Reviewed By Seun Odukoya
Artiste: Ill Bliss
Album Title: Powerful
Record Label: The Goretti Company/Capital Hill Music
Guest Appearances: Peteru, Jay Whiz, Olamide, Mz Kiss, WizKid, Chidinma, Capital Nation,KCEE, Ayoola, Cynthia Morgan, Storm Rex, Phyno, Ice Prince, Eva
Three albums deep, and it’s clear Ill Bliss needs to be accorded more respect – from the music community as a whole.
When he won the Soundcity Award for Best Hip Hop Video for his song ‘U Go Wound’, presented by Nas – plenty folk nearly had heart attacks because they had no idea who Ill Bliss was at the time.And then they heard Aiye Po Gan with Terry G – and the rest is a story.
His latest effort is arguably the best in his catalogue so far – an argument between this and the one preceding it; Oga Boss.Powerful opens with powerful chords on the Munachimso opening (Kezyklef did one solid here) and Bliss himself is nimble on the bars. The show-stealer on this one however is Suspekt, now going with the moniker Peteru (rebranding perhaps?) and delivers a stellar verse; the whole of four bars. Olamide comes onto the single WTF,and though the beat is quite polarizing, the bars are tight.
Ill Bliss – WTF [ Official Music Video ]
Another thing that makes Ill Bliss an Oga Boss indeed remains his ability to spot talent.Chidinma, Fefe and most recently Mz Kiss are some of the people he has successfully recruited for Capital Hill Music – and Mz Kiss earns her pay on the track Vex For Me.Bliss gives her props with bars like; floss like a baroness/girl you have it/let them bring/any kind of beat/you tear it/tell them Oga Boss is standing with you/can no mother baga fuck around with you.Mz Kiss doesn’t disappoint; going hard like O ni swag o ni clothes/O le lawon were lowo/Mo ti ro kun mo ti rosa fi swimming pool deru bami. In English, she’s simply saying ‘you have swag and clothes/you don’t have craze people like we/I’ve seen oceans/I’ve seen lakes/How can a swimming pool scare me?
Capital Nation – Finally Featuring Ill Bliss, Chidinma, Mz Kiss, Fefe And Peteru [ Official Music Video ]
Many Men is a banger – though if you’re caught up in nostalgia and are expecting something similar to 50’s ( Cent ) 2001 track of the same name, you’ll be disappointed. Wizkid delivers a lazy lackluster hook – Bliss’ bars come through and save the day. Even then, one must realize that lazy or not, with Wizzie on the hook, it’s an almost-certain hit.The title track comes in quite early, – though the beat evokes memories of Emi Ni Baller with beautiful songstress Chidinma again, it’s a high-energy track that has the head-bopping all through.
Finally (Adekunle) shines – the Capital Nation clique comes through on this. One can’t help but wonder why Fefe didn’t have more of an appearance on the album.Finally is a nice one – and Mz Kiss comes through again.
They better not drop the ball on that girl.
L.O.V.E. Y.O.U. featuring KCEE & Ayoola is a sweet track. The beat is a highlife number that seems more suited to a certain ‘African Rapper Number 1’s album – but the features hold it together. It’s just sweet. Jamo is another smooth number that has Cynthia Morgan doing a ragga hook. Combined with Bliss’ sharp lyrics and Tony Ross’ bouncy yet stable beat – and Blissminati has a hit here. Video?
One can hope.
Ill Bliss – Idichie [ Official Music Video ]
The best tracks on this album are from ten downwards. Chukwu Agozigo Gi has a simple vibe but a rousing beat to it – with Ill Bliss bouncing effortlessly on the track.Idichie boasts a soulful saxophone solo from Mike Aremu over production from Str8Buttah front man XYZ, a regular feature on Bliss albums from the first one. Uwa featuring Storm Rex is a morose number about the fickle nature of humanity – whether in the music industry or life itself. This Track deserves a video. A Different Kind Of War is about the state of the nation (Nigeria) and the issues faced daily – be it Boko Haram or power failure – and it would have had more impact had it come earlier in the album.Still, it’s a solid entry with Bliss spitting bars like; Another bomb just went off/we numb to this/The president is looking clueless/we used to this/used to the pain and the bloodshed/Used to the lies and the greed and the false hopes/knock the ropes/this is hangman music/can you knock shoki for once and just listen?/
Looking Back is another one produced by XYZ and this has the boss reminiscing on how far he’s come. Bank Alert Remix has verses from Phyno, Ice Prince and Eva –with the madam stealing the show with lines like; I ain’t got a car/so I pull up in the cab/I’m the passenger in the back/with the snapback to the back/going snap snap/taking selfies/this is that part/of the movie/that you don’t see/
Where’s her album already?
Ill Bliss – Bank Alerts [ Official Music Video ]
All together, for a third album Powerful is impressive in a quiet and sincere manner.While Bliss doesn’t stray too far from his everyday subject matter his evolution is manifest in a better understanding of the game; keep the lines simple enough to catch the streets – yet witty enough to hold down the heads. Production is on point, all the guests held down their spots and came through. Get this for your car and for the quiet moments in your house.
Ill Bliss is powerful. Good music is Powerful.
Final Album Rating:- 3.5/5
About The Reviewer
Seun Odukoya is a graduate of Educational Psychology, the award-winning author of the e-book For Days and A Night, e-comic Songs About AIDS, the online series Saving Dapo, the physical book Saving Dapo and another e-book Love Drops. He is also a speaker; he spoke at the first-ever TEDx Unilag in March 2015 on the topic Rape and Rape Culture in Nigeria.
His writings can be found at www.seunodukoya.wordpress.com and he tweets as @seunodukoya.