To whom it may concern: I’m changing my name

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Ever had a crazy idea pop into your head and then vow you were going to follow it up to the end? Example: some old American lady I used to know gave up all her possessions to become a missionary with dreams of one day settling in Nigeria! Well in my case I WANTED TO change my name! Yeah I was quite serious about it that I drafted a post to explain myself. I’ve changed back my mind though; I’m sticking to what my Pops gave me :D. Nevertheless am a still take away five minutes of your life (depending on how fast you read though), let’s rumble!

-I’ve got my mind made up; I’m going to change my name from Tochukwu R. A. Ezeokafor to Trae Zeefor Deeds.
-Funny ain’t it? Well let me break it down for y’all this way.
-I was given the name Tochukwu Ezeokafor at birth.
-The “R” came at baptism making my initials TRE. If you look at stuff from my boarding school J.S.S. 1 days you’ll still see TRE marked everywhere.
-I wanted my initials to be TRAE (I liked the sound of it) so I choose an “A” name at confirmation (catholic tradition).
-Was into the Topz Christian magazine around the same time. Started adding the “Z”. You know…kid stuff. It just sounded cool.
-Re-discovered Hip hop in ’99 and later found out about the existence of Jay-Z. Entered university the year after and later on became better known as TRAE or trae_z.
-Saw the trailer for one of Adam Sandler's films: “Mr. Deeds” and instantly fell in love with the name.
-Started thinking about a name change (my Pops sort of did it and my elder bro toyed with it. My sister too…well she’s married :)) and mentioned it to my Mum.
-Finally made up my mind to change my name and begin the legal proceedings as soon as possible. After all, the world’s greatest did so too. He went from Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr to Muhammad Ali.
-Choose the name Trae Zeeofor Deeds...a man has the right to be called whatever he wants. I’m not ashamed of my Igbo name/identity, I just felt like changing it. Anyways the surname Ezeokafor and the first name Tochukwu are getting all too common for my liking.
-What does it mean? Do I know the social and governmental implications of what I’m about to do?
-Who cares, it’s my name of choice and I like it :).
-Trae is a Spanish verb and a common first name in the US. Zeeofor is a play between my nickname’s suffix and my Igbo surname (at least make small Naija identity dey now). And Deeds? Great guys (Sandler and TRAE), great names (Deeds) :).

Talking about the festive season, the only stuff worth yapping about is that I just realized that like T-Pain I’m sprung over Shorty. She got me doing the dishes/anything she wants for some kisses/. :D not really. Anyways case closed, it’s picture time!

I WANTED to change my name so bad…blame it on Adam Sandler and Mohammed Ali

Outro 2005

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About 12 months ago I did this: "Seven things I’m grateful for in 2004". This time around I’m doing "Outro 2005"; it’s my personal wrap up for the year. We still gots 11 days to go, but what the heck it's never too early to open up your Christmas presents. :D

For Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie it's a high to write about her beloved Nsukka. But for me, being in Nsukka for long periods throughout the year is 'cos a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Anyway I’ve been the better off for it personality wise cos a lot of sensibility has been pumped into my head along with a double dose of meekness. I guess I’m now good to go.

Like drug addicts and alcoholics, cyber space has been my own solution (this year) to getting away from life's boredom and troubles. Getting my own website: "traedays.com" has definitely been the high of it all. Nigeria being Nigeria getting online constantly hasn't been easy, but like Alamieyeseigha who said his escape from London to Bayelsa was a miracle and that he didn't know how it happened, I’m saying my coming online almost every other day has been a miracle. It just happens. :D

In the Time magazine edition of Dec 17th, 2001 Bono said:

"Rock music can change things. I know that it changes our lives" says Bono. "Rock is really about the transcendent feeling. There’s life in the form. I still think that rock music is the only music that can still get you to that eternal place where you want to start a revolution, call your mother, change your job or change your mind. I think that’s what rock music can do".

Well for me I’ve gotten to that eternal place many a time this year via Hip hop. And recording “from ABJ to UNN” in July was defiantly one of them times.

For the outro in this outro I say rest in peace to the souls we lost 10 days ago in the Sosoliso plane crash. There goes a bunch of promising Nigerians. It’s painful but as they say “Nigeria go survive”. Let’s pray we survive the preliminary round in next year’s African Cup of Nations. I can’t wait man!

It’s been a year of ups and down in the world. Here’s one of my favourite pictures for the year 2-double-O-5. Ha-ha, I love my black people!

Our father, give us this day our daily bread/
...give us these days and take our daily bread/
see I done did all this whole bullshit/
and to atone I throw a little something, something on the pulpit/
we took that shit, measured it and then cooked that shit/
and what we gave back was crack music/
and now we ooze it through they nooks and crannies/
so our mammas ain’t got to be they cooks and nannies/
and we gonna repo everything they ever took from granny/
now the former slaves trade hooks for Grammies/
this dark diction has become America's addiction, those who ain't even black use it/
we gon' keep bagging up this here crack music/


Kanye’s closing words (spoken poetry) on “crack music”.

See you in 2006, peace out!

I’m losing my religion

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“I’m losing my religion”. I first heard that phrase when I listened to Tupac’s verse on "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted", a song on which he featured Snoop Dogg. And I feel it perfectly explains my situation. I’m losing my religion. I’m not atheist and I guess I do believe in God, but I’m really slacking in prayers, other religious stuff and I’m not going to church much these days. It’s kind of like I’m not feeling God or the whole concept of religion. I’m still good though and try to keep all my thoughts, actions and words positive. I went to a seminary secondary school and got elementarily schooled in the ways of the priesthood. I was active in church activities, specifically mass serving for a long time. A few of my mates, all things being equal should be priest in the next four years. But as one grows older and wiser in the ways of the world, the whole religion concept becomes harder to believe in or follow whole heartedly. Education teaches you to believe and trust in the empirical. Religion stuff based on faith becomes really hard. You start questioning religious stands on some stuff which they believe is bad for you but which you are comfortable with as they harm no one directly. Such stuff includes fornication, swearing-foul language, secular music, smoking, drinking, sexual-intimate dancing, materialism to an extent and some fashion trends. Religion…prayer…Bible reading ain’t easy, cos it’s based on faith. Faith in something which you can’t physically see and rewards from which are not instant. It’s kind of like trusting in an unknown. The talk about heaven, hell, purgatory and life after death is one big unknown. Nobody ever came back from the dead to recount his experiences. So present practices or assumptions about what people should do to get the best out of life after death, is as a result of thousands of years of human thinking and assumptions. Just like law is different from morality, goodness is different from religion. One can still be a good human outside the religious context. We humans naturally are emotional and are prone to deifying people. We like to have role models among our own kind, many times to our own detriment. E.g. many of our religious leaders who are in fact mere mortals like us. I don’t really blame many learned people out there who though not atheist are not into any particular religion. Nor do I blame those who diss religion as Fela did in “Shuffering and Shmiling”, as our religious leaders do have their own faults. I’m certainly not anti-religion. There’s good evidence to be religious. There are miracles, there are testimonies, the Bible is a master piece still relevant in today’s world, there’s Christian history and tradition stuff evident/visible in places like Rome and Israel, and religion does keep society orderly, it makes people friendly towards each other. I also really do admire young people like Ebele a.k.a. melody_me, who despite the temptations of this world still seek God and aspire towards holiness.

In summary I believe in keeping it positive. I do good things cos it’s good to be good; karma exist. I do believe in God but unfortunately I’m really low on religion stuff. Guys please pray for me that some day I’ll start feeling religion again. Here’s a poem I wrote about two years ago. Though I’ve gotten over some of the issues I wrote about, others still relate to my present state. Enjoy it sha. Peace!

Negative TRAE: The devil in me
Completed 12th December, 2003


Wrote the first four lines as far back as June 2003, but revised and completed it in December 2003 to reflect what was on my mind at that time.

A.D.I.D.A.S., is my mode right now
Fucked up class, but still I won’t pipe down
Gotten so ras, creeping all over town
Yawa go gas, I need Jehovah now
It’s like Nas said, I’m a sex crazed bastard
A popular thug, I could be AIDS ravaged faster
I break honey’s hearts, then go back to fuck a hoe
Or I jerk off in the bath, God damn, my morals are low
When it comes to the money, I’m loose, from trees it grows?
This shit sure ain’t funny, cos soon I’ll end up broke
I’ll soon be on my own, a man, how will I cope?
When I’m still fucking known, for stealing my father’s notes
I can’t study right, low drive, I wanna flex
It’s not that I ain’t bright, but shit is on my neck
Turning me to a flunk, a junk, one of the best
And so I’ll graduate so dumb, what happens next?
I’m loosing my religion like Pac, I’m out of track
Before I know I’m right back, with Sat’ making contact
But now never again like Ja, will I go back
But still I always fail, my guy, what do I lack?


* Yawa go gas = Nigerian Pidgin English for a problem will occur

Inspired by the songs:
1) A.D.I.D.A.S. - killer Mike ft. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown
(ADIDAS means All Day I Dream About Sex)
2) Popular Thug - kelis ft. Nas
3) 2 of Amerikaz most wanted- Tupac Amaru Shakur ft. Snoop Dogg
4) Never again - Ja Rule
5) Why - Da Band

The creation of Adam painting by Michelangelo…are you feeling God?

Listen to my new song: “From ABJ to UNN”

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Gone are the days when all my thoughts were of (I used to dream of) making it in the rap game. You know releasing an album and blowing up big time. Times don pass, things don change. The industry in Nigeria is harsh and unorganized. We’re still very much at an infancy stage when it comes to artist welfare, marketing, exposure and publicity. Plus I guess I just ain’t feeling a rap career no more. I got other plans up my sleeve, but still I’m loving the Hip hop game and culture and will rep it till i die. I now do music for the love of music itself. I like music so I’m taking the once in a lifetime opportunity to express myself and in the process create something other people can listen to and feel.

I was in this state when I did the song you’ll soon hear. It’s the first new shit from me since about two years ago when I did my first two songs produced by Rule Clean. Now I’m feel I’m iller, a better rapper and so much better than I was when I did my first two songs. I studied a whole lot of emcees and switched up my flow considerable. So on this track I’m spitting ill and coming in straight English laced with occasional Pidgin English to get a cool Naija (Nigerian) style. The song is explicit though…contains swearing. I’ll probably head back to studio to do a radio friendly (clean) version.

I cooked up most of the ideas for the song and featured ODC on it. He’s one of the best emcees I’ve seen and really admire in my school. When you think of “hate it love it” The Game and 50Cent, “just a moment”- Nas and Quan, “renegade”- Jay-Z and Eminem, “Sounds Of Blackness”- Modenine and Mo Dogg think of this song. It’s called “from ABJ to UNN”. We’re repping ABJ (Abuja. Abuja is also known as the FCT, Federal Capital Territory) where we from and UNN (the University of Nigeria, Nsukka) where we school at on the chorus. I’m based in Garki Abuja while he’s based in kubwa (KUB) Abuja. UNN students are called lions and lionesses, so the campus is also called the den. It’s good you know this so you’ll understand the chorus (song). On the song itself we talk about the rap game, life and girls plus we’re just generally spitting to show our lyrical dexterity on a beat. The beat was made by E-Zone (my one time partner in rap when I used to perform in campus shows) and finishing touches were added by El-Cee. Chuks was in charge during recording, he also did the mixing and mastering. They’re a trio of guys in my school trying to start their production/studio thing and going under the name “Haunted sounds”. The song was done with the fruity loops software, it’s not of the highest sound quality but it’s good anyway. It was recorded on Sunday the 31st of July 2005. It was fun doing it, you know peeps were around and they were feeling it and giving suggestions when necessary. Chuks finished mixing and mastering it late into the early hours of Wednesday August 3rd 2005.

Click on the links below to listen to it lo or high streamed. I’m in love with the song and I’m sure you’ll like it. I welcome constructive critism.

Play "from ABJ to UNN" Hi or Lo filed/streamed

Hazy Abuja...students chilling in Nsukka(UNN). Props to napturalglory.com and pbase.com for the pics. Damn, when will I get myself a camera phone or a digital camera?

Breaking news! trae_z has been banned from nairaland!

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Note: I've since been unbanned.

Yep, that’s right people. I was banned today from posting or participating in the activities of the nairaland.com forum. But I ain’t gonna start bitching or crying over spilt milk. Am a just be honest, objective and straight forward in spitting out my view on the whole issue.

Nairaland is a Forum for all-purpose talk on Nigerian issues by Nigerians. If you ask me I’ll tell you it’s the best Nigerian forum on the net activity wise. It’s owned by Seun Osewa (a.k.a. the site administrator). He also owns mobilenigeria.com, a Nigerian GSM discussion forum. Also one of the best Nigerian forums online. It’s dead now as it has been superseded by Nairaland. On Both sites I was one of the highest contributors post-wise, one of the peeps who made the forums thick.

I was banned by the admin cos of some criticism shit. Well I ain’t sorry anyway, because I believe I was constructive in my criticism. That fella: Seun has been in one too many face-offs with members of his forum. And they mainly stem from his editing or/and deleting of their posts wrongly. And at times (as in my case) this ends in their being banned from the forum. What a shame. If I was a forum administrator I certainly would have been fairer and done better.

Not being able to stand being criticized is the height of immaturity and not being a man. It’s like one is on some Mugabe, Castro, Abacha or Saddam dictatorial shit. They are Political leaders who are/were known to lock up their opposition indiscriminately. Criticism helps you. One loses nothing from being criticized, especially when you know you’re right. If at all you’re wrong you just learn a lesson which betters and perfects you.

Hey, I Hope I wasn’t sounding hyper sensitive? But you know I believe so much in free speech, allowing peeps to say what they want to say. I hate depriving others of their right to free speech (I don’t do it with my blog comments) and I hate it when mine is. I’ll miss the forum for sure and it hurts to know the forum can do without me (no one individual is that important as to stop the course of life). But in the same vein I can do without the forum. Before Mobilenigeria and Nairaland I was and so after it I still will be. Life goes on.

Well I guess forumites have clashes with admins the world…i mean “the net” over. And things will only get better when peeps learn to tolerate each other.

This post has sapped the energy outta me. Repping Naija (like QMHchick of africanhiphop.com) is what we should be doing and not getting into arguments with fellow Nigerians.

Seven things I’m grateful for in 2004

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Everybody’s talking about the best this and that of 2004 and New Year resolutions. So here’s my own best of 2004. In this case the best (seven in number) things/happenings in my life that I’m grateful for in 2004.

My Blog

Also know as a weblog, a blog for the uninitiated, is a popular and fairly personal content form on the Internet. A person’s Web log is almost like an open diary. It chronicles what a person wants to share with the world on an almost daily basis. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger". And starting my own (and it being enjoyed by its readers) was definitely one of my highs of 2004. Being a cyber freak since 2001 and having kept a diary since I was 10, moving over to the internet and blogging is something I can really relate to. It’s a hobby I really enjoy and it sure has built up my journalistic intellect. Big up to other bloggers out there. After all we are ABC News People of the Year for 2004.

Getting my handset and mobile line

For sure it’s the GSM age in Nigeria. And owning a GSM line is a must if one is to call oneself a correct guy/chick in Naija. Ha ha whatever. So getting my own line and handset in April sure was a wonderful moment for me. Now I can handle my own biz personally, talk less of advanced communication and pimping. I’m sure y’all love birds can relate with me on the wonders of text messages and late night calls.

Big Flexing

It’s Jay-Z who said in one of his songs that he was big pimping. Well in my case in 2004 I was big flexing. By flexing I mean I partied big and I really enjoyed myself socially. Thank you Jesus (smiles). My policy was to be happy as much as possible 24-7. So I kept positive and tried to enjoy each moment with friends. With the girls it was something else. In 2004 I had my first real relationship which lasted about two months, and I got miself some really close girlfriends. And not girlfriends as in relationships but having girls as my real tight buddies the way two guys could be best friends. And somehow I relished seeing the girls over and over again trusting me and feeling secure in my presence (ask girls, most of em will tell you they prefer close buddies of the opposite sex than the same sex. Ain’t the same with guys though). Funny huh? Some times I ask myself if I’m sick or trying to over do things to get over some inner fears. Whatever, it’s the opposite attract, the power of the P-U-S-S-Y according to Kels, Jay and Devin.

Meeting my Hip hop idols

Yep 2004 was the year I witness two of my biggest Hip hop idols perform live. DMX in January and 50Cent in December. Both events where electrifying and will live on in my memory for years to come. There’s something about finally meeting someone you really admire. After the encounter it’s like your life will never be the same again. Ask Bill Clinton; he’ll tell you about his encounter in his youth with the then US president John F. Kennedy.

My ride

There sure is nothing better than cruising/rolling down the street with your ride on a beautiful day, with your windows down and getting admiring stares from passers by. And that’s what I experienced big time in 2004. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I leant to drive in 2004; instead 2004 was the year I finally got unlimited ride access from my mum after months of battling. And man have I had good moments with my Toyota. Funny abi? Well that’s life you know, one man’s meat is another man’s garri (smiles). So am a continue riding and keep my eyes on the ultimate: the Peugeot 307. I must ride that car or die!

Quitting UNN

Quitting? Well more like graduating from UNN (University of Nigeria Nsukka. I still got shit to tidy up though, damn!). I sure am grateful to God for achieving that in 2004. After all the stress…and fun of university life, it feels good to be finally through with the system. Although for real I still miss campus life. Well I gotta suck it all up and move on. Next step is the NYSC and making my own dough. How scary can it get? I’ve always had one saying: you never know you’re a man till you feed and take care of yourself for a week with YOUR OWN SWEAT. God help us all!

My body

It ain’t as if I’m Right Said Fred singing: “I’m too sexy for my body”. But like him I was some what pleased with my body…looks in 2004. It’s like my gyming finally paid off. It’s not as if I got a 50 Cent type body, but I think I got an above average physique for a guy. Still I gotta wake my lazy ass up and keep lifting them rods. Also I changed my hair style early this year. I kept it low like Lloyd Banks. Sorry Wyclef, the Nigerian environment couldn’t allow me keep it Rasta. But I’ll definitely try it again someday.

So what of you what were your own highs of 2004? Moving over to new year resolutions I can’t say what all mine are (cos some are…too personal to…whatever) but my new year resolution sure does read it part : to start replying my emails in time. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

We..."I" love to blog! after all we (bloggers) are ABC News' People of the Year for 2004.