Actually this review is long overdue, but I had never come across this album but had heard about the group Kaliphate made up of 6 emcees (Suleiman, Kalim manul, Dasukiel, An-i-mus, and Azzeez) from my hip-hop sources, and decided to go all out for the mix tape, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I copped a copy of Konscious magazine issue 2(that has Rooftop MCs on the cover) from my local magazine retailer and tore it open what did I see? The J.I.H.A.D (Join in help averting disaster) mix tape by the Kaliphate (and one other CD that got lost because it was dark).shout out to Konscious magazine (more on them later) .but now to the main subject of our topic,
The J.I.H.A.D mix tape Is a must have for all Nigerian hip-hop heads, especially heads that crave for that paradigm shift (a la mathematical sege) in the Nigerian hip-hop scene. the mix tape consisting of 16 joints executively produced by Kaliphate, XO and Illbliss (yeah the same one) starts off with “Lagos city’s finest’ where the 6 of them drop lyrical bars and live up to the track title over a heavy motherland sounding instrumental where the second emcee (cant tell who’s who yet) goes hard with rhymes like “we occupy space like matter/you can not stay undivided in my cipher/not in the list/your hands are filthy you cant join the feast/revolutionary clan marking emcees like the beast and goes on to spit “oh you wanna step to me I suggest you think twice/ cuz I heard u cant deliver not at least without a midwife” the album continues at a very charged and lyrical state on the consciously charged “Issues” where they lament on the 3rd verse “when papa dey sell pikin into slavery/bros dey kill bros for the sake of treasury” other lyrical gems include “In the house” ,the X- men inspired “X-mentality” (this one might confuse a few non comic inclined heads),but another surprising joint is the seductively charged this cant be love aimed at the ladies laced Kaliphate show their versatility with an excellently done love joint laced with an infectious hook and deep lines like “the kinda love ill show ya be the divine type/they say true love don’t exist don’t believe the hype/my kind of love will make you soar high like a kite/like Aladdin and Jasmine in Arabian nights/just the two of us like bonnie and Clyde/like Romeo and Juliet without a tragic end” Kaliphate quickly return to their form on the venomous ‘The Beast” where they do justice to 2-shotz instrumental and drop mind boggling and scandalous lines like “the AIDS virus was created and injected/millions of Africans back then became infested(sic)/some sick president was the one giving the orders/UN emissaries was the ones taking it further/African HIV/AIDS infection rate calls for wonder/the new slave hold is visa lottery/and this wack feeling of independence we having is mere mockery/most of our leaders is just puppets. the album goes on with its conscious momentum, with joints like “I tire”, na so, “sho mo’ love”, and “J.I.H.AD song” despite the lyrical slugs fired at Keke And D1 on the latter, the grimiest track on the album is the heavy Freestyle (of tribesmen) diss track “This ones for free” where the six lyricists tear the already ailing tribesmen (does the group still exist?) Member to shreds dropping bombs on him like George Bush did in Baghdad with funny and not so funny lines like“you don did it you dummy/ill smack you in front of ya mommy/and tell her im sorry”. (I wonder the cause of this beef)
The album made my hip-hop sense wake up, and also rekindled my hope in naija music, but its low points are repetitive themes (“I tire”, “na so”) and muddled and some times poor sounding vocals but generally the album production is exactly Nigerian hip-hop and kaliphate carved a sound for themselves and for the hip-hop heads that can lay their hands on the album. kaliphate just won one more fan and we are looking forward to more material from them because with lines like” “I stay fly cuz definitely mama was a felon/cuz for 9 months she had a concealed weapon”. Kaliphate would keep heads banging for a very long time to come.
PS listen out for kaliphates new singles IKIRA and ALL HAIL on all Nigerian radio stations with the latter’s video on local TV stations that show rap videos and cable stations like SOUNDCITY,PRIMETIME TV and NIGEZIE.
The Kaliphate J.I.H.A.D score 8.5/10