I’m sure we all agree that Nigeria has more pop fans than other genres then again – ‘Heads’ of the Hiphop culture know where to stake their stash when the occasion arises. Personally, I love music on the general but if I must make a choice at gun point, then I’d loudly say “Hiphop”. I listened to a Rap Mixtape recently and I was kinda surprised because the artiste in question struck an impression I sincerely did not expect. At the end of the day, I think rappers are more expressive on a mixtape than on some “serious” mainstream album. The name Teriah Yarhere would perhaps strike as a cipher if I have to sustain it on this note but on the real – this is about South-South Rap act, M.trill and the Mixtape, LADIES N GENTLEMEN.
M.Trill’s touch on this mixtape is daring and commendable compared to his earlier debut ‘No.1’ which was not a bad cut either. ‘Ladies N Gentlemen’ magnifies a rapper expressing his right to freedom of speech and spit from the depth of his heart. His first expressions are embedded on “4Get My Name” where he comes off painting a hustler’s story with himself in focus. Yeah on this joint, he says “forget my name” but don’t be deceived cos even if you dare to stop the song before it ends, the word “M.Trill” would still stick to your memory like ink on paper. “South South Gbolo” is Crunk from the South which passes the ball to the groovy “M for Mayjah” on Nas’ beat for “Hero” – this track strikes as an interlude – short but on point.
‘Trill’s lines on “Make I Breath (Wait)” may be fast but his eloquent delivery makes it no big deal to skate on. On the second verse of this joint, he addresses the assumption of many who didn’t think he could play this hard…. “Never thought that I’d be coming with a different flow/I know you thought my versatility would take a longer while…..” Talking about versatility, “Shebe” speaks volumes of that virtue but the delivery of the hook could have been better. It’s a fun song for the ladies but a better voice should have done justice to the hook to achieve the intended appeal.
Track 7 – “Trilla” is braggadocios one and I don’t mean it in an empty way. He won the best “West African Act” – Channel O Awards ’08 and this song is a self beat on the chest….”I’m the Freshest on the scene, whatchyou talking about/fresher than Listerine swivel all in your mouth and I spit it really clean so I clear all your doubts/and I’m doing pretty well for a kid from the South”. There’s a line on this track that put the rapper in the spot. The PH fans needed to understand this part of the song – ”I represent a city that is really wonderful/ I know you’ve heard stories but it’s exaggerated and some of them are true but it ain’t not related/I understand your fears but you’re now acting jaded/passing up the next best city after Lagos…” The rapper explains to Jarmzone Entertainment “that the line was not in any way to riddle the image of PH, it simply means that – right now, Lagos has more attention entertainment-wise but soon, PH will be the home of attraction cos we shall take over”.
On track 8 – “Be My Baby”, he gat Shoboi on the hook. A line ladies may never forget in a hurry is “Cos if na drug girl, I’ma crack it and this na Yori Yori cos the love na Bracket”. “Paper Plane” is plain like M.I.A’s instrumental on which it was voiced on….”I use to use make planes with paper/now I make paper when I make planes/yeah I’m off to your city just to entertain” Well, if you one of those who think rap music don’t pay bills, M.Trill speaks for himself on this joint.
The girls get “One Nite Out” to rock with and that’s track 10. While he throws lines to get the attention of the shortys, he also hammers too hard on the most popular word in the Naija’s music today – “Swagger’ but that’s not a story for right now.
“On Da Map” confirms his allegiance to his roots “Don’t be mad cos it starts with me/M to Da Trill, man you know who I be/not A.B.J or L.A.G cos I’m truly P.H.C” and lyrically he empties the silicon on this joint – admitting to the ills that happens on that side of the country; at the same time portraying himself as a positive force to reckon with. Hilarious it may sound, but “Julie” may not be a true story but a couple of dudes can relate to it and who said it doesn’t happen the other way around?
The mixtape title track “Ladies N Gentlemen” is a song with a two-way message…. On the first verse he speaks to the guys who have been there for him since the word ‘Go’. The second verse speaks to the ladies “I love you when you sing ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Where u dey’/cos it’s because of that love, I’m getting heavy play/hey cos of that I’m getting heavy pay………..and like the Taliban chic’ you’re the bomb girl” – the female folk have got to love that. Before the last track on this tape, comes “Take 3ILL” – where he connects the present, the past and the future of his music sojourn. On this opus, the rapper gets philosophical, emotional, laid back, mild but not boring.
The ‘Ladies N Gentlemen’ mixtape is sealed up with “U.F.O” – where the rapper amplifies his versatility by singing over soft rock and techno. The concept of this song is similar to Snoop Dogg’s “Seduction” but without the rap verse. This song is directed to the female folks again – the words of a lover boy in quest to be close to that alien chic. The alto tune was appropriately used and the melody gives one no choice but to sing along.
M.Trill is not doing badly for a kid from the South like he said but he still needs more people to listen up to know what he’s gat to offer. In a bid to expand his horizon, he parted ways with his former record label to anchor in the rocks of Tonye Ibiama’s Grafton Records. He’s presently being managed by Joice Ize-Iyamu’s Rogue Entertainment, who used to be Tuface’s manager.
After his relocation to Lagos and releasing his debut album No. 1, M.Trill went ahead to win the Best New Act Award at the 2008 edition of Channel O Music Video Awards. His grind is positive and persistence may be all he needs to stay major for shizzy!
M.Trill produced most of the songs, except “M for Mahjah” (lifted from Nas’ Hero) and “Paper Plane” (lifted from M.I.A’s “Paper Planes”). Co-producers of this mixtape are J-Stunt, Obi Jazz and Cjay.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWxirK3Rgo0&hl=en&fs=1&]