Olamidé Blooming Legend Persona Shines Through On ‘UY Scuti’

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Olamidé, as The Guardian notes in a glowing profile this week, is undoubtedly one of Africa’s biggest music stars, and the continent’s most successful and influential rap act, with billions of streams worldwide and an overarching influence in Nigeria’s music scene, as YBNL Nation’s label leader. These feats are solid reasons enough for his choice of album name, UY Scuti, the rapper’s ninth studio album.

UY Scuti, which takes its name from one of the largest known stars in the universe, sees the street rap legend expanding his sound in new directions, pulling inspiration from dancehall, reggae, amapiano, and other experimental genres for his most melodic and personal project to date.

The ten-track album opens with Need For Speed, a spacious intro with the solemn tones of an ‘80s synth-pop power ballad, before breaking into the mid-tempo afrobeat bop Jailer. Rock, the project’s lulling, the infectious lead single, is already on pace to be one of Olamidé’s biggest hits, having already garnered millions of streams. Rough Up is among several dancehall tracks on UY Scuti, with Layydoe’s vocals adding hardcore bashment flavor to Eskeez’s bouncy beat. PonPon and So Much More offer different takes on the Caribbean sounds, the latter boasts sunny, romantic reggae vibes while the former unfolds over a hypnotic riddim. Want blends RnB with distinct flavors of Nigeria’s leftfield alté scene.

As on other recent efforts like 2020’s Carpe Diem and the 999 EP, he shares his platform with a new crop of rising Nigerian talent, including Jaywillz, Layydoe, and Fave, while fellow indigenous rap pioneer, Phyno, with whom Olamidé released the 2015 collaborative album 2 Kings, is the only A-lister on the project.

I chose UY Scuti for the title because this project is way bigger than anything I’ve ever done before,

Olamidé says.

From the creativity, the amount of work that went into the project, the process, it’s just a new Olamidé inside me.”

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