Album Review: Olamide is the Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (Even thou he's tired).
#ALBUM REVIEW: Reminisce Claims His Braging Rights As The High Chief Of The Streetz With ALAGA IBILE.
Album – Baddest Guy Ever Liveth
Artiste – Olamide
Guest Appearances – Pheelz, Buckwyla, Ketchup, Ice Prince, Pepenazi, Endia, Viktoh, B.banks, Phyno, Pele Pele, and Bez.
Producer – Pheelz
Record Label – YBNL Nation
Rapper Olamide has entered the history books as one of two Nigerian rappers to release two full albums in one year (the other being Eedris Abdulkareem). His second album YBNL was released in November 2012. His follow up Baddest Guy Ever Liveth comes one year after his highly successful sophomore. As an indigenous rapper Olamide has managed to make himself the hottest rapper in a country with so many ethnic groups.
With the singles ‘Durosoke’ and ‘Turn Up’ burning hot on radio stations, the setting has been created for the rapper to make lightning strike in the same place twice. Unfortunately bolts of lightning are few and far in between on BGEL. Olamide is human after all and sounds exhausted on major parts of the album. On his previous effort, the former ID Cabasa protégé was barking, snapping and snarling on every track. On this project his bark has been mostly replaced by a drowsy flow.
The album starts on a promising note. Buckwyla, Pheelz and Olamide produce the chest thumping, hood repping track titled ‘Rep Adugbo’. ‘Anifowose’ which contains a great sample from K1 D Ultimate sees Olamide talk about his less than humble background.
They thought I will never make it to the top but that’s not fair/tori mummy wa o olowo, daddy wa o olowo/’cos he is from the house of pain, everyday na sorrow sing-raps Olamide on the most personal track on the album.
‘Skammer’ featuring Pele Pele lifts the pace of the project with its springy feel. Olamide tries his hands on singing and comes out with an admirable result on ‘Eleda Mi O’.
But all the momentum fizzles out thanks to later tracks that miss rather than hit- ‘Badoo Love’, ‘Position Yourself’ and ‘Gbadun Arawa’ are tracks that indicate that Olamide is just running through the paces and not delivering anything fresh and stimulating. It’s really obvious that he is spent when you hear his average verse and lazy hook on ‘Motivation’ featuring Ice Prince, Endia and Pepenazi. A year ago Olamide would have chewed this song but this time around he only nibbles. He also misses another great chance on ‘Church’ featuring Viktoh which sees him using a loose flow that doesn’t grip the mind and ears of the listener.
Olamide shows glimpses of his past form on ‘Sitting On the Throne’. ‘I’m sitting on the throne- I’m a young man in a grown body/I’m sitting on the throne I ain’t got beef with nobody’ raps the baddest guy on the hook as he asserts himself on the Nigerian rap throne. ‘Sitting On the Throne’ reminds you of why Olamide is number one in the country. Olamide continues his imperial reign on ‘King Shii’. Even though his bark has gone down a notch, the rapper still manages to come correct on this song that helps him stamp his regime in Nigeria’s rap scene.
On a dark trap beat inspired by the Maybach Music sound Olamide rises up on ‘Rayban Abacha’ as he takes shots at his detractors and haters. The final track on the album is ‘Higher’ featuring Bez. The track aims to close the LP on a high and spiritual note. The song isn’t goose pimple inducing and doesn’t take you out of this world. The problem with this song underlines the basic fault of BGEL. Most of the songs on the project are okay but not great which is a letdown judging from Olamide’s last project and current standing in the music game.
BGEL is a less inspired version of YBNL constructed by a rapper that is creatively low at the moment. The album is also too long with 18 tracks. Thematically there are a lot of rehashed topics on the project that is why it is not surprising that the best tracks are the ones where Olamide talks about being on the throne. Everything else has been heard before in finer detail.
Still we must applaud Olamide for the brave effort. Even with its flaws, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth proves that hard work does pay off. With this third album Olamide is undoubtedly the baddest rapper in Nigeria even though he is tired.
#ALBUM REVIEW: Reminisce Claims His Braging Rights As The High Chief Of The Streetz With ALAGA IBILE.
Album- Alaga Ibile
Guest Artistes- Sossick, Endia, Olamide, Obadice, Naeto C, Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy
Producers- Sossick, Shizzi, Chopstix, Sarz, Dee Vee, Jospo
Record Label- Edge Records (2013)
Duration- 55 minutes
Indigenous rap is the in thing now with Olamide and Phyno being the poster boys of the new rap movement. While they may hug the headlines an equally talented indigenous rapper by the name of Reminisce serves as the lord of the underground. Having struggled to gain recognition early on his career, Reminisce embraced his indigenous side and released the hit single ‘Kako Bi Chicken’.
It’s been two years and some months since the release of the single that finally put Reminisce on the spotlight. Within that period he dropped his debut album Book of Rap Stories which largely went unnoticed. This time around with a better understanding of his abilities as a bilingual rapper Reminisce drops his second album Alaga Ibile.
On this project majority of the production is handled by Sossick who is best known for his work on Da Grin’s classic sophomore rap album C.E.O which is also regarded as the greatest Yoruba rap album ever. With additional production from wonder boy Sarz, Alaga Ibile is Reminisce’s most impressive work so far.
Remilekun Safaru starts his album with ‘Intro’ which features menacing piano keys similar to that of a Dr. Dre production. Reminisce shows his unique bilingual qualities when he spits ‘wanna know the truth/mi o ki n se butter/ spent most of my youth chilling in the gutter/smoke a lot of kush that’s why I stutter/but mi o le nowo lori jewels got to take care of my daughter’ . The thumping street influenced production continues on ‘Government’ featuring Endia and Olamide. On the Chopstix instrumental Reminisce and Olamide go hard with their Odua bars before Endia cleans it up with his rap/dancehall mash up verse.
The chemistry between Reminisce and Sossick is spot on. The tracks ‘3rd World Thug Freestyle’ and ‘Pimp by Blood’ are decent tracks featuring Reminisce dropping his flashy bars over Sossick’s banging production. Going a step further, Sossick helps Reminisce bring out his introspective side on ‘Turn It Around’. The rapper forsakes his showy style to chronicle his rise to the top while Sossick delivers the gloomy chorus he is known for. This is the centre piece of the album and it is encouraging to see Reminisce showing a new side to himself even though it is only on a track.
The Reminisce and Sossick combination fails on two songs. The fault is more of production than rapping with Sossick choosing to ape American rap beats for Rem’ to rap on. ‘Swagu’ featuring Oba Dice and ‘Buga’ featuring Naeto C sound disconnected and disjointed.
You don’t have to go far on the album before you know that Reminisce has other ambitions apart from dropping rhymes for the streets. The next track ‘Sunkere’ reveals Reminisce’s talent of mixing rap with Fuji. The Sarz produced ‘Fantasi’ is the perfect example of this merger with Reminisce becoming a full time Fuji artiste. Hip Hop purists might balk at the transformation but at the end of the day the song is a crowd mover which is all that matters. The pop star Wizkid donates a hook on ‘Eleniyan’ which sees Reminisce dishing his patent rhyme style of mentioning fashion brands and street lingo.
Not all the mainstream experiments work on this album. ‘Ife’ is just too much singing for Reminisce. In his attempt to deliver a love song the rapper goes too far. His collaboration with Davido on ‘Daddy’ is album filler at best. Luckily the humorous ‘Agidigbo’ which name checks several joints where runs girls hustle comes off well and ‘Rude Girl’ featuring Burna Boy is an impressive dancehall track.
Most indigenous rappers get very uncomfortable when rapping in English. Reminisce is an exception. He switches from English to Yoruba and vice-versa well. With such an exceptional gift it is strange to hear him only rap about a limited range of topics. With such a deep voice and bilingual flow one would have expected Reminisce to touch on several topics that will push his brand further.
However despite his limited range, Reminisce has dropped a solid album that should see him in the top spot with his contemporaries.
Sossick who is no stranger to producing solid albums has helped Reminisce orchestrate a solid piece of work that is part Hip Hop and part pop. Reminisce should no longer be regarded as the chief of indigenous rap (alaga ibile) but the high chief.
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Streetz Muzic and the Industry.
Like never before street music is gaining momentum in the Nigerian musical scene and also like never before the players involved are making waves and are almost touching the skies while reaching for the stars.
It is no more news what the likes of Olamide (YBNL General Badoo), Reminisce (King of Ibile), Seriki (Omo oro), Eriga (the south south Streetz voice), Terry G (King of Freemadness), Mavin's Top son ''Wande Coal'', Oritse Femi (the Ghetto Nightingale) and so many others are doing with their musical prowess by using it to launch the Street into limelight and making cool moolah (cash) in return for their lyrical hustle.
Even the music producers and video directors are having a field day reaping from the Streetz genre of music that past legends such as Fela Kuti (Papa 70), Orlando Owho (Kenerry father) Lord of Ajasa, Daddy Showkey, Mode 9 (Prof Punchlines), Ruggedy baba, Eedris Abdulkareem (Mr lecturer), African Shina and most recently Dagrin (Lyrical mad man) have paved way and prepared the ground for what is today referred to as Street music in Nigeria.
The pioneers of the game picked it up from scratch and played it till they passed on or passed the baton to the new generation, the new skool Streetz soldiers are still keeping the game on and making the heroes past who fought with their sweat and blood proud to be part of the game and hustle wherever they are. Even the regular Hip-Hop heads in the industry want a touch of the Streetz in their muzic because Streetz muzic is selling like dope and the people are getting high on it like high grade all over Africa and also spiraling out of the shores of great Africa to the world at large and it seems whatever music is spiced up with the Naija Streetz touch becomes hotcake instantly and even the Yankee music bosses are beginning to catch up with this Afro Streetz music fever and they seem ready to go all out to catch it now that's it's waxing stronger and gaining more momentum by the day.
The Street Music revolution is taking over the Streetz of Naija and the creative heads on the Streetz should take a cue and key into this huge market because it's open to all and if you're still waiting for Kelvinstreetz to come tell you which way to go then you're sitting on a very looooong thing and it may take some time before you can get up because even Kelvinstreetz is riding on the train already and because the time is ticking so fast, i can hardly wait for no one simply because i've got people to catch up with and here are some of them.....