By Ayomide Tayo
Album – Baddest Guy Ever Liveth
Artiste – Olamide
Guest Appearances – Pheelz, Buckwyla, Ketchup, Ice Prince, Pepenazi, Endia, Viktoh, B.banks, Phyno, Pele Pele, and Bez.
Producer – Pheelz
Record Label – YBNL Nation
Rapper Olamide has entered the history books as one of two Nigerian rappers to release two full albums in one year (the other being Eedris Abdulkareem). His second album YBNL was released in November 2012. His follow up Baddest Guy Ever Liveth comes one year after his highly successful sophomore. As an indigenous rapper Olamide has managed to make himself the hottest rapper in a country with so many ethnic groups.
With the singles ‘Durosoke’ and ‘Turn Up’ burning hot on radio stations, the setting has been created for the rapper to make lightning strike in the same place twice. Unfortunately bolts of lightning are few and far in between on BGEL. Olamide is human after all and sounds exhausted on major parts of the album. On his previous effort, the former ID Cabasa protégé was barking, snapping and snarling on every track. On this project his bark has been mostly replaced by a drowsy flow.
The album starts on a promising note. Buckwyla, Pheelz and Olamide produce the chest thumping, hood repping track titled ‘Rep Adugbo’. ‘Anifowose’ which contains a great sample from K1 D Ultimate sees Olamide talk about his less than humble background.
They thought I will never make it to the top but that’s not fair/tori mummy wa o olowo, daddy wa o olowo/’cos he is from the house of pain, everyday na sorrow sing-raps Olamide on the most personal track on the album.
‘Skammer’ featuring Pele Pele lifts the pace of the project with its springy feel. Olamide tries his hands on singing and comes out with an admirable result on ‘Eleda Mi O’.
But all the momentum fizzles out thanks to later tracks that miss rather than hit- ‘Badoo Love’, ‘Position Yourself’ and ‘Gbadun Arawa’ are tracks that indicate that Olamide is just running through the paces and not delivering anything fresh and stimulating. It’s really obvious that he is spent when you hear his average verse and lazy hook on ‘Motivation’ featuring Ice Prince, Endia and Pepenazi. A year ago Olamide would have chewed this song but this time around he only nibbles. He also misses another great chance on ‘Church’ featuring Viktoh which sees him using a loose flow that doesn’t grip the mind and ears of the listener.
Olamide shows glimpses of his past form on ‘Sitting On the Throne’. ‘I’m sitting on the throne- I’m a young man in a grown body/I’m sitting on the throne I ain’t got beef with nobody’ raps the baddest guy on the hook as he asserts himself on the Nigerian rap throne. ‘Sitting On the Throne’ reminds you of why Olamide is number one in the country. Olamide continues his imperial reign on ‘King Shii’. Even though his bark has gone down a notch, the rapper still manages to come correct on this song that helps him stamp his regime in Nigeria’s rap scene.
On a dark trap beat inspired by the Maybach Music sound Olamide rises up on ‘Rayban Abacha’ as he takes shots at his detractors and haters. The final track on the album is ‘Higher’ featuring Bez. The track aims to close the LP on a high and spiritual note. The song isn’t goose pimple inducing and doesn’t take you out of this world. The problem with this song underlines the basic fault of BGEL. Most of the songs on the project are okay but not great which is a letdown judging from Olamide’s last project and current standing in the music game.
BGEL is a less inspired version of YBNL constructed by a rapper that is creatively low at the moment. The album is also too long with 18 tracks. Thematically there are a lot of rehashed topics on the project that is why it is not surprising that the best tracks are the ones where Olamide talks about being on the throne. Everything else has been heard before in finer detail.
Still we must applaud Olamide for the brave effort. Even with its flaws, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth proves that hard work does pay off. With this third album Olamide is undoubtedly the baddest rapper in Nigeria even though he is tired.