ALBUM NAME: 2 KINGS
ARTISTES: OLAMIDE AND PHYNO
FEATURED ARTISTES: LIL KESH, WIZKID, STOMREX
It has never been done before: the fusion of 2 of the most spoken languages in Nigeria, the versatility of 2 of the most talented rappers in Nigeria, the lyrical dexterity of 2 of the most gifted rappers in Nigeria, master class instrumentals and premium production unified into one chef-d’oeuvre aptly titled “2 kings”
The divide between eastern and western indigenous hip-hop was solidly bridged with this album, and at this stage of our hip-hop, this is the biggest collaborative album we have seen so far, and for a couple of years, it might remain on top, except we see more top rappers collaborate on a project. This album is legendary, innovative and in the future when more of these are done, this album, and these artistes will be pointed out as the forerunners.
As far as album intros go, “Cypher” is a good way to begin this classic, with Phyno and Olamide taking turns to lace this B-Banks beat, with hot bars in their different languages. The cypher styled song sets the tone for the album with both rappers appearing to cancel each other out all through the song, and the album in general. With “Koba-Koba” Olamide and Phyno deliver a “drake” styled song, and they do a good job on this beat, but I believe the song would have been better if Phyno had more time on it, but not withstanding, both rappers impress on this as always. On “Nobody’s Fault” they both speak their mind on this beat, expertly produced by Pheelz, a highly talented hip hop producer, and the sounds on this record prove that in years to come, this young producer will be up there among the greats. Maybe it’s just me, but did Olamide and Phyno reply A-Q’s diss? Well, listen and tell me your thoughts. “Ladi” changes the tune of the album, courtesy of a Young John instrumental, and Olamide’s protégé, Lil Kesh. With Kesh impressing as always, Phyno and Olamide display their stuff on it, to deliver a hit. Trust me, this song will enjoy massive airplay on radios, and DJs are bound to slam this song in clubs over and over again.
Major Bangz is one producer who you can’t help but admire his skill set when it comes to cooking a hip hop beat, and this has to be one of the best beats on this album, before Pheelz’s Nobody’s Fault. Phyno pulls out all the stops, proving he is definitely one of the best rappers in the country, and Olamide compliments his efforts and together they deliver “God Be With Us” and this is readily on of the standout songs on the album. On “Une”, Phyno goes all alone on another Major Bangz instrumental, and as we have come to expect from Phyno, he doesn’t fail to impress, giving us top class delivery. On “Real Nigga”, Olamide wades into unfamiliar waters, dropping his bars on a raga dance hall beat, master minded by Pheelz. With Phyno bossing on this genre already, their versatility is stamped as simply outstanding, exploring into different genres with their already unique styles, and coming out on top. Wizkid graces the album on “Confam Ni” and ever since Olamide and Wizkid collaborated years ago, anytime they work on a project, its magic, and it’s the same case here. With Young John on beast on mode on the beat, they deliver a confam song that you won’t help but nod your head to. Featuring Stomrex on “Carry Me Go”, they whip up a different kind of song, with Phyno and Olamide trying their best to show their softer and emotional sides. Stormrex must be commended for shining on this track, and this girl is supposed to be bigger than this, I hope her current management realizes this. Closing the album on an inspirational note, Phyno and Olamide reveal why they do it for their city in “For My City”. They successfully drop another street hustler’s anthem, and many a hustler from the streets of Bariga to the markets in onitsha will be inspired by this song.
Sometimes, you don’t need 17 or 18 tracks to make a good and quality album, and this is the case here. The number of tracks on the album anymore would have made the album unnecessarily long and boring. The production and instrumentals compliment the rappers on the album, and the number of features would have been more I would have loved to see Reminisce and maybe Ill Bliss make appearances, but that does not take anything away from this classic masterpiece. We listeners may be tempted to compare both rappers, in terms of whose better, but in the entirety of this album, both rappers go toe to toe with each other. That debate should be left for another day or another album. Phyno and Olamide deliver what is akin to royalty, and they both deserve the crowns on their heads on the album art. After listening to this album, it gives me hope for the future, because Nigerian artistes will now collaborate with each other on albums and this will make our hip-hop stronger than ever.