The Nigerian music scene have been graced with a wide range of gifted individuals who’ve hit ‘star’ status. And for many more out there, it was and still is the dream.
For the Nigerian musician, Olamide, 2010 must have been the year as his career made headway professionally; a signing into Coded Tunes, the I.D Cabasa run label.
In 2011, the Bariga-born rapper released his debut studio album, Rhapsodi, under Coded Tunes. “Eni Duro” and “Omo Toh Shan”, the lead singles on that album, began his love affair with the Nigerian and [a subsequently] wider world audience.
Since after ‘Rhapsodi’ in 2011, Olamide have gone on to release an overall of twelve albums. Two out of the twelve, 2 Kings (with Phyno) and YBNL, were collaborative albums.
Olamide who raps primarily in Yoruba mixed with Pidgin-English, made a statement through his first three albums that, hip-hop can indeed be commercialized. I’m talking rappers can be commercial with their music and [still] be successful.
Overtime, his sound has improved and evolved with the infusion of new rhythmic patterns, lyricism, topical direction, etc. Even so, he has maintained his street-appealing lyrics and storytelling with which hits after hits have been put out.
One would question what does ‘UY Scuti’ means? ‘UY Scuti’ is the name of the largest star in the universe. The Uy Scuti is noticed to variantly shine brighter and dimmer over a period of 740 days. And it has other equally large stars that are in contention for its place, despite being the largest star. However, it remains at the top.
If the meaning of ‘UY Scuti’, the titular of his latest album is anything to go by, Olamide is a superstar. Also, he helped others attain stardom by giving them wings to ride on. The man is in no way ignorant of this.
‘Uy Scuti’ was released on June 18, 2021 following an official announcement by Olamide on April 18, 2021. Fave, Jaywillz and Layydoe (who are unknown artists) were featured. Phyno is the only well-known artist featured on the album.
The thing with this 10-track tape is its serenity, instrumentation, and that it extensively explores love & romance. This is Olamide in a never-seen-before manner. “Need For Speed” is a calm tune where he alternates between singing and rapping. Here, he paints a picture of daily life (particularly in Lagos) in trying to make the most out of time and become rich. The subtle message here is, while everyone is all out to survive, there ought to be balance in our lives.
“Jailer” is a dancehall-like beat. Featured act, Jaywillz, comes through with a catchy chorus showing a piece of his vocal strength. The guitar strings, drum kick and snare drum combine well for both acts to tell of the girl whose body has caught their eyes and ‘jailed’ them.
“Rock” is a ballad with danceha. Delivered with calm and composure, he explains the kind of woman he likes and what he likes about her.
“Julie” also follows a ballad-like pattern having infused a Carribean vibe in the instrumentation. In an introspective manner, he talks of how well he has been treated and also ready to treat his beau. Lyrics are [also] delivered in rap-style.
Patois over a upbeat raggae song hits different every time. “Rough Up” is an Olamide attempt at rapping in Patois; about what he intends to do in ‘za oza room’. Layydoe did great on the chorus.
Fave is featured on the songs “Want” and “Pon Pon”. Where “Want” is slow and solemn, “Pon Pon” is quite busy in the instrumentation. As with other songs on this tape, the message is that of affection. I guess the idea is to serenade the listener with a feel of Fave’s soothing vocal range.
“Cup Of Tea” subtly leads us into the life of a celebrity and what comes with it; women, partying, et al. Assuring whoever that he can be gentle with a woman’s heart, still.
The track, “Somebody”, featured Phyno. Baddo’s chorus delivery skill is in no doubt, Phyno sang in English (with negligible Igbo wording) so melodically. A love song fit for romantic atmospheres has been made.
To close this tape, “So Much More”, appraises women. Although, the lyrics are written in the direction of women in abusive relationships, it simply advices women of all kinds —abused or not— to realize their worth and never settle for less. You are more, be more.
Conclusively, with the release of ‘Uy Scuti’, Olamide showed versatility, risk taking ability, and level of openness in music making. The tape being an infusion of different genres of music and that most of the tracks are love songs ought the aforesaid view.