Done With The Album And I Gave ‘Em / To Much For Them To Savour / Told Me They Would Put That Out Later / I Felt Like, You Know My Name A Game Changer / In Retrospect, I Should Have Checked My Behaviour – Jesse Jagz [ Restoration ]
Artiste (s):- Choc Boy Nation ( M.I Abaga, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Loose Kaynon, Milli, Koker, Pryse, Ruby Gyang, Victoria Kimani, Dice Ailes,DJ Lambo, DJ Caise And Nosa )
Album:- The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation
Record Label:- Chocolate City Records
Distributed By:- Star Music App/ I-Tunes
Guest Appearances:- Debbie Romoe And Moti Cakes
Producers:- Reinhard, L37, TMXO, Tunday, Teckzilla, DJ Caise,Nosa, Jesse Jagz And Ckay
Release Date:- 30th April 2015 [ Online ] / 21 May 2015 [ In Store ]
On March 3oth 2012, the news that Jesse Jagz was departing Chocolate City the label that introduced us to his Brother M.I Abaga, and childhood friend Ice Prince ( and Brymo ) was received with by all Fans of Nigerian Urban Music with sullen faces.In the three year isolation period Jesse Jagz dropped 2 Albums ( Thy Album Come and Royal Niger Company) , M.I Dropped his Third Album ( Chairman ),Brymo had left Chocolate City ( and dropped two solid Albums ) as well and Ice Prince released an Album and an EP ( Fire Of Zamani and The Trash Can EP ).All these projects were well received and acclaimed in different quarters/degrees ( especially Jesse’s two Albums which some fans refer to as Modern day Musical masterpieces ), these kept fans wishing that Jesse and Brymo would return to the fold, and work together as a unit to create the sort of magic that produced Nigerias highest selling Rap song Oleku a track which the Artistes worked on together with Ice Prince to create his first and biggest song till date.Chocolate City Records meanwhile was busy signing Artistes like Victoria Kimani, Nosa, Dice Ailes, Koker and Milli; At the beginning of last month, a merger with M.I’s Loopy records was also announced, thereby putting his Artistes like DJ Lambo, Ruby Gyang and Loose Kaynon under the Chocolate City umbrella, and appointed a new CEO to replace the longstanding Audu Maikori.It was at this point virtually everyone felt the last missing piece of the Jigsaw was Jesse Jagz, and when his return to the label was announced on the 8th of April,The news lit up the blogsphere and to crown his return,it was announced that a compilation Album from Chocolate City would hit the streets on the 30th of April, with little or no promotion, the 15 track Indestructible Choc Boi Nation Compilation was released.
with no Intro to start off the project, its straight to the music with Summertime, a song which was previously released with a verse from Loose Kaynon,however he was replaced by Jesse who was also left to shine on the hook which he delivered impeccably, all three Choc Boys displayed their top notch lyrical abilities, and the organic chemistry which they had previously displayed was put into good use to welcome Jesse back to the crew,the outro on the song had Loose Kaynon stating “This CBN thing of ours is deeper than Music, Its Family”.I grew up listening to Sir Shina Peters, the next song Do Something by Koker struck me as something that was entirely influenced by Afrojuju Music, the rhythmic precision, and fast paced percussion enveloped and complimented Kokers Voice,producers TMXO, Reinhard and L37 combined forces on this song to usher in a new brand of contemporary Afro-Juju Music, as well as register the name Koker in our musical memory base.The introduction of Chocolate Citys New signees continue on the next joint Drank which is DJ Lambo’s single and features Dice Ailes and Milli who both did enough to put the “DJ Mustard Sounding” beat to sleep,This one is a Party starter created with a unique blend of bouncy synths, hard hitting Hi-Hats, and frantic claps.“Mr do something” aka Koker returns alongside Ice Prince Zamani on the Ragga/Galala/Konto fused Bass; Ice tapped into his Pop side which we are all familiar with, crooning “Omoge you too carry,move your feet to the beat/ Omoge you too carry, whine your waist to the Bass” its an ravage at best song, and falls short in the area of creative innovation, the aura of the song is quite dull and doesn’t warrant a rewind.Dice Ailes, whose single Telephone is currently making its rounds on Radio and Television appears solo on the next song Oh No with an alternative Rap style, which I have been referring to as “Snap music”,influenced heavily by America’s Trap Music which originated from Atlanta. Dice flowed smoothly over the beat utilizing his sonic sensibilities, singsongy rap delivery and multifaceted cadence which made quite an impression on me, this track would be appreciated by people who love the new wave of mainstream American Artistes like Future, Migos and Young Thug.Everyone has been asking about Loose Kaynon, and his position in the game ( some people say he is M.I’s Part time Hype Man ) , considering he is the Artiste on the Label with the least material, but he stakes his claim as an MC in his own right on the next song which is his official single Go Hard , on which he starts the track off spitting “This Year is mine, you gon say I told you so / Dope coming out the Speaker like I sold you Blow / Its Loopy Music just in case Y’all caught Amnesiaaaaa / Sit the Game up I’m bout to show you flow” over the thumping instrumental, Milli deputized on the Hook, and Ice Prince ended the song with a Memorable Verse to remind his detractors that he can still spit like a true MC, all three of them alongside producer Reinhard who made the beat created in my opinion Loose Kaynons best track yet.Since Female MC Pryse joined Chocolate City Records, she hasn’t dropped any meaningful single in my Opinion ( Eleto was dry ), Str8buttah producer Teckzilla provides her with the Sonic backdrop to demolish that statistic on the next song Ricochet, a song which I would call “Drum and Bass Rap”, It had her reminding her fans just how lethal she is on the Mic, rapping “I’m going in like they let me in / I’m gon win like they let me win / I been dey chill, I been dey meditate / Now its time for me to eat, get my Plate”, The only thing that remains for this track is a Video, and I hope she would follow up this sound, and not mire herself in the mucky “Afro Pop Rap” Waters.I am not a huge Fan of Chocolate Citys Kenyan Import Victoria Kimani but her performance on the next track Loving you deserves commendation, as she held it down with Ice Prince over the beat which was fusion of smooth Reggae and R&B with more than enough quality to convince a Non believer like myself that she is here to stay.Highly underrated vocalist ( at least in my opinion ) Nosa continues the love theme on the next song Love is calling, serenading his love interest with smooth lyrics whilst showcasing his unique vocal range;If you’re a Fan of early 90’s R&B Music, you would definitely appreciate this soulful romantic ballad.DJ Caise has been propagating his fusion of Euro-Trance and Afro-House Music, reminiscent of his collaboration with Waje on Number One, this is the sound on the next single Loose Soul though it doesn’t come as a surprise, it features Singer Ruby Gyang whose performance on this song showed exactly why Loopy Music and Chocolate City Records believe in her.The Dancehall vibe returns on the next Song No More, which was also performed by Ruby, but this time alongside her Baby Daddy Jesse Jagz;Its a song about reaching your breaking point and finally deciding to quit a tumultuous relationship.Once again Ruby utilized her charming voice ( Assisted by Debbie Romeo With Back-up Vocals ), this time she sounded emotion-laden, in a bid to convey the sentiment on the song properly, which she did, Jesse’s Verse spiced the song up creating a fusion of great Music, Heartfelt lyrics and progressive instrumentation.Two of the Newest Artistes on Chocolate City Koker and Milli collaborate on Heart Felt, though this track has a nice beat, the lyrics are basic, the song sounded like “a standard Afro-pop song” and in my opinion is definitely one of the forgettable songs on the project.M.I collaborated with Moti Cakes on Bad Belle, one of the most acclaimed songs on his Chairman Album, so they got together to recreate that Magic on the next song 3rd Mainland Bridge, The Ckay produced “Snap beat” gave M.I the chance to drop his trademark witty one-liners declaring “I be local Rapper wey dey sound international” and going on to remark “Rappers dey H on the low like the Yoruba Accent” Mr Cakes held down the hook duties just like he did on their last collaboration,and together they created yet another song that Rap Fans would gobble up wholeheartedly.Sometimes I get tired of Faux-Reggae sounding songs which Ice Prince has made a Trademark of sorts, but Suite 99 which was performed by Jesse and Ice Prince actually makes for pleasant listening, I always thought Jesse had an incredible Chemistry with Ice Prince,even more than he has with his brother, this song is simply another display of that chemistry,it shows the two Artistes can still pull tricks out their sleeves together;The song celebrates the Music of the 90’s and lyrics from hit tracks like Twisted By Keith Sweat, Flava In Ya Ear By Craig Mack, L.L.Lies By Diana King and Keep Ya Heads Ringing by Dr Dre were all interpolated at different parts of this song to capture the feel they were trying to get across over a Mid-Tempo Caribbean groove.The two Abaga Brothers end the Album on Restoration, but Jesse is allowed to Rap uninterrupted on this one, talking about the situation that led to him leaving Chocolate City, and also the conditions that had him return to the fold.It is the Most pungent track on the Album,over an eerily menacing instrumental, he lets us know that Chocolate City not paying attention to his Album was the primary source of anger that led to him taking to Facebook to announce his split from the label.Restoration has perhaps some of the most hertfelt and truthful lyrics ever spat by a Nigerian MC, Bars like “I’m back with the Fam/ I Adapt with the Plan/ Everybody make way for Captain Sijan / Ice I will Follow, M Is The Leader” lets you know that his exact mind-state this time around on Chocolate City which points to the fact is willing to play his position right behind Ice and his elder brother, In my opinion this Compilation could not have had a better closing track.
We have heard various Label Compilations and Albums in Nigeria, prime examples being the Curriculum Vitae Album which was released by Mo Hits Entertainment in 2007 ( This was actually the first Label compilation in Nigeria), The Solar Plexus by Mavin Records,as well as The Evolution by Triple MG,but I have to say in terms of the quality of the Music, The Indestructible Choc Boy Nation Album ranks head and shoulders above those ones, though it may not be as commercially successful as the Mo-Hits Album, it is a statement of solidarity and musical evolution.All the new Artistes on Chocolate city gave a good account of themselves, Pryse may have finally found her sound, and Producer Reinhard has introduced his “New-Age” Hip-Hop sound which I think would dominate the Game for sometime to the listening Masses of Nigerian Music however this Album does not come without shortcomings, and one of them is the use of the word “Nigga” over 70 times on this Album.The biggest culprit was Ice Prince who I would say was the Laziest Artiste on this project, and used the word in every single Verse he performed on the Album.I understand Hip-Hop was created by African-Americans who use the word frequently in their Music, but I feel it was overused on this project,May I point out that Rap Mogul Jay-Z Used the word less times than the Choc Boiz did on his last Album Magna Carter Holy Grail.The Name of Jesse Jagz Last Album was Royal Niger Company, that was the enterprise that oversaw/conducted/transacted the selling of Slaves to Europe/the Americas, I feel he should know better , and realize that word is not something Black Africans should inculcate into their everyday vocabulary, though a few Artistes have been known to use it of late in Nigeria,Knowledgeable and influential Artistes like Jesse should not propagate that sort of coonish buffoonery
Apart from Bass and Heart Felt, all other songs on this Album are top notch and could be promoted as Radio singles for the sake of the featured New Artistes, I also feel like Loose Kaynon should have appeared on more songs, because he has been down with Loopy Music for a hot minute now, and deserves more visibility than he is currently getting or stand the risk of becoming redundant, apart from that, this is a collection of Innovative, interesting and introspective Music which would stand the test of time and be an added feather to the Cap of every Artiste who worked on the project.
Best Verse:- Jesse Jagz – Restoration Verse 1
Standout Track:- Dice Ailes Oh No And Loose Soul
Musical Moment:- Too many to pick from,but the Instrumentals of Drank And Ricochet Made me Happy
Album Rating:- 8/10