- 09 Mar 21
Offica addressed the potential controversy during a recent interview with Hot Press. "I’m a Christian," he said, "so I always believe in giving people second chances."
Drogheda drill artist Offica has opened up about his decision to feature on Versatile's new single 'Babyproof', released on Friday – explaining that "there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody knows about."
In addition to contributing a verse to the track, Offica appears in the music video – which has clocked up over 118,000 views to date – alongside his collective, A92.
Dublin duo Versatile sold out the 3Arena in 2019, but were widely criticised for using racial stereotypes in their track ‘Dublin City G’s’, and for one of their members wearing blackface in an unearthed photo. Although the pair subsequently issued an apology, #DeplatformVersatile nonetheless went on to trend on Irish Twitter at the time – with many high profile figures in the Irish music community sharing the hashtag.
Offica, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and has lived in Drogheda since the age of six, has emerged in recent years as one of the most hotly tipped drill artists on this side of the Atlantic – while largely flying under all the traditional industry radars. His recent 'Plugged In Freestyle' with Fumez The Engineer, featuring fellow A92 artists Ksav, Dbo and BT, has garnered over 30 million Spotify streams, and 19 million views on YouTube. He's also collaborated with major UK drill artists Skengdo & AM and Harlem Spartans' Blanco.
When news of the collaboration between Versatile and Offica first emerged in December, it sparked a backlash on social media.
Speaking in a recent interview with Hot Press, however, Offica discussed his decision to work with Versatile.
“Before we made the track, my team and their team sat together, and we talked,” he revealed in the interview. “So there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody knows about.
“Yeah, I’ve heard about a few things – but at the same time, at that stage of their career, they weren’t educated enough. But I feel now that the boys have matured, and they’ve been doing super. They took down that video, and they apologised. As a rapper myself, I have to look at my lyrics, and ask, ‘Is that appropriate to put out?’ I just feel that their team, at that time, did not do that. That’s what let them down.
“I’m a Christian as well, so I always believe in giving people second chances.”
Offica went on to argue that, "in this industry, you can't really be judgemental."
"So I don’t care what anyone says – because at the end of the day, they’re not God," he added. "Everybody deserves second chances. There are so many things happening in Ireland that people aren’t talking about – but everyone wants to go mad over this. This is the way to educate – my team and their team sat together, and spoke on the issue. That’s what people are missing.”
Read the full interview with Offica and A92 here.