Archive for November, 2011

Album Review: E.L.I.

Never has my first listen of an album seem not so lightbulb an idea thanks, or no thanks, to the overwhelming backlash Panshak ‘Ice Prince’ Zamani received upon the release of his debut album ‘Everybody Loves Ice Prince’ just over a month ago.

Yes, the outpouring of emotions concerning an album tagged the rap book of bars to not spit for upcoming rappers kept me from bothering to get E.L.I. soon as it dropped. Same backlash I honestly had to find out for myself and concur with or otherwise, so here goes….

Following a string of successful guest appearances on tracks by his fellow Choc City mates and other Nigerian as well as some foreign artistes, expectation for Ice Prince’s maiden album consequently touched the clouds.

The former Jos resident decided to try pleasing everybody by putting together one too many sounds for our listening (dis)pleasure and this here’s my first grouse with E.L.I. Being a debut album, it would have been a whole lot better he stuck to the rap and hip hop genre rather than exploring what other talents lay inate. Such should only come after at least two highly successful albums in my opinion; Lagbaja a prime example and even he did so after six albums (I’m open to correction).

Next is the album’s title. Ever Lyrical Ice Prince is what I thought E.L.I. meant when the label let it be known that’s what the album’s title would be. Should’ve kept the original title he had in mind; the street he grew up in at Jos… understandable though, switching to E.L.I. following the messages he received when his mother died.

Then are the materials that made #IcePrinceBars a hashtag that stands for very lame bars. Truly, Ice spat a few here and there on the 17 track album that weren’t quite… *sigh*

“Can’t even ball cos these haters tryna deflate”… -__-. Some other ‘-_-‘ lines on the album include “I’m too big and my file never compress” -_-, “I spit too much I feel like I’m tongue-less.” -__- and the track, Magician I think, where I hear stuff about a she being ‘Inter Milan’?-___- but to all that, “Hate me? Watch my finger pop, no wicklow”.

Some other lines I’m willing to stand in the line of verbal bullets for though; meaning I like ’em, include “cos even when rain de fall we still drop sweat” just to emphasise on the hustle, “I’m balling like oh yea, homie call me la liga” and as if he knew what was coming, “If you fly too much they turn terrorists. If you try to shine too bright they turn eclipse”.

In all, la Liga disappointed as regards dabbling into other genres when I’d have preferred hearing him rather what he feels he ‘also’ can offer. Then those bars… -______-.

Ignoring that this is an album by a rap artiste however, a few of the sounds (excluding vocals) are enjoyable. Jesse Jagz went bonkers on the beat of ‘That Ni**a’. Pimple face (couldn’t help it) also delivered the goods on ‘Juju’ and of course ‘Superstar’ and definitely on ‘Oleku’ which, like it or really like it, is the biggest single of 2011 in Africa and that’s without taking to account the many remixes of it by ‘freestyle’ champions.

Samklef did good on the beat of ‘End of Story’ as did WizBoyy on ‘By This Time’ and to my utter surprise, M.I. on ‘Olofofo’ as well as ‘Remember’ and ‘Thank You’, which was co-produced with Chopstix.

Songs I can allow to take up megabytes on the system are Remember, Juju, Small Small, That Ni**a and Thank You. Of course, Oleku and Superstar have grown on a brother.

Rating: 2.8/5

1: Remember
2: Juju
3: Superstar
4: Magician ft Yung L & J Milla
5: Baby
6: Olofofo ft Wizkid
7: See Myself
8: Wassup Wassup ft 2face
9: Oleku ft Brymo
10: Find You
11: By This Time ft WizBoyy
12: Somebody Lied
13: Small Small ft Sean Tero
14: That Ni**a ft Morell
15: End of Story ft Samklef
16: Raindrops [It’s All Good]
17: Thank You ft Choc Boiz

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Debola had had enough of staring at his laptop screen. Made his neck crackle involuntarily before looking to the extreme right of the toolbar… it was nine minutes past wee hour one.

Made to shut his laptop down when the living room went dark. “No fucking way!!” he exclaimed to himself and watched helplessly as the HP died abruptly before its operating system had shut down.

He made a mental note to buy a new battery for it in the course of the coming day, just as he’d promised to in the last couple of months.

Stood from his work table; actually it was the dining table but his fingers tapped more on the keyboard than they held cutlery, and fumbled to the kitchen.

“Arrgh!!”… he’d pushed a stool with his shin. Ran his hand into his left pocket where h usually kept his phone… nothing! He’d left it at the table.

Tired from failed attempts at creating a proper line of words for the campaign his ad agency was working on, he traced his steps to the couch, got to the back of it and guided himself to a sleeping position on it.

At 6:37a.m., a snake, a cobra, young cobra but still, a cobra, crawled its vampiric coolness up the couch to the heat enticing it.

PHCN still hadn’t restored power and Debola, snoring lightly, was sweaty all over. It’d been a windless night and the cobra was now on his shin.

Debola didn’t feel the coolness crawling up. His subconscious was too busy in a fantasy that was about to end, evident in the erection. Actually it was the khaki pants he wore to sleep that kept the cobra’s move towards the kill unnoticed.

The cobra now was at the left pocket. The heat emitting from close by was too distracting. The cobra usually bit at the wrist of victims but Debola may be an exception.

It’s upper body rose gloriously. Fangs, thin, fragile looking yet poison laden fangs began to reveal themselves just as its neck widened… *fart*

Debola let it go, for four seconds. His pants soiled at that moment. He felt better without even knowing it.

The cobra had put out its tongue, and caught the gaseous commotion going on. “Not today” it hissed as it slipped down the couch and away.

Debola woke moments after, 6:51a.m. Got into rush mode soon as he realised the time. Traffic on 3rd Mainland was inevitable but still he hurried his preparation for another working day.

At 7:20, he stepped out of his ground floor apartment and stopped for a moment to see the mai-guard put something thin with shiny skin into a polythene bag, “U de sell snake now Dauda?” to which the gateman replied with a laugh.

The question was an inside joke, Dauda was known to sell weird stuff. Maybe he’ll use the skin to make a fancy belt and sell Debola thought as he walked briskly to the point he’d find an okada that’ll get him to the BRT terminus.

On the contrary, Dauda was going to extract oil from the cobra, the young cobra and sell to his friend who made hair creams…

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