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|Album Review - Olamide - Street OT by tnature: 10:14pm On Nov 24, 2014|
Album title: Street OT
Just like the name of this album, it seems all the tracks were written basically for a particular kind of people. The agberos, the taxi drivers, the ordinary man on the street…. Not too rich but comfortable enough to end the day with a bottle of Gulder. The first thing I do notice on this album is that the sound engineering (if there was any at all) was so poor. It sounded as if the songs were recorded in a sound proof room and copied to CD immediately with no effort at mixing. However, we cannot take away from the established fact that Mr. Olamide is a master player with Yoruba words. I had particular reservations reviewing this album because the tracks were similar in many regards….. I would also desist from trying to find meaning to the tracks because many of them do not have a concise theme.
Album starts with Oga Nla Ft Pasuma & Lil Kesh. Pasuma on the chorus makes this song a good listen. Lil Kesh killed his verse as expected with his comical lyrics and ever smooth delivery. Olamide did what he knows how to do best…. But I could not find a punch line that could get me screaming.
The album then moves on to a Krunk beat in Zero Joy where Olamide goes in for almost 2 minutes playing with words as he changes the texture of his voice along the track. The production is simple enough and the Rastafarian hook is something different.
Blood Money is one track on this album that I had to skip. I could not even decide where to place this track. "Hardcore reggeaton hip-hop" - what the hell is that self? Even in terms of delivery, his punchlines were kind of weak. This is not one of his best deliveries.
The first tungba on this album is on "Ya wa". Pheelz did a good job as always …… and you can definitely find this playing across all platforms on the street. Its dance-able, its head "bump-able" and it has a sing along chorus which many will surely enjoy.
The next track is Hood Rap….you see I like this track. Pheelz produced a fantastic track and Olamide was spitting on this one. Just a single verse and he went all in. I am not sure what I expected from Olamide on this album but I had mentioned to my friend Segun Pryme, I think he is better than this "gimme beat make I yarn" syndrome… Olamide can be as innovative as MI if he steps out of his comfort zone.
The Real MVP … Singing/rapping which one of the popular sides of Olamide…. He has done it in the past and there was no harm in giving us a feel of that on this one too. Song has a sing along hook too but nowhere close to the evergreen "first of all".
Next on this journey is Up in the club. Up in the club's beat has a Krunk feel with light drums and he started the track with a story line that would keep interested for about 20 seconds then the rap line deviates and then loses its theme. But we cannot take away from the beat (however not original) and his delivery; and if you are a fan of the Nae-Nae, you have a chance to display your skill on this one.
Then came Skelemba. Probably the only track on this album worthy of a heavyweight like Don jazzy. The beat is richer and also has a fantastic arrangement. Suppose to be a love song from a thug I would imagine having the bridge muscled by an Igbo businessman professing love. Very decent track.
Prayer for Client is pure fire. Everything is on point…delivery, hook, beat, arrangement… hip-hop at its finest. Give this track a remix and feature ModeNine, Vector, Phyno…..explosion!!. Olamide stay killing the track with punchline after punch line.
Olamide then takes us to church in Batifeori. "Mercy said Noooo, never gonna let you go ….never gonna let you walk away"…. Popular chorus to a Cece Winans song. I will not be surprise to see churches begin to choreograph to this one.
Bang is a lazy track and whoever produced this did not put in much effort; probably about 3 distinct instruments. It sounded like a freestyle put together in a room of drunk young men that needed something to fuel their egos. Rapsodi was a foundational album and even though it was crude, it sounded just perfect for a young man coming into an industry where he did not know what to expect. BGEL on the other displayed maturity in every respect… the boy was grown and he was much better at word play. This album Street OT shows no growth at all; we definitely know he has grown from the collaborations on other people's track…. But only a few of these tracks truly stand out.
Anyways let us continue. Goons Mi, an ode to the fans, I would presume laced with some outstanding word plays but just like Story for the Gods, we already heard them and we knew they were top notch performances.
Next was 1999. I like a story-telling rapper ….. and I like the fact that we got a taste of Olamide's story. Falila Ketan I would imagine is supposed to be comical… a song that guys from the palm wine tappers club would find very interesting.
In My Circle ft Phyno is very correct; albeit not original …. Beat lifted off Drake's "The motto" but the verses were blockbusters. Line after line and of course if you got Phyno on a track, he is yet to fail and he did not fail on this one. Always making Igbo language so sweet to the ear.
Alaaru is innovation! What I would have expected on this album. "Imagine she emi jor sule gambari, to fe lo s'orun lo fe virgin." Many would not consider this a jam but when you think about the non-familarity of the beat and the Olamide's ability to deliver on it, I would say I am impressed.
100 to Million…. Viktoh has a good voice and Olamide on this track brings Dagrin memories to mind. That effortless transition between posh Yoruba and English. That was what we loved about Dagrin…he had a perfect blend of hood and posh! Did I mention that Chinko Ekun could be mistaken for Seriki - same rap styles from both artistes.
Story For the Gods is not new…we listened to that early on this year but you know what? It is still a pleasing song in terms of its production and verses.
Reminisce was featured on Hustle Loyalty. The head-bumping hit is all sorts of awesome. Just listen as you open up a fresh bottle of whisky and turn the volume up. Bump your head as your vision fades and you walk on air and test the loyalty of the ground below you.
Possible is a fine track and it is inspirational too, telling you there is nothing you cannot do when you set your heart do.
Usain Bolt was championed by Lil kesh. Listen to the part where he said "I do not need a Bunmi Davis for Nigeria to stand up" I guess this was a perfect introduction for this new YBNL soldiers…. Chinko Ekun, Pepenazi, Lil kesh and Chuka. And then Eni Sun.
I am a big Olamide fan, one of the biggest out there, but this album does not have the same effect on me as the first 3 albums and I doubt the longevity of this album. I had to listen more than twice only because I was determined to find the best in it so I do not write it off after a first listen. Maturity is one thing I expected from this album; maturity in production, a little more effort in sound quality, and also some mind altering collaborations. For example, imagine an Andy Allo or Asa on Possible. It would have been a master infusion of Soul and Afropop.
I would also suggest Olamide explore beats from other producers like Major Bangz and Kid Connect. These fine producers make fine hip-hop beats. Those are the kind of musical risks we want to see him take on his albums not just getting Pheelz to put something together and spitting 3 verses.
The album is at best a 7/10 for me.
What do you think?
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