Review: Olamide on a Galala and Afropop Cruise with ‘Carpe Diem’

By Emma Tallest

Olamide is here just like the first day of the year…the line makes me cringe whenever I hear it back then but it was the cliche on the mouth of the youth around, the year was 2011, Olamide released his first project, still signed under ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes record.

Nine years down the line, Olamide is atop, he is at the plateau of his career, a record label owner with a lot of co-signing, years before Davido came with the cliche of we rise by lifting others, Olamide was already doing that, giving PelePele, Pepenazi, Chinko Ekun, Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold the platform to showcase their talent to the world.

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In 2014/2015, there was a rush by Nigerian artistes into the international market with the Afrobeats movement as a catalyst, Olamide was laid back on this, I remember reading some of his interviews, he restated the fact that he wo beg for the international market, this writer felt Olamide was already bigger than Nigeria market, was he bigger than Africa space? No, he was domiciled in Nigeria, he was ok with the street love.

In the last two years, Baba Milano has taken a hiatus from music, focusing attention on Fireboy while churning out some sparse releases, collaborations. He maintained the laid back posture.

Like everything in life, this didn’t last for long, in the first quarter of this year, he announced a distribution deal with Empire record alongside Fireboy followed by the announcement of albums from both of them.

On July 26, 2020, Olamide announced the completion of his album with an Instagram post of him and Omah Lay, he revealed the tracklist and artwork two months after.

According to the artiste, the album was already done until he got in touch with P Prime, a student of the Sarz Academy, this lead to him scrapping about 80% of the project and starting all over again, the 19 years old beatmaker produced about 70% of the album with ID Cabasa, Young John, Pheelz and Vstix also having input.

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A first-time listener to this project would observe a drastic change in the lyricism of Olamide, there was a lot of play with Afropop and rap, a little of dancehall with a springle of Galala.

Track by Track Review:

Another level could be term as an I don’t give an F about you, about the industry, I am in a Donald Trump level, you cant touch me, I that fly, it was a self-appraisal track. He restated his leadership status in the music industry, the opening and closing track shared some similarities. Topic-wise. They are the same.

When a girl is dulling you, do you dull yourself too? My guy Olamide was dulling himself while waiting for a green light from the girl, I hope she doesn’t get cornered. Green light is a hybrid of street and urbane, this was the meeting point. Shoutout to Onipan and Palmgroove, two popular streets in Lagos state.

Omah brought his Porthacourt vibe on this hook. To get a house in Banana Island, the girl has to perform some magic with the Banana, is Olamide doing trade by barter? Infinity is a discreet bedmatic song. She says make I put it, but what?

Guitar riff, a trumpet blew, drums come up followed by a vocal from Olamide, Eru is a cool party starter, Eru is a metaphor for a lot of things, load, breast, money, etc.

Bella Shmurda fuji laced melodies and cadence brought the fire to Triumphant, Olamide went personal, his he lost his parents, the depression he fell into. I think we need to pay attention to the mental health of our celebrities, he was losing his mind, we all thought he was having fun. On the second verse, he gave head up to the young ghetto soldiers around. The baseline tapped from Champion off Fireboy’s Apollo.

On a trap beat, Olamide pledged his allegiance to a female, promising not to make her a side chick, Yoruba demon at work. Something light for a Friday night out.

Fuji artiste Obesere had a lot of influence on a lot of artistes, Olamide inclusive, on do better, Olamide tapped from the Overthrow master vibe, Do better is a hip-hop Fuji. A freestyle after some booze.

With Chimichanga, we have another street slang, the lines were cheesy, Baba Miliano was on a cruise level.

When a girl gives you every time, she dey shilalo, according to Olamide, whats up with Phyno, why has she not forgiven his EX who refused to F him, baba, free the girl abeg.

Loading is all about money, an ode to the money bags around, a potential party jam if we promoted, second-time Olamide would use the line of border and custom.

Peruzzi falsetto voice comes into fore on Unconditionally, Olamide delivery was weak, the English were forced. I don’t think the girl would even be convinced with those lines.

On the last track, Olamide and his son Fireboy took it to the church, thanking God for the blessings.

Carpe Diem, (living in the moment) by Olamide is a good body of work, I must commend the usage of songwriters on this project and the impact of Fireboy, he was in the background of some of the tracks, P Prime deserves some kudos for producing a joint that would stand the test of time, the tracks were disjointed, it was a myriad of stories, even though this album was made with an international appeal in mind, Olamide deserves some kudos for not selling out, he still hso much some tracks for the local fans.

The artwork for the project was succinct, it captured the titular, did it captured the album, yes, Olamide was on a cruise level on this album, talking about sex, love, life in the same breath, at a point, it got confusing, the topical issues were overlapping, kudos to the A&R for carefully selecting the tracks.

Grade: B3

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