The List That Got Rappers Shook!

The List That Got Rappers Shook!

NotjustOk recently compiled a list of their top 10 Most gifted 9ja rappers and the industry went berserk. Every rapper that didn’t make the cut basically went caustic on Twitter. I won’t say I totally agree with the list but it seems pretty accurate. Although to disambiguate a rapper from a lyricist- MI is the best rapper and Mode9 is best lyricist. So MI probably should be number one on the list.
My argument is simple. It takes a truly gifted rapper to bridge the gap between commercial and underground music successfully. A feat MI has accomplished better than every other rapper.

Interestingly some notable emcees and major industry players have expressed their disapproval of the list. Godwon has especially been pretty vocal about his and even took shots at Sauce on Twitter. Hopefully they settle it out in the studio. Some diss tracks for the fans maybe? No beef like when friends turn enemies *evil grin*

The list does raise a few questions though. What qualifies as a gifted rapper? Can there really be a unanimously accepted best rapper? Which of your other favorite rappers should have made the list? And my favorite, Is English the only acceptable language for rap?

That being said, this is a wake-up call for the rappers who haven’t been putting in enough work and also to those who have been resting on their laurels. And like Wale aptly put it, “this industry is an establishment but you aint never established.”

BET Best International Act. How Ice Prince Did It!

When the BET Awards 2013 nominees list was released, we were impressed to see Nigeria well represented. When we saw snapshots of Ice with Wale and MH, we knew it was getting real. When they announced the winner of the Best International Act- Africa and we heard ICE PRINCE! Yes we were proud of our very own Zamani, Choc City’s finest.
But he didn’t get here overnight. It took a long time coming and yes , it took mad years of hustle, sweat and patience. Go figure, cos ain’t no real success with no rigour. I remember the first time I heard Ice on a joint, Supernatural as far back as 2006, I became an automatic fan.
The rap industry was patiently waiting and anticipating his official take-over, it just never happened. Then Mr Incredible, MI came on board repping J-town and bringing along Ice together with Jagz. The trio would later become 9ja’s dopest eMCees- The Choc Boys, that gave us bangers like Blaze, Nobody Test Me, Somebody Wants To Die, Safe, Anoti, Short Black Boy, Bend Down Low, Pump It Up, Wetin Dey, etc.
Iceprince never got his due shine all the while but kept on pushing the limits and doing features. He got on Jimmy’s Jump-off and ripped the mic off with his freestyle. He also battled head-to-head with his industry mates on Henessy Artistry competition and eventually won the grand prize. This I believe helped regain his confidence.
He finally struck gold when he got his label mate, freshly signed Brymo in the studio. The product was a sure hit. Oleku instantly went viral, becoming listeners’ favorite especially among the ladies, sweeping airwaves across the nation, topping major charts and knocking off all other songs. It easily broke caller-tunes record and later went on to win him Song of the Year on major Nigerian award shows.
That evidently put him in the limelight, raising both fans and record label expectations high. Was it just a fluke? His follow-up sequel Superstar sealed the deal and shut all unbelievers up when it equally went on topping charts locally and internationally.
His debut album Everybody Loves Iceprince later dropped to both critical and friendly review. Rap heads claiming that he sold out and lost his lyrical prowess, party lovers rating the album as a favorite, while others had mixed feelings. He later raised the bar even further with an international Video remix of Magician featuring Gyptian, a phenomenal fit.
Ice has always commanded an air of swag, confidence and industry respect anywhere he performed and this continued to endear him to his fans especially the female folk. He managed to get into some controversies while having the time of his life. He got a babymama, dated some notable celebrities and deservedly got some robust endorsements.
When Aboki, his BET award winning track dropped, it spiralled to the top of the charts and showed his consistency. Ice has evidently found his comfort zone and carved his niche in the crowded rap industry. He is definitely doing it BIG and you can peep that on his fresh video VIP. The best part- he is just getting started. To be a bit cliche, I believe he is up to something titanic and we have only seen the tip of the ice-berg. I hope we survive this shh.lol

Sealed, signed and delivered phresh’n hot.
Ishur boy still,
Pressplay.

Read Between The Lines Already!

Read Between The Lines Already!

I try to shy away from controversial posts but some things are just too glaring it’s blindening. I’m tired of listening to arguments about he said she said what? Come on mehn, some things shouldn’t even be said coz they’re right thurr.
First of all (before you go down low), Wizkid and Davido ain’t all so tight, you don’t need to hear from the horses’ mouths. Otherwise why didn’t either feature on the other’s projects?
They don’t need to spell it out for you, there’s either a silent beef about a “girl” or “who’s hotter” or who’s richer?
The beef might have been media induced, I don’t care.

Can’t believe some fans are still picking sides and crying over Dbanj and Donjazzy split?! Like you needa grow up already. These two are business men, even if they might have been friends first. They’ve moved on to greater things and some of y’all are there trying to put super glue on broken bones. Kindly take handkerchief for your sweat and tic-tac for your breath.
If you will just enjoy their separate individual music and other projects you’ll appreciate what they got going for themselves and frankly I don’t need a crystal ball to know they’ll eventually team up later.

On to the next one. Everyone’s tryna generate beef between 9ja rappers. Some of these rappers even orchestrate it themselves. I call it austerity measures. Fact is, no one wants to die, any beef you hear now is pure publicity stunt. Niccurs gotta pay bills ya know. So, MI and Olamide might not be buddies but I don’t see any beef coming off of that. Vector recently disclaimed any official beef with Reminisce too. With Muna and Modenine, well there are two things involved… lol

I miss the days of 9ice and Ruggedman tho. And the divas in the game are being too safe jor. We needa girl-fight already. (Lol. Don’t mind me, perv tinz)

On this note I hope these endless arguments will reduce. And yea, wassup with everyone buying Bentley these days, did I miss something? I needa hit the studio soon mehn, Hola! Outie.

LOVE Is Magic

Found this poem I wrote once upon a love story so I thought I’d share it with yall. Here it goes…

Love should be simple, not so complicated
Something like cartoons, but not so animated
Love like a child- innocent, true and pure
Not like a wild adult- manipulative and insecure
Love is a sickness, and only love is the cure
Love is your best friend, sincerely yours
Love like your first time- you wonna make it work
Forget about the last time, no matter how deep it hurt
Let me tell you a secret, hope you can keep it
Love is a sweet music- put it on repeat
You don’t have to lie, don’t have to cheat
Cos there goes the trust, and away goes the treat
Love is a sweet dream- you don’t have to wake up
Just go back to sleep and pray it don’t fade off
Love is sacrifice- not always paradise
cos if you feel no pain- you’re just paralysed
Love is 50/50- but expect less, give more
Not finding faults- who’s rich, who’s poor
Love maybe full of doubts, but only love is truly sure
Love is trust, respect and understanding above all.
Love is life- search for it and grab it
Love is like a spell- love is…magic.

Daris all.lol
Ohboy, I must have been whipped mehn. Don’t even know if I still believe all these but hey, it’s worth believing abeg!

Started From The Bottom, The Wizkid Story.

Started From The Bottom, The Wizkid Story.

Nobody remembers the struggle. No, they always seem to forget. Nobody remembers when the kid was just a hustler not so long ago, when nobody cared about the kid on the streets of Surulere on empty stomach, under the hot scorching sun. Nobody remembers how long he was a studio rat just hoping to hear his song recorded by OJB. Nobody remembers those long boring days when the girls won’t say hi or even hola at the boy. Days when dude had to fabricate stories about his music hustle just to sound cool. Nobody remembers when this kid was squatting back in Lasu and sleeping on bare rugged rug, no pillows. Nobody remembers how many booty calls he made those cold nights when this cat got no p**sy. Nobody even remembers how he would fight over slices of bread and butter (or ewa goyin.lol) Nobody remembers he used to borrow shirts to go to some places. How he trekked the city of Lagos just to be heard, and to get air play on the radio. Nobody remembers he started as a rapper, tried even patois before singing. Nobody remembers how many times people turned this kid down.
But his turning point wasn’t when he met MI and Choc City, not even earlier when he met Naeto C and Storms, when Ikechukwu thought he would be a waste. Can you blame him though, when GT the guitar man was already a loss, scratch that, let me rephrase that, A Total Flop! I mean how can you have all that talent but no swag or confidence to back it up? Admit it, yall saw it too, that stupid look GT always wore when singing. How you gon be singing to a girl but looking like you wanking to her profile pics! Ok back to my story, where was I? Ah, yes. This kid’s turning point would eventually come when MI introduced him to Banky W, in a most casual yet fate-ordained circumstance that would forever be one of the crucial moments in his life.
Now we hear his name headlining every news, listen to his music at every club, topping charts, read about him on every soft sell magazine and every blog, locally and globally. All he has to do is cough, breaking news. I mean, now this kid got record labels fighting over him, now all the girls want to know who he is dating, now even MTV mama wants a taste of the kid. And yes, since he became bestie to Chris Breezy all the homies that stopped calling him are scrolling down their contacts (try again bro, he changed those lines 365 days ago, times a couple more years). Now every up-coming act wants to make a name by trying to cook up beef with him. Nuff said.
That’s the story of how starboy Wizkid Started From The Bottom, And Now He’s Here. So all you niggies singing along to that Drake’s track with so much passion and devotion, pray tell, what’s your own story?

ALL-TIME MUST-HAVE 9JA RAP ALBUMS!!!

I was chilling with my homie from back in the day, a rap head in his own right. We got talking about some of the rap classics in 9ja rap industry which gave birth to this beautiful piece that got me emotional and gave breath to my love for good rap music once again.
These are some must-have rap albums for every hip hop lover.

Malcom IX (Modenine): This is the album that really opened my eyes to hip hop in 9ja, and gave me hope that deep dope rappers do exist in 9ja. Illest punchlines ever, coldest flows and sickest delivery, Mode9 showed us just how ugly it really can get, lyrically. This album also introduced his Swat Roots dope team with Overdose (OD) and Terry tha rapman venomously spitting on some tracks.

Da Trybes All Stars (Da Trybe): LD, Freestyle, KB- the original trybesmen, along with their team of fresh emcees and femcees, released this viral mixtape that put Lagos on the front page of rap. 2Shot, SID, Timi (the black one), Blaise, Sasha and Niyola also premiered on this album. Oya, Emi Ma Le Gan and an arsenal of bangers filled this album.

Thy Album Come (RuggedMan): Defiant and unapologetic, Ruggedman is probably the first rapper to really bring rap to the mainstream in 9ja. Born out of frustration, his break-out single “Ehen” featuring Nomoreloss, was a funny diss to every wack musician getting the shine he believed he deserved. The follow-up “Peace Or War” was equally undeniably consistent. A must-have album.

Talk About It (MI): This is by far the best rap album to come out of 9ja. The Short black boy and J-town lyricist bridged the gap between commercial and conscious music with this album and got even club girls rapping along with him. MI might just be one of those rappers who’ll never be able to top the success of their debut album, like 50 cent but I trust him. This album gave us hits like Safe, a parody of some of the biggest hits when it dropped. Lyrically ingenious, commercially on point, MI raps with the coldest flows and made it look and sound effortless not forgetting the best hooks. This album also premiered his clique, Ice-prince(who was already a familiar name in his city), Jesse Jagz (brother/producer), and Wizkid (the future).

MoneyLong Mixtape (Sauce-kid): Sauce-kid(now Sinzu) dropped this hot mixtape that got the industry shook. Playful yet serious, commercial yet conscious, this was just a dope one. Sanboribobo, Omoge, Round Here, are tips of the iceberg on this mixtape.

Pain Plus Work (Gino): One third of a mega talented family, Gino’s No Be God video paved the way for the state of the art music videos we have now. This album was near perfection. Lyrically wild, and production-wise, Sossick gave this album his best and tore up the damn beats. Tracks like Farabale and a host of others are just undescribable, you have to taste them first hand.

C.E.O. (Dagrin): Some have compared the late Dagrin to 50 cent, 2pac and even Biggie. This album is a must-have. Spitting grimey lyrics on banging beats, Dagrin was ahead of his time. With tracks like PonPon, Ghetto dreams, Kondo, His music was like drugs to the ears, and kept you fiending for more. So sad his life was cut short. His songs and several features attest to his greatness. A must-have album, must-cram lyrics, must-spread hustle, this has to be a hall-of-famer.

Gongo Aso (9ice): Alapomeji as he’s fondly called, 9ice dropped this MTV award winning album and the rest is history. Not exactly a rap album but undeniably one of the best albums ever to grace the 9ja music industry, every track took us on a journey through this man’s hustle. Gongo Aso took 9ja hostage. Street Credibility, Party Rider, Bachelor, this album is packed full. You don’t wonna mistakenly skip a track.

These are undisputably some of 9ja rap greats. Some other classics to have are Face-2-Face (2 Face), Asa (Asa), Game-Over (P Square) and Run-Down (D’banj).

Sinzu Is No Longer My Best Rapper!

Sinzu-Is-Sinzu

As far as 9ja rap music is concerned little will say they don’t know Sinzu (formerly Sauce Kid). In fact even fewer will probably say they didn’t at some point consider him the best in the game. But why will I say he’s no longer my best rapper? (of course I mean nigerian) Before you start raising your fake eye brows let me break it down, take you back down memory lane.

The first time I heard this soon-to-be my favorite rapper, I reached cloud9. Talk about grand entry, his debut single Omoge feat Mike Okri was way beyond where the industry was. His video was light years ahead of our best, his lyricism and flawless delivery on this track was beyond fresh and refreshing. The legendary Mike Okri laced a fine hook that still makes the track sound evergreen to my ears. Finally, we were getting it right with this one, or so I thought.

All these he did from abroad, so when he came to Nigeria to promote his music, I got the pleasure of seeing this golden boy (seriously I revered him that much). He was straight up real and hilarious, when I saw him answering callers on TV and even speaking the mother tongue. This was before MI and em, no offence. I think Mode9 and the SWAT Roots, RuggedMan, TrybesMen and a few other cats were running the show then. So his freshboy swag and different style was refreshing.

He would later drop his MoneyLong Mixtape- Product Of My Environment under Q-Beats (of Tee-Bills). His playful track Sanboribobo became the off-shoot single that would take over that year. Everything was looking perfect. Except he was no where to be found to promote this viral song. No video, No Shows! This I believe was the beginning of his undoing. To the extent that he became the scorn of the media and radio circle because he wouldn’t grant interviews or come for their shows.

At the other end, Q-beatz did not seem to worry, guess money was rolling in from other corners. Until he decided he needed to take his music seriously again. But Alas! A lot of damage had already been done. Remember I’m only painting this picture from my POV.

Fast-forward a couple good years, a lot of new acts came on board, meaning a stiffer competition. Sauce no doubt was now in a cross-fire of how to reclaim his shine. Should he sell-out or stick to his flows from Yankees? He would eventually drop a split-personality album titled African American under Storm Records. Unquestionable genius, but it would take more than this to reclaim his fan base in a now crowded industry and also make peace with the media world.

A couple more good joints, club bangers, dope videos and yet he can’t seem to get back to his rightful spot at the top. I know if he was 9ja’s recognised and acclaimed best rapper, we woulda had major collaborations with international rappers, especially now at a time when the Spot light is shining on our┬áNigerian┬ámusicians.

His nonchalant attitude to his music and disregard to the media people can only be blamed for this. I long to see the day when the E Don Dey Madt crooner would once again sit on the rap throne, until then he’s no longer my best rapper.

@pressplaybaeby