RELEASED: December, 2011
LABEL: Alapomeji Records
DISTRIBUTOR: T. Joe
PRODUCERS: Cheepho, Spellz, Puffy T, TY Mix, D Tunes, El Ghana, I.D Cabasa, Red Eye.
Versus is the second CD from the double album released by Nigerian artiste 9ice under his label ‘ALAPOMEJI Records’.
It was also distributed by T.Joe Distribution Ltd. This album is one of the most anticipated of the year due to the concept behind it. It was said that 9ice would work with an artiste on each song, then the duo would go head to head in the friendly battle as it is written on the album cover ‘THE BATTLE LINE IS DRAWN’. The album art shows 9ice’s shirt being pulled by some of the featured artistes.
Unlike 'Bashorun Gaa' where production was mostly handled by T.Y Mix, Versus features more of Cheepho’s work but still garners instrumentals from other producers like Puffy T, Spellz and also 9ice’s long time friend I.D Cabasa producing one song on the 17 tracker.
The theme of the album ranges from sex, relationship and love to braggadocio and growing up. The album does not only feature mainstream artistes but also showcases up and coming talent mostly from his Alapomeji Records.
The album opens with one of the most anticipated song, the 9ice-Tuface duet, a slow tempo track titled ‘Beautiful’ where Tuface shows his dexterity and 9ice talks about coming up and learning from hard experiences.
It follows with ‘My Way’ which features Ghanaian musical trio ‘VIP’. This song may not have pulled it off lyrically but still complements with good chemistry. The song was produces by both PuffyT and Ghanaian producer El Ghana making it the only song that features two men on the board.
The tempo is sped up on the 3rd track ‘On Point’, a dance collaboration with Wizkid. It contains an easy to memorize hook and the usual Wizkid repetitive lyrics. It is a perfect Nigerian club song.
The track ‘Increase the tempo’ follows even though the title contradicts with the pace of the song. The song features Banky W and it covers a sexual theme. It is similar to ‘Bluetooth’ from the Tradition album.
On ‘Safe Journey’, 9ice and Kayefi talks about moving on after going through a dysfunctional relationship. The song highlights an outstanding chemistry between the pair.
Next is ‘Everything’, a 9ice-Tiwa Savage duet. This song can be regarded as a sequel to ‘Safe Journey’. On this track, both singers talk about their past painful relationship and also plans on forgiveness and reconciliation. It is the only T.Y Mix-produced piece on the album.
‘All The Way’ follows. The song features the Okoye brothers, P-Square, in which they deliver a semi-gospel/party anthem.
Following 9ice vs P-Square is the song titled ‘I Matter’ featuring Timaya, the other half of the 2 songs is produced by Puffy T. It is of a braggadocio theme and it depicts 9ice at his cockiest.
Whenever Seriki breathes on a song, it becomes as humorous as it can get. It is no different on the next track which focuses on a more sexual theme. Both 9ice and Seriki brag about the size of their genitals where the upcoming Alapomeji Records rapper kills it in less than a standard verse.
It follows with the 9ice vs Kwa Kese track. The Ghanaian act sings his local dialect making it hard for an average 9ice fan to sing along but later breaks into pidgin at the end of the song. This is only the song produced by Red Eye.
The Duncan Mighty feature comes next. It was produced by Duncan Mighty himself. The song features a more conscious 9ice in which he takes a shot at the government and their followers tagging them “deceivers and fools” respectively.
The song gets a bit humorous when 9ice suggests that the country will be a better place if elected politicians, swear in to local gods, Ogun and Sango to be precise.
The next two tracks 'Safarawe' and 'Agbamatase' features rappers M.I and Mode 9 respectively .
On Safarawe, 9ice sends out a diss message to someone he claims his fans know and then goes head-to-head with Mode in an ‘adage vs punchline’ song on Agbamatase .
'Health is Wealth' follows as 9ice and KWAM 1 dish out health tips and advices. The song also talks about cleanliness, environmental management, disadvantages of self medication.
‘Loni Ni’ which features the the Late DaGrin is next. This is probably the most popularly accepted song on the album. Though it was released earlier this year, it still sounds fresh enough to make the album.
Following it is collaboration with Wizboy. The up and coming artiste outdoes 9ice in just one verse and also delivers a fine hook in Igbo language on a classic Cheepho instrumental.
The album closes with 'Appetizer'. It is also another song with a sexual theme. It features Alapomeji Records 'Ajayi Brovas'. The song has a remix with the same verses and hook but different instrumentals though it does not show up in the album.
With every song on the album being a duet, it gives 9ice half as much chance to experiment and shine which he still does showing his lyrical prowess and making use of Yoruba adages which isn’t so present in 'Bashorun Gaa'.
Another incredible fact is that the album cuts across all genre of music from R‘n’B, Rap to Juju and even Fuji. Even with that 9ice still blends in and develops the necessary chemistry to produce tracks with a broader soundscape.
Though the album may not have seen 9ice at his peak and the most anticipated D’banj feature was probably a hoax or couldn’t just materialize for some reasons even as his picture was on the album art with the other featured artistes, it still came out satisfactory and therefore receives a B-rating.