9ice ain’t even 40 (yet). BUT, he’s one of those few pop artists that lay claim to the title “Greatest Of All Time.” (Others, 2Baba, D’Banj and Wande Coal). Not everybody will be Fela, or Osadebe, or KSA. BUT, yes, not anybody can be 9ice. If you like imitate Wizkid (Dice Ailes), Davido (Sean Tizzle), Olamide (every rapper) or Dagrin (Ola dips) or Wande Coal (Koker). Whatever you like, you’ll never ever get to sound like 9ice.
Since “Gongo Aso” in 2008 (a decade, don’t forget), 9ice’s status has escalated (in a good way), his fame has gone down, and he has returned, again. Not to forget, his voice has deteriorated the more. Of course, being eligible for Greatest Of All Time has nothing to do with good or bad voice, but it isn’t a journey of just 10 years. Back as 1996, 9ice has been on this music grind, first as a Fuji artist, before switching. His not-too-good-for-pop voice carved him a Fuji-Pop niche. And, before there was anything like “frog voice,” there was 9ice!
Am I the only one excited by the announcement of a new album? While five years ago, the news might not have moved me a bit, I’m exhilarated now. Why? 9ice is the Greatest Of All Time. That’s what makes the difference.
The veteran Ogbomosho-born singer, might not have as much albums as Olamide (he does) but, he sure does have a bigger impact on the pop culture. In the past 20 years “Gongo Aso,” remains one of the best albums, in Nigeria. Free me now, what old skool mix is complete without “Gongo Aso” and “Pamurogo” ? His hit “Street Credibility,” which featured 2face Idibia, didn’t only give him credibility on the streets, it also took out of Nigeria. Not to talk of how “Party Rider” rode parties in ’09.
9ice’s style of music is characterized by meaningful indigenous lyrics, which usually backs the Yoruba adage “Owe lesin oro, oro lesin owe, ti oro ba sonu, owe la fi in wa,” which basically translates to “proverbs gives meaning to words.” He is widely respected for his witty use of proverbs, and wise sayings.
“No Be Mistake,” remains a hot birthday tune and “Wedding Day,” rocks all Wedding parties. And, even the least hyped of all his songs has the ability to impart you with some form of knowledge. What makes you G.O.A.T?
In 2016, the least of everybody expected to stage a perfect comeback, is 9ice, after such a long time away from the top of the game. BUT, he did. First, pushing a single “Economy,” a song which is half encouragement and half criticism of government (remember Fela?). His album “ID Cabasa,” named after the Coded Tunes boss, instrumental in the production of 9ice’s break-out album, in 2008. “Living Things” was off the album, and the album was such a perfect pop album, from a veteran. Everything about the album were “oro agba” (words from the elders). From “those wey live for glass house no dey throw stones” to “Money nor dey fall from heaven, shey you know,” they were all wise words from an elder. He even had love songs on the album, showing his versatility. There was new Coublon, and there was old Puffy T. Nobody could have done it better.
So when 9ice announced a new album, my heart leaped for joy. Not only ’cause I’m getting a new 9ice material, but ’cause 9ice is now aware of his GOAT-ship. Baba is the Greatest Of All Time. And, he ain’t even 40, yet.
We hope this helps bring home the Grammy!