Real underground hip-hop followers in Nigeria should be very conversant with Cyrus. Ever since he dropped 2000s critically acclaimed underground single “Destroyers anthem” (the video was actually hot at that time as there were no real hip-hop videos like that at the time), heads have watched him with keen interest in anticipation of what a full length album would sound like, and Cyrus has decided to wait no further and dropped “The infection”(2007) on the Benin city based HEX records, and hence this album review.
Fellow B-Side rapper Sanchez, sets off the intro by cosigning Cyrus and letting cats out there know what Cyrus is made up of however on the follow-up joint “I declare war(0-5-2 gbege)”Cyrus fails to live up to the hype with his gruff tone , harsh vocal delivery and weak lines like “my name no be James so I hardly chase you/I just let you run and let my verbs replace you/my brain is pregnant I deliver rap lines” and other ridiculous ones like “call me yeast! Why? cuz I dey make the dough/call me a thief! Why? cuz I steal the show/bringing the groove back to yall Angela bassets/im so cold men that’s why I freeze you like assets”. Sanchez hops back on the album and provides some succor on the southern bounce influenced “Swaggerific” and also delivers a hot verse but Cyrus once more messes the track up with some poorly done singing which sounds darn ridiculous as he didn’t rap on the joint. other joints on the record manage to scale through and even the hip-hop world award 2008 nominated song for best newcomer (yes he was but lost to wande coal) “1000 naira” failed to kick me up and got me wondering how he got nominated in the first place. the album doesn’t strike a cord till you get to the Nelly Uchendu assisted “Wakabout” (actually my favorite cut) where Cyrus reps for all the girls out there dating rappers to hold on to their man and stay strong. The production was on point with a vintage Nelly Uchendu sample. other noteworthy joints on the record are “Let me be” where he warns the haters to stay clear coupled with an eerie intro and menacing instrumental Cyrus spits hard with lines like “I fit talk this shit till my tongue gets sore/I belong to rap cult cuz I spit raw/e join or e no join that na gisting to me/don’t make you a cultist cuz u listen to me” and the lyrical “I and I” featuring underground b-side emcees Innah Man, Scientifik, C-flo, Syki and Ejemai. Which appears to be the only lyrical joint and all emcees deliver noteworthy appearances and average bars. Another thing I like is the way he reps his hometown Benin City a.k.a the 052 because that’s unlike Nigerian emcees as every emcee I listen to (well not really all of them) reps for Lagos state.
The album falters in many departments, including poor lyrics (AND RIDICULOUS ONES TOO), mismatched production and fifty-centish kind of singing that actually sounded like a cross between Daddy Showkey and DMX. What pissed me off the most were the missing tracks, 5 in number namely Igodo, Shelenge, John Fort Knox, Until I die and 1000 naira remix (Cyrus if u reading this that isn’t tight) But were all listed as track 14-18 I don’t know if it’s the marketers fault or Cyrus so any real head that has the full version holler at me. The album is a little bit average but real heads would toss this record at the bottom of the CD rack as there is little or no reason to constantly bang it in your stereo the album in one word? WEAK. Cyrus has a whole lot of work to do if he ever wants to retain his self proclaimed title “king of the south” because with the current lyrical prowess exhibited by homegrown emcees like ill bliss, MI and Lyrical, the crown is still very much far away from the head of Cyrus the virus;
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