By Obinna Fred
Artiste:- Olamide And Phyno
Album:- 2 Kings
Record Label:- YBNL Nation/Sputnet /Penthauze
Distributed By:- Etisalat
Guest Appearances:- Lil Kesh, Wizkid And Storm Rex
Producers:- Pheelz, B.Banks, Young John And Major Bangz
Olamide and Phyno are pacesetters of sorts , They hold different records in Nigerian Hip-Hop Music, Baba Mili aka Olamide is the first Nigerian Rapper to drop 5 Albums consecutively Yearly from Rapsodi in 2011, to 2Kings which just dropped; and Phyno is the first Igbo Rapper to clock half a million views on youtube ( Three of His Videos are above that mark ) ,They also hold the joint record of the first chart topping collaboration between two indigenous Rappers, after they dropped Ghost Mode, which hit the hip-hop scene like an earthquake, and showed the world Two different MC’s from two different regions can flow on a track, and do it well.Ever since the aforementioned collaboration dropped , Tongues have been wagging , and Fans have been questioning when we would get a full length album showcasing that Chemistry, last month the wish was granted when out of nowhere, the 2Kings LP was announced and dropped with little or no promotion at all.
Olamide And Phyno – Ghost Mode [ Official Video ]
The Album starts off with Cypher, a Track that had the two Rappers paying homage to their Hip-Hop roots, Over a Melodious Hip-Hop Backdrop produced by Pheelz and B Banks, they try to recapture the magic on Ghost Mode, trading bars in Igbo and Yoruba, and creating a song lovers of Straight Rap Music would definitely appreciate, and though they didnt quite match Ghost Mode, it is definitely one that Fans of their wordplay and Punchlines would revel in.Next song is Koba Koba, which was produced by YBNL In-House producers Pheelz and Co-Produced by Young John ( One producer who has been making a name for himself lately ) , and this Track continues the Hip-Hop direction on the tape, and sees Baddo dropping bars over thumping kicks, and Phyno assisting with a Third Verse, and though the Hook is “Performance Material” , the song sounds more like “Olamide Featuring Phyno” , and not like it belongs to them both.A sped up sample of American Singer Nina Simones Rendition of Nobody’s Fault But Mine ( The original version was performed by legendary Blues Artiste Blind Willie Johnson ) was used by Pheelz on the next Track Nobodys Fault, and created the atmosphere for Olamide and Phyno to Rap with more English Language than usual with Baddo Spitting “Nobody Told Me, I’d be this great / I saw it coming, didn’t know I’d be this late / but I’m sorry, right now, I can relate / everything back to back when I was delayed” and Phyno retorting “I had to stand out, so I go in / I can only make it out if I go in / Choose to win , I choose to fly, I must grow Wings / One day, this Hood-Rat would be called King” , I feel the third verse should have been left out of this song totally, as it sounded like it had ended after Two verses, and the third verse was totally out of place.The Musical direction on the Album takes a sudden but expected turn on the next song Ladi which features YBNL Artiste of the moment Lil Kesh,and saw the young rapper take charge of the song with a solid lewd verse, and ridiculous flow that had me thinking this track was tailor-made for him,This would definitely be a fan favourite, and has all the trappings of a hit single.God Be With Us, the next track is produced by Major Bangz, and goes back to the Rap sound with banging drips, mixed with mid tempo keys;On the song both Rappers lament about the shortcomings of superstardom , and Olamide steals the show with a solid verse at the end of the song.a Phyno solo song Une is the next track, and borrows from the Neo-Galala sound that has been resurrected by Burna Boy on Yawa Dey. The song has Phyno in his full element , and he flows on the beat with the sort of precision that would make a tight-rope walker proud,I envisioned Daddy Showkey or Baba Fryo on the remix, Ajegunle would definitely love this one.The Galala sound is also borrowed on the next track, the Pheelz Produced Real Nigga to create another song which was suited to the Dancefloor, and would serve a very good purpose on those Elegushi Mixes, which Dj’s are making at the moment.Previously released Wizkid assisted Olamide single Confam Ni makes an appearance on the project,The last time Wiz and Baddo were on a Track together was on his Second Official Single Omo Toh Shan ,and this song gave them an opportunity to reunite as established acts on a song, and two of them held it down to create a proper radio song.Carry Me Go featuring former Desperate Chicks lead singer Storm Rex comes next, and she serenaded the track and laced the Igbo hook with her sonorous voice, holding her own on the Chorus while the Two MC’s did their thing, and though they both sounded lazy on this one, Olamide managed to muster a line in Igbo language, and sang towards the ends of his verse.I felt he shouldn’t have sang on this one, as a Proper singer was featured, he sort of messed up the synchrony.The Album comes to a dull end on For My City, a song which is clearly an Olamide song, with a featured Phyno verse,is an ode to Lagos State and has Phyno Rapping about his city Enugu,The song sounds dated,all over the place and doesn’t strike me as a recent recording.
When two Kings come together, it is meant to be a memorable event, and I feel Olamide and Phyno just lost a chance to make a Monumental Album that would stand the test of time and go down in Nigerian Hip-Hop History, Had any other unknown Yoruba and Igbo MC’s released this Album, it would have probably been hotter, but coming from seasoned Artistes like Olamide and Phyno, this Album fell short of expectations.Listening to the Album makes it clear why there was no promotion whatsoever for the project, because it wasn’t well planned, thought out and put together.There was no A&R direction, and the project sounded more like a compilation than an Album.I also feel like the album came a bit premature, considering the fact that this is Olamides 5th Project, and Phynos 2nd, They should have waited a bit for Phyno to have a stronger solo discography before pulling this off on a Grand scale.Its also evident Olamide had a bigger say than Phyno in putting the project together, because he is the Etisalat Ambassador ( The Album was dropped via Etisalat online ) , and Phyno has less verses than Olamide,which further buttresses my claim, and though there are some decent songs on the Album, and the production was A Bit above average,when they look back years from now, they would definitely agree with me that they would have taken greater advantage of this moment,anticipation and Frenzy to drop a well crafted Album by two of the hottest Indigenous Rappers in the Land.This Album doesn’t sound like Two Kings meeting, It sounds more like Two Dukes going on a Hunt.
Best Verse:- Lil Kesh On Ladi
Standout Track:- Ladi
Musical Moment:- Pheelz Sampling Nina Simone on Nobodys Fault
Album Rating:- 5.6/10