Have you “streamed Haba” today? | Blaqbonez’ aggressive and brilliant marketing strategy

by Onakoya Toluwanimi

He says he’s an upcoming artist on Wednesdays- only on Wednesdays. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, you’ve probably been absent from social media for the past year or perhaps living under a rock. He is Blaqbonez, a self-acclaimed Nigerian rapper, and he just released his latest single “Haba.”

But it’s not the song itself that leaves a mighty impression, it’s the active, ingenious, possibly violent strategy he uses to get Nigerians to pay attention to it. Using funny skits, consistent consumer engagement and humorous content, he is always trying to get people to listen to his song. He employs a unique strategy in promoting his art and it’s worth talking about.

Blaqbonez, a Nigerian rapper, is widely known for his contentious label as the “Best Rapper in Africa.” He is signed to 100 Crowns, a subsidiary of Chocolate City Music and known with the Twitter handle, “Nigerian Adele.” A pretty audacious comparison to the sultry, powerful British singer. He ushered this year in with the release of his debut single “Haba” and he hasn’t taken a minute to breathe when it comes to marketing the song since.

He consistently creates funny, relatable skits that could match the likes of Maraji and Taaoma, uploads them on his social media platforms, gathering hundreds of retweets and likes. Most often than not, these videos always have an action point that dictates viewers should “stream Haba.” His skits are so ridiculously funny that Nigerians have gotten to recommending others to listen to the song particularly because of the consistent way he markets it.

He goes further to actively engage with his followers on Twitter, building a strong fanbase using his humour and charisma. He also uses his wit to interact with other tweets and he somehow magically finds a way to insert “Stream Haba” into whatever he might be saying. He also did a hilarious parody of the GENIUS lyric breakdown on his song Haba and uploaded it on Youtube. This upload got close to 5,000 views and tons of supportive comments.

On Sunday, while M.I and Naeto C battled it out on Instalive, Blaqbonez kept dropping “stream Haba” requests in the comment section; staying true to his persistent philosophy. It is such that his antics have now become a matter of jest amongst Nigerians. As a result, without actively thinking about it,  the song “Haba” is staying root in the mental consciousness of many Nigerians. In this current climate where active marketing, promotion and musical events are at a standstill, this incentive is pretty clever.

In a Pulse interview, Blaqbonez having embarked on this career path in 2013 declared that he’s only just beginning to see growth in his music career in the past two years. He believes that his maturation as a person and his extensive change in outlook is responsible for the development of his career. He corroborates this statement in an interview with The Nigerian Voice, where he lauds himself as a marketing genius. He highlights that he’s a hand-on artist and always finds a way to move his content and tie whatever he’s doing to his music.

Blaqbonez is still at the genesis of his career. As he steadily grows and makes more of a presence for himself, it is particularly entertaining to see the unique way he is achieving his success.


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