Da Grin’s “CEO” was an instant classic and when he passed away in 2010, it was evident that he was going to be immortalized by his music. “Chief Executive Omoita” is the real life representation of a classic Yoruba rap album. We haven’t had one since, despite Olamide rising to fame less than a year after the fatal accident. Olamide has been in the game for a solid six years and has been at the top or thereabout for the past three or four.
I’ve heard Baddo’s catalogue get discredited for being full of hits and not having enough consistency and chemistry to make a classic rap album. Granted, none of his albums can be referred to as “classic” in any sense, but anyone who dismisses his discography as having too many singles has only heard his recent albums and only remembers all the hits.
Since debates about Olamide are inevitable, I decided to rank all of his albums from his humble beginnings to his latest offerings.
7. The Glory
This selection is very premature considering the fact that it’s been about three months since the album came out, but I honestly for the life of me don’t believe this album will ever grow on me. This album showcases the full grown “pop” Olamide who cares more about songs to perform at concerts than punch lines for garage boys to throw around. Even in the more “lyrical” songs like “Letter to Milli” or “Journey of a Thousand Miles” I think this project shows a serious lack of effort for an established star and is difficult to commend. The album’s intro is very deceptive and makes you think you’re in for a treat, but then you’re greeted with a whole host of songs that you may enjoy but at the end of the day would rather be doing something else. “Pepper Dem Gang” is a song I’d rather ignore.
Year: 2016; Hits Rating: 8; Rap Rating: 7; Cohesion: 6; Overall Rating: 7.0
Notable Songs: “Pepper Dem Gang”, “Owo Blow”, “Who You Epp”, “Glory (Intro)”
6. Two Kings
Okay, please don’t crucify me for adding this one to the list, but it is an official Olamide release. The same way “What a Time to be Alive” is regarded as an official Drake release. I don’t have too much to say about this one, it was mostly promotional, not many songs, not very memorable. “Ladi” is probably still the best song about oral sex in Nigerian history.
Year: 2015; Hits Rating: 8; Rap Rating: 10; Cohesion: 6; Overall Rating: 8.0
Notable Songs: “Ladi”, “Confam Ni”, “Cypher”
5. Eyan Mayweather
Olamide deceived me with the intro again. The “Eyan Mayweather” song is like ten times better than the rest of the album. It’s the product of some of the best talents in world lyricism (certainly the best in Yoruba) over world class production. It’s a bold statement of “I’m a rapper who can still rap”. The song gets 5 stars. The rest of the album does not. There were no features on the album, which must have been a lot of work. This is the beginning of “pop” Olamide. He raps on the album, but it’s mostly unremarkable. The most notable tracks are the songs we’ve already listened to on radio 500 times. The hits are very impressive for one album with “Bobo” leading the way. Overall though, too many radio records, not enough showcasing of talent. At the end of the day I’m not going to be re-playing this one anytime soon.
Year: 2015; Hits Rating: 10; Rap Rating: 7; Cohesion: 7; Overall Rating: 8.0
Notable Songs: “Eyan Mayweather”, “Don’t Stop”, “Lagos Boys”, “Melo Melo”, “Bobo”
“Rapsodi” and “Eyan Mayweather” both had the same overall rating of 8.0, but I decidedto put “Rapsodi” ahead because, personally, I prefer this Olamide to the other one. This is Baddo Sneh’s official debut. Before anybody said “sneh” or knew what “turn up” or “back to back” meant, or before “shoro niyen” and “smellos” became part of Nigerian English. This was Olamide the rapper, not Olamide the celebrity. This Olamide got lost in the sands of time and so did the album. We still say “Boys are not smilling” six years later. When was the last time we heard “Omo To Shan” (2011 Wizkid is the best Wizkid)? The album was difficult to find but I’m glad I did. It’s a fine blend of bars and beats, punchlines and harmony. “Eni Duro” plays perfectly in any situation. Its only shortcoming is the presentation. Despite being his shortest album to date (16 songs) towards the end you start to feel tired because of the poor audio quality that was common in 2011 Nigerian music. Great album, I just wish he released it in 2017.
Year: 2011; Hits Rating: 8; Rap Rating: 9; Cohesion: 7; Overall Rating: 8.0
Notable Songs: “Eni Duro”, “Apa ti Jabo”, “Omo to Shan”, “Legendary Hustler”, “Boys Are Not Smiling”
3. Street OT
This was his last “confirm” rap album. It was also the best, it showcased the level of ability and bravado Olamide had acquired over all his years active in the game. It’s no wonder he stopped making pure rap albums after this, because he probably had nothing left to prove. If somebody asks you “Are there any good rappers in your local language?” play them “Street OT”. Just not from beginning to end, please. Olamide releases long albums, and yet this is his longest (22 tracks), despite having only two singles (Yes, TWO). That means 20 unreleased songs for this album. Say what you want about Olamide “selling out”, but there is no denying that he grinds hard. What does that work ethic mean for the quality of the album, though? One Long Story. It’s interesting that “Story For The Gods” is the lead single because that’s what the whole album feels like: An almost one-hour-thirty-minute story for the gods.
Year: 2014; Hits Rating: 7; Rap Rating: 10; Cohesion: 8; Overall Rating: 8.3
Notable Songs: “Story For The Gods”, “Usain Bolt”, “Goons Mi”, “Zero Joy”
“Yahoo Boy No Laptop”
YBNL later became the name of his label, the same way Lil’ Kesh ended up becoming the boss of YAGI. The concept of YBNL is good and it’s interesting but why is that the name of your album and record label for God’s sake? Anyway I’m not here to talk about the name of the album but I’m here to talk about the music, which is, in one word, phenomenal. The people who always complain about Olamide churning out low quality albums are the same people that didn’t listen to his better earlier works. Maybe the album isn’t that good and I’m just feeling nostalgia towards a song like “Ilefo Illuminati”. Maybe it might not get an 8.6 if compared to M.I’s discography but it is without a doubt one of his best albums. “First of all, go down low.”
Year: 2012; Hits Rating: 8; Rap Rating: 9; Cohesion: 9; Overall Rating: 8.6
Notable Songs: “Money”, “Voice of the Streets”, “Panumo”, “Owotabua”, “Ilefo Illuminati”, “First of All”
1.Baddest Guy Ever Liveth
How you rank an artist’s best album is not how many songs you like or remember but which one consistently showcases his best skills in which case for Olamide are his Yoruba lyrics, undeniable charisma, unending hustling spirit and leader of “the streets”. This album embodies all of that- and some. How can you ignore a song like “Sitting on the Throne”? How? It’s the type of song that was probably made for only deep Olamide fans but damn it that song made it everywhere. The slick lyrics on that soft sample were unavoidable and you don’t even need to understand Yoruba to know that this guy knows how to use words. Throughout the album, even when you think you’re having too much fun, like on “Duro Soke”, he makes you sit back and question why you ever doubted his abilty. See, see, see… Don’t let me get started on that “Baddest Nigga Ever Liveth” freestyle. The song didn’t make the album because of sampling issues (used a Jay Z beat), but that track is definitely, without a doubt, one of the top 5 best Nigerian rap songs, full stop. The album was his second consecutive “Album of the Year” award after “YBNL” and at the end of the day will go down as Olamide’s best ever work. “Rather be a lion in the jungle than to be a dog in the city” is Olamide in one line.
Year: 2012; Hits Rating: 9; Rap Rating: 9; Cohesion: 9; Overall Rating: 9.0
Notable Songs: “Anifowose”, “Eleda Mi”, “Duro Soke”, “Sitting On The Throne”, “Turn Up”, “Dope Money”, “Yemi My Lover”Follow WTS: