FIRE OF ZAMANI
RECORD LABEL: CHOCOLATE CITY
IcePrince is the most sellable Nigerian rapper at the moment. The only person that can wear an Agbada with sneakers and still look super dapper. The best rapper in Africa considering the recent BET Awards as the Best International Act: Africa. After the success of his first Album Everybody Loves IcePrince, he has consistently dropped hit singles and collaborated with other musicians. At a time when fellow Chocolate City artistes are dropping off the record label, he has maintained a good relationship with his label and has focused on his music career.
IcePrince is an outstanding artiste but this review is not about his life, past or awards but about the collection of songs titled FIRE OF ZAMANI. Enter the Fire of Zamani, Ice Prince’ sophomore Album:
Stars & Lights: A soulful and inspirational way to start the album is Ice talking about the journey so far, his struggles and hustle. He gives props to his crew and most importantly MI. Ruby did very well to make the hook and the song enjoyable. /if there has ever been a rap this fly, it had to be done by an M.I’s guy/
Aboki is one of the most important tracks on this Album and yet it is clear that iceprince sang all through without necessarily dropping rap bars. The beat is groovy and it’s a heavy party track. With repetitive lyrics, he mentions many rich Hausas as his ‘guys’.
My Life sounds more like a live performance by a band in a local joint. Iceprince delivers the chorus cold and it has more singing than rapping. He talks about his life in bits and pieces without any particular direction.
Mercy has a lot of repetitive keys and it starts to get boring till Chip a British rapper resuscitates the song with his rap verse. The chorus is a stereotype dancehall hook
Another Sammy Gyang production, a story based song but the big question mark on this song is: Why feature Sunny Neji on a song if he won’t sing the chorus for you? Maybe to achieve a surprise effect, I guess its different strokes for different folks. On the overall, Whiskey is a good song.
The N-Word song sounds like a Rick-Ross song though it was produced by Ace producer Don-Jazzy. Considering it’s a hardcore rap song, this track comes off as an irony from a producer who thinks that the Rap Genre still has a long way to go. Ice Prince came hard on this one. To appreciate the rhymes in this song, one should omit the N-word at the end of each line. Pretty Impressive. /We don dey gather all the Cheese N****, Big Shots chilling Overseas N****. Fast Whips automatic keys N****, So when we drive by e dey be like breeze N****/
Jambo is a spirit lifting song, a bit groovy and fun. A Chopstix production with a catch word: Jambo. Jambo is not well defined and it leaves inquisitive minds wondering what the true meaning of Jambo is, but when you think of it, the mystery is a positive. Enjoyable song.
No die Tomorrow has a reggae beat with political activism content in the lyrics. This song shows political side of Ice Prince. It’s a bit awkward coming from a commercial African rapper, but that doesn’t mean he cant speak his mind right? Just doesn’t sound believable for some reason. /2015 na him be the question, my people dey anticipate who go be the next one, afterall we no say dem go rig election/
Gimme dat is a dancehall hit enjoying play on most radio stations across the continent , it features some of the best new acts. Burnaboy serenades the song with his signature voice, Young L comes through with Jamaica styled lyrics and Olamide delivers his verses in his local Yoruba tongue.
Komotion is yet another Dancehall Reggae fusion this time featuring Wizkid. If you love dancehall then this will be your favorite track. IcePrince and Wizkid prove they can do music that is not the stereotype naija styled music.
I Swear is the most anticipated song on this album having featured French Montana an A-list international act on Maybach Music Group and Badboy records. Ice Prince did a good job on this dance-hall track, unfortunately we cant say the same for French Montana.
Person wey sabi is a harmonic tune and a typical African song with drums and trumpets. A groovy and celebratory song, it will pass for a highlife song that puts you in a happy mood. The kind of song that you don’t even want to know what the lyrics are about.
Kpako is one of the strongest songs on this album featuring his old time friends M.I. and Jesse Jagz. Even though they were not all present in the studio and recorded the songs independently because of busy schedules and logistics it wasn’t clear that there was no chemistry or bonding between the artistes. Jesse jagz came out tops on this one.
Pray initially starts up like filler on the album. If not for the fact that Sound Sultan was featured and he added a little spice on the track then it would have been another boring song on this album.
More is a reggae infused melodic tune that gets everyone singing along. Here Ice Prince raps excellently like he was in a battle when actually it is supposed to be a love song. Rhymes, punch lines and metaphors characterize his rap. The newer fine-tuned version makes it an excellent song. / It’s too much bomb and hate that kinda complicates. Its too much dropping around and now u talking out of state/
On my Knees is a Gospel like song featuring Jeremiah Gyang with African drums. The Plateau state citizens ended the Fire of Zamani Project by thanking God. The song does well to take those who grew up in Plateau state down memory ran.
Fire of Zamani is an anti-climax coming from a Nigerian artiste like Ice Prince who has an outstanding debut album. On some tracks he comes out exceptional on his vocals but on other tracks his voice comes out flat like he is not putting in enough effort. One would be tempted say this was a rushed project. Sometimes he strays off from the theme of a song in pursuit of Punch lines. However, for an album with about 5 hit singles it is safe to say it is a good project, but falls below the hype With international collaborations and recognition, Fire of Zamani marks the beginning of a new era for Ice Prince. He is saddled with the responsibility of representing Nigeria and Africa in general. We can only wait for the future to unfold what comes next for him.
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Review by Ayo Alloh [@Kingceiver]