I love my mum enough to fully concentrate on her lecturing me about the ills of marital infidelity because one certain guy on BBNaija is disclaiming his family. Anyone else talking to me about stuff like that would most likely be preaching to the choir, not because I plan on being unfaithful, more because it might not hold my attention for long. Once my attention wanders after, I’ll be there in the physical while my mind will move to another dimension. Bad habit, I know. Without it I probably won’t have gotten the idea for this piece.
An argument about the same BBNaija issue came up during a recent outing, one of the guys present was in support (I think, I wasn’t paying any attention) and at some point during his yelling he said “the guy bad, I swear”. For some reason Ice Prince and French Montana’s collaboration ‘I Swear’ jumped into my mind. One of those disappointing moments when I used to be a big fan of Ice Prince’s work, the French Montana feature was a big deal but the resulting single was underwhelming. I can remember the amount of yabbing the song got on twitter, people with zero chill.
I started wondering what or who could’ve made the song better, more emphasis landed on the ‘who’ at the end. After running through some options and because my mind is always analysing music and rearranging music scenarios, I ended up creating six fantasy rap super groups. Each group consists of one Nigerian Rapper and one American Rapper, permit me to interest you in my thesis.
The Corny: Ice Prince & Young Thug
My relationship with Ice Prince is like the friend I had high hopes for but ended up letting me down enough times to make me indifferent about his music. From outlandish, really corny, head scratching lyrics to his half-repelling singing voice, Ice already has the skillset of typical mumble rapper (I like mumble rap). Enter Young Thug. The first line from a personal favourite off Young Thug’s Jeffery mixtape, ‘Wyclef Jean’ is “My money band longer than a NASCAR race”. An ingenious brag line to start off the song, but soon it descends into Young Thug’s familiar barrel of debauchery.
What keeps Jeffery and Young Thug as an artist palatable is his elastic vocal delivery and his ear for good beats, oh and he knows that you know he’s spewing plenty crap. But Ice Prince tries to use the gruff in his voice to make his bad lines sound good, sorry man, it can’t fly. Ice Prince acting as the gruffy offset to Young Thug’s squealing sounds appealing already. Please let Thugga pick the beat(s), that ‘I Swear’ beat gives me nausea.
The Ego: Jesse Jagz & Kanye West
“His royal highness in his flyness, artist of the year, producer extraordinaire, Jago the greatest”. Point me to a better and more potent invocation by any other Nigerian rapper. When you have a song titled ‘Greatest’ on your debut album and your alter ego (Jago) constantly exhibits a brash cool, there must be a lot of ego fuelling your music. If you don’t know why Jagz is tagged with Kanye based on ego, just shake your head and unlook forever!
The Elusive: Poe & Jay Electronica
After his show stealing verse on Lynxx’ ‘Follow Me’ in 2012, every verse Poe has churned out since then has left me wide eyed with an appetite for more music from him. His skillset is chameleon-like, no matter the production or artist he works with, he always comes off unrattled. 5years later, a number of features and a handful of loosies on the interweb, the closest thing to a body of work are two impressive contributions to The Collectiv3 LP. Perhaps his new deal with Don Jazzy’s Supreme Mavin Dynasty is the needed catalyst for a full length project.
Watch this space for the final part of tag team series.
Words by Peter Adedotun Dennis, aka #MusicMatchMaker, aka @ayo_dennis.