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Saturday, 21 January 2012

GlamReview: Bashorun Gaa by 9ice!

Released: Dec. 2011
Label: Alapomeji Records
Distributor: T. Joe
Length: 60:09
Producers: T.Y Mix, Spellz, Sossick, Cheepo, Pastorchild, Puffy T.

After a brief hiatus from the music scene, the Alapomeji Records artiste returns with his 4th studio album, Bashorun Gaa (same name as the title of legendary Yoruba warrior who dethroned and murdered kings in his time). It is one of the double albums released by 9ice in Dec 2011- the second being “Versus”, both being distributed by T.Joe.

The album was first announced after the release of its first and only single “Shakashiki” which shows 9ice deviating into the Juju genre. The single was well received by fans and it received as much air-play and club spin. Bashorun Gaa, though delayed, was much anticipated due to the publicity gained from the 9ice-Ruggedman beef during the year.

Contribution to the album’s production came from a wide range of producers including T.Y Mix producing almost half of it. Others include Spellz & Cheepo, Bashorun Gaa was the first 9ice album to feature works from Sossick and Pastorchild also the first not to include I.D. Cabasa production.

It is not much of a conceptual album, covering the regular braggadocio theme on most tracks and spreading other topics on the remaining few. The album shows 9ice’s knack for boasting lyrics. 

The album opens with “Pacesetters”, the only song with a featured guest. It is the perfect opener for a comeback album and it features the fast-rising rapper, Vector. The YSG artiste took the first verse after the hook on the T.Y Mix beat. Though a line like 'getting you higher the brandy' may seem a little weak for the closing bar, Vector still held his own against one of the best lyricists in the country paying back the favor for 9ice's killer chorus on his own single “Angeli Mi”.

Everyday” is the second track on the album. On the song with a love theme, 9ice appreciates and talks about proposing to a lover who stood by him through hard times. The video of the song was recently released.

Mu Number” incorporates an Indian tune in the instrumental produced by Spellz. It is a semi-dance song which is sure to get constant spins in the house parties and local/indigenous events.
3310, Ori Olowo and Attitude” are based on a braggadocio theme. On "3310", he boasts about his lyrical prowess, on "Ori Olowo"; his money and on "Attitude"; both. Only that Attitude compensates with a nice up-tempo instrumental best fit for any dance party and is a potential hit if pushed as a single.

Simple Strategy, "Adigun Ojuwon’lo" and "We Are Ready all take a Juju/Fuji turn. 9ice switches his style into a more indigenous and unpredictable flow. The instrumentals of these songs especially "Simple Strategy" creatively incorporates local drum patterns and percussions and the 3rd verse lyrically sounds Afrobeat.

I Rule and Displaybring back the 9ice we fell in love with on the “Gongo Aso” album. 9ice emphasizes his rhymes on both songs. I Rule is spiced with adages and the Pastorchild-produced song is a southern hip-hop instrumental similar to ‘‘My People’’ produced by Cheepho on the ‘‘Tradition’’ album. "Display" is a dance track sung in English and it’s the only song on the album produced by Puffy T.

Omo and Takoto, both dance songs, follow each other. While the former, produced by Cheepho has the fastest tempo on the album, "Takoto’s" beat is of a slower tempo and is more hip-hop and is the second Pastorchild production. 

Enife and So Fun Won are both produced by Sossick and 9ice directs the message of the two songs to anyone bent on bringing him down saying he’s unstoppable and backed by God.

Don’t Go is not a song we usually hear on Nigerian albums these days. It is the kind of song you will expect from the likes of the legendary Ebenezer Obey and I.K. Dairo, only on a higher tempo. The ballad is directed towards wives urging them to respect their husbands and warns them of the outcome of the opposite. 

The album closes with ‘‘Buje Budanu’’. This is another detour into the Juju/Fuji genre. On the song, 9ice eulogizes the rich businessmen and politicians just like a regular Fuji artiste would do.

Considering the album’s time, length and number of songs, the 18-tracker comes with a couple of songs with short verses making the album sound rushed or improvised. Though with few album fillers, Bashorun Gaa makes up with great production. It is the kind of album that you have to listen to over and over again before it can be felt.
Unlike Gongo Aso and Tradition, Bashorun Gaa may be a setback from 9ice’s hit-making status with little probability of spawning as much hit singles, but 9ice still keeps it as tuneful and melodious as possible.
Bashorun Gaa may not be the perfect comeback album and might not have presented the performer as his usual distinct self, it is sure to still keep 9ice relevant as far as the Nigerian music industry is concerned.

by @itspunchline

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