odunsi

Maison2500’s Video For ‘Dirty Fanta’ With Odunsi Features Cameos From Deto & Teezee

Maison2500 has been the name on everyone’s lips for the past two weeks. The rapper starred in the highly celebrated DRB Lasigi debut album “Piooners”, delivering a stunning apperance on the Genio-produced ‘Salty’ alongside Santi. That same day, Maison2500 also released his new 5-track EP titled “Turnpike”, and it proved to be a very timely release. For everyone whose first encounter with the rapper was the DRB album and asking who this guy was, he had a whole new material out to provide the answers.

But that wasn’t all. Just about a couple of weeks after their duet on ‘Dirty Fanta’, Maison and Odunsi(The Engine) reunited on two tracks on the latter’s surprise EP, “Everything You Heard Is True”. It almost seems that you can’t escape his voice this month.

And yesterday, one of Maison’s dreams came true as the visuals for his EP closer, ‘Dirty Fanta’, premiered on Fader. The video which was shot with an iPhone also features cameos from Teezee and Deto, who is currently riding on the reins of her standout feature on ‘Body Count’, the empowering anthem on Odunsi’s new tape. Directed by Chuwkwa Nwobi the video plays true to the record as a theme song for hedonism. Maison and Odunsi can be seen having a crazy night out in Lagos, hanging out with friends at the beach, games centres and a nighttime cruise.

Enjoy the video below.

Odunsi Releases New Surprise EP, “Everything You Heard Is True”

Odunsi (The Engine) has released a new project with only a moment’s notice, only announcing it just a couple of hours before it’s release. This serves as an appetizer to help hold us down as he continues work on his anticipated sophomore album. Titled “Everything You Heard Is True”, this serves as Odunsi’s first project since his 2018 debut album “rare.”

“so here’s the thing. i definitely need more time with the album. last year has been a rollercoaster i’m sure you guys could feel it. but i have a gift for u and i. because we deserve it. and it’s time to have a lil fun” he shared on Twitter. Odunsi, therefore, presents “Everything You Heard Is True” as a peace offering, and lovers of his music are ready to receive it with their full arms stretched.

This new EP contains just seven tracks, featuring appearances from Maison2500, Amaarae, Deto Black and Gigi Atlantis. For this project, Odunsi omits all his previous releases, including the Tems-assisted ‘Decided’ which he released just about a month ago.

This is a record he dedicates to anyone that is battling with anything in their lives and dealing with loads of anxiety. “It’s about fighting death in sleep” he explains.

Enjoy the new EP above and let us know what you think.

Tay Iwar’s New Project Is Just Ten Days Away

Two weeks ago, Tay Iwar and Le Mav gave us a taste of what they have been cooking for some time now. After teaming up on ‘Stranger‘ and ‘Fools‘ off Tay Iwar’s debut “Gemini” album, the pair have taken their undeniable chemistry further by recording a joint project “Gold.” This is upcoming EP of which the recently released ‘Golden‘ is the lead single. And now, it appears the EP already has a release date.

Yesterday, a fan on Twitter appealed to Tay Iwar for an album before the end of the year and Tay Iwar replied “🤞🏾 13/12/2019” which is perceived to be the release date for his imminent joint project with Le Mav.

Earlier this year, Tay Iwar released his stellar debut album “Gemini.” This is a 16-track R&B and Soul project that featured appearances from Santi, Preye Itams, Odunsi (The Engine) and brother, Sute Iwar.

One Year After: Revisiting M.I Abaga’s “Yxng Dxnzl”

In 2018, M.I was on a self-imposed rescue mission. Alongside his labelmates Loose Kaynon, A-Q and Blaqbonez, the famed rap messiah set on a noble quest to force a re-awakening for Nigerian hip-hop; a once-celebrated genre now relegated to the backgrounds.

Probably taking a cue from the Kanye-led 5-album Wyoming releases, these rappers united under the acronym L.A.M.B — coined out from the first letters from their names — to stage a series of back-to-back album releases in August 2018, all executive-produced by M.I. Tagged the LAMB August, albums “Crown“, “Yung Denzl” and “Bad Boy Blaq” were the tools with which these rappers sought to restore and ensure the survival of the waning culture. 

Exactly a year ago today, we got our hands on the long-teased fourth studio album by Mr Incredible, “A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl,” the second offering in the string of the LAMB August rollout. But that was not his only release last year. 

Just a few months earlier, M.I had released a highly collaborative surprise ‘playlist’ titled “Rendezvous,” featuring an all-star cast of AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Wande Coal, Ghost (SDC). It also introduced us to talents like Chillz, Santi, Odunsi, Moelogo and others. This dual release in 2018 was perhaps in celebration of the tenth anniversary of his 2008 classic, “Talk About It,” his highly successful debut album which many claims to have ‘democratized’ Nigerian hip-hop.

A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl” would be the first of a said three-album series that would include yet-to-be-released LPs, “A Study of Love” and “A Study of Society”. However, despite the anticipation for the project, the exhilaration surrounding it faded rather quickly for a project of such quality. This could have been as a result of the fact that unlike his last two albums, “Yung Denzl” did not rely on pop or radio-friendly formulas as he explored and experimented new sonic complexities on the album. Also, regardless of the laudable acclaim it got from critics, a huge number of listeners found it a bit too sombre, with some dismissing it as “TED Talk music“. 

The promotion for the album was also rather deficient – perhaps in an effort not to eclipse “Crown” and “Bad Boy Blaq” given his huge star power- such that even a year later, we still haven’t gotten any visuals off the project despite rumours of its existence. 

This, however, takes nothing from the brilliance of the project. A well-timed release, M.I used the tape to lend his voice to the growing awareness about mental health and self-awareness. Across ten songs, the rapper explored several layers of self-doubt, low self-esteem and even more extremely, depression that many youths are battling in silence. And even a year later, this album is still as relevant as ever, still sparking conversations in several corners. It might not seem like much, but the album is doing its bit.

He passed his messages not only through verses and hooks but also with fiery monologues and therapy sessions alongside the music to get his message across. Soundbites from his therapy sessions were prevalent throughout the album often coming at the end of a track, serving as a prelude to another. By putting his vulnerability out there, he shows fans and listeners that it’s okay to seek help when you need it.

For most of “Yung Denzl,” M.I works with a wealth of young talents, shedding the spotlight on these acts and in turn tapping into their talents, sound and raw energy. A number of them like Odunsi, Lady Donli and Tay Iwar have gone on to drop their debut albums over the past year.

“Do you know who you are?” a gruff voice asks, questioning our sense of identity to open the project. Sticking to a simple rhyme scheme, M.I further charges the black man to begin his journey to self-awareness and discovery.

On songs like ‘Last Night I Had A Dream’, ‘Stop Never Second Guess Yourself’ and ‘I Believe In You‘, M.I is concerned about our self-confidence, repeatedly nudging us to let go of our insecurities and self-doubt and find comfort in our skin.

Love Never Fails‘ reflects on missteps taken to check mental health in this part of the world largely as a result of culture and religion-induced ignorance.

Perhaps the most pop-leaning record on the album, ‘+/-‘ finds M.I alongside Odunsi and Lady Donli -new-gen frontliners- ridding themselves of all negativity vibes, focusing solely on the positives. 

In full elder statesman mode, M.I attempts to force a change with ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up’, fuming at the sorry state of the art. And say what you will about this record, it’s inarguable that it defibrillated a pulse back into the Nigerian hip-hop scene howbeit temporal.  

The penultimate track, ‘Self Evaluation Over Yxng Dxzl’ is the perhaps the standout cut off this project. Over a gloomy instrumental,  M.I drowns in darkness, picking up escapist vices to numb the pain. He does a good job taking a first-person narrative on the song putting himself in the shoes of a depressed creative, despite revealing that he actually hasn’t had a personal experience.

Picking up where he left off on ‘Everything’ off “Illegal Music 3“, M.I in ‘Do Not Be a Groupie‘ emphasises the importance of loyalty while decrying the deterioration of the virtue in today’s world, an issue he still touched on in his verse on SDC‘s ‘Respect, Loyalty and Honour‘.

It’s been one year since the “Yung Denzl” dropped and it’s still as relevant as ever. The LAMB August releases might not have saved Nigerian hip-hop but with this album, the legacy-focused veteran did something much more remarkable. In his mature and most refined self, he contributed to the growing awareness about our psychological well-being, a theme that rappers have come to be more open about this past year.  It is therefore needless to say that while Yung Denzl might not be his best or most popular album, it is by far the most important.

Odunsi (The Engine) Releases Cameo-Packed Video For ‘Star Signs’

Odunsi(The Engine) has finally released the official music video for ‘star signs’, one of the highlights off his debut album “rare.” This record which features a guest verse from Runtown finds both singers croon about their preferences and how they love their women.

Odunsi had earlier released a lyric video for the song a few months back, but now the amazing record has eventually gotten the accompanying visuals it truly deserves. This release makes it the third official video off “rare.”, having earlier released the video for ‘falling’ and ‘alte cruise‘, a bonus track on the album.

The Candles-directed video finds Odunsi in a white shiny attire giving a mock live performance with a guitar in hand at a Zodiac-themed owambe party. The video is no doubt a celebration of fashion, expression, music and of course star signs.

Although the featured act, Runtown was a no-show, the video features cameo appearances from Santi, Tomi Thomas, Teezee, GMK and others.

Enjoy the video above.

The Nigerian Music Landscape: Survival or Immortality?

“Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” – Jimmy Smith (Drake’s ‘Pound Cake’ Intro)

 

Today, we have a defiant breed of young creatives in Nigeria and across Africa challenging the status quo. Despite industry pressures, these acts seem focused on crafting their stories, ideas, feelings and experiences into melodies that a lot of their peers can relate with.  Not the extravagant wealth splashes and materialist bluster that characterises the majority of our pop records today, but baring their soul, fears, aspirations, concerns, insecurities on records. Even when they make ‘feel-good’ or dance music, it is creatively packaged and executed that it sounds so lively and fresh. When they sing about love, they view the banal theme from varying lenses, expressing it in such a way that it doesn’t feel bland and bloated.

It’s quite amazing that most of these guys are unsigned and independent yet they still put out so much music. Labels understandably care more about the financial returns than the purity of the art because these labels are businesses, with aims to make profits. And many have not found viable ways to market and monetize these sounds so they simply focus on the pop cash-cows.

In comparison to their colleagues and counterparts in the pop world, many view this breed of artistes as fools. Why make good or healthy music when you can just give the people what they want. People want to escape their present realities and just have a good time.

Some might even say, “Why spend so much time and energy creating songs that might not even sell in this market, when you can easily hop on the latest dance trend, get a banging beat and just spill out whatever comes to your mind. It’s not like these people listen anyway. They just want to dance and have a good time, that’s all.”

A sad truth about this set of artists is that they might not record mainstream commercial success throughout their careers. They might remain opening acts for the bigger pop stars and scramble for the feeds that fall off the table of these stars.

The quest for survival has made some dabble into pop music for relevance; seeking ways to create pop records that people can easily dance to all while still staying through to their art. Another survival tactic for some is to collaborate with the pop stars and meet them halfway sonically so they can tap into each other’s audiences. However, some want to make pop records but they just can’t. They are simply not just wired that way.

A number have also managed to successfully shuffle between day jobs and their music careers, thereby making enough to survive and fund their passion while doing what they love on the side.

But one thing is certain: good music never truly dies. They are often re-lived even generations after through samples, interpolations, and mixes. Sometimes, young artists turn to the sounds of the past for inspiration. For instance, Odunsi‘s beautiful “rare.” was hugely inspired by 80’s music. Falz‘s critically acclaimed “Moral Instruction” was also heavily influenced by Fela‘s music. Many other Nigerians from Wizkid to Burna Boy have constantly talked about how much Fela helped to shape their music.

Even the African pop sound is named after Fela’s Afrobeat. News and videos have also surfaced of American artists such as Diddy, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Common, Joe Budden vibing to Fela’s music. His music has also been sampled by  Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, two of the biggest rappers in the game at the moment.

But Fela wasn’t always seen as the hero he is today. While he was alive, many brushed his music asides as grating and unmelodious with his lyrics poor in poetry. Others felt he was too preachy and saw him as a noisemaker with utopian ideals. Some were also displeased with the length of his songs and their extended solos. Many just couldn’t comprehend what Fela was building.

This was a new sound with radical energy powering it and maybe the people just weren’t ready for such. Regardless, Fela stayed true to his art, continued to experiment and explore new musical complexities. With his music, he fearlessly stood as the voice of the people against the military governments at the time. He also used his art to teach the people of his Afrocentric ideals.

No, Fela was not perfect in any way but his energy, as well as his music, was raw and genuine. And lifetimes after, we are still feeding on Fela’s music. Occasionally going back to it for inspiration and references.

These young guys today are trying to create something different. They are steady pushing the limits and experimenting with new sounds. In fact, and are now redefining what we refer to as Nigerian or African music. These guys have been persecuted and mocked because they are aesthetically different. But we can’t deny their genuine energy and efforts.

These artists need support. And the least we can do as listeners and consumers of the art is to consume their music through appropriate channels, purchase their projects, attend their shows, engage with them, provide positive feedback, and let them do what artists do best – create.

 

Odunsi finally Shares Visuals for Tipsy’

Odunsi has released the visual for his first post-“rare.” single, Tipsy featuring raving UK act, Raye.

Push Good Music Radio Show With Ill Bliss & TeckZilla

Ill Bliss and Teckzilla team up to create an amazing hip-hop Ep titled ‘IllzZilla’ and they stopped by on the Push GoodMusic Radio Show to discuss the inspiration behind the development process

ODUNSI RELEASES NEW TRACK ‘TIPSY’ – FEATURING RAYE

Already a chart sensation in Nigeria, as well as Ghana, the fast-rising alté scene star Odunsi (The Engine), is set to introduce himself to his biggest international audience so far by sharing his new single ‘Tipsy’. ‘Tipsy’ is his first release for Parlophone and features RAYE, the artist behind ‘Decline’ and a collaborator with the likes of Stefflon Don, Mabel and Kojo Funds.

DRB LasGidi x Odunsi Linkup – ‘Necessary’

2018 makes ten years of DRB LasGidi, the original Alté kids. The group – rappers Teezee, FreshL and singer BOJ – have given us solid gbedu over the years.

DRB recently came out with a compilation project of songs they’ve put out to celebrate a decade on the music scene – DRB10. They also hosted the DRB10 rave for fans to enjoy their favourite DRB LasGidi bops.

In ten years, DRB has faced some harsh criticism, especially from those who would rather see BOJ on the path to a successful solo career.

Their latest single Necessary, produced by GMK and featuring Odunsi proves though that these guys are strong as ever. Teezee and FreshL bring fire with heavy-hitting bars and BOJ never fails with his husky vocals.

Watch Necessary here.

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