Review- Olamide “Street OT”

Since inception of Olamide as we know him (Rapsodi-2011) he had made it clear he was going hard, how he has managed to retain such appetite for hustle till this day even as an established act, defies logic. Four albums in as many years he’s been active-1 for every year, not a bad average.

I would have suggested a different nomenclature for the album; Hustle OT, of course ‘street’ and ‘hustle’ is often interchangeable-on the street, but then the street is more encompassing and consistent with the lyrical content of the album. Street OT –orientation is a compilation that would minister to you and if you connect properly invoke in you the spirit of hustle. Here is a critical evaluation of the album, StreetOT-Nov2014.

Up in the club  is not a bad attempt at dirty south crunk hip-hop, but of course with mounds sleaziness in Yoruba language. Viktoh’s verse wasn’t impressive, Olamide’s narrative or sort of a narrative on Ejiro was hilarious. Very club oriented, you might find yourself cranking that souljabouy dance before too long.

Alaaru thus a Yoruba adage goes. He used the beat sample from black skinhead, the track which is also the sound track of the current Guiness’ Made of Black campaign that he (Olamide) is part of. He’s not ready to be suicidal, shay mo jo sulu gambari referencing the boko haram suicide bombers. He hasn’t built his father a mansion, plus he doesn’t own a Bugatti yet, so what’s the rush?

Batifeori took this one to church. Amidst all the hustle, olamide had time to take inventory of God’s favor, to see how far he’s come, felt he owed Him one number.

Blood money The chorus is just an 8x loop of the title, in a patois accented voice that I find quite artistic. Olamide delivered massive punch-lines from the blast of the whistle. His pun on Yoruba/English homophones farawe (imitate) and far-away, can but only impress you unless you’re a Bia-TCH, his aphorism to sign off the first verse.

Eni Sun Y’all won’t sleep. It’s definitely personal for him this time, in his anger he unleashes his wrath (in words) on an un-identified person. Honestly he exerted himself a great deal on this song, its pointless.

Falila Ketan. Falilah is an Islamic name predominant among girls south-west Nigeria, ‘ketan’ means the girl is bow-legged. The chorus is quiet vulgar in a coded kind of way. The verses are however incongruous. Not one of the high scorers on the album, although you can find solace in the comical vulgarity of the lyrics.

Hood Rap Olamide hits major point on score sheets of rap faithfuls with this song that’s aptly titled. Hood rap is a dark journey deep into the conscience of a survivor in a ‘eat or be preyed on’ world, but he’s conscious ‘no more snakes in my circle, I only roll with kiniun(Lion)’. His witty word play with fo (fly)-foe when he said ‘won form superman, but iyawon can’t fo(foe), I mean they can’t fly’ is a reminder of how devastating Olamide can be when he actually raps.

Prayer For My Client Here in, he flexes his hustle muscle once again, going by his bridge ‘if it’s not about money, then it’s not making sense’ get the feeling the home boy isn’t playing intern-3million for a show in Ibadan is agreeable than 500k in UK, keep the int’l recognition, I’ll take the money. A lot of hustlers would relate to the song and may yet become an anthem amongst internet ‘gangstas’. He reiterates he still won’t rap in English, no faking.

Real MVP Alujo we call it, it might come across to you as a dance track, which is basically the same thing more or less, alujo-a Fuji dance song and produced by young John a guy Olamide no doubt has tremendous confidence in, as he commits the major chunk of the album’s production to him. Real MVP is a toast to the good life. Groovy!

Ya wa He uses the Yoruba homophone Ya wa which could be translated as ‘separate us’ or ‘picture us’. They won’t separate (ya wa) him from his lover, even if they do (ya wa), it’ll be a photo. He shows his romantic tendencies with sweet rhymes. The wedding number on the album.

Zero JoyBoys aren’t playing out here, me want to buy benz and bema’ further resonates the manner of hustler he is, MI attests to this recently when he said Olamide is the hardest working artist he knows. Zero Joy as the title goes, is an un-smiling raw street rap song, which pitches Olamide against the player haters. He refutes a popular adage in Yoruba-he’s simply saying “fuck you and your time difference” to all those that feel he’s still young in the game. He wants to be mentioned alongside the greatest, Fela, Femi Kuti, Lucky Dube, 2pac and biggie. Yeah I know he goofed right? Or Chutzpah!

Possible ft B.Banks Olamide administers motivational lyrics to all who are trying to make a way and be something-anything is possible. I especially like B.Banks performance, that deep rich voice delivering a verse that might as well have been a Yoruba poem. It’s refreshing and soothing to my ears.

Bang ft Chinko This is an instance where people of the opinion that Olamide’s trying too hard might have a point. Yet another dirty south theme rap song, Chinko’s verse is perhaps the highest point of the song. Kesh stood in for Olamide, but for the voice pitch, you couldn’t tell the difference-they’re similar like that. Olamide merely delivered the chorus.

 

Skelembe All my expectations and high hopes was cruelly quelled when I heard this song produced by Don Jazzy, a song I had been looking forward to. He’s and Don’s collective effort isn’t what I expected by a mile. So disappointed, moving on.

Usain Bolt ft Lil kesh A laid back song you can bump your head to in your car maybe. The RnB beat calms the often rapid raging vocals from Olamide, although he is on some Usain Bolt P, he’s so fast and ahead of the game no one can touch him. Lil kesh’s performance once again begs the question, what’s next after shoki, shoki female version? Oh he done did it.

Oga Nla ft Pasuma Oga Nla which means biggest boss or a 5 star general, if we go by the speech delivered by the mock general at the opening of the song. Oga Nla is the street title bestowed on the silver tooted fuji artist Pasuma by fans. He did the chorus singing “won ni mo leru ku, mo ni disciples, Oga Nla” he sure does have goons and disciples.

In my circle ft Phyno Never change the winning formula. Yet again a well-played out Yoruba-Ibo rap. The ‘infamous’ collaborating duo Olamide/Phyno laid out rap verses on instrumentals sample from Drake’s the Motto.

Hustle Loyalty Definitely a high point on the album, the collaboration of the 2 most prolific Yoruba rappers. Reminisce, Olamide, form the Ibile united movement, and the winning; money, street credibility and popularity, it’s a take-over. Reminisce’s closing verse was the icing on the cake, linking a word to the next without a pausing to take a breath, breath taking. The chorus is surprisingly straight clean English.

Story for the gods and Goons mi were the promotional singles for the album, both already successful songs especially Goons mi. Such a shame Viktor and Kesh never fully exploited this album as an avenue to propagate their careers as having creative distinctions from Olamide’s.

Olamide further explores and expands on the use of his language to create rhymes with such audacity that only foster believe he is perhaps the best indigenous rapper Africa has to offer. The album is an 8 for me.

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