Illbliss bosses his way up to Nigeria's rap elite with '#Powerful'

With his third album, Ill Bliss a.k.a Oga Boss is putting his hat in the ring for the contest for Nigeria's best rapper... Apart from being his best work so far, this time around he has the arsenal to be mentioned amongst Nigeria's finest rap spitters.

 

Album - #Powerful

Artiste - Illbliss

Guest Appearances - Olamide, Peteru, Jaywilz, KCee, Ayoola, Chidinma, Mz. Kiss, Fefe, Cynthia Morgan, Mike Aremu, Stormrex, Ice Prince, Eva, Phyno

Producers- Legendury Beatz, Tony Ross, Young D, Peteru, Major Bangz, Beat-Maker Tunex, Tony Ross, Yung Tite and XYZ.

Record Label - Capital Hill Music/Goretti Company (2015)

Duration - 59 minutes

"Omo the swag is Abu Dhabi, the hustle Kamikaze" spits Illbliss into the microphone of the Capital Hill studio. This line which is now embedded into the track known as 'Many Men' featuring Wizkid off his latest album '' sums up Ill Bliss' mind state right about now.

With his third album, Ill Bliss a.k.a Oga Boss is putting his hat in the ring for the contest for Nigeria's best rapper. It's been a while coming for the Thorough Bred leader. Apart from being his best work so far, this time around he has the arsenal to be mentioned amongst Nigeria's finest rap spitters.

"Trafficante, I started from the bottom up/Now we balling with the cream of the fucking crop-Stop!/Can I make a little cocky speech" raps Illy on 'Munachimso' featuring Peteru (formerly known as Suspekt) and Jaywilz who sings a hustler's anthem hook filled with Igbo soul.

Horns blare and a vocal sample haunts on 'Chukwu Agozigo Gi' that has Illbliss paraphrases his come up with the brief but punchy narrative- "We dem boys/dem Igbo boys/came a long way from Coal City blocks to 1-G-4."

Infusing a lot more Igbo in his music to align with Tribal Hip Hop that is burning hot in Nigeria right now, Illy concocts the trap hustler gem known as 'Bank Alert'. It's hard not to see traders in Aba and 'Nna' traders nationwide not spraying money the Igbo way to this. In his entire discography this is Ill Bliss' best hustler track.

The big balling continues on the posse cut 'Finally!' featuring Peteru, Chidinma, Fefe and Mz. Kiss. Sometimes the lavish lifestyle he wants to paint might be a little bit over the top "this garage opens up to the other garage/then it opens up to the other inner garage/Oga boss is the largest/dine with the finest belly dancers from Morocco/we local/Iroko- we stand with authority" but you can't discard the feet shuffling factor of the track weaved together by Peteru.

Thematically materialism is the core of this album. And with money and big spending comes the bullets directed at the haters. Illbliss sends his new signee Mz. Kiss to harass the haters on 'Vex For Me' featuring Peteru. Her Yoruba style of rap is similar to that of Olamide- the reigning king of the streets.

Speaking of Baddo, he appears on the ill fated Young D produced Wtf! (remix). The original version was a miss and the remix follows suit. Also by the time you hit the second Tony Ross produced track 'Jamo' featuring Cynthia Morgan you get tired of the thumping bass line and whirling synths. Another misstep is 'L.O.V.E.Y.O.U.(Remix)' featuring KCee  and Ayoola that doesn't sound suited for this grandiose project.

Thankfully there are enough tracks to hide the cracks. Leaning on his purist foundation, Illbliss becomes introspective and highly thoughtful. The pounding 'Different Kind Of War' happens to be one of the best introspective song by a Nigerian rapper in recent times. With the opening line 'another bomb just went off, we are numb to this" Illbliss highlights our insensitivity to the plight of the nation.

The rising Igbo soul sub-genre shows up again on 'Uwa' featuring Stormrex. On this song Illbliss contemplates about the stress and hassles of being on top. "You're the man, you're the god, you're the myth/hypocrites all fall to your feet/but when it all falls down look around you" he says with a tone of inevitability about the fall of a king who believes in his own hype.

17 tracks long, '#Powerful' sees Illbliss confidently mounting the his position in Nigeria's rap game. By sticking to core theme and slimming down on the radio tracks, Illy Gatti produces the best rap album of his career that is technically and artistically strong. While we have two kings on a throne and an Alaga Ibile of rap, Illbliss is here to be the boss of Nigerian rap music.

Ratings Board

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

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