Growing up in Riverdale, Md., Michael Olumide Ogunnubi — who performs as Olumide — saw hip-hop as a way to fool around with his siblings, imitating music videos on VHS or recording Weird Al-styled parodies with a USB microphone borrowed from a PlayStation. But after feasting on a diet of such aughts heavyweights as 50 Cent, the Game, T.I., Ludacris and Chamillionaire, the 27-year-old talent got more serious about his craft, quietly recording music and eventually releasing it into the world.
For the past few years, Olumide has been sharpening his lyrical blade at open mics and shows thrown by Pass Da Aux, a creative platform he founded with fellow Prince George’s County rapper Grxzzly. The shows, hosted at the Electric Maid in Takoma, highlight local talent, merging together nascent fan bases into one. A tagline on some of their fliers asks, “Who’s next?”
Olumide hopes the answer is him, and after a few years on the scene, things are coming together. In January, he opened for buzzy Cali crew Shoreline Mafia at the Fillmore, to a receptive crowd. “Sometimes, performing at open mics, you get, ‘If you’re not my mans, I’m not gonna give you energy. I’m too cool to nod my head,’ or whatever,” he explains, crossing his arms for effect. But the positive reaction at that show — which netted him a gig opening for Bronx up-and-comer A Boogie Wit da Hoodie — reminded him that he’s on the right path.
“This is something I can do,” he explains. “I just need to do it, and get inside that limelight.”
Show: March 5 at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. $35.