Literary Circle

Music Review: Phyno’s The Playmaker

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Phyno’s the Playmaker: Baby born Overweight

The first Phyno song I listened to was ‘Multiply’. I loved his brimming talent and went ahead to search for the rest of his singles, four at that time. I watched him perform at Star Trek Show in Abakaliki in 2012 alongside MI and he shone as he sang the hook for Illbliss’ ‘Anamachikwanu’.

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His first album, ‘No Guts, No Glory’ was a runaway success and since then Phyno has gone international and together with Olamide made ‘indigenous rap’ a dietary staple and appealing to a global audience. The Nigerian music industry owe this duo a lot. Phyno has distinguished himself in collaborations, outdoing himself song after song.

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Last year, he dropped his sophomore album titled after his long time moniker, ‘The Playmaker’. The album was heralded by the massive hits ‘Connect’ that was unarguably the biggest song of 2015 and ‘Fada Fada’ ft. Olamide which was a monster hit. After he dropped ‘E sure for me’ with moderate success, I felt he was stretching his Gospel luck too thin. But a holistic look at the album will reveal its street Gospel undertone.

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‘The Playmaker’ has many amazing songs. Major Bangs’ genius shone in most of the production especially in ‘Abulo’ and ‘Yes I Pray’. ‘Joy Comes In The Morning’ is exceptional in its hopeful message. ‘Ochie Dike’ ft. Onyeka Onwenu is a classic and has will make you remember your mother. For those doubting his rap credibility, Phyno delivers hard-core bars on ‘Abulo’, a song highly reminiscent of ‘Alobam’ and ‘Kush’ from his first album. ‘Financial Woman’ ft. P-Square, ‘Best Rapper’, ‘Mistakes’, ‘Okpeke’ ft. 2Baba and Flavour, ‘Ezege’, ‘I’m a fan’ ft. Mr. Eazi and Decarlo. The list of gems here is endless. It has some average songs though, like ‘Pino Pino’, ‘Mkpotu’ ft. Zoro and Tidinz.

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In ‘The Playmaker’, Phyno steers the ship like an African Drake, rapping and singing effortlessly, switching between melodies, blending language and art into magic.

After all said and done, ‘The Playmaker’ will go down as one of the best albums of 2016.


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