Ice Prince has been pushing hard for the 2016 release date for his highly anticipated “Jos To The World” album for quite a while now.
Considering how lukewarm 2015 has been for him, dropping the mixed-review “Trash Can EP”, before going out of his way to record ‘Boss’ and teased us with trap for ‘Feelings’ and then inched closer to the dance floor with ‘Boss’. All of these, seemed scatter-gun at the time, but it has helped to shape what fans should expect from Ice Prince’s third album.
Getting Korede Bello on ‘Chike’ was supposed to be a walk-in into the radio stations, through to our phones’ playlist, and into the chambers of our guarded hearts. The stage was beautifully set. The rapper had announced, and hyped his scheduled single release with all the swag that he’s become very recognized for. The song was tagged “The biggest song of his career”, the promotion leading to the single was on point, as ‘Chike’ geared up for a release.
But that great music release, brought great negative release from the public, with Twitter being the worst conveyor of disgust. Ice Prince was first attacked on all fronts for the ‘mediocrity’ of the song. The rapper once again abandoned his rap roots as he has done for quite a while, and settled for the sounds of the moment, with Korede Bello playing willing sidekick to the entire affair. Nigerians were unanimous in their disgust, as Ice Prince felt the heat of the masses.
But as that wave died down, another came up. Many had listened repeatedly, and could not contain their discovery that ‘Chike’ sounded too similar to Olamide’s ‘Abule sowo’. The floodgates flowed one more time, and Ice Prince was forced to defend his work on Twitter giving credits to various singles for their ‘Inspiration’. Judgement was passed deservedly on ‘Chike’ on two fronts; The first was for its mediocrity, and the second had him being called a cheat.
‘Chike’ was planned to be the leading song that would spearhead the push for “Jos To The World”, but the reception it received shot it dead on arrival. Would the quality of the song, which has been stamped as ‘not good enough’ symbolize the entire album?
Ice Prince has never had a solid album to his name, failing twice at his attempts to make an LP that will be remembered long after he is gone. Wizkid has that. D’banj has that. Wande Coal has that. Ice Prince? He does not have that. But he does have ‘Oleku’ and ‘Aboki’.
But time has told us that leaning on singles to get a clear depiction of an album is like trying to pinpoint the North Star in the thick of the forest, even though, “Jos To The World” is looking pretty lost without a compass. Ice Prince has the quality to dig deep and bring forth pure musical gems, which would hold up strong against time. But time and again, he has fallen short, showing flashes of brilliance, but never enough to eventually win over the most hardened of his critics.
Starting off as a rapper, who would have ever seen the moment where his vocal ability singing wise trumped his actual ability to rap? Earlier on in his career, singing was something learned on the fly. It was never a standard feature to his creative toolset. Ice Prince probably has stopped being seen as a seeded lyricist following the last two years. But who cares, he dropped some of the biggest pop songs, met Jay Z, and started off his record label. Though he’s done well for himself, his status within rap hasn’t been the same. He understands that by now as well. This means his new album could go any direction at this point. Nobody knows what he has planned for “Jos To The World”. Until it drops. Let’s hope that happens sooner, rather than later.