Aristokrat records Mojeed is a rapper in the mould of vintage MI with a little bit of Vector and a little bit of Ycee in him. This carefully curated salad of intense American Nigerianness garnished with a beautiful voice and magical word flow created the second best EP/Mixtape of Nigerian rap; the best being M.I.’s Illegal Music.
This gem by Mojeed was released on the 26th of July in 2014 but I only just stumbled on it. Most of the production work was done by Aristokrat record’s LeriQ and the genius behind Burnaboy’s first studio album did not disappoint. While the storytelling of the EP as a whole was disjointed lacking continuity and a general theme, Mojeed tells an individual story beautifully.
The fifteen track EP featured industry big names like Cynthia Morgan & Seyi Shay. Aristokrat record stalwart Kamar shone and perennial upcomer Kay Switch gave a surprisingly mature performance.
The EP begins with Murutala Mohammed and brought the street with impeccable grammar. A carefully mixed and mastered record that tells the listener to chill because everybody has their own time to ‘blow’ and every ‘blowing’ will be huge. Careful wordplay with intent and poise, Mojeed delivers his message eloquently reminiscent of a prime Phenom.
O.M.G follows with my personal best of the EP. It has everything; punchlines, puns, engaging story, money, men suffering and water doesn’t have enemy for good measure. How this song does not spiral out of control but sticks to what it really wants to do is either a miracle or the work of a genius.
While it’s the less popular of the Jagaban’s by the Nigerian rapper, I believe it was the better version. Ycee’s Jagaban while intensely beautiful was sensationalised by an Olamide feature, incredible visuals and a catchy beat. Mojeed again tells a beautiful story with his wit and poise.
B.O.A.T.S. is a little underwhelming. A lot of the same and not exceptional in delivery. After coming to expect excellence in Yoruba/English mashups through the monumental work of Olamide, Reminisce and even Vector, this is a little basic. It is in no way a terrible song, it’s just a little flat and this is BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
Super Human has Lord LeriQ to thank for its success. An unconventional love song, the storytelling in this record is vivid but its stand out is in the instrumental and production quality. While it might not be a favourite, it’s definitely not going to meet the gentle kiss of the ‘next’ button on any phones or music devices.
Cynthia Morgan took ownership of this song and in an alternative universe, Anywhere you are will feature Mojeed and might be missing out on a Headies award. Taking up the delivery style of Vector tha Viper, Mojeed’s versatility is on play hee. A slightly sexual song as is everything Cynthia Morgan touches, this sex is not even sef that sweet.
Nigerian Time takes a melancholic tone just like the nonchalance of Nigerians and our general attitude to time. This song is almost lazy and is the lowest point in this album. This is my skip button for you. It’s four minutes, twenty seconds of sadness and waste.
Mojebi is blessed by Seyi Shey and is a must add for your sex playlists. While crass and slightly vulgar the record is fire! It strays slightly and tries to do everything, but it does it pretty well. Telling a story about humble beginnings to sex and then to potential future luxuries, Mojeed and Seyi Shay seem like a combination made in the stars. A great song made greater by a great collaborator.
No time tells a parallel story to Murutala Mohammed. While you should chill for your time, in your chill time, work and work hard. The quality of this body of work is highlighted by the punchlines that keep going and going. Melancholic in the delivery of the beat and overall language of this record, an important lesson is delivered clearly.
Aaaaaaaaand Kay Switch needs this type of performance on a consistent basis to reach his Mohits potential. Armed with maturity in his music, Kay Switch and Mojeed make Run Far Away a success. A highly relatable story, everything works in this record. Everything has been working in this album. Kay Switch might need to work with LeriQ to find a definitive voice for himself. Again, I need to say this story is a must listen.
Pass Am Dey Go seems like something a 2011 Wizkid recorded. Finally a Yoruba/English mashup works. It still needs a lot of work, but the storytelling and his subtle shift from rapper to vocalist and back to rapper is intensely beautiful.
Put that on my life is interesting chaos. I do not understand this song, but I like it. Punchlines fly up and down but he does not stray from his point. He never strays from his point. And his point is a serious point.
LeriQ closes this EP with his instrumental on Celebrate. Mojeed closes this listening party with a carefree performance. Hardly a message to be passed, but who says art must always say something serious and deep? Art is playful and Celebrate is playful.
The genius of this body of work was LeriQ and his chemistry with Mojeed will elevate the rapper to intense heights. While it is 2017 and he has not released anything as intense or as amazing as this, there is news of a new mixtape or album in the works. He can do no wrong with the right team and might become Nigeria’s best rapper in a couple of years.
Enjoy his mixtape here
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin