CONFESS by CityMonstar is cool, groovy and veers from something in between Reggae and whatchamacallit. Full of praises for a love interest of his CONFESS speaks of her as ‘the special one’, ‘the hottest one’ who does as much as ‘fcuk with his brain’. Sizzling closing beats on that, CityMonstar garnishes that one real bad like a celebrity chef of sorts.
Seeing as we’ve heard his Confessions of her and all; wonder boy Zamani takes things a step further, with talks of his wanting to make her official. MARRY YOU sits on some DreyBeatz instrumentation, the sound of which earns this one of the cleanest cuts on the EP. African beats and some visceral sounds envelope this one; original effort, interesting sequence, it feels good hearing the momentum build with each new track off Trash Can.
Ice is damn strategic, as we close this second track we see exactly how he has these things in place seeing as this is February and a little something for the lovebirds won’t hurt. Next up is NOBODY, an exquisitely masterful TMXO production that Iceprince wastes on some themeless mishmash. Only in the closing 30 seconds do we start to hear something of ‘worthwhileness’. Whispers of vainglory and braggadocio coat this one and there is nothing of particular sparkle on it lyrically but the production expertise. Ice seems lost on this direction-wise. Only on the 03:10 mark does he find his bearing again… Sad.
TMXO is a beast for this next one. Goddamn! MUTUMINA is some indigenously-crafted brilliance that rests on Ice’s ability to swing the pendulum between full paced hip hop and some singing. The 00:44 mark where the phrase “Walahi talahi zabudi Allahi Ododja Mutumina” pops up doesn’t exactly say much for non-Northerners (like me) but it appears an encomium of sorts for Alhaji Mutumina, a figure the Choc Boy obviously holds in esteem. Magical stuff, indigenous, tailor-made musical excellence; the strength of this would be how there isn’t so many wordings on the cut so that we can savor the dopeness that is TMXO.
ELEGUSHI is perhaps the one dance track off this Project that brings to mind Ice’s effortlessness at making all such type stuff. JoulesDaKid and T’Skeek help notch things on this 5th cut off Trash Can but in all there isn’t really much lyrically still. Okay, perhaps we should tag this as the one song with the most propensities to smash through the club speakers and raze dance floors. ONE DAY is lovely, high-spirited and things. He speaks with so much sanguineness on this, a few mentions of his boys and how much he yearns for their accomplishments.
In all, this definitely adds some points to the Choc Boy’s score sheet, even though after all said; he coulda raised the bar some more in aspects of lyrical depth, composition and artistic ingenuity. One listens to the EP and wonders if Ice Prince ever really thinks of going hard on his hip hop grind; from a lyrical view point, that is. You see, it is okay to water down the flows so that the music reaches a larger, more diverse audience base. The problem, however, lies in the inability to step sh*t up on Projects as Trash Can, and this is a sad shame. Iceprince is slowly pulling a Wiz Kid on us, and it’s a mess altogether.
Even Jude Abaga, his Label mate (cum boss given his VP position at Chocolate City) doesn’t deliver that ‘piss-poorly’. MI would dumb down heavily on an album for market reasons and be quick to revitalize on a mixtape because there’s a need to continually, persistently satisfy craving millions. This is where Ice has (just) failed. Hip hop is ingrained; it is a culture, a way of life, a movement. Above all, it is an expression tool.
Ice Prince doesn’t address any strong socio-economic issues on this EP, he doesn’t go hard on the bars, all he does is sing through Trash Can, which in itself is some garbage. At some point, we could be forced to benchmark him with someone in the mould of a Sean Tizzle or Wande Coal; but we already know how that ends, because in all truthfulness, Ice can only thrive so far in the teeming world of Nigerian Pop Music.
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