Since publicly arriving over a year ago, Chocolate City subsidiary 100 Crowns has made it a point of duty to stay in front of, and steer conversations concerning rap music in Nigeria. Alongside parent label executive and revered rapper, M.I Abaga, and foremost signing Blaqbonez, the A-Q and Loose Kaynon-led imprint has been able pull off a handful of moments, including ‘LAMBaugust’, last year’s 3-week album roll-out, and intermittently holding ‘The Coronation’, a rap-centric event with four instalments till date.
In the wee hours of 2019, the loose collective literally stopped the Nigerian internet, after releasing a Martell-backed cypher that saw all four rappers relentlessly pummel a sturdy BeatsByJayy instrumental with Vibranium-laced raps. They’ve just returned for a similarly scorching, conversation stoking sequel, along with an accompanying video, in which each rapper is suited up to evoke mafioso imagery. Following the same M.O. as the first go around, Jayy again scores ‘Martell Cypher 2’, mixing floor shaking 808 bass and sinister piano keys as haunting as the Joker’s wide grin, while the same order of stepping up to the mic is maintained.
Blaqbonez opens up the cypher in his usual vivacious demeanour, packing his bars with confident quips and clever pop culture references, clearly aimed at shadowboxing Opps who’ve continued to throw virtual stones at him since he declared himself the ‘Best Rapper in Africa’. Loose Kaynon follows up next in a more engaging flow than the novel cypher, scoffing at naysayers and doubters, while flexing the ongoing profitability of his crew. A-Q takes the penultimate spot, and in his usual battle-ready gait, reels off an aggressive litany of shock-indented, wide-ranging bars that feature everything from unsubtle political commentary to his salacious intentions for one of Afropop’s foremost divas. M.I, however closes with the pick of the verses, and while his conceited quips are loaded with subs at another Cognac-sponsored cypher series, it mostly serves as a timely reminder of why he’s regarded as one of the best around these parts to ever pick up the mic.
Subtitled ‘The Purification’, this newly released cypher is in line with 100 Crowns’ lofty moves meant to galvanize interest and support around rap music in Nigeria. While it is undoubtedly an adrenaline shot, it is difficult to see it in a wholesome light, considering the sequel is coming eight whole months after a debut that hinted at better frequency and a diverse line-up. Regardless, it is never a bad time to see four rappers get busy, which is what ‘Martell Cypher 2’ primarily offers.
Watch ‘Martell Cypher 2’ here.
Featured Image Credits: YouTube/MI Abaga
Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter