2019 was the first year in almost a decade that Olamide didn’t drop a project. He chose, instead, to focus his energy on pushing Fireboy DML — the breakout star we first met on the rapper’s 2018 mixtape.

Now, with Fireboy’s position in the afropop scene solidified, Olamide has come through with a new EP, 999, which, like his last body of work, seems to be less about him and more about the rising stars he’s assembled.

On the 9-track project, Olamide introduces his fans to a new generation of rap talent, two of which he simply discovered on his Instagram Explore Page (Sosa-E and Jackmillz on the fantastic “Dancing With The Devil”).

The only other big-name star on 999 is Olamide’s frequent collaborator, Phyno, who is given a chance to flex alongside his gifted new signees, Rhatti and Cheque on the standout “Warlords”.

The most exciting new discovery, however, is Jayboi, who Olamide met at a hotel in Abeokuta. After freestyling for hours, he earned himself a spot on the EP, and he quickly shows why on the sexually-charged “Mojo”.

Bolstered by eclectic production work from Pheelz, Cracker Mallo and more, 999 solidly tackles themes around fame (“Rich & Famous”), generational wealth (“Billion Talk) and hustling (“No Time”).

While a lot of the songs on the EP are really impressive, the track that feels destined to be the biggest is “Wonma”, a radio-friendly banger that allows Olamide to reach his one-hit-every-other-month quota.

All in all, 999 is a solid and essential project from Olamide — one that serves double duty, both reminding us of his versatility as a rapper and his penchant for putting people on.

Rating: 7.5/10



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