Entertainment INTERVIEW STORY Music

Mixing Music with Academics, Changing the Narrative. DopeRLB Sets the Pace

For those who might have long held the view that artistes are generally not too inclined to achieving higher academic laurels, they would now have to revise their notes.

Why, because, a young talented up and coming African musician who also has, a Bachelor’s degree in Human psychology, a Master’s degree in International Business and Management and now preparing for his PHD, is also promising his numerous funs, a lot more music goodies.

Abdul Zahir Dundu, known on stage as “DopeLRB” is a very conscious youth and this reflects very much in his music. For over the past ten years, he has been into music alongside academic pursuit. He recently released his latest hits which is a danceable song known as DAB NOW, with a lot more in the pipeline., “I have a lot of songs, so I’m going to tell the readers to get ready because, when I say I have a lot of songs, I mean 250-300 songs ready, mixed and mastered ready to go out.
“I can tell you 90% of those songs are conscious music but we’re not going to leave the FACT that we still have to put people in a good mood by making songs that will make them dance and inject some messages into it so they can start thinking about what they haven’t thought about”
DopeLRB enjoys taking people by surprise at a time when they are least expecting something of him and as such, he remained tight-lipped over the question, “what are you going to offer for your PHD?”, during an exclusive interview with your favourite, the ADM in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.
“I don’t like suspense but I like to keep my readers in suspense, so I’ll like to surprise you when my PhD is ready when I’m done with the PhD, I’ll like to surprise the world and tell them, even an artiste can be responsible, because it’s stereotypical that every artiste is irresponsible but I’m coming to change that perception, that there are artiste that actually go to school, Learn and come back and give out messages to the audience.
DopeLRB being also quite a smart artiste, when he has to deal with a danceable music obsessed market he strategically offers a blend of conscious and danceable musical products .He recounts with pride, his first music during his Junior High School days in Nigeria, which was a conscious song and went as “Education” but taken far too much for granted by many then.

DopeLRB


“First of all I have to say, when I made that song, everybody laughed at me like “your first song is education?” but you know, I was working with an icon back then in Nigeria called “Edriz Abdulkarim” and he made me record that song because he felt we needed to do something to preach to the youth not to drop out of school and education was the first song I ever recorded. As much as people laughed and said your first song is education? I am proud of it today because I have led by example and there are a lot of people that listened to that song and got motivated by it
DopeLRB combined music with his academic work during his sojourn in the UK, and released a number of songs. He recounts, “97% of the songs that I have ever put out are conscious music, and you can tell by the project I released on the 24th December 2015 that had 20,000 views, I mean there was an up tempo beat but there was a whole lot of message in it.
“I will give you an example, I was travelling to England, and I lost a neighbour that morning and I recorded a song called Love in reverse. When you pronounce Love in reverse it gives you “evil”. So that inspired the song that okay, I am going to live my life happily in England, but I just lost a neighbour that was a very good friend of mine, so that actually inspired the song called Love in Reverse, which has over 20,000 views as I’m taking to you right now.
In response to a question, whether danceable songs are more in invoke or appealing to the UK youth than conscious music?” Dope LRP says, “I am going to say this, danceable songs they listen in UK most of the time are from America, they are more conscious and more conservative about what they record. I mean their rap style in England is called “Grind” it’s not danceable, it is just the flow and the delivery”.
DopeLRB is highly concerned about the rising get-rich-quick syndrome among the youth of today. Some youth, in some cases had to deliberately abandon academic pursuit toconcentrate on making money through whatever means. Some had to master skills in internet scam through which to make quick and easy money and live ostentatious lives. How does he plans to stem the tide, the ADM sought to know., “Trust me I do, I have actually made a song about that which I’m not going to say the title yet , because i like to keep people in suspense even though I hate it myself” .
With the need for economic integration of Africa becoming more crucial and imperative than ever before, as globalisation becomes full blown, one of the major outcomes of the ADM’s International Development Conference & Awards of Excellence held in March this year in Accra, was a clarion call on Ghana and Nigeria to give leadership in our quest for economic integration of the West African sub-region. Therefore, having been moving in and out between the two countries, since childhood and now armed with his weapon of music , what input does he intend to make towards achieving this goal?, the ADM quizzed.
“Like I said, if you’re black and I’m black we are all brothers, I don’t really care were you’re from, be it Ghana, Mali or Nigeria we are all brothers at some point, people need to understand that. If there is no unity we’re not going anywhere trust me. I am interested and I have plans in using my music as a medium for unity. Even in my name “DopeLRB”, the L in LRB stands for Love, R for Respect and the B for Brotherhood, so this is my purpose in life. Imagine if the world was unified we would never have no sort of violence or anything of such.
“Definitely I mean definitely I have an album that’s going to come out probably early next year, but before then you’re going to be hearing a whole lot from me. I mean my second single was talking about bridging the gap from Ghana to Nigeria that alone says what it is that I do about my music. I am trying to bridge the gap from Ghana to Nigeria, we’re all brothers we’re all one blood, family we need to unite each other we need to unite ourselves, if we don’t do it, we don’t move forward we don’t need blacks killing blacks we don’t need no racism among blacks because it’s all love like I said, so there should be no racism or killing among blacks. That is what my music is going to stand for, UNITY, LOVE, RESPECT and BROTHERHOOD.
DopeLRB was born in Ghana on 2nd March, 1994, did his early schooling in the country and then moved to Nigeria. In Naraland, he entered Lagos Model College Kankon in 2004 for his Junior Secondary education. Then back to Ghana his land of birth again, he gained admission into the University of Ghana, Legion, to do Human Psychology and earned a Bachelor degree in it.
With an unquenchable thirst for academic excellence, he left for the UK where he gained admission into Nottingham Trent University, and earned his Master’s in International Business and Management in 2015 and is again back home.


Abdul Zahir’s achievements should also quell the initial apprehension and resistance that Muslim youth venturing into music face from their parents in a number of cases. Music seems to have an image problem with some most Muslim parents. For them music has associated risk of resorting to drug addition, being irresponsible abandonment of their faith and for that matter going wayward. If these are the genuine fears, then Abdul Zahir Dundu’s is not only here to prove such parents wrong, but to also be a source of inspiration to fellow youth and parents alike.
What DopeRLB is going to do for his PHD, continues to be his top secret he wouldn’t divulge now to the ADM despite the loads of gentle pressure mounted on him .He is definitely going to dish out this time round, a double surprise as holding a PHD at age 22, is not that common here in our part of the world.
The ADM says, “More grease to your elbow”, DopeLRB and thank you for your time”. Keep reading your favourite, for updates as the event unfolds.

By: Mohammed Abu, Accra.