Album – InsulinArtiste – ModenineGuests – Maka, Amuta, Rockstar, Jeremiah Gyang, Holster, Elom 20ce, DJ Raiko, Mike Aremu, Nuel, Tonie The Emperor, Producers – Teckzilla, Chordless, Black Intelligence, Dominant One, Jonah The Monarch, XYZ, Raz One, Doc Def, Pherowshuz, BlaiseRecord Label – Red Eye Music (2016)Duration – 75 Minutes

With the attention gotten by these New-Age rappers and the genre-fusion of Hip-hop with African pop music, it’s easy to forget that ‘the real Hip-hop’ exists far from the spotlights on blogs, the charts that inundate the media. Generally regarded as non-commercial Hip-hop, with sullen dramatic sonics, and incisive subject matter – protest art, knowledge, and the vagaries of existence. This Hip-hop, once underground, then mainstream, now respected, is still buzzing amongst the Hip-hop heads, and Modenine is its king.

With over 15 years of pure genius in his belt, Modenine is an almanack of Nigerian Hip-hop, music and everything about the music business and how the industry was grown and shaped. The most decorated artiste of the Headies (7 Lyricist On The Roll awards) and the man is credited with taking underground Hip-hop to mainstream, via his penchant for wordplay, storytelling, social commentary, humour, wit.

41 years and still pushing, Modo dropped a string of albums and mixtapes from the turn of the new millennium down to 2010. A 3-year break was observed before the return with (2013) with XYZ, and  2014’s   2016 has had the rapper continue his album culture with the release of this 21-tracker; “”.

The album finds Modenine in all shades of Modenine; squaring with life away from the pop road now travelled by many, and the dynamics of life. He’s the polimaf, the king of these rappers, the Zen master, an elder statesman, and the man who’s bringing back Hip-hop on the opening title track ‘Insulin’. He speaks about the wrong perception of his craft by the media and social commentators.

There’s the superior classic storytelling on ‘Open your eyes’, as the song swells with grief for two brothers and the pressures of lifetime dreams. ‘My country’ mirrors through music, the discontent that exists in the hearts of the citizens, a collaboration with Amuta and Rockstar.

‘Same girl’ wittily explores the consistency of female demands in a relationship, even as it hints that Modenine is fed up of the materialism that rules social conversations. He follows this with a personal example of this on ‘Bye Felicia’, lending a romantic tension to the project.

Wrestling with his role in the industry, he asserts his brilliance and industry relevance on ‘No matter what’ (“Legendary Mode, that’s what I’m blessed to be, but they trying to force me out like some refugee, ain’t nobody rescue me…”). There’s an entire track dedicated to the ‘Police’ and their excesses in the streets.

Modenine maintains consistency, blending menace, wit, and sly comedy with punctuations, laughs, grunts and a cocktail of backup expressions, which make for a holistic experience of music and rap.

The occasional lumbering production job, and a monotony of topics remains the album’s main stumbling block. But Modenine stays true to his message, as perhaps the last-standing Hip-hop purist that Nigeria possesses and ought to revere. 41 years and still grinding, Modenine’s story gets another chapter.

Rating:  4/5

Ratings

1-Dull2-Boring2.5-Average3-Worth Checking Out3.5-Hot4-Smoking Hot4.5-Amazing5-Perfection