Olamide’s LAGOS NAWA! (Wobey Sound) Album Review & Analysis
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! We all know the end of the year is Baddo Season. Olamide, for the past 7 years, has released studio albums in November & December since 2011. He seems to be following the younger Jay-Z formula in releasing an album every year, but he’s also making his own unique path in Nigeria’s music industry. LAGOS NAWA! (Wobey Sound) has 17 tracks mostly produced by Young Jonn except for one track produced himself! Oya lets start LAGOS NAWA! (Wobey Sound).
1. “Fe Nu Shey Street” – From the beginning, Olamide is singing, which is not how he usually starts off his albums. A different start may preview a different album. If he sings, he usually has a stanza of rap included. He croons in Yoruba (translation) “…sing for everyone..mo korin gan..mo rap gan..mo je ko ye won “I rap and sing well”. Olamide toasts himself for doing both well.
2. “Radio Lagos” – Olamide seems to hold on to what people say about him to the point he has to explain/defend himself with his raps. They don’t know him but gossipers continue to talk on him…Awon Radio Lagosssssss. The beat isn’t as captivating as one may like, I didn’t like the song as much when I heard first it due to its church organs and simple drum beat but this song grows on you the more you listen to it. Sing it with me, “Awon Radio Lagosssssss.”
3. “Yagaga” – Olamide writes great love songs, I didn’t like this song on first play but it’s undeniably catchy. Still not one of my favorites from my album but you might find yourself singing the chorus to yourself if you’re not careful. You’ve been warned. “I’m feeling goodddd and I’m feeling niceeeee oo.” I heard many instruments are in the song, guitars, piano, conga drums, synth sounds and what sounds like drumsticks doing percussion, shout out to the talented Young Jonn.
4. “The One” – The high-key piano is the signature of the instrumental as it overshadows the drums. Maybe this song is for a special someone but I’m not liking it so much.
5. “Oro Paw Paw” – One of my favorite songs on the album, sounds close to his song “Update”, a single released some months ago. Giving praise to God, telling his Mum not to worry, and words from his Papa that passed. This is one of those songs to inspire the young ones in Lagos and others that Olamide loves to make music for.
6. “Bend It Over” (feat. Reminisce & Timaya) – “Awon Mummy, eh, Awon Mummy, eh, Awon Mummy, eyin omo thicka body” Warning! DO NOT PLAY THIS SONG IN FRONT OF Auntie, Uncle, Dad, Mum, Pastor, etc. The beat is captivating, something you’ll expect to hear from Timaya and of course Timaya is on the track along with Alaga Ibile – Reminisce. Add this to your party Omo Wobey Playlist. Sanko level. You’re welcome. Very vulgar song though. Timaya almost songs like D’banj towards the beginning of his verse as he put his usual style on the beat.
7. “Shine” – Did Olamide say he made the beat? Baddo is producing now? He’s a true hustler indeed. Much respect. He says SO MUCH in this song with very expressive with lines like, “I don’t dwell on my sorrows and my pains anymore” and despite people calling him “too ghetto”, he invests and sponsors these days. Olamide also seems to peep whats going on in the industry and he is not happy at all. “Eyin olori buruku ti e wa ni industry yi, ti en je owo artiste te de fe share money yi.” (ask Yoruba friends for full translation..I can’t keep typing all of it abeg). He encourages fellow artists who want the cars and shine to slow down and pray they aren’t like the late Dagrin. He encourages all those like him that they are closer to their goals and dreams than they think. This song is a must listen if you want high quality Olamide rap.
8. “Saysaymaley” – Afro-jazz-fusion. Olamide is singing again. He seems to be cultivating and sculpting what he’s calling “Wobey Sound”, ever so confidently. The instrumentals are allowed to breathe towards the end of the song. Better practice your Shaku Shaku dance o. I know I am. This is a song to dance to, do not be mistaken.
9. “Mo Je Dodo” – Dancing tune again. One of my personal favorites off the album. Olamide can make catchy song, and it’s a testament to his songwriting ability. Sometimes no explanation is needed, just listen.
10. “Lagos Nawa” – Afro-jazz-fusion Olamide is back. You’ll get the same feeling as ‘Saysaymaley’. Without a doubt Olamide is making music to dance to that is arguably unlike most songs you’ll hear from mainstream Nigerian afrobeat & related styles, could be the “Wobey Sound”, maybe? The song is very Lagos as the title says. Very club/commercial friendly. You’ll hear the instrumental almost support his voice. This song will sound amazing live, for those who are going for OLIC4 are very lucky.
11. “Everyday Is Not Christmas” – Somewhat of a message from Baddo while you’re dancing again. “Everyday cannot be keresi mesi (Christmas). So we hustle everyday my brother no time to lazy.” These motivational songs are one of the reasons why I like Olamide. He ells a story on the last verse about him and one Aunty of his who called him over. Is he singing about what I think he’s singing about? If so, he’s Baddo for real!
12. “On a Must Buzz (feat. Phyno)” – The 2 Kings have reunited once again. Another catchy track and once again, Phyno makes me wish I could understand Igbo. I love the traditional drum pattern and periodic guitar melody. Not to be stereotypical but the beat sounds very Igbo-ish and I think that’s why Phyno got the call.
13. “Shanko Baby” – The song starts with guitar melody on its own and Olamide joins in with singing, this song will either be a hit or miss for you. This dancing tune has a message for everyone at the end of the song, “If you want to fire me, fire me make I die, I will never stop being Omo Wobey.” Could this mean that this style of Olamide be here to stay?
14. “Fine Fine Girls (feat. Tiwa Savage)” – The songwriting in this song is below average including Tiwa’s part unfortunately, even as a turn up/dance song. But if you like the beat and flow, then no issue. But it’s a no for me.
15. “Wo!!” – And of course, leading the Wobey Sound is the hit, Wo! Wizkid’s official “Song of the Year.” PRACTICE. YOUR. SHAKU SHAKU. DANCE! Don’t let the wedding/house party/birthday/club play this song and everyone is doing Shaku Shaku and you are just looking and nodding head saying “Wo!” And go and listen to Qdot’s verson/cover of the song too!
16. “Enimimomi” – The album is coming to an end and yes…no rap, but singing AGAIN. The song is great and I love it but I was honestly hoping for some bars to end the album, but it doesn’t take away from the quality of the song. The guitar, the bass, and piano, synth all put together by Young Jonn.
17. “Wo Spiritual” – This song is literally “Wo” but slowed with piano instrumentals. You can take this song in so many ways. You can take this as a taunt to those who will probably complain about this album, you can take it as a joke due to the lyrics being sung seriously to evoke some sort of deep emotion. And that’s LAGOS NAWA! (Wobey Sound).
So what do I think of the album? After listening to the album for some time I first of all want to say, this album is not for everyone. Most Olamide fans would expect to hear from Nigeria’s No. 1 rapper (arguably) conscious lyrics and storytelling through rap, bars, and of course some jaiye to dance to. But Olamide did not follow suit with this album as he’s been doing with his previous albums. This album reminds me of Kanye West making “Yeezus” or Kid Cudi making “Speeding Bullet 2 Heaven”. This album is not your normal Olamide album. Recently M.I. released “You Rappers Should Fix Your Lives” saying that Nigeria’s MC’s are not rapping and have turned singer and places like South Africa are leading hip-hop in Africa. This album may be Olamide being defiant to those who want to place him in a box or limit his musical range, or this album may be Olamide experimenting or doing something new or this may just be 2017 Olamide. But let’s be honest, Olamide singing is not something new. “Eleda Mi” and “Melo Melo” are classics that have Olamide singing throughout. Personal favorites of mine, ”Gbadun Arawa” & “Yemi My Lover (chorus)” “Ya Wa” & “Batifeori” from his album Street OT and “Toriomo” all have Olamide singing. And for those who complain about Olamide’s singing…don’t commercially successful rappers sing? Drake?…Ja Rule?…50 Cent?…Future? Many of hip-hop’s best currently sing as well. I feel like Olamide is on his “Omo Wobey” wave and we should let him do as he wishes because the music is great. Some people would listen to the album as soon as it was released and give their judgment on the album off of one or maybe two listens, does that one make any sense? I guarantee you if a DJ spins certain tracks on this album at the club, the party will not die down. People may not like this album because Olamide did not rap for the most part, but again, the Wobey Sound isn’t for everyone.
But whether you like the album or not, Olamide recently posted on his Instagram a snapshot of his LAGOS NAWA! (Wobey Sound) on the Billboard Chart as it is projected to peak #6 for WORLD ALBUMS on December 9th 2017 for being 1 week on the charts then.
I’m aware you can photoshop almost anything these days but I looked it up myself and it is indeed true. Whether you liked the album or not, it is indeed a successful album. Olamide has been saying he needs his credit, and I think it’s past due or maybe its due now but it’s due sha. Well done Baddo!
I give the album 4/5.