Sunday, February 9, 2020
Earlier today,February 9, 2020, legendary Nigerian rapper, Olamide announce his new album, ‘999’ which will be release tomorrow, February 10, 2020 at 9pm.
The album will see Olamide get credited as a producer on an album for the first time. The album which has 10 tracks will feature Phyno, Rhatti, Show, Cheque, Jayboi, Sosa-E and Jackwillz. Incidentally, it will be Olamide’s 10th studio album.
Production is handled by Olamide, Cracker Mallo, Pheelz, Eskeez and ID Cabasa. The album is mixed and mastered by budding engineer, STG. Since the news went live, Twitter has gone wild. Here are some talking points from and reactions to the album;
1) Olamide and ID Cabasa: An affair of producers
In 2018, ID Cabasa was interviewed by THE NATION.
During that interview, he discussed how he found Olamide as a 14-year-old boy who came into the studio to record with his friend. One thing led to another, Olamide jumped on the mic that day and Cabasa saw something. He then told the young man to keep coming back to the studio.
When Coded Tunes officially became a record label, Olamide, Seriki and Kayefi were the first artists to be signed to the label. But since Olamide left the label after his first album, Rapsodi, Cabasa has produced on all of Olamide’s solo albums except Lagos Nawa. This time, he returns as a producer.
Coincidentally, his former protege who has a legit claim to being Nigeria’s greatest rapper ever is also credited as a producer for the first time. He co-produces ‘No Time,’ the album’s opening track with Eskeez. It shows a willingness an humility to evolve. One can’t say that about a lot of Nigerian artists.
2) Showcasing new acts
As Olamide rapped on his 2012 album, YBNL, he is the ‘Voice of The Streets.‘ For some reason, his record label which coincidentally carries the acronym on which that song is situate is also known for showcasing some incredible talent. Over the past 10 years, Olamide has blessed Nigerian mainstream with some immense talents while showcasing others who need a spotlight.
On his new album, 999, Olamide will shine the spotlight on artists like Rhatti, Show, Cheque, Jayboi, Sosa-E and Jackmillz. It’s interesting that Naira Marley and Zlatan are not on the album. Olamide also shines the spotlight on producer, Eskeez.
In a lot of way, it’s like his 2014 album Street OT which showcased Lil Kesh, Chinko Ekun, B-Banks, Viktok and Chuka.
3) Artwork and perfect timing
The artwork for Olamide‘s new album is quite impressive. The comic-based style of artwork was first seen when Olamide released his single, ‘Spirit’ in April 2019.
It’s also impressive that Olamide is dropping this surprise album at the start of the year. He will share the spotlight with no big wigs and enjoy all the buzz.
4) The legend of Olamide and what to expect
999 will be Olamide’s 10th studio album in 10 years. That’s a peerless run for a mainstream artist and his consistency is Rihanna-Drake-esque. By his reputation, 2019 was a quiet year where he barely had hits at his usual level. So, this album is quite important.
From the look of things, Olamide might be about to drop what ‘Hip-Hop heads’ call a ‘proper Hip-Hop album.’ With the features, it feels like we will have an album filled with rap gems and some dance tracks. If I’m right and the album is a ‘proper Hip-Hop album,’ then it’s perfectly timed. Olamide is becoming a veteran and the timing is right.
If the album is good, Olamide will be fine and it will be the completion of the process we saw on Street OT. But if it flops, there will be problems.
Nonetheless, this writer hopes Olamide goes on a press run for the album – it’s a surprise. He needs to push it and document the process. Olamide needs to do more interviews. He might be about to become the greatest Nigerian rapper ever.