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Olamide Bounces Back With Strength On Carpe Diem Album

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For an album literally meaning ‘Seize The Day’, any listener can guess that Olamide is looking to retain his throne as the king of commercial rap in Nigeria. While Olamide obviously not the champion of street hip-hop anymore, as he has to contend for space with Zlatan Ibile and Naira Marley, the singer understands that treading the part of Afro-pop infused rap will sell him back to his fans, hence the album.

Olamide

In a review for his ‘999′ EP released in February 2020, this writer wrote in a review, “We must say that the album is a far cry from what we know Badoo can do. We listened carefully to each track repeatedly and for the umpteenth time came up with the same response – this album is a disgrace.

“For a good span of 30 minutes, the Pawon crooner tried to prove his worth and bag his place as the king of street rap in Nigeria but the effort is as a drowning man clinching straws for survival.”

With the critics weighing heavily on him, Olamide understood that he had to deliver a topnotch work, hence his 8th studio album titled, ‘Carpe Diem’. The album reinforces two salient facts about the rapper; one his keen eye to discover and nurture budding music talents, which is why the album features some of the hottest underground music artistes, including Bella Shmurda, Omah Lay, Fireboy DML and producer, P.Priime.

Two, Olamide knows how to watch the music landscape, understand what the audience is seeking and give it to them without holding back or restricting himself. This is why in whatever sort of rap you seek, you’ll find Olamide. From indigenous rap, to street hip-hop, song-rap, afro-pop styled rap, Olamide presents himself doing his business with fervor and passion.

The album opens with ‘Another Level’ on which Olamide opens about his current situation, and how he seems unbothered about the hate and controversy. The song is basically the rapper letting us know that he is bigger than his detractors and those with ‘pull him down’ syndrome. The rap is simple and he delivers his chorus with ease “Me I nor dey find their validation, all of them [dey] steady seek attention, I dey another level, I dey another level.’

While the lyrics in ‘Green Light’ might not be Olamide’s best work, he makes up for it with a killer instrumental, that leaves you tempted to shake your head. The production here also is beautiful and those ad-libs are lit. The part where he says, “Throwway groundnut from karashim straight to the net/Magbe tibi sa/Ka ma pra pra na pana pana/Magbe tibi sa/Ka ma zi gi zou zagou zagou…” make the song much more interesting.

There is almost nothing to be said when you feature Omah Lay on a song about sex, as in ‘Infinity’. A budding sex and sultry content singer, the song is good. While not exactly great or a banger for that matter, the melody in it is catchy and great to twerk to.

‘Eru‘ is one of the best songs on this project. The piano and those violins juxtaposing together with the drums is literally heaven. The bouncy and energetic feel of the song released as a promotional single just syncs with the image of Olamide and what he can do. So good that people already had the wordings by heart a day after its release.

After the release of the album, ‘Triumphant’ was trending on Twitter with many attesting to the beauty of the track. The way Olamide enters into his verse deserves an applause; it is quiet and simple. The song talks about the strive for success and the rag to riches story of the artistes. The line, You might come from the ghetto and still have sense and class…” slaps hard. Kudos to Pheelz.

The Afro-swing song, ‘At Your Service’ is Olamide in his element. Things that sell the song are the depth of the lyrics and the bouncy nature of the beat. It is like a cover of a hot pot of Egusi soup bouncing while on heat. You get it?

In ‘Do Better’, Olamide is sending a message to his woman, promising to be great at the sex, come home quickly and pay more attention to her. The song is very fast-paced and will sell whether you can pick out the lyrics or not. However, when Olamide says “let me unleash the dragon”, we have to ask if its the same thing we have in mind. He goes on to say, “use ikebe punish me”. Yes, that one. We stan and restan. Great work by Young Jonn for the instrumental. We’re definitely bopping to this in Lagos traffic.

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Is ‘Chimichanga’ going to be the new slang in Nigerian pop-culture? Probably, but whatever, weyrey soro soke. At this point, there’s no denying that Daddy Milli is in love and has found someone special. This writer wants to recreate, sadly, he has no money for anyone to chop like Chimichanga, but we what… we move.

‘Shilalo’ with Phyno should be one of the most memorable song on the project, considering it has two brilliant rappers, two kings if you please. While the music is not bad, it is a song that will be forgotten too easily. Anyway, where does Olamide get his slang from?

‘Loading’ is a Gqom song and this writer loves the lackluster and epicurean life Olamide preaches on the song. The song is about clubbing without any thought of the next moment, living life, taking trips to cloud nine and dancing wildly. Who wants to hit the club with me after this review? Also, who came up with Bad Boy Timz hook? Mad stuff.

‘Unconditionally’ with Peruzzi and ‘Plenty’ with Fireboy DML do not have the same energy with which the album has been running. Peruzzi is seemingly absent on the track, and it feels like an Olamide single. ‘Plenty’ might have just been a better song if it was off the album.

Conclusion

Olamide resurrected on this project. He literally seized the day by reminding us that when it comes to afro-pop/afro-swing rap, he is a monster. He reminds us why his songs will continue to be hits and club banger.

While much of the album discusses the topic of love, relationship and sex, it is a melodious project in its own right. The sonic and topical cohesion between each track is great to play while cleaning on a Saturday morning. It is a show of strength and maturity at its finest and what it represents.

Shout-out to 18-year-old P.Priime who produced the bulk of the songs on the album. While one should be scared for Olamide and his move on this album to a much more softer sound as against his love for street-hip hop, one can rest in the view that the music is enjoyable and for an artiste like Olamide, that is all that matters.

With this project, the rapper crests his spot among the game changers of what commercial rap is and should sound like in Nigeria. Brilliant album. Hey Google, play me ‘Loading’ by Olamide and Bad Boy Timz.
Photo Credit: Instagram

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