Ruggedman: Biography, Education, Career, Marriage, Net Worth, Source of Income, Achievements and Controversy


By Balogun Kamilu Lekan


Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

Ruggedman, real name Michael Ugochukwu Stephens is a Nigerian rapper, producer and fashion entrepreneur.
He was born on the 20th of September 1975 in Ohafia, Abia state. 

Photo: Within Nigeria

Ruggedman, fondly called Ruggedy Baba, is one of Nigeria’s greatest rappers whose rap has earned global recognition.

He is arguably the first Nigerian rapper in Nigeria to rap in Pidgin English, and that gave him his diversity.


Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

Ruggedman is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo.


Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

Ruggedman stormed the Nigeria music scene in 1999 when he dropped two singles, ‘What If’, produced by and featured Paul Play Dairo, and the other being ‘Gwo-gwo.’ 

The two tracks gained popularity and earned enormous, massive airplay in Nigeria.

Photo: NaijaVibe

Ruggedman directed his first music video, ‘Kiss Me Again’ music video in 2002.

All his albums and songs are self-produced and released by his record label, Rugged Records. He inducted his first signee, MBRYO, to the label in 2012.

Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

Ruggedman released an album ‘Money Making Music’ in 2012, where he featured his signee, MBRYO. Some other artists, like  Funbi and Terry G, made special appearances on the album.

Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

He has also had the privilege to perform with international acts like Wyclef Jean, LL Cool J, Maxipriest, Kanye West,  Sean Paul, Nas, T-Pain, and many others.

Ruggedy Baba has partially left the music scene to focus on his personal business.

Intermittently, he comes out to drop some songs. One of such includes “ Is Police, Your Friend.” 


Photo: bellanaija

There is no public information about Ruggedman’s relationship at the moment.

Net worth

Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

Ruggedman amasses his wealth from music and other businesses, like his personal clothing brand and brand ambassadorship for other top brands.

His net worth is estimated at $5 million. However, this cannot be independently verified by NewsWireNGR.


Photo: Within Nigeria



  • Thy Album Come
  • Ruggedy Baba
  • Untouchable
  • Money Making Music


  • Is Police Your Friend
  • Wetin Dey
  • Baraje
  • Because of You
  • Club Rugged
  • Ja Rule
  • Ruggedy Baba
  • Push
  • Ebemsi
  • Wobe
  • Jusile
  • To Whom It May Concern
  • Ehen
  • Kokos Song
  • Won’t Battle
  • Watch Me
  • I am RuggedMan
  • Touched by An Angel
  • Agidi
  • Waka
  • Let Me Touch You Broken Promises
  • My Life
  • If I could Do it all
  • Rock Da Spot
  • Move something
  • 8 Figures
  • 9ja Hip Hop
  • Gangsta
  • Boing Boing
  • Make Me Feel Alright
  • Sanwo
Photo: Guardian

Awards and Achievements 

Ruggedman has gotten so many acknowledgements and awards for his fantastic rapping skills.

He got the award for 

  • Nigerian Fanta Fame Award
  • FAME Award
  • AMEN Award
  • Nigerian Entertainment Awards,
  • Nigeria Music Awards,
  • Hip Hop World Awards
  • African Integrity Award


Photo: Naijaloaded

One of Nigeria’s top musicians, 9ICE, accused Ruggedman of having sexual affairs with his ex-wife, Toni Payne,

Ruggedman was caught in this web of controversy that it attracted the attention of many people both in Nigeria and abroad.

Photo: Instagram/@ruggedybaba

9ice released a single, ‘Once Bitten’, allegedly a diss track against Ruggedman.

However, years later, 9ice apologised and stated that the accusations against Ruggedman were not true.


The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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