Album- Eyan Mayweather
Olamide has been knocked out on 'Eyan Mayweather'
Olamide doesn't deliver a knock out punch with his latest album
Producer- B. Banks, Pheelz, Young John, and I.D Cabasa
Record Label- YBNL (2015)
Duration- 1 hour, 18 minutes
For four years Olamide has been on an unprecedented run.
It all started in 2011 with his raw and unpolished debut album ''. The following year the kid from the slums of Bariga snatched rap music from the established Hip Hop kings with his dazzling street oriented sophomore '' in 2012.
In 2013, he slaughtered pretenders to his throne with his third album ''. In his tradition of dropping an album every year, Olamide released '' in 2014 where he flaunted the strength of his YBNL Empire.
In April 2015 he solidified his alliance with the King of the East Phyno with the history making collaborative LP . The album was no , and even though a few cracks appeared it was enough to allow Olamide have the rap game in the chokehold.
Through sweat, hard work, tenacity and ambition, Olamide has been at the summit of the Nigerian rap game since 2012. Largely responsible for the explosion of indigenous rap, Olamide’s street raps delivered in Yoruba has made him unrivalled.
Hence that’s why his latest and fifth solo album '' is inspired by the undefeated achievements of boxing champion, the flashy and cocky Floyd Mayweather.
This album however is not a victory for Olamide. In his latest effort, the rapper comes up against his greatest foe yet, himself, and gets defeated.
In his usual manner this new LP is lengthy, 21 tracks spanning 1 hour, 18 minutes. While Olamide has been able to get away with the excessively high amount of songs on his past albums, he can’t wiggle out this time.
Surprisingly after so many albums, Olamide has refused to grow past his primary subject matter of hustle, hustle, and more hustle. On this album he is a king whose state of mind has refused to grow to accommodate his vast empire.
With a repetitive theme that is boring and nauseous, Olamide loses the interest of the listener very quick.
The album opens up with ‘Eyan Mayweather’ which sees Olamide banging his chest about his recent historic accomplishment- sold out shows in Lagos, London, America and Malaysia. Let’s take a minute to applaud him world conquering efforts.
He quickly follows up the Pheelz produced track with ‘Inferiority Complex’ (another Pheelz joint) which is a groovy Afrobeat based song. On the chorus he advises people with problems to leave everything to God- an obvious subject matter but Olamide’s Afrobeat crooning makes it enjoyable.
Eyan Mayweather sadly loses the plot from here on, as early as the third track titled ‘Don’t Stop’. The song suffers from childish production and the usual ‘ass’ talk, a subject matter that Olamide can no longer possibly offer anything new on.
The misfiring tracks come quick and fast after this. The B. Banks produced song ‘Where The Man’ has Olamide flirting a little bit with dancehall. With a limp chorus and a punch line like “Charlie make dem lock up/I no dey show Messi no be world cup” the song is skippable.
‘Igara’, ‘Boom Boom Boom’ and ‘Ball’ don’t do this album any favours. The chorus of the latter song is a copy of T.I’s hit ‘Ball’. On the song ‘Boom Boom Boom’ Olamide sings out these corny lines- “I’m the future no Ciara/I hit the nail on the head-MC Hammer.”
On ‘Be Happy’ which samples ‘Pon De Floor’ by Major Lazer, Olamide aimlessly raps on a beat. While he has the courage for trying a new sound, the end result shouldn't have made the album.
For a rapper who reps the hood and has goons, Olamide flirts a lot with too much of contemporary Highlife singing on this project. He has always done this on his other albums, but this time around he doesn’t have the hits or bangers to justify his foray into the land of non-rap commercial success.
Yes the singles ‘Bobo’ and ‘Melo Melo’ are hits, but the remaining non-rap tracks weigh down the album considerably.
On ‘Say Something’ he sings in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa to try and catch that national appeal but his crowd pleasing effort doesn’t score him a hit. 'Matters Arising', 'Mama Mi', and 'Toriomo' are examples of Olamide’s crooning got bad.
Besides the theme flaw, another drawback on 'Eyan Mayweather' is that there are no guest appearances. On his past albums, Olamide still had enough fuel in him to power his albums. Last year he featured his YBNL princes on Street OT which energized him into delivering his trademark bars.
Olamide is not emotionally layered enough to carry a whole album by himself. His solo effort is not thought provoking or introspective enough to hold you spellbound. Even when he tries to go personal and reminisce about his mother on ‘Mama Mi’ it doesn’t strike a chord. La familia materials like this have been covered in more vivid and moving details on past songs such as ‘Anifowose’ on , and ‘1999’ on Street OT.
The production on this LP also falls short. Olamide’s longtime producer Pheelz who handles majority of the production has exhausted himself creatively. It is clear that both rapper and producer need some time out.
The two last tracks ‘Jega’, and ‘OGWaheedee’, are cuts that show Olamide at his best, but songs like these are very few on the album.
It’s been a great run for Olamide, five solo albums in five years is the stuff of legends. A classic album is also a feature of rap legends. With 'Eyan Mayweather' Olamide has not scored one, and unless he re-invents himself his stellar career might be short of a classic.
Nigeria’s rap Mayweather has been knocked out in Round 5. Can he get up and defeat his biggest foe, himself? Well, we have to watch, and see but I won’t bet against him.
The legend of Olamide continues…
1-Dull2-Boring2.5-Average3-Worth Checking Out3.5-Hot4-Smoking Hot4.5-Amazing5-Perfection
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