Artiste – iLLBliss
Extended Play – Position of Power (Vol. 2) EP
Features – Mike Aremu, Tesh Carter
Producer – XYZ
Running Time – 15 minutes 37 seconds
Record Label – Capital Hill Music/The Goretti Company (2014)
Position of Power is a contemporary rap EP with garnishes of iLLBliss’ local influence. The seasoned rapper obviously wants you to know where he’s from by vocally paying obeisance to his Igbo roots and spitting out lines in his local dialect. A (new) art that has been well made commercial by the genius likes of Nigga RAW and 2Shotz who started the trend and then the uber creative takeovers, Olamide, Sarkodie and Phyno.
iLLBliss is no doubt a skillful rap artist whose creative depth is evidenced in his lyrical disposition and then with a tint of sass attitude.
The EP opens with hard percussion, tingling tones and a ragga-like Igbo accent explaining scenarios that locally but best describes the title. Following up, is Osadebe – a testament to Illy‘s self-made spirit. He credits God for the one too many things that he’s become today. On a flip side, it won’t be wrong to call it a tribute-diss. Diss because he’s calling out the disloyal, the treacherous and ungrateful motherf**kers who walk around talking an empty game with a big attitude. And then he reminds us that the rules governing this game haven’t changed – God, family and hustle!
Not long after Idiche opens, you’re treated to the frenzy of Saxist, Mike Aremu‘s pipes which soft sails, easing in and out through the track. In Illy‘s self-styled rap nature, he tells you why being different really isn’t all that so bad. If you’re different and you know it, embrace it… and then some more of Mike Aremu‘s contemporary pipes to close.
iLLBliss treats himself to a bit of self-praise on Tobechukwu, which also happens to be his first name. By a measure of worlds (where he’s been/coming from to where he is/going to), even you can agree that he’s earned the rights to a little bragging. Afterall, he isn’t called Oga Boss for nothing.
Looking Back is a journey down to his genesis, opening the window on issues relating to his one-time ailing health, the loss of his dad and more other ills associated with a then hard life. Tesh Carter made room for something different to expect on the EP. Her vocals hollering ‘looking back, looking back, see me now… Jehovah gat me, see me looking back’ came in subtly intense and with acuity enough to drive the message home.
While XYZ‘s instrumentation majorly augments the fine bars to which Oga Boss kept spitting on, his factual story was a glory way to close the EP. That aside, the not-so-satisfying feel of Illy‘s EP (save for how XYZ makes him shine) leaves a little anticipation for another studio album. One where he’ll leave the comfort of his creative zone and take a plunge dive into genres challenging enough to not only test his turf but shake his ‘rep’.
This is art and there’s hardly any more time left for Oga Boss to whip out his entire play kit.
Written by Jim Donnett