Saturday, 24 December 2011

9ice – Basorun Gaa [Album Review]

In the Oyo Empire of old, Bashorun Gaa was the most notorious Prime Minister ever known. Basorun Gaa who was Prime Minister from 1754-1774, dethroned and executed four consecutive Alaafins. The fifth Alaafin succeeded to defeat him after a long and costly battle.
In the contemporary Nigerian music industry, the artiste known as 9ice rose to fame and power in 2008 with his seminal second album. With the album’s huge success 9ice (temporarily) dethroned the reigning kings of the music industry, 2face Idibia, Psquare and D’banj which was especially evident by his winning the MTV MAMA ‘Best hiphop act’ in 2008 and the ‘Artiste of the Year’ at the 2009 Hip Hop World Awards. Three years later, 9ice isn’t the same artiste. His personal issues and poorly received third album ‘Tradition’ saw him fall from his pole position.
While the first Basorun Gaa was burnt to death to make sure he didn’t come back from the dead, 9ice has gone through the fire only to rise like the mythical Phoenix, better and stronger. His fourth album is a melodic renaissance of an artiste who knows how to combine traditional Yoruba music with contemporary pop music. 9ice is back in form on this LP. The set is heavy on groove and nod factor with many producers (TY Mix, Spellz, Pastor Child, Puffy T, Sossick and Cheepho) plotting 9ice’s return.
I’m not insane. It’s in your brain. I’m still the same’ croons 9ice on the album’s opener ‘Pace Setter’ which features Vector who happens to be the lone guest on this album. Produced by TY-Mix, ‘Pace Setter’ with a beat that feels like the theme song for a B-list Hollywood action movie- (that’s not a diss, really it’s not) lets you know that the Alapomeji boss is still in business. ‘Every day’ is a song you can move to even if you don’t understand the deep Yoruba lingo 9ice drops.
Mu Number’ is nothing but a hit waiting to explode. While the BPM on this song might be a little bit slow for clubs it will fit perfectly in a DJ’s playlist for ‘Owambe’ and house parties in densely populated areas which is more of 9ice’s preferred target audience.
The Spellz-produced track might however have what it takes to go mainstream; the drums on the song will have you moving.
9ice has been through a lot these past two years. His feud with rapper and former friend Ruggedman, his public separation with his wife Toni Payne and disappointing third album nearly wiped him out from the game. ‘I am 3310 (3ce), O jabo ko fo’ sings 9ice on the hook of ‘3310’ (produced by TY Mix) which is the name of the popular Nokia phone known for its resilience. On ‘Simple Strategy’ he channels the spirits of past legends Ayinde Barrister (Fuji Garbage) and Fela Kuti (Open and Close) which will have you shuffling your feet.
TY Mix (Naeto C’s longtime producer) features heavily on this LP. He is responsible for producing ‘Shakashiki’ which contains some of the star dust on 9ice’s classic hit Gongo Aso. For 3 minutes and 56 seconds you will get to hear the 9ice of 2007 to 2008. On this track he proves he has what it takes to be the 9ice that took the industry by storm once again.
On ‘I Rule’, with his signature tune (mi le! ti-ti! ti-ti!) the Basorun in 9ice comes out. With hard knocks from Pastor Child he imposes himself like a warlord and boldly tells you that he is a demi-god and there is nothing anybody can do to change that. Sossick who has worked with another ground breaking Yoruba artiste (Dagrin) is the genius behind ‘Enife’, a track where 9ice tells those waiting for his downfall that ‘if you dey wait for my downfall, you go wait dere, you go die dere.’ Cocky much but what do you expect from a Basorun?
Basorun Gaa is not a total conquest though. It’s too long and ambitious with 18 tracks. Some songs should have been left on the cutting floor in the studio instead of just making the numbers. Also the album lacks the potential to produce smash hits on the level of Street Credibility, Photocopy and Party Rider. The new songs on Basorun Gaa are however strong and cohesive. While 9ice might not be back on the throne yet he is knocking hard on the palace doors with his new album.

CULLED FROM :thenetng

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