Olamide has worked his way up, and in this industry, the 30-year-old musician and label exec, barely needs any introduction. When he appears, you know he’s here. That’s because the vibe he had when he was just a 20-year-old lad learning the ropes from ID Cabasa, is still there.
In the past few years, a lot has happened to him. He’s become so big he even has international appeal, he has helped propel career of new guys through his YBNL imprint, and above all his music has evolved. Not long after he came to limelight, he ditched hip-hop, for street hop – which is just anything the street wants to hear, be it rap, Afro or shaku.
He’s also released a number of albums, many of which are classic indigenous hip-hop masterpiece. At desperate times, Olamide often switched from one genre to another, finding a perfect market to cash in on. He tried his hands on ‘pon pon’, and spear-headed the Shaku-Shaku movement. And, earlier this year when Zanku was all the rave, he dropped “Woske”, a Killertunes-produced jam, which had a couple Zanku moves (he did pay homage to Michael Jackson, too.)
All that only points to one true fact, it’s been a decade but the King hasn’t lost his vibe. Once in a while, a few people try to stick their head up, but it’s just too obvious that Olamide isn’t leaving anytime soon. Man got vibes in his blood!
Fast forward to ‘Oil & Gas’.
“Ore mi enugbe, walai enugbe…” he raps his way into the uptempo track, dropping some catchphrases in a call and response manner. Shouting out a couple big men (I see the publicity in that), Tony Elumelu, Femi Otedola, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Shina Peller, and so many others. Somehow he managed to rope in a story line of he going to Jagaban’s house with Ghana-must-go bags and the statesman asking him not to do that. Instead, a bullion van was sent to him (okay, that’s a big story, right there.)
Classic street pop track, which will definitely take over the streets, in no time. Not just ‘cause he’s shouting out those guys, but because Olamide has a hit-making formulae, of creating irresistible lyrics, everyone can sing along to. It’s not even a question, “Oil & Gas” is a hit, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. While other artists are resting, Olamide drops this banger that has all the vibe we’ve asked for in so many ‘empty’ Zanku songs we’ve had, in the past few months.
The Bariga boy, also has a way of bringing popular slangs and creating music out of them. He didn’t form the slang “enugbe” but isn’t he taking it mainstream, now? That’s the kind of magic he works that no one can. It’s just Olamide, that’s his way, his vibe, his life. He can’t possibly lose it.
“T’o o ba Sanwo-olu, wa a sha sanwo toll-gate!”