBonez has been consistent with the release of singles, freestyles and projects. He has released over 10 projects so far in his career consisting of Mixtapes, EPS and a recently released Debut album titled 'Sex Over Love'. When Blaqbonez is not releasing music, he is releasing skits, or talking about a trending issue, or saying something funny on his socials or trying to stir up controversy. The key thing here is the fact that Blaqbonez is never out of our faces for too long . Consistency is a must for all rising stars. Even if you are not dropping musical content, make sure your socials are active, make sure you are in the faces of the fans and the media till new music drops. Always be consistent and ensure your face and brand is out there. Don't drop a song and go away for 6 months. It might work in foreign countries but it is not an advisable approach in Nigeria 3) ASSOCIATION – Blaqbonez has mastered the art of mingling with the right set of people in the industry. Blaqbonez has built a bond with other rising stars like Cheque, Oxlade, Psycho yp, Badboy timz, Ckay, Fireboy etc and capitalized on these artistes growing fanbase to promote his own works and career. He has also consistently associated himself with bigger acts like MI, AQ ( who is the owner of the 100 crowns label he is under), Vector, Tiwa savage and recently Wizkid. He knows the rising stars will get him the fanbase and the A list artistes co signs will give him more mainstream penetration and clout and blaqbonez has been milking this well. Rising stars must learn how to balance their association with other creatives in the industry. While they can seek for co signs or features from established artistes, they should also not forget other rising stars like them that understand their hustle and will be ready to support them. In summary, maintain a good relationship with other creatives in the same industry as you. 4) VERSATILITY AND QUALITY- The rapper has over the years evolved and explored many genres of music like his mentor , Drake. Blaqbonez has experimented with rnb, trap, afropop and afrobeats without shifting base from his core style of rap. His growth can be seen from the genres and quality of works in his projects over the years. He has ensured he balanced his release of commercial music for the streams and mainstream penetration and his release of hardcore rap songs for the loyal fans. Rising stars need to be versatile in terms of the music they release to the public so as to add variety to their catalogue and also appeal to a bigger audience. Despite switching genres, Blaqbonez has also maintained quality and not watered down his lyrics or production quality, a trait that is worthy of emulation. 5) PROMOTION – Your destiny is in your hands. It is not only your label's or sponsor's responsibility to promote you. Blaqbonez ran one of the biggest Promotion campaign witnessed in the Nigerian music industry with his campaign for his 2020 single ‘Haba’. His ‘stream haba’ pr campaign involving skits and stunts endeared him to a lot of fans and gave him a lot of popularity. He made tweets, made skits, went out to the streets and did everything possible to push himself. It should also be noted that Blaqbonez does not involve himself with negative controversies in order to generate clout but he has been able to stay afloat with his humorous skits and other promo plans . It doesn’t have to be humorous skits, but consistent posting, personal interactions with fans or any promo plan that can be adopted by rising stars would go a long way in boosting their careers. Artistes should also know it doesn't have to be negative or bad Pr strategy before they can promote themselves. Learning never stops and artistes should continue to ensure that they learn every good thing they can learn from any popping artiste (s) in the Nigerian music industry. written by iamsynord , an entertainment lawyer and writer who tweets via @iamsynord on twitter.