Random Thoughts

Based on the Queen of Katwe

Where you are used to may not exactly be where you belong….

When life throws you on the streets to hawk, dance through it and sell your wares with a smile….

When your ‘landlady’ say your rent is due, worry will come but other doors will open…

When you find inspiration and support through someone, do your best to make the person proud…

When you get on that big stage, be blind to the degree of your opposition and give it your best shot…

Even if you were born in the slums, remember that you mirror God’s image and you are Kings and Queens on earth…

The prayers of a Mother are worth more than silver or gold….

Which report will you believe, the one that says you can’t or the one that says you were born for more….

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Random Thoughts

CAF ELECTIONS 2017: THE NIGERIA DILEMMA

CAF ELECTIONS 2017: THE NIGERIA DILEMMA | Football news and analysis <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style>

CAF ELECTIONS 2017: THE NIGERIA DILEMMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nigeria football polity has been in the news over the past week following NFF’s President Amaju Pinnick’s open support for Madagascar’s FA chairman Ahmad Ahmad who is the lone rival to incumbent Issa Hayatou of Cameroon in the upcoming CAF elections.

The Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung issued a statement late last week disassociating the country from Amaju Pinnick’s support and has gone ahead to schedule an emergency meeting with top FA members and stakeholders for 11am on Tuesday in Abuja.

Background of the Elections:
Through a constitutional assembly after several attempts, the Confederation of African Football came to life in February 1957 and has since grown over the years into a formidable organization in World football affairs. In 1988, after being endorsed by the then incumbent CAF President, Issa Hayatou emerged as the new man at the helms of affair defeating his Togolese challenger by 22 votes to 18, the 72 years old has been President for 29 years and is seeking re-election for his eight term in office come March 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when the elections take place.

Hayatou

In past elections, Hayatou has gone unchallenged but this year, with the strong wave of change blowing across various political settings in the world which also saw FIFA electing a new president in Gianni Infantino, Madagascar FA Chairman Ahmad Ahmad is leading a strong resistance to the Hayatou reign. The 57 year old is the Chairman of the Madagascar FA, elected in 2003, he is also a member of CAF executive committee and was once named in corruption allegations surrounding the award of the hosting of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he did admit to requesting for financial aid for his FA but insists it was not in exchange for votes.

The Nigerian Dilemma:
The NFF President who was recently in Zimbabwe and South Africa with Ahmad Ahmad for a three day FIFA council meeting with President Infantino last week openly endorsed the Madagascar’s FA President as Nigeria’s choice in the upcoming elections, harping on the need for a change in how football affairs should be run on the continent. The NFF President who is also seeking a place on the executive seat claimed that the decision was one discussed and agreed upon during an NFF executive meeting.

Image result for Amos Adamu

However, the declaration has opened a can of worms to which there seems no end, 9 Nigerians in CAF’s committees including Dr Amos Adamu, Brig-General Dominic Oneya (rtd), Alh. Sani Lulu, Alh. Aminu Maigari, Mr Amanze Uchegbulam, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba, Mr Paul Bassey, Mr Chris Green and Aisha Falode, issued a statement insisting that Pinnick’s decision to dump incumbent Issa Hayatou was purely a personal matter and not a national decision as they were not consulted before the endorsement was made.

They insisted that no Nigerian in CAF or the supervising Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports was consulted before the NFF chief decided to announce the country’s support for the candidate from the Southern African football sub-region (COSAFA).

“Mr Pinnick as an individual has a right to declare support for whoever he pleases but when such support is made in the name of Nigeria then there is need for extreme caution given the political colouration of CAF elections of which we are well grounded and versed in.

“CAF Elections are not about individuals… They insisted that while Hayatou remains a friend of the country having previously supported most of the football fiestas hosted by the country as well as helping Nigerians into various CAF positions, Ahmad has not been here to canvass support and listed the hosting of the FIFA Under-17 Competition in 2009, the election of Nigerians into the CAF and FIFA Executive Committees, (Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr. Amos Adamu) as some of the benefits accruing to the nation under Hayatou’s reign.

But in a swift move, Chairman of Chairmen of the current NFF board, Ibrahim Gusau, countered this statement, he revealed that Pinnick was given the go-ahead to act in whatever possible way to advance the interest of Nigeria in the CAF elections.

“In a nutshell, we all agreed unanimously at the board meeting of NFF to support NFF President, Amaju Pinnick to contest for a CAF Executive seat in the forthcoming CAF elections in Addis Ababa. We also gave him a mandate to use his discretion to vote for any presidential candidate that has genuine vision that will benefit Nigeria. We believe Amaju as the President of NFF is not going to CAF as an individual but he is going there to represent the interest of Nigeria and we believe as a leader he understand the politics in CAF”.

My Opinion:

Just so we clear, Amaju Pinnick getting on the executive committee of CAF is more to his benefit than to Nigeria’s benefit, there is really no gain that comes to the nation from him being on the board. I am fully in support that Issa Hayatou’s time is up and he needs to go but two things worry me, are we not jumping from the proverbial ‘fry pan to fire’ in seeking change just for the sake of change without due diligence on Ahmad Ahmad and why is Pinnick going all about his support like an amateur politician, forgetting that in politics, nothing is certain.

amaju

Issa Hayatou came in as an unknown, a breath of fresh air and grew into a behemoth that we all want out of the door. Ahmad Ahmad has been Chairman of his FA for 14 years (anything to read from that?), he is also the deputy Senate leader in his country and having listened to him on several platforms, I am yet to be convinced about his plans for football on the continent outside the leading chant that Hayatou just needs to leave. I have also learnt following the Nigerian Presidential elections, that all politicians are from the same side of the coin.

Image result for Ahmad Ahmad

For Pinnick, who is Nigeria’s representative on the board and gets to vote, he seems fully confident that Ahmad Ahmad will win following FIFA President Infantino’s veiled support, COSAFA’s endorsement and some West African nations also supporting the challenger, but maybe he needs to take a cue from the likes of South Africa who have been careful in putting their necks on the line despite pressures from both side.

A total of 28 votes are required to unseat Hayatou, Ahmad Ahmad claims to have secured 15 already, will today’s meeting with the Minister witness any change in Nigeria’s stance, whatever the outcome of today’s meeting, football and not politics should be the winner

Random Thoughts

SHORT STORIES ON WHAT I SEE

SHORT STORIES: A WORD FOR EVERY SITUATION

 

I SEE the tears on Mama Nkechi’s face late at night as she begs from her neighbors just to make sure her children could eat, abandoned by her husband after the birth of the last child, another girl, the fourth female child despite the desperate prayers for a boy. He had left the morning after, left them all in her hands with no job except a petty trade and maybe in the hands of God, if he is truly out there…

 

Word: Yes, There is a tendency when in pain to react towards the negative than positive but in him lies a hope so strong that it illuminates a dark path.

 

I ALSO SEE Bayo submitting CVs at every office in Lekki Phase I, he has become friends with the gatemen, his file has become a distinct feature, 5years after graduating with a first class, no job, no money, first son of the family, responsibilities already beckoning. Menial opportunities have come by, yes the usual teaching of Nursery school students, the occasional factory work but none yet tallying with his dreams and visions, so he continues to search…

 

Word: A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation, I, the Lord will hasten it in his time (Isa 60: 22)

 

I SEE Caro on the streets late at night as we drove out of the club, she waves at us, pushes her bra further up as she leans on the driver’s side of the car, I used to know her, yes ‘used to’, mother died at birth, father married to another, she and her younger brother left to wander the streets, searching for what to eat, sleeps under the bridge, rumors of her dating the No 1 agbero in the hood, tried her hands on several things but got burned on every occasion, she now smokes and drinks heavily and is known as one of the islands ‘runs girls’, with no one to turn to and a brother to support through school, how do I hate on this new hustle of hers even if I’m surely not patronizing it?

 

Word:  He forgiveth all our sins and healeth all our diseases. Don’t give up on God for he won’t give up on you.

 

I SEE Rachel, I see the hurt in her eyes, the betrayal it holds, the demons fighting in her head and the ghost she has become, raped by her Uncle, not once, not twice, can’t even be counted on both hands, it all started when she was 8, continued till she was 15, she was warned not to talk, then threatened as years passed and he demanded it more until she began to believe her own story of being the cause of her problems, ‘why did I have a full body at a young age’, She cries, ‘Why did I never reject the candies he brought’, ‘why did I keep silent the first time’… 3 abortions later and a damage to her womb, why am I even alive, she asks?

 

Word: Even whilst we were yet unborn, he knew us… I’ve seen pain so deep that it pierces the very soul, yet I’ve also seen the healing power of time, love and God’s word.

 

I SEE the hardworking James, childhood friend of David and Usman, they did it all together, disturbed the neighborhood with their exuberance, shared similar dreams and worked towards it. Years later, David got a good job, lives in a good house and married to a good wife, Usman rides a fly car, appointed manager of a top firm in the country and officially arrived as one of the newest big boys in town, but James seems stuck, his 40k paying job can barely meet his needs, still lives with his parents in their one room apartment even though he would be 40 next year, can’t even hold down a relationship, GT the guitar man’s ‘When I’m I gonna be what I wanna be…… time is ticking, I can’t wait no more, do dreams ever come true in this part of the world’ is his favorite musical line, ‘am I cursed?, do my friends have two heads?, how come I am the one always begging them for money? Some of the questions he asks on a daily as peer pressure got the better of him.

 

Word: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not for the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill but time and chance happeneth to them all.

 

I SEE Ifeanyi the upcoming rapper, used to freestyle with his group every evening at that corner in Surulere, close to the Mallam’s kiosk, listened to him a few times, he is actually good at it, won many freestyle battles also, the sky seems to surely be his limit, so he begins to save, uses his tuition fees and pays for a 8hr studio session at 80k, records two songs, ‘surely a hit’, he says; art cover and packaging plus CD copies for additional 50k, now he is ready, the radio needs to feel this, 1st deejay he meets asks for 120k payola, promises a month of repeated rotation and even shows along the line, the other one in the sister station with a pot belly opens a box filled with abandoned CDs, says its 150k non negotiable, the video director called earlier that a mini budget of 400k will get the shoot covered, so he trades off his few assets, even signs a slave contract,  he has to make this work but now the label says rap music will never sell, he has to learn how to sing like Wizkid, he has today abandoned that dream and like that parable in the bible gotten his talent buried.

 

Word: Whose report will you believe? I’ve seen creativity and genius sacrificed on the altar of ‘MARKET DEMANDS’, but I’ve also seen determination so dogged that it forges its own path through the thick forest of public opinions and vision so clear that it blazed its own trail when no one was willing to give it a chance.

 

I SAW Temi during my service year far away in a strange land, one of the most amazing lady I had ever met, strong (at least on the outside), homely and surely a blessing to any lucky man. I saw her laugh, saw her dance, saw her speak in tongues, then I also saw her cry, saw her go pale, saw her strength fade away and then saw her lying on the floor after attempting to take her own life. She had been with him for 11yrs, immediately after completing her secondary school, she is Muslim, he is a Christian, but she loved him and disowned her father’s religion. He was her first just a year after and he was the only one eleven years after. During her university days, she was ready for marriage, he said they should wait till she completed her education. Strikes came, years were elongated but finally she graduated, again she was ready but he said to wait till after the service year, now just three months to the end of her service year, he called to say ‘you are not the girl I used to know, you are now fat, I can’t do this any longer’… after the call, she had stormed into her room in the Corper’s lodge, only to be found minutes later barely alive.

 

Word: And God remembered Sarah…….. I’ve seen broken hearts and the broken hearted, but I’ve also seen hearts that even when hurt, could not be broken because they had found peace in him.

 

I SEE Vivian at 28, her dreams already fading away, she had a picture of what she wanted growing up, a successful businesswoman, married with three kids and enjoying life ever more. It was all looking good till that fateful day in college 9years ago, when she slumped on her way back from the library. The doctors could not diagnose her aliment, they assured her that all was well but she kept forgetting things and she kept losing her strength easily, barely could she walk for 5minutes anymore, barely could she read and remember again, depends solely on her soon retiring widowed mother for her needs, living in perpetual fear that she may never live the life of her dreams or even like every other normal lady, the more she ate, the more her flesh dried up, she contemplated suicide but couldn’t bear the pain the mother would feel, so she stays hoping, hoping for a miracle, hoping against hope…I see it all

 

Word: For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of good and not of evil, thoughts of life and not of death, to give you an expected end….. I have seen the power of faith and yes I have seen God, our ever present help in times of need.

 

Random Thoughts

MY WK 25 EPL REVIEW

PREMIER LEAGUE: FIVE THIS TO EXPECT THIS WEEKEND

The premiership enters Week 25 this weekend with many promising fixtures, surprise of the season and league leaders Leicester City go up against favorites and second placed Manchester City in a 6 pointer clash at lunch time on Saturday, whilst in what should usually be a super clash but now relegated to a game of strugglers takes place at Stanford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea hosts Manchester United in a super Sunday clash, 8 other exciting fixtures are lined up and would go a long way in shaping the league and the teams standing, here are my five expectations from this weekend games.

  1. Vardy Vs Aguero

            Jamie Vardy

It’s a case of two inform strikers, a case of two players heavily relied upon by their teams, Vardy leading the scorers pack with 18 goals including the stunner he scored against Liverpool midweek which is a contender for goal of the season, while Sergio Aguero despite his many injury layoffs has scored 13 goals, also bagging the solitary one for City midweek which has kept their title chase firmly alive. Aguero on his day is probably the best player in the Premier league, the Argentine packs a bunch with his robust play, speed, skill and ability to convert even in tight corners and with captain Vincent Kompany’s injury laden season, Yaya Toure’s declining form and David Silva’s inconsistency, he bears the burden of the team and would be required to stay fit if they are to stand any chance at the title this season.

Jamie Vardy has taken the premier league by storm, typical bullish English forward, makes runs off the defenders, packs pace and his finishing reminds you of Blackburn’s Alan Shearer in their premier league winning season, if Leicester City are to make this dream come true, then Vardy will be required to continue his fine form supported by the sleek Mahrez and the workaholic Kante in midfield. This is a game of two strikers but is also a game where the defence that holds may end up as winners.

  1. Will LVG’s Manchester United attack again?

A lot of United fans were taken aback by the teams display on Tuesday as Stoke visited Old Trafford, despite the teams 3-1 F.A cup win over Derby, no one was prepared for the football on display Tuesday night, United attacked, attacked and attacked, there was a departure from the stagnant and unprogressive possession play seen largely throughout the season, the ball was moved quickly to the wings especially to Martial, who took on defenders all 90mins making life hell for the likes of Glen Johnson, this was rewarded with a swift counter attacking move finished off by Martial for the second goal and captain Wayne Rooney who seems to have rediscovered his form also had his name on the scorers sheet. On Sunday, the teams goes up against a seemingly resurgent Chelsea side under Guus Hiddink, who despite not winning too many games are yet to lose since he took over. Diego Costa seems to be back to life, the pivot midfield of Matic and Mikel have brought steel back into the team, Hazard is slowly getting back to his best and even when the team were in poor form, United could only manage a goalless draw at home in the first leg.

We have seen the United team go all out against Newcastle producing some fine attacking football, only to revert to their slow tight possession game the week after, will LVG allow the shackles to stay off this weekend, which seems like the sane thing to do or are we going to see the boring United re-enacted come super Sunday?

  1. Can Alli Spur Tottenham past Watford?

Its four consecutive wins in all competition for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham, they seem to be on a roll and one man key to this feat is young midfielder Dele Alli. Spurs are five points off the leaders Leicester City and depending on the outcome of the Manchester City Vs Leicester game, Spurs may actually be title contenders at the end of the weekend, they are up against the impressive Watford United at White Hart Lane, with Watford coming off an impressive draw midweek to Chelsea, Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo will pose problems as usual, but with Kane banging in the goals and Alli creating his own legend, this is one game that will throw many sparks come Saturday evening.

  1. Will the Garde’s save Villa?

Almost down and out Aston Villa will be home to Norwich City who are just two points above the drop zone, it has been horrible for Remi Garde and his lads, the performances have been uninspiring, luck has deserted them and all seems down and out for them, the question however is, will a drowning team drag another down with it? Norwich made a hush of signings this January window as they seek to beat the drop and news that Jordan Ayew is suspended for this game will be a delight to their ears, this will be a battle, could be explosive but could also be tepid, Norwich has to take something away from this, otherwise the days ahead may be uneasy for them.

  1. The Clock running out for Klopp?

            Jurgen Klopp looks on

We love what he did with Dortmund, we enjoy his touchline drama and goal celebrations, many believe he is a good coach and given time and a full transfer window, he should come good for the Anfield side but his recent run of results have left many with doubts, concerns and anxiety. Jurgen Klopp’s initial magic at Liverpool seems to be waning, his defence leaks faster than a basket, who plays Sahko and Toure in defence anyway? Sunderland put up a decent fight in their midweek loss against Manchester City and if they are to survive the drop, they need to start converting those fights and narrow losses to three points.  Jan Kirchoff was a delight in the middle of the pack and the team would need him if they are to stand any chance in their visit to Anfield. The Anfield faithful needs more than an animated coach, or flashes of brilliance, the fans demand Liverpool start getting the results and climbing up the table, this is a good game to start a run but Big Sam’s side may just cause an upset, an over 2.5 seems ideal for sport bets.

Music, Musings, Random Thoughts, Sports

HAZARDS OF BEING A STAR IN NIGERIA

On Popular by Vector, the rapper went on about the pressure he has had to face since he became famous, with lines like ‘I forgot that I was famous, you can’t be free, the consequences gone chain us’. We further preview some of the hazards that come along with the fame;

  • You become a perpetual late night crawler especially during festive periods where artistes hop from shows to shows, which has led to accidents and even death attimes like that of the late Dagrin.
  • Privacy denied as you can’t walk easily on the streets anymore, especially in a town like Lagos, where the area boys want to get ‘rogered’ at every turn
  • Stigmatization, the average celebrity if male is tagged a weed smoker, drinker and a womanizer whilst the females are regarded as prostitutes or being from badly brought up backgrounds.
  • You must be perfect; a celebrity is expected to be perfect at every hour of the day, you need to wear the widest smile on every red carpet, wave every time you walk on the streets, give freely to all those who beg you for money, have the perfect marriage as you and your home are automatically ‘role models’ and never be caught eating ‘without table manners’ in the public.
  • You must have money, money to donate to every sick person posted up on your social media page, money to share airtime to your many followers because Don Jazzy is doing it, actually you must have enough money to adopt a tweet, buy out the bar and then get Santa dropping gifts at every home every weekend.

Phew, but like Mi said ‘Dem sef dem be human beings o’

Random Thoughts

E.L’S 10 RAP COMMANDMENTS

Outside the tablets given to Moses, which has the 10 commandments, there are certain rules of engagement for one to succeed in life, as an aspiring rapper, here are 10 commandments to guide you, so read, memorize and live with it.

  1. Get a style that’s yours, be Original
  2. Have a die- hard crew that will have your back all through
  3. Don’t over-speed, plan every step and making mistakes is allowed, learn from it
  4. Don’t let money rule you
  5. Stay humble
  6. Understand you are not a normal artiste, you are a brand, so let your tweets, instagram pictures and social posts reflect this.
  7. Competition is real, don’t slack, kill or be killed.
  8. Season comes and season goes, attimes relax, then come back redefined
  9. Save or invest some of the money when you making it.
  10. Never forget the place of God in your career.
Random Thoughts

SONGS I AM LISTENING TO

 

  1. This Woman’s Work (Cover) – Omotayo: Now for those of you who may not have heard of this name before, Omotayo is one of those gifted voices you need to put on your watchout list come 2016, because big things are surely coming from him. The Airtel/Trace Music Star who released his ‘Heartbreak and Love Song’ EP sometime this year decided to do a cover of this hit tune by Maxwell and the result is pure magic, his voice literally takes you to places you can only dream of.
  2. Tales of a City: Michael Excel, Duno, Eboy and KOD: For those familiar with music from the South South of Nigeria, especially sounds from Edo State, they will be quite familiar with some of these names, Michael Excel who is one of the prolific producers around teamed up with some of the finest emcees off the Benin Empire in veteran Duno who kicked off things and also Eboy and KOD to share the tales of their city. This is one really brilliant song. ‘This is the city that made me, the city of Bronze….. the city of great ones, the city of gods’.
  3. Adura Elijah- Jhybo: Now this is already becoming some form of hit as I hear it played at major events and streets, Jhybo who is one of those indigenous rappers with a difference returns with a prayer to God, aptly titled ‘Adura Elijah’ which means the Prayer of Elijah, Jhybo presents himself as a child seeking help from a higher being and praying that he gets answers like that of Elijah. Don’t sleep on this peeps, it is a JAM and may even get played in our churches.
Random Thoughts

TOP 10 MUSIC LABELS IN 2015

 

  1. Supreme Mavin Dynasty: a label that packs Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, D Prince, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Di’ja and is headed by hitmaker Don Jazzy, during the course of the year earned credits for Janta Manta, Looku Looku, Katapot, Oga Titus, Godwin and Aaaww and closed the year with an all-star Mavins Concert, definitely did enough to emerge as the top label this year.
  2. YBNL: Olamide Badoo released his 5th studio album and the 4th one on the label’s platform, signed Lil Kesh, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun and Adekunle Gold, the label produced major hits like Bobo, Lagos Boys, Shoki remix, Gbese, Efejoku, Orente, Pick your call including a successful tour in the UK during the course of the year.
  3. Made Men Music Group: Ubi Franklin’s powerhouse Triple M G which parades the likes of pop star Iyanya, upcoming talents Tekno and Basi, songwriter and gifted producer who is behind most of Yemi Alade’s works, Selebobo and arguably the producer of the year in DJ Coublon, the label recovered from losing Emma Nyra to delivering some of the hottest jams of the year in view, they released Iyanya’s Applaudise album, Yudala, Tekno’s Duro and a host of other songs.
  4. Starboy Entertainment: For all the good work that Wizkid is credited with this year, his label has strengthened in brand and has positioned itself as a name to be reckoned with, aside Wizkid, the label also saw its second artiste L.A.X drop new singles like ‘Open and Close’ while also acquiring his first car which is a Mercedes Benz C250 with Maleek Berry still dropping those banging beats.
  5. HKN Gang: Managed by the Adeleke brothers, Chairman and Davido, the label is also home to fellow gang/family members like B-Red who featured Akon on Cucumber, Sina Rambo, Danagog who put out his own clothing line during the course of the year, Shizzi, the in-house producer who never seems to do any wrong and the perfect hypeman, Special Ed, it remains one of the leading labels in the land as its main artiste Davido continues to make headlines with his music and his forthcoming sophomore album.
  6. G WORLDWIDE ENT: Home to new kids on the block Kiss Daniel, DJ Shabsy and A-One, Kiss Daniel followed up the success of hit major hit song, ‘Woju’ by releasing ‘Laye’ which also became a hit and ended the year with ‘Goodtime’ which is fast becoming a favorite amongst music lovers, sometime during the year, he also teamed up with label mate A-One on Dj Shabsy’s ‘Raba’, this was another massive tune and it seems everything the label touches turns into gold, we expect a bigger 2016 from their stable as they begin to reel out the albums.
  7. Chocolate City Music: It was not exactly a standout year for Chocolate City following the change in baton at the top as Audu Maikori stepped down after 10 years as Jude Abaga, a.k.a M.I took over the mantle of leadership, the label however still managed to win Jesse Jagz back into the fold, merged with Loopy Records for a bigger family, got Femi Kuti on its platform, released the ‘Indestructible Choc Boi Compilation album’, which delivered Koker’s ‘Do Something’, also saw them put a lot of new music towards the end of the year from Milli, Dice Alies, Loose Kaynon, Jesse Jagz, Pryse and Rubyincluding Forever and Ever by Kahli Abdu and the VHS Safari which is actually one of my favorite songs, it is expected that 2016 will be a defining year for the M.I led Choc Nation 2.0 family.

        8.5-STAR MUSIC: The label owned by business mogul Emeka Okonkwo, popularly                      known as E- Money has had a 2015 to remember both for good and bad reasons,                      aside getting into the news following the Skibii death stunt which did quite some                    damage to the label’s name, the label boasts of acts like Kcee and Harry song.                          Harrysong is credited with one of the biggest songs of the year in ‘Reggae Blues’,                      they also delivered hit tunes during the course of the year such as Ebeano, Beta Pikin                Remix, Feel It, Agbomma, Love Boat, Sampu.

  1. X3M Music: Steve Babaekos’s music outfit also had a good year, it was a year that saw them finally push Praiz’s double album ‘Rich and Famous’ which was released towards the latter stages of 2014 with videos and proper promotions put out, new signees Simi also had major hit songs with Tiff, Tiff Remix and Open and Close, while Sammy also debuted with ‘Gimme dat and Carry Go’, the label also gets credit for some of the finest videos put out this year.
  2. PentHauze Music: Fronted by rapper Phyno who continued his strong showing in 2015 with his PhynoConnect concert, Nnunnu and Connect, also boast of the likes of Stormrex who also had a remarkable year featuring on hit songs like ‘Bullion Van’ and ‘Local Rappers’.
Random Thoughts

MY TOP 10 NIGERIAN ARTISTS FOR 2015

  1. OLAMIDE: Baddo is easily the rapper of the year with hits like Lagos Boys, Shakititi bobo, Melo Melo, he released two albums this year, a joint album with Phyno #2Kings, including his 5th solo project in 5years Eyan Mayweather, a UK concert, almost every song he featured in became a hit, provided platforms for Lil Kesh, Vitkoh and Adekunle Gold to shine, Made in Black tour with Phyno, bagged endorsement deals with Surebet, had former Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola at his child’s naming ceremony earlier in the year and was one of the leading acts at the Lagos Gubernatorial elections. Ended the year with the ‘Future Awards Africa Prize in Entertainment’ and AFRIMA ‘Best Male West African Artist’ plaques.
  2. WIZKID: Wiz had Swizz beats and Alicia Keys vibing to Ojuelegba, Skepta and Drake jumped on the remix, he became the first Nigerian pop star to feature on New York music magazine Fader, his hit single ‘Ojuelegba’ got listened in Fader’s top 107 songs of the year, he featured on R. Kelly’s album, got recognition from the likes of Angelique Kidjo, Jidenna and Chris Brown, featured on Burna Boy’s, Runtown’s and Wande Coal’s albums and performed in shows worldwide. Wizkid can make a case for being the artist of the year but his failure to release that body of work which remains the hallmark of an artist falls him short here.
  3. DAVIDO: The pop star who turned 23 earlier in November also had a memorable 2015, outside getting robbed at gunpoint in South Africa which had him shaken. Who remembers the snake incident? and failing to release his sophomore project which he has pushed back to 2016. This year, Davido made his Nollywood debut, graduated, bought himself an Audi wheel valued at N39M, headlined the Afrobeatz festival in Malaysia, partied with Trey Songz in Atlanta and featured him on ‘Wetin you say’, welcomed a baby, got MOBO and MTV EMA nominations, won Best Male Act at the MAMAs, his ‘Fans Mi’ video which has American rapstar Meek Mill got mad buzz gathering 1M views in 16days and an NDLEA query, was ‘Africa’s Most Influential Artist’ according to FORBES, renewed his endorsement deal with MTN, had a successful UK tour, emerged the first Nigerian celeb to hit the 1M followers mark on twitter. Phew, Davido balled every single month.
  4. MAVINS: The Mavins are easily the most powerful clique in town, as a group, they had hit songs like ‘Jantamanta’, ‘Looku looku’, ‘Arise’ and toured shows nationwide, as individuals Korede Bello had his biggest year following the release of ‘Godwin’, he also earned a Police Ambassador role, Di’ja dropped ‘Aaaww’ and sealed an endorsement deal with telco giant Globacom, Reekado Banks was major with ‘Katapot’, ‘Sugar Baby’, ‘Corner’, Tiwa Savage was in the news with her baby and her sophomore album R.E.D, D-Prince and Dr. Sid also put out relatively hit singles and Don Jazzy continued to reign as the top beatsmith in the land.
  5. YEMI ALADE: The songstress was one who also had a successful year, She won the ‘Best Female African Act, West Africa’ at the AFRIMA Awards, won the Female Artist of the Year MAMAs 2015, got MOBO and Headies nominations, launched her professional website titled, ‘Yemi Alade World’, unveiled her fashion collection, released new singles like ‘Na Gode’ ft Selebobo, ‘Sugar’, set a Youtube record as the first Nigerian female act to hit over 30 million views on Youtube for her Johnny video, was judge on the Tecno karaoke competition, She had a swell year and 2016 promises to be more interesting with the release of her sophomore album.
  6. PHYNO: Phyno is made of black, he toured a lot this year, released his joint album ‘2 Kings’ with fellow rapper Olamide, put up a successful debut edition of the PhynoFest concert in November, shut down London with the YBNL crew, dropped the hit single ‘Connect’, had some of the finest guest verses this year with Falz’s ‘Karishika’, Humblesmith’s ‘Osinachi’, Reminisce’s ‘Local Rappers’, King Kong remix to mention a few, he also inked an endorsement deal with Naira Bet and Airtel whilst losing out to Cassper Nyovest in the ‘Best HipHop Act’ category at the MAMAs.
  7. ICE PRINCE: Ice Prince became Vice- President of Chocolate City Music this year, dropped his ‘Trash Can EP’ this year which had the singles ‘Marry you’ and ‘Elegushi’, also released visuals for ‘Boss’ and ‘Feelings’, Ice was caught on camera with rap god, Jay Z, became the first African rapper to have his video on TIDAL, stopped by at the famous hip hop show ‘Breakfast Club’ on Power 105.1.
  8. REMINISCE/LIL KESH: The Alaga Ibile kicked off the year on a fast note with the release of his 3rd album ‘Baba Hafusa’ album in April which topped the iTunes World Music Chart for seven days straight and also appeared on the Billboard World Music Album Charts, his controversial ‘Local Rappers’ single was a major hit and ‘Tesojue’ became a street slang across board. He has dropped further singles like ‘Kpomo remix’, ‘Poison’, ‘Gboriduro’.

Olamide’s protégé, Lil Kesh who is one of the new school leaders also had one of his              finest years owning one of the biggest singles this year in ‘Gbese’, also dropped                        ‘Efejoku’, ‘is it because I love you’, guest verses on over 10 songs including major hits                 like ‘Ladi’, Jimmy Jatt’s ‘Dan ya mo’ and he also copped himself a Range rover toy                   this year, the shift in his album date to 2016 cut him ending the year on a real high.

  1. BURNA BOY: The controversial artiste also had it big in 2015, at some point you will be pardoned for taking him as a South African Artiste with the amount of collaborations he had with the likes of AKA, such was his demand as everybody sought to have him on their joint. Burna also had the hit single ‘Soke’, released his sophomore album ‘On a spaceship’, hooked up with Jamaican born reggae musician Sizzla Kalonji, dropped some of the hottest songs of the year, got endorsement deal with Hennessy and featured on New York based magazine ‘Fader’ becoming only the second Nigerian pop act after Wizkid, not forgetting his many controversies that kept in largely in the news.
  2. FALZ: Falz was indeed a bad guy this year as released a major hit track in ‘Karishika’, dropped arguably the hiphop album of the year with ‘Stories that touch’, same year where Olamide dropped his album, he featured on the Jennifer drama series and floated his ‘Ello Bae’ wears.
Random Thoughts

REVIEWING BURNA BOY’S ALBUM

ALBUM REVIEW: BURNA BOY IS ON A SPACESHIP

Record Label: Spaceship Entertainment

Release Year: 2015

Two years after the release of his debut effort, L.I.F.E, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy returns with his sophomore effort titled ‘On a Spaceship’, within the period of his initial offering though, much has changed for this enigmatic artiste who has an heavy influence of Afrobeat, Dancehall and Reggae in his music. Burna boy’s career has had as much ups as it has encountered downs, from leaving Aristokrat Records, broken relationship with Producer Leriq, threatening to beat up people and calling out award organizers, Burna boy’s sophomore album built expectations as people yearned to see if the controversies had derailed the obvious talent he possesses, withoutwasting much time, here are my thoughts as we take a ride ‘On a Spaceship’.

The 19 tracks album (17 Songs, Intro and Skit) opens up on a bold move actuallywith the Intro, I particularly liked this as it’s a testament of the kind of person he is, fiery and not exactly afraid of criticism, itis an edit off Osagie Alonge’s V-blog #FactsOnly where he was actually being criticized for his endless controversies, good opening to the album. OluwaBurna is next, and as the title of the track suggests, this is Burna telling his own side of the story and it is a reallygood song, almost like a response to his criticisms on the Intro, ‘Wetin person go do, wey dem no go watch me, talk about’.

On ‘The Realest’, Burna shares of his experiences and his search for the money, it is another enjoyable tune which syncs in well from the last joint, ‘if you looking for me, I be on a spaceship, anywhere the money dey, na there I wan dey demo o’. The first guest appearance features on ‘Mine Tonight’ with female artiste Nyanda (who was particularly impressive) assisting on this, it’s a classic love tune as they exchange love promises on the verses, picture a rude boy falling in love, that is what happens on this and the duo blended to produce one of the high moments of the album for me. 4 tracks in and the album is building up really nice, then Burna brings Wizkid on Single, this was supposed to offer much but actually left me more confused than excited.

‘Sampudi’ pronounced ‘Sample the’ is one of those tracks that is targeted at the dance-floor, I like the production on this but not one of those tracks that will leave a lasting memory, on Rizzla, Producer J. Fem brings his magic to play as Burna delivers a good dancehall tune calling for the Rizzla to unlock his Ginger, this is a typical Burna boy jam and should get many repeats on your playlist. Jealousy sounds like an offshoot of Soke but is nowhere near the brilliance of the former and is easily skippable. Burna goes mellow on ‘Duro Ni Be’ ft Phyno, this is my JAM, it’s your typical victory chant as he declares “when I used to hustle for my Hennessey, now na Hennessey dey give me Hennessey’……. Say common tenant don turn to landlord” and he even finds time to throw shades at award organizers, “all year, imma be on tour so, I no get time to go award shows”, and rapper Phyno also came through with a decent verse.

Before is a Flavour assisted tune, this is a groovy high tempo song that sees Burna proving his dynamism with Flavour doing his Igbo delivery, another radio hit on the album. On a very good day features the Black diamond Wande Coal and this is dedicated to the girls, unlike the magic they pulled off on Wande’s album though, outside Wande’s vocals on the hook, this is a pedestrian track that seems like something we have heard many times already. Just when you thought the album was winding down and you had listened to all the best sounds it had to offer, Gone delivers one of the heaviest songs on the album, Burna went all bonkers on this, he switches his style and delivers a dope joint as he proclaims, ‘Got your wife on my bed, that’s why n**gas don’t like me’. Mi o nigba reminds me way too much of Davido’s ‘Owonikoko’ and yeah it’s the same producer, we see Burna doing the Yoruba flow on this as he seeks to drop one for the streets but it still comes off as an album filler, the album eventually comes to a climax with ‘If people must die’which is dedicated to Gabriel ‘Gambo’ Serunkama, this reveals an emotional side of Burna as he tells the tale of thinking about his lost friend and the tears he has had to shed, this serves as a perfect tune to close the curtains as he lands from his spaceship.

Our Verdict: This is a decent sophomore album, Burna did pay attention to his arrangement and how the album will actually sound, kudos to the producers who were able to find suitable beats for his style of music. This is however MANY shades below the height we know Burna can reach, that exceptional beautiful music that he can create is missing on some of the songs, maybe 4 songs less and this would have been a better album. Gems on the album include ‘Mine Tonight’, ‘If People must die’, “Gone”. Surprisingly,previously released singles like ‘Rockstar’, ‘Soke’ and ‘Follow me’ did not get any spot on the album. Overall, Burna has shown that the talent remains amidst the notoriety and even without the magic of Leriq, he can still come up with good music.

 

This album is rated 6/10