I have been an ardent follower of Nigerian Rap Music and even though Tochukwu Melvin Ejiofor aka illBiss has been in the game for years, I feel he is not given much credit. Although that can be attributed to his lack of a real viral songs which did not arrive until he made the classic hit with Runtown. But listening to his works for the past three years, has made me see him in new light. Bliss might not be an MI or Mode 9 to Nigerian music but he keeps his music clean just like these two folks and keeps it a 100 with his stories. Illyzilla EP for me is even a greater Rap album than moral Instruction and Badboy blacq which are the two Rap Albums cillacritic has reviewed this year. The Boom bass beats and street tales of love, music and hustle is just that album you will like to play in your car while taking a ride through a calm city late in the Night. Illyzilla EP lubricates deep thoughts while in motion.
This album which came out in February of 2019 centers on Hustle, love and keeping the Rap music scene clean. In “Be Great”; Illbliss talks about keeping the hustle easy and classy. He declares that life is all about hustling to provide for your family. He asks’: what is the need for hustling when one cannot provide for your family. He explains that he has always made mark in the music industry by staying clean to his craft leading by example. He explains that he has been shown hate by many in the music industry but has always paid back evil with good.
Hustling is a hard part of life that everybody has to go through and one of the easiest way to make it is staying true and original to one’s self. In the song “Don”, Illblizz becomes a street preacher preaching to his colleagues in the music industry and the world at large. He tells everyone that the goods of life is not for everybody but for only the cunning and hardworking individuals. He declares to everyone who might think life is not worth living may die because the people living with propose a toast in their funeral. He admonishes everyone to never lay all their eggs in one basket-stating that everybody should try to spread their hustle beyond one line of business. He says people should be “A Don” and take responsibility of their life because people will hate and come against you.
“Lead or Follow” is a song that Bliss makes for the young people who are trying to become Leaders when they have not gone through the process of follower-ship. He declares that the internet fraud madness in Nigeria where yahoo boys keep tossing money around is because of the lack of follower-ship and desire to become a boss without following the due process. He and Tekzilla took the story to the music world where every upcoming artist wants to achieve a great height without following the process. They argue that because of the lack of real follower ship in music and the quest to become famous has made many good Rappers lose focus and creativity.
“Synergy” has the duo of Tekzilla and Illbiss tell the world that they are a force to be reckoned with in the business music. They claim that they are a force in the business of Rap because they understand that in the game of Rap; you could win some and loose some. They however declare that their consistency in the craft makes them a valid force.
Bliss, Phlow and Uzezi made a classic Boombass love song that I have had not heard in a long time. “Queens” is a song of appreciation to ones lover. It is pure poetry of love to a faithful woman who has been loving, supportive and understanding. He talks about taking the love of his life out for vacation-buying everything his money can buy her. Phlow and Uzezi gives the song some kind of female flavour which is really dope.
Tekzilla being the producer of this album just brought himself under the radar of cillacritic.com. His pure boom bass production is so unique and a sound that is not very popular in Nigeria. The production which is dominated by hard kicks, snares and hats goes in same direction like what late 90s and early 2000s rappers made.
There is a clearly no presence of orchestral sound patterns in the album of but a well sequenced baselines and keys that could make anybody listening to this album for the first time think that it was made in the past century. My personal favourite beat is “Lead and Follow”. This is because of the close resemblance with Jay-z’s 444 album songs. The choice of drum sounds adopted by Tekzilla is something age and faithfulness to one’s purity in sound can only inspire.
POSSIBLE HITS AND FLOP
To be honest with every lover of music; all the songs in this album are hits but can only be appreciated by people who understand what good rap music should be. I have been jamming this album since February and it is still getting a replay from me.