It was with bated breath that I waited for the highly anticipated album from Azubuike Chibuzor Nelson aka Phyno. The album dropped just in the past 24 hours and I purchased my copy and I must say that it did not disappoint. Here is a track-by-track breakdown of the album.
1) Chibuzo (feat. Stormrex) – A fitting entrance cum victory lap for the album. This track is creative as it immerses us into the life of a typical young Ibo kid with an annoying sister and his parents (remember Malcom in the middle?). The dad and mum chides him by calling his name many times, sending him on errands, whilst he grumbles. An impressive beat that makes you look forward with anticipation.
2) Alobam – In my opinion, the best track on this album. It feels Drake-ish!! The track is more like a row call of local artists and close pals he reps as he reels out names. The beat is flawless and Phyno does justice to it.
3) O set (feat P-square) – you know he had to do some commercial tracks; this is one of them and who else embodies commerciality than the P-square twins. It has a generic feel to it, non-the-less, It should get massive airplay in the clubs, especially in the eastern part of the country.
4) Nme Nme – enter your expected highlife track. As the name suggests, Nme Nme means celebration. It soothes the atmosphere and you can’t help but move your head to the rhythm. The beats is up-tempo and I think it helps with the versatility of the track which makes it danceable.
5) Obago – This song was released as a single with its accompanying video. The song basically tells us that he has arrived – the term Obago means finally!! My hard work has paid off. An excellent infusion of hip hop and afro centric rap styles. The beats as usual is excellent.
6) Chukwu Na Enye (feat. Omawumi) – A Celebration song – he is thanking God for his success and protection. Omawumi vocals is the cherry on the top which gives the track its feel good factor. A great song! Kudos to both artistes for such an unforgettable track.
7) Aju (feat. Olamide and EFA) – Strictly hip hop! The beats is mad crazy! And it is only expected that he teams up with his partner in crime Olamide for this track (Looking forward to their joint album). Both rappers show their versatility by switching up their rap styles multiple times to keep up with the beats. Whoever cooked up this beat should be on speed dial. EFA did his thing also. Aju means feeling dizzy.
8) Parcel Skit (Feat Chigurl) – It’s been ages since a skit made me laugh this hard. Chigurl did her thing. You have to listen to fully grasp.
9) Parcel – Spending money! The tracks talks about spending patterns when he (accompanied by friends) returns home. By far the best hook on the album, a song for the ages. I suspect the slang has caught on in certain parts of the county. Did I add that the video already made it a lock for song of the year! #Parcel
10) Kush Music – A song for the streets. As the name tells you, it’s about weed with its euphoric feeling. It has this Dirty-South hip hop flavor. Phyno shows his ability to switch things to a slower rap pace and this song achieves that. I think this album needed a song like this to add some variety
11) Authe (Authentic) [feat. Flavour] – Where there is Flavour involved, you know it’s about a woman…Flavour lends his voice to give the song its needed sex appeal. This is a classic afro pop track; easy on the ears with a nice rhythm to it. One thing to note is the word Authe *with Igbo accent* – referring to the girl’s quality (both in physical and material assets).
12) Anamachi Versace (feat. Runtown) – For a second, I thought I was listening to a Rick Ross song. This track feels lost in this whole album as I do not understand its point and relevance. It should not have made the cut.
13) Good Die Young – A story song. It has that bump-your-head-with-a-grin flavor. The beat feels like it was produced by a Jay-z or Swizz-beats. Phyno’s rap rhythm does not miss a step. The song tells us about his trials and tribulations on his way to success and how folks close to him passed away. This track deserves its spot on this album as it gives life to the album mid-way.
14) Ojigi – The best afro – pop song on the album. I was expecting to hear Wizkid on this. BUT PHYNO BROUGHT IT HOME ALONE!! Phyno spits his lyrics flawlessly as he “toasts” the babe. The hook is something to remember and I see this on many wedding playlists….! I guarantee you must bump your head to this track. #Ojigi
15) Icholiya (feat Ice Prince & M.I) – If you are a fan of lap-dances in a neon lit club, this is your track. In this order of performance – M.I (I couldn’t help but grin), Phyno delivered but I don’t know about Ice, hmm….anyways, Chopstix did an excellent job on the beats (Holy be-Jesus!!). Icholiya means “do you want it?”. I shudder at what manner of video this song would breed.
16) Shey U know – All I want is your (waist) **scratch that** love. Another vanilla song that just makes you want to get up and shake it. The song screams commercial. Ladies would love this.
17) Ghost Mode – A song that should not have made it on the album, but since it was a hit single with a video, he had to include it. Strictly hip hop! The Guerilla beats helped lend credibility to the authenticity of the song.
18) Holiday (feat. Runtown) – A Bracket spoof (or looks like). Another song that should not have made the cut. I suspect he is catering to a specific niche with songs like this. The song tells us that good things come from God and since he (Phyno) has achieved success, it’s time for a Holiday. Nothing special with the beats, just the usual run-of-the-mill jingle sound.
19) Multiply (feat. Everybody*) – An appreciation to the fans (Bonus). This track was released years ago, but spiced up. Flavour takes the price on this track with his hook.
20) Paper Chaser (feat. Ill Bliss) – Drake!!…………….. I will let this slide because it is a bonus track. Phyno slows things down on this track. On this song, he is taking stock of his success and sticking it in his haters faces. It was refreshing hearing from OGA BOSS though (he crushed it on the track).
Well, there you have it; a complete end-to-end analysis of Phyno début album. A great work (by our standards) that would be referenced for years to come. An overall score of 8.5/10 would be apt for this work; why he missed the 9 mark was due to the sheer number of tracks on the album. A couple of songs should not have made it on the album as it made the listening experience cumbersome at the end of the list. All in all, for its price of $10.99, it is worth the investment.