These are 10 of the albums that underwhelmed us the most in 2017, ranked from least disappointing to the most disappointing.
10. BOJ “Magic”
Label: HF Music
Release Date: October 14, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “African Lady”, “Aisha”, “Molade”
See Also: BOJ “Magic” Album Review
Post-DRB LasGidi, BOJ has built a solid reputation mostly by contributing perfect hooks and memorable raspy-voiced choruses on other artist’s tracks. Mr. Phantom has records, and a solo project, of his own but it’s his show-stealing cameos that really built anticipation for what the alternative R&B singer could do if he had an album all to himself. Alas, we now have BOJ’s debut album, but unfortunately even a stellar supporting cast couldn’t save the monotonous and unimaginative Magic. A lot more was expected from BOJ but thankfully, he has ample time to deliver on his next go-around.
9. D’banj “King Don Come”
Label: DKM Inc/Priority Records/Capitol Records
Release Date: July 7, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “As I Dey Go”, “Emergency”, “Nstwempu”
See Also: D’Banj “King Don Come” Album Review
It’s been 9 years since D’banj released a solo album – the outstanding Entertainer album – and even though we’ve all watched the veteran singer toil musically since then, a lot was still expected of album #4. It is true that with the help of in-house producer Cheeky Chizzy, the DKM boss has finally managed to reconstruct his sound, however he still has a lot more construction to do. Lover boy? Drug dealer? Multilingual Singer? We know the old D’banj but who is this D’banj? The singer hasn’t found the image and topical range to complement the new sound, and his music, as it sounds currently, is not believable. That’s probably why the King Don Come album came and went faster than Pres. Ernest Shonekan’s presidency.
8. Jesse Jagz “Odysseus”
Label: Jagz Nation
Release Date: September 8, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “Alright”, “Dirty”, “Genesis”
See Also: Just How Great Is Jesse Jagz?
Jesse Jagz spent months overselling the Odysseus album and when the time did come for its release, the Jagged one under-delivered – badly. Maybe if he hadn’t picked such a highfalutin title, or used such a historically important album cover, or the album hadn’t been postponed so many times, we wouldn’t have expected Jesse to bring the house down on his fourth album. Instead the only thing that Jagz brought down on Odysseus was the quality of his music. A few bright moments here, a few introspective moments there, weren’t enough to save arguably the worst album of the MC’s otherwise outstanding catalogue.
7. Vector “Lafiaji”
Label: G.R.A.P Music
Release Date: December 20, 2016
3 Standout Songs: “Adurah”, “Gee Boys”, “Lafiaji”
See Also: Vector “Lafiaji” Album Review
Is Vector a good rapper who just raps bad sometimes or a bad rapper who manages to rap good sometimes? At this point, I honestly don’t know the answer to that question anymore. Lord knows some of the most asinine lines I have heard in a rap song in the past few months were from Vector’s latest album. Technically, Lafiaji was released in 2016, but it was released in the period under review, besides, the project was so awful that it couldn’t escape our list. Everything sucked, from the roll out, to the single selection, to the actual album. While you appreciate the artistic direction and cultural slant, Vector’s nursery school level rhymes takes so much away from the overall listening experience, and dampens our enthusiasm for his upcoming follow-up album Teslim.
6. Ycee “First Wave”
Label: Sony Music Entertainment Africa
Release Date: April 7, 2016
3 Standout Songs: Juice, Wavy, Link Up
See Also: Ycee “First Wave” EP Review
Just as Ycee starts fading away from the limelight, the dreadlocked rapper has mastered the art of conjuring a hit song that reminds everyone why he’s been perennially hailed as ‘next up’. But how long will Ycee continue to be a promising rap star? The fact that First Wave wasn’t even an actual album is a different level of disappointment. Tinny Ent. ought to have followed up “Jagaban” and “Omo Alhaji” with an EP, so that Ycee could follow “Juice” with an album. When you’re already running 2-3 years behind schedule, and there are doubts about whether all you’ve got in the tank is hit singles, an 8-song EP is like eating regular size Gala after one full week of dry fasting.
5. Sugarboy “Believe”
Label: G-Wordwide Entertainment
Release Date: April 22, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “Kilamity”, “Hola Hola”, “Legalize”
See Also: Sugarboy “Believe” Album Review
If Kiss Daniel is able to successfully force his way out of G-Worldwide, he’ll be leaving Sugarboy to become the breadwinner for the growing label. But based on the quality of his undercooked debut album, Believe, Emperor Geezy and company might as well close shop if Daniel kisses the label goodbye. This album must be how paint sounds when its left to dry. What makes matters even worse is how Believe was filled to the brim with average songs. Sadly, Sugar doesn’t have the personality or dynamism to make you invested in his music beyond a couple of records, he’s probably better off releasing singles one by one and GWW pushing the ones that bang.
4. Skales “The Never Say Never Guy”
Label: Baseline Music
Release Date: May 29, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “Booty Language”, “Gbefun One time”, “Kpete Wicked”
See Also: Skales “The Never Say Never Guy” Album Review
Skales is a supremely frustrating artist. He obviously has an intriguing story, bucket loads of talent, and financial backers who believe enough in him to push it. But on his second album, the ex-EME star sounds as if he’s accepted that he has peaked creatively, and all that’s left now is turning in the occasional hit record that will bring in enough money for his investors, and to keep body and soul together, until the next album. The rest of the project, sans the hit song(s), might as well be in your recycle bin for all he cares. It’s all about the money for Skales, and you can hear it in the quality of the music.
3. Yemi Alade “Black Magic”
Label: Effyzie Music Group
Release Date: December 15, 2017
3 Standout Songs: None
See Also: If Yemi Alade Was A Man, She Would Be More Respected
Yemi Alade was the busiest woman in music this year – she went on a successful worldwide tour, recorded and promoted the heck out of 2 projects and continued to be a judge on Voice Nigeria, among other commitments. But in all her endeavors, Yemi’s music suffered, badly. She may have released several new songs and featured on many others, but 2017 was Yemi’s least impactful musically since “Johnny” became a hit. Even though she finally bowed to Twitter pressure to sharpen her lyrics, and work with songwriters on her third album Black Magic, Yemi probably needs more than a few good lines to make the music connect with the people again.
2. Korede Bello “Belloved”
Label: Mavin Records
Release Date: March 13, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “My People”, “Favorite Song”, “Good Time”
See Also: Korede Bello “Belloved” Album Review
2017 was Mavin Record’s least productive year to date, a roster of almost 10 artists only managed to put out one full-length album between them. Being that the solitary album was Korede’s tepid debut Belloved, Mavin probably wished they hadn’t even bothered. Korede was marketed to be the pop star for the teenyboppers, but his debut album just came off as corny and painfully childish; you fear for Korede’s long term viability at this point, where does he grow from here?
1. Olamide “Lagos Nawa”
Label: YBNL Records
Release Date: November 13, 2017
3 Standout Songs: “Lagos Radio”, “Bend It Over”, “Wo!!!”
Also: Olamide And Ajebutter22 Showcase Different Sides Of The Same Lagos
An artist should never be a prisoner to their art, they have the fundamental right to do whatever the heck they choose. That said, evolution isn’t an excuse for mediocrity and in releasing a fully Wobey-sounding album, Olamide gets full marks for diversity and vision but as for execution, that’s a different matter. Lagos Nawa is a concept album on a demo CD budget, an Indomie noodles project that wasn’t even allowed to cook for a full 2 minutes. There have been several calls for Olamide to take a breather from his annual album ritual and come back with fresher ideas, those calls will only get louder after this mess of an album.