Allen Lemuel Knight (The Street Legend) is a perfect picture of the Nigerian youth caught between living his dreams and excelling beyond limiting narratives.
One good look at him, he paints a picture of a creative who has had his own fair share of pain, sweat, tears and blood- all rudiments needed to build a life of success and carve out a niche and place in a world where there are too many voices begging to be heard.
For certainty, we somewhat seek opportunities to have our stories told, to have people listen to our experiences, our moments and then get inspired by them. This could be said to be the intent of Allen who tells his stories and the stories worth telling within the confines of youth-empowerment, social vices and many more through his ability to set musical microphones and platforms on fire.
With every word and with every beat, with every step to his hits and to every nod of his lyrical mastery, his new project 7even would indeed standout amongst many works out there as a piece that don’t just entertain but inspire and activate a desire to live for the better.
Stir360 in her usual classic style caught up with this budding artist where he bared it all exclusively.
This piece is worth your attention. Happy reading.
Stir360: How did it all started, the music thing for you?
It started in secondary school, started with a group, we was called J.Y.C and eventually I started to write my Songs alone.
Stir360: You are inarguably one Hip Hop artiste from northeast Nigeria whose music sounds European, what inspired such pattern?
I think I sound more Hip Hop, I wouldn’t say European, I’m influenced by a lot of artistes in the U.S maybe Europe too but then, my stories are about things around me. Again to be able to reach a wider audience and probably the language I understand better is English
Stir360: Why Hip-Hop above all genre?
Hip-Hop is what I understand better, Student of the game for as long as I can remember above all, it allows me to express myself better, it’s not Just the music (Rap) it’s deeper than that.
Stir360: How’s the reception of your kind of sound (Hip-Hop) in the north generally, which is your base at the moment?
Well, people are still amazed that am from Bauchi and I Rap like this, which is a good and bad thing. People are beginning to understand Hip Hop music better in the North even though the reception is slow and slightly warm but I believe in the Process, it will take time but surely it will come to be accepted like other genres.
Stir360: What is one thing you would say hip-hop has changed about your life that you would always be grateful for?
My perception about life in general. I listen to lots of intellectual Emcees and I try to catch up with the stories, so am very selective of the kind of music I listen to, I want to be entertained but also I want to be able to retain something solid after listening to any song.
Stir360: As a force that you are in the rap game here in the north, would you say Hip-Hop has over the years evolve for better compared to afrobeats?
In the North yes over the years lots of very good Artistes have surfaced, as Top -Dawgs in different cities and 70% of them are Hip-Hop related, it is not the same in other regions.
Stir360: What in your opinion is the current stage of entertainment in the north at large, for good, better or worst?
Well, it’s hard to say from above listed Options but we’re slightly below good but definitely not worst because of recent developments and the amazing work done in Kannywood.
Stir360: Tell us about LendoStores and what inspired the idea?
Is one of my Creations (smiles) I have always wanted to sell something other than Just music, I went to school to study business and Honestly I love selling. One of my dreams is to become the world’s greatest sales person. Like I said I was listening to music and catching up with stories most of the artistes were entrepreneurs so I guess that must have influenced me a lot.
Stir360: You started #LendoPodcast to promote culture talk, interaction with creative, new age entrepreneurs, urban lifestyle and Hip-Hop, what does that mean to you?
The Podcast is a product of the store, it comes with it, a way to promote the business and also have conversations with creative people. Truth is we always have these conversations with these guys every other day but I just felt it would be good to document it so we plug in the microphones. It’s something I will probably retire to, am still learning
Stir360: You stated on your social media few days before the release of your project #7seven saying “We are starting a new festival from scratch” share with us if you may about this new festival, what is it called and it’s aim?
“StarShip” is a company I’m building to mainly focus on sports and entertainment.
We are flag off 1st January 2023 with a Festival.
Stir360: Correct us if we are wrong but you seem to be one of the founding fathers of the #BeehiveFest, what is #Starshipfest coming to do different?
Beehive Music Festival is a Product of One Mic Stand NG, it’s another company we created with Stephen Paul aka Abyssinia and BOC Madaki in 2015, while on the other hand StarShip is Just me and unlike One Mic Stand NG we have Sports included activities incorporated.
Stir360: Lets talk about #7even your newly released studio project of 7 tracks, congratulations on that by the way, shall we?
Its normal for other artiste to drop a project every 2 years but because I was use to dropping every year it looks like I was skipping the routine (hehehehe) but then thank God am back to making music again. It was a needed break
Stir360: #7even is the return but you never left though hehehehe tell us about this statement on the last track of the album “Classical Historical ft BOC Madaki” cause your last project was 6ix and that was 2019 until now?
Yeah Actually I never left (laugh) I was still in the loop trying to do other music related activities like shows and festivals so others can have a platform too. I have to run a store also I had to also work on myself.
Stir360: You named your just released studio album 7even, does it refer to your 7th studio album?
Well I don’t have an album yet, basically we just call them projects/mixtapes I have done a couple of those compilations, this is the 7th Major one, as I like to call it. Am working on official songs as I write this.
Stir360: You spoke about a movie on the project #7even on your social media, would you want to shade more light on that?
Yeah am shooting a couple videos, done one already. I just want to do a little visual documentation. Maybe explain a little more get a couple of reactions too
Stir360: The album is now out, should we expect the 7evenTour?
Wow that sounds like the right thing to do (hehehehe) but let’s see how it goes.
Stir360: Your 7 track project consist of songs addressing societal issues, and encouraging youths on the importance of taking the right path in life, why are you doing this?
My Music has always been like that, again I’m influenced by the people I grew up listening to, my music should reflect my reality or the reality of people around me.
Stir360: “Rap all day these barz must pay” was your words in the song “journey” with Stesh, are we talking money here?
The Barz are paying already (laugh) lots of us artistes don’t understand the power we have as artistes, I’m able to do every other thing easily cause I Rap. I know more people and more people know me and its all cos of em Barz, so am getting paid somehow. I just leverage my Status and build other businesses.
Stir360: “I’m trynna live the life these n***gas only dream” you said on the song “Super Extra” share more light on this statement if you may?
Is just a great bar but then if you see around there are lots of young men dreaming and dreaming and not putting in work. It’s a conscious way of reminding myself that I shouldn’t be like that, I should be on the other side.
Stir360: Your project #6ix gave us the song “F***king Issues” which stands against sex in exchange of favours especially to females in the entertainment industry and now your latest project came back with “College Girl” story of a college girl who’s been exchanging sex for a movie role, are these true stories and if yes, do victims share this with you?
These are True stories like I said the music should reflect my reality and also the reality of people around me. ‘College girl’ I honestly don’t know the girl in person I had a conversation with her friend and someday my writing took me there. I felt a lot better telling the story; we need to protect these women. Fxxxking Issues I know the lady and that was her Voice on the record.
Stir360: When you said “New age artist, Instagram and titok they don’t understand” in the song “Bullet Barz” do you mean artiste struggles to emerge before the social media era?
No my point is; those type of artistes don’t understand our kind of music all they need is a dance move to go with the song, my kind of music is not understood or felt like that, you need to come in contact to be in contact
Stir360: How in your opinion has the social media made your craft better?
I hate it (giggle) but is the only way I know to put my craft out for now. It has helped me tremendously not only my music also my business in general.
Stir360: B.O.C & Stesh seem to be the only featured artiste on the project #7even, how do you pick your collaborations?
I don’t really like collaborations as such, most people on my projects are my Friends in real life, we have perfect understanding and they’re the best around here.
Stir360: Mention few artistes you look forward to working with in the future?
My Beehive Dream was to work with Scopee and B.O.C. Madaki but you wouldn’t believe when I started B.O.C took me as a prodigy and he asked me to do a song with him early early, that gave me lots of confidence at that time (close to 15 years now) you can imagine what that was for me. He helped me a lot. I like Nas, Jay Z, Cole and K.dot, a song with any will be Big for me but no Pressure I really enjoy making my own music
Stir360: What do you wish to see practice more in your industry?
More artistes doing their own specials, every artiste should do a show or a concert; I’ll love to see more of that
Stir360: What genre would you not jump on?
I don’t know (Lol) I love all kind of music as long as its sounds good and has a good message
Stir360: You are to pick just one out of the two, Music or football? Hehehehhe
This is hard (sigh) very hard I love football a lot… Football is probably my first love but music has given me more platforms and opportunities. If I must pick it will be music
Stir360: Speak to your fans and lovers of Hip-Hop around the world.
Thank you for always trusting the brand, appreciate your support and love.
Stir360: Thank you for your time.
Many thanks for having me
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from Stir360 Artistry