What a month!  Albums came in quick succession, would you believe me if I told you we listened to every single one of them? There were new projects from Sound Sultan, Solid Star and Oritse Femi – to mention a few – but these are 4 of the very best. Do yourself a favor by previewing them below.

Phyno – Playmaker (7.8)

Yes, Phyno now has fans much older than the Cosmos FM crowd and listeners of hip-hop music, and they love him as much as we do. The MC is now actively bending genres and bridging generations, accolades are nice but acceptance pays better. Unless you view The Playmaker from these different lenses of expectations, you might not appreciate why Phyno created an album that’s so musically diverse and why he’s challenged himself to rise to all expectations of him, rather than the expectations of one or two. (Read more)


Aramide – Suitcase (7.2)

Singers in Aramide’s chosen genre of music don’t usually allow this much of their personality show on their first project and normally go out of their way to come off as being goody two-shoes. The plan is usually to introduce listeners to the sound first, present a bunch of squeaky clean songs that fit that narrative and wait till later to sing about things that are harder to digest. Not Aramide, on Suitcase, while you’re getting accustomed to her soft and steady voice and appreciating her proficiency with different instruments, you’re also getting to know about her sense of humor, her naughtier desires as a woman and her imperfections as a person. (Read more)

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Bez – Gbagyi Child (7.2)

Gbagyi Child has come 5 years after Super Sun, if the average artist had taken that kind of time off, they would have lost their fanbase and had to start looking for a 9-to-5 of some sort. Bez’ musicianship has empowered him to become a touring act always worth the price of admission and his brand of alternative soul has enabled him cultivate a niche audience that can probably afford that price whatever it may be. This album briefly flirts with appealing to a wider demographic but ultimately, Gbagyi Child is a thoughtful gift to Bez’ core fans for waiting for their man for this long. (Read more)

Illbliss – Illygaty: 7057 (6.2) 

Earlier in the year, when Illbliss hinted that he could be leaving the rap game for good, I went back to listen to his previous albums for old time’s sake. I was disappointed by the news but at the same time, I wasn’t very surprised by it. Da Thorobred’s debut EP Street Hop was released 12 years ago. Look around, how many of your favorite MC’s who came in the game with Illy are a.) still rapping and b.) still doing it at an elite level? For his longevity alone, Illbliss deserves tiri gbosa. For his ability to keep reinventing himself, he deserves at least one more. (Read more)