I woke up one morning to rants and bants on my twitter page. A lot of distasteful comments were going viral about a supposed album that had been recently released. I checked to see which it was and I didn’t know whether i felt a pang of surprise or it was a positive wave of expectancy.
I knew about the album release. The media hype had raised its standard more than it should have but that is the work of the media anyway. The reactions however persuaded me to find out what the cause of the fury was and so I proceeded to listen to the album having bought it while wasting away precious time and energy in traffic.
Now I don’t understand a word Olamide says as I am not only not Yoruba but I’d have to first get past understanding the basic level of the language before I think of understanding the street aspect he raps with in his music. But there is one thing I know, and what most of his fans are angry about, and is that this isn’t the same Olamide flow we hailed and praised and were proud of from his previous album.
Olamide’s last two albums, YBNL and Baddest Guy Ever Liveth, were, if I have to say so myself (remember the line of total lack of understanding of the language), amazing. The delivery and disposition were intact. I could not only relate to some tracks such as the one that had Bez featured in, it was one of the albums I kept jamming in my car [and this is rare for Nigerian music].
So waking up to such harsh comments of his new body of work got me asking, what were his fans so angry about? From questions asked of his fans I know of, they didn’t like it at all. One particularly was completely livid. I’m sure if he could meet Olamide he would ask him, ‘How dare you betray we loyal fans with such rubbish?” To me, they still weren’t giving me something clear. One said, ‘it was a complete mess’, another via twitter was angry he even bought the CD at all.
Some were of the thought that they couldn’t relate anymore, that that artiste-fan relationship they had with the rapper was suddenly taking a left turn. They [his fans] are disappointed. They thought the album was crap to say the least. I personally think it’s a scam. Including two popular (normal) songs to be able to get people to buy it regardless, is a sham. You may not like the album’s remaining content but you would buy it because ‘Goons Mi’ and ‘Story For The Gods’ are in their save for the fact that you expected it to be in tow with what he has been producing so far.
So what was Olamide thinking? Olamide has come a long way in the music industry. Since his inception in 2011, it has been nonstop for the artiste, although his career wasn’t as visible during the reign of his first album due to the existence of (late) Dagrin. Just like the death of Biggie brought about Jay-Z current fame and solid ground in hip-hop, as much as Olamide wants to deny it, the death of the indigenous rapper brought forth to limelight the hidden talent that is Olamide. With the help of his manager and business partner of the label, Alex Ikemefuna, they both created a dynasty. A dynasty so large it couldn’t contain them anymore and they couldn’t handle the magnitude. Appearing at venues with a police escort even for events as mere as press conferences became a norm or maybe a necessity.
His popularity gained so much ground that everyone wanted him on their individual tracks. Featuring him almost made you as cool. He made every track he featured on brilliant. His collabo particularly with Phyno was exceptional [so much that they are coming up with an album in 2015]. Olamide became a household name. He became unstoppable, so much that coming up with a fourth album couldn’t have been a problem. After all, he has had one for each year since he’s been in the industry.*
What people do not understand is that this album is simply Olamide paying back respect to his street heritage. The street gave birth to him, the street made him. The lyrics to his songs revolve around street slangs and lingo. The songs you enjoy today from the previous three albums were berthed from the streets. This album was made for the street goons. Not you his everyday Range Rover drivers who think it is crap because it does not appeal to your fancy. But he somehow got you to buy it, what with the inclusion of two popular songs and his firm trust in your undying loyalty for him.
You see, the genius in the release of the Street OT is that Olamide has realized that he has gotten to the point where he can come out with an album, whether you think its crap or not, and it would still not affect his ratings in every aspect. That comfortability to put out whatever he wants with such boisterous confidence and still laugh all the way to the bank is sheer genius you have to admit.
He knows he is unbreakable at this point what with no concrete [reminisce to be precise] competition in sight; it is smooth sailing for the baddo. You might be pissed now but you would still save your quarter to get that 2 kings album come 2015.
*Side note- By the way, he did say he would release an album every year, be it crap or not, you might as well get used to it.