No, this is not a write-up about music piracy and related issues plaguing the ‘industry’. For the more discerning readers, this is not another album review because an album review would be critical, objective in analysis and would definitely identify a couple of points by which the work in review could be better. This is more like a biased outpour of adulation from a fan. I jettison restraint as I write this; going by the words of the great poet, Kanye West: “If you admire somebody you should go on ahead tell ’em, people never get the flowers while they can still smell ’em.”
In case you are still wondering, I’m talking about two of the albums I played (almost) everyday throughout last year. The albums are from the same artist; one is actually a mixtape, which I downloaded free via notjustok.com and the other is a debut album which I had someone send to me from Nigeria. Yes, you guessed right, I’m talking about ‘Talk About It’ and ‘iLLegal Music’ by M.I (who – in my opinion – is the most talented music artist in Nigeria at the moment). Indulge me as I use this medium to ‘gush over’ the two awesome works of this great short black dude, Ok? Thank you.
Talk About It
This album basically touched on every subject I would look for in a complete rap playlist. On this album, we have songs about politics (and outcry against the corrupt authorities), money, hustle, God, the rapper himself and his lyrical skills, getting high (although not particularly on any illegal substance), we even got a love song; which in my biased opinion, is the best track on the album. Music for the party people was not left out; everybody got something on this excellently packaged album. Even the president aptly said ‘Dem go peel am!’ And we are still peeling it.
So where do I start from? Which of the tracks do I begin to extol/
Should I start with the kick-a$$ production of ‘Anoti’ and the fact that I can’t help but start nodding my head when it comes on? Or you would rather I start with ‘Teaser’; the more refreshing dancehall tune with the five-star general Pype doing what he does best? I could even start writing an epistle on the relevance of the ‘Talk About It’ track, the clever lyrics, wordplay and poignant message. A lot can also be written about ‘Safe’, where Mister Incredible showed us how incredible he could be with apt juxtaposition of words, pulling lines from various popular Nigerian hit songs to make a greater hit song. I won’t even mention what Djinee did on the track, is it ‘safe’ to call it a classic? What shall I then say about ‘Blaze’; which is not your normal ‘getting high’ song, should I begin to rant about how IcePrince, Jagz and Blaise all kilt it? I won’t even talk about ‘Short Black Dude’; a sick tune that could be used for sicker things. Perhaps I could kick-off with ‘Area’ and then ‘Fast Money, Fast Cars’ featuring YQ and our own Justin Bieber(?) respectively, you can’t imagine the number of quotes I’ve stolen from the latter track.
I can write a lot about another favorite track of mine; ‘Jehovah’, I had the complete lyrics up in my head at a point in time. Should I start with ‘Hustle’? Should I start with the beat, the flow or how much the lyrics ‘ginger’ me anytime I hear them, reminding me of where I’m from and how much distance I need to go? I could also start talking forever about ‘Money’, which according to another highly esteemed rapper ‘one of the greatest songs I’ve heard in my life’; I can’t even begin to write about how much I love this track without taking forever. Ha! Forever!? I could take forever telling you about how much I’m in love with everything about this ‘Forever’ song (which is my best on the album), but I won’t.
My point actually is; I have no idea of which track to talk about first in an album where I sometimes put the last (appreciation) track on repeat, yeah ‘Thank You’s and Ova Ish’ is even that good!! Alas! Time and space would not permit me to really talk about the TALK ABOUT IT album, but I hope you get the general idea of how I feel about all the tracks on this beautiful work of art.
This is the most played collection album (mixtape) in my music library.
This is the best album mixtape I have ever heard.
I just played through the mixtape again right now so I could accurately capture my thoughts on paper MS Word, but if I go ahead and pour out what I really feel about iLLegal Music, you might probably begin to think (if you haven’t already) that I’m being paid to write this, or I’m just a pretty good ki$$A$$. So here I go, putting my admiration mildly.
I think the first track is genius; a love song for rap (?) Beautiful music. I can play it forever.
Equally awesome are tracks 2 & 3, great work with the Gnarls Barkley’s Pen and Snoop Dogg’s Drop it Like It’s Hot samples. Space would not permit me to quote some of my favorite lyrics from these tracks, the flow with the delivery; everything is so on point!
I don’t need to tell you about track 4; the classic Gbona Feli Feli freestyle. You already know. The beastly Don Jazzy beat was totally murked!
I was pleasantly surprised to get a Simon Webb sample on track 5, I simply love it. Kanye’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing sample (track 6) was also appropriately dealt with. I have a friend that puts the first 23 seconds of this remake on replay. ‘I got J-town right behind me…’
Track 7 (Feeling Good) is my second best track on the mixtape; the beat does good to my soul. Pheroshuwz held his own on the track, his delivery was tight. I need not talk about M.I’s; short black dude is always on point.
I love track 8, a sample of JayZ’s 99 Problems. I don’t know what exactly about this one but it feels so heartfelt (if you would allow me).
I like the laid back tune of track 9 (A sample of Nine Horses’ The Darkest Birds?), the flow on this is just so smooth. I don’t have much to say about track 10; except that I prefer this version to the original Lil’ Wayne’s.
I remember arguing with a couple of guys about track 11 (Beautiful sample), they refused to believe a Nigerian produced and recorded this sample, even when I got double confirmation from credible sources. Need I say more?
Pause here. If you’ve never heard track 12, go online and download this mixtape FAST! After that, put on your headphones and play the 12th track. Feel some good music!! This is undoubtedly the best track on the mixtape. One of the first songs I look for when I’m not in a bright mood.
Track 13 is a sample of JayZ’s Roc Boys from the American Gangster album; the choc boys came on and did what they do best! Heavy tune.
The mixtape ended (sadly) with track 14. (Why must all good things come to an end?) It also featured the choc boys and was appropriately ‘rapped up’ by Mister Incredible himself.
There you go. I just Talk(ed) About (It) iLLegal Music.