Words by:- Obinna “Fazillion” Ifechi-Fred
ARTISTE: – B Elect aka The Clean Rapper aka Electric
ALBUM: – Hard Listeners, the End
RECORD LABEL: – Blightz Records
DISTRIBUTED BY: – Iyke the Don Nigeria Limited and www.nigerianhiphop.net [Online]
PRODUCERS: – Micworx [Big Foot and Venomous], XYZ, Buddha, B-Elect, Jonah the Monarch, MD Flow, Crux and Teckzilla
GUEST APPEARANCES :- MD Flow,Pasha,Illbliss,Elajoe,Venomous,Mickey the messenger, Oso Sensei,Ono,P-Will,Kiss,Zdon Papporella,Soraya Poetic,Zim ,Ruffman ,XYZ and Buddha
I would first like to start this piece by stating categorically that there is a huge distinction between a Hip-Hop artist , a Rapper and an MC [more on that later].B-elect is a Nigerian Hip-Hop MC and legend, and that is a simple fact, everything he does is Legendary, he was the first MC in Nigeria to drop bars like“Nigerian Rap is still independent, So I came up / Thanks to Kennis music for messing the game up” [ Ode to Hip-Hop 2004 ] , He was a member of the first Hip-Hop crew in Nigeria [Thorobreds] to infuse breakdancing and B-boys in a music video [ Street Hop 2003 ] , and he is also a well-respected Hip-Hop producer , Graphitti enthusiast and Hip-Hop journalist .After a nice run with the Thorobreds , [ arguably the hardest Hip-Hop group to come out of Nigeria ,and their unsuccesful run with Storm Records,everybody went in different directions .B-Elect dropped the relatively unknown Street Hop EP  which only a few heads could get their hands on, and the EP was riddled with politically conscious messages, and had an angry Elect spitting venom at the music industry Vultures. [*We would try and make the EP available on NHH for free download]
B-Elect’s Style of Rap music is to say the least Abstract, Jazzy, Poetic and Deep and these are all elements you would find on his Debut album Hard Listeners, The end .in order to consolidate his legendary status, he released an album which is 27 tracks deep [First of its kind], and is strictly for the Hard listeners, true schoolers and real Hip-Hop connoisseurs.
Elect sets the tone of the album off with Hip-Hop scratches and samples on the intro, and immediately jumps into the Smash Hit Bangingz,laced with a menacing instrumental and a catchy hook by MD flow, he scathingly remarks “It sounds complex when they can’t connect / they say “Bros make you try rap for Pidgin nah” I be like Ko jor! see The government systems we copy from the whites / and they still can’t get it right / the house of Reps the Senators they still can’t get it right” .Next joint Electric Freestyle had Elect going off the top in the Micworx studios, and Ragga sensation Pasha assists with a gritty hook to compliment the multi-syllabic, Punchlines and dual meaning riddled verses, over a sample of James Browns Funky drummer and Rock it by Herbie Hancock. Bring back the music is a feel good joint that features Capital Hill boss Ill Bliss on the hook , crying out to all the wack radio stations and deejays out there to go back to the essence , and Elect attacks the topic in a way very few MC’s can “I reminisce on good music like Fela Kuti / Sonny Okosun coming out my pops decks / High life ,rhythm and blues before the Hip-Hop era / I got more ah (of) /my aura /switch to the base ,drums and kicks / pump your fists for the good music”. Newcomer Zim drops a 56 second freestyle next, laced with an abstract delivery and sick flow , definitely someone to be looked out for .P-will comes through on the next cut , and Buddha lends his production skills to give the track a soulful feel ,and Elect and Will went toe to toe on this one., and showing why they should be left alone in the rap game.Illbliss reappears on Thoroarmy , but this time he isn’t doing the hook , he delivers a smooth sixteen , and they both stamp their squad position as Generals on the Nigerian Hip-Hop scene. Belgian based spoken word poet Soraya Poetic delivery’s a classic spoken word piece next, and the album continues as Elect continues his musical journey .Venomous goes Middle-Eastern on the instrumental and loops an Arabian tinged instrumental, and spits some venom [pun intended] on the hook, and the joint [Gin stories] had Elect Stating “My raps without sense in it? / that’s like a Delta soap billboard without a couple of fair chics in it” .The Uhh! is a pure Boom-bap record, and elect does what he usually does to tracks ,killed it. Elect has always been known to castigate mainstream music and shady industry politricks , and that’s what he does on the next joint Plan B ,and he goes Mathematical on “Dey there” ,produced by him , and features the trio of Bliss, Mickey the Messenger [MTM] ,and Oso Sensei , and Bliss gives Elect his due props “B-Elect bros you be master” , and MTM spits “rhyming with Thorobreds so you know I gat to sit up”. Next up is the Duncan Mighty sampled Baba Jesus ,had Elect waxing spiritual,and spits solemnly giving all glory to whom glory is due ,and this cut is actually one of the best produced records on the album that is sure to wow any music listener.The album continues on a religious and sober note , on Would I , which featured MTM ,and both MC,s go philosophical asking questions on the hook “If I had the chance to start over again / Would I smoke Weed , Roll the streets with kids ? / would I pack heat, treat these women like tricks? /Would I cook beef? Would I be a thief? / would I be a creep? And MTM goes personal like “I was a Mad mane [Man] / used to smoke hay / puffin’ on Benson / sippin’ on Gin /but now a new man/ no need to press rewind / I just stepped into Christ and he gave me a stronger mind”. Swat Root , reunited on Terry tha Raman’s BANS album , and so did the Thorobreds do [ did I hear someone whisper Trybesmen ? ] ,Elect ,Elajoe and Bliss all come together to fulfil some of the deepest fantasies of most Hip-Hop heads , and Elajoe drops a stellar verse , with bars like “Once Again it’s the most Thoro / from the crew with the most honours / gone beyond days where I just dey show colour / for school just to come prove a point /but my school of thought is to move Hip-Hop / to a new Plato [plateau] like I moved to Jos / like I got rhythm like Ben Bruce / I no send who wan school with us / much love to all our fans who stayed true to us”. Every MC loves his Mother ( Well maybe except Eminem ) and Elect is not left out ,and the next track Mama’s Song is a pure ballad , performed by Elects sister Ono [ Not Onos ] and she delivers as expected ., its dedicated to their late Mother [Mrs Alice Erighono].Write or Wrong is produced by and features XYZ of Str8buttah , and he does justice both on the boards and the bars , with a melodic backdrop , he spits at the critics and defends his crew spitting “for now we like dinning without a table/ the same group that dropped their albums without a label/ and still they criticize saying that we not selling / just to write Str8buttah ,yo they missed the spelling / but we still here all year January to December”. Elect describes the ups and downs of a bitter/sweet relationship over a sample of the late J.Dilla on Love and War ,and upcoming R and B crooner Kiss handles the hook like a true diva., the album sound switches briefly to the 808 drums and Crunk influenced Hustler ,featuring Z.Don Paporella,and though this style is not typical Elect ,but he still holds it down switching between pidgin and English bars , still showing cats his versatility , the instrumental is heavy, but Z.Don fails to deliver a top-notch performance ,and this had the track sounding like a typical album filler ,that doesn’t stop or erase the mastery displayed on this album as the sound switches immediately back to the jazzy Church of the mind ,where he goes scientific and tells you about the power of his mind ,and this sure going to stimulate minds.XYZ comes back on the boards and samples 9ice on another classic joint Rappers aint dumb, where he exhibits his lyrical wizardry , “I’m dropping the mathematics / its Elect over XYZ that’s the craftsmanship/ wordsmith ,I’m locking it down like bolts / electric ,I’m spitting the volts / provoked when I dig in the vaults” [ XYZ is a Beast!! ].Elect speaks to all the foes hiding in shadows and the haters trying to test his crew on the next joint Still dey, with bars like “They say Elect aint got a rappers voice /Thorobreds out this is street hop / it aint hard for you to put your fists up / they got it mixed up / I’m still cool with my boys Illbliss, Obiwon, Elajoe /I heard some punks did a diss track / they better get back”. Represent is a track we previously posted here on NHH, and Hard Listeners the Title track which features Ruffman formerly of the Street monks are the two songs that end the 27 track musical journey through sound, Hip-Hop and Realness.
There has never been a more appropriately titled album in the history of Nigerian Hip-Hop, and this album is simply for people that have a very high mental capacity. it is not your average Hip-Hop record, and personally, I am glad that this album saw the light of the day ,if you like party tracks and pop sounds, you should just ignore this album, but if you are a Hip-Hop head, enthusiast and connoisseur of the culture, then this album is going to take its place in your collection as one of the most classic Hip-Hop records to ever come out of Nigeria.
Beats /Production – 4.8/5
Lyrics: – 4.5/5
Originality: – 4.5/5
Fazillion scores this album :- 4.7/5