In accordance with Ladipoe, Providence – Timely preparation for future eventualities | The EP Review…
‘I don’t throw Punchlines, I only throw Lifelines’… is the first Ladipoe line that jumped at me ever. It’s summer 2014 and I’d just got admitted into university and doing the rounds of making new friends. I walked past a room while a very coherent rapper was doing his thing over someone’s mobile speaker and I was just stunned; it wasn’t just the lines, it was something else.
Ladipoe’s mix of confidence, deep, philosophical flows, and classic delivery is unmatched in the Nigerian music industry today. He’s an emcee that makes you fall in love with rap and definitely the best preacher to lead the HipHop revival in this part of the world.
You probably heard him first on Falz & Yemi Alade’s wedding hit song of 2018, but his 2019 mixtape, Talk About Poe is one of the hardest projects in the history of our music and the launch of his full-on HipHop Evangelism in Nigeria.
The beautiful thing about Ladipoe rapping is that the lines are just the beginning and a doorway into the full revival experience. His attitude and subtle delivery are his greatest strengths and probably contribute heavily to his record deal with Mavin records.
Till date, Ladipoe is the only rapper signed to Don Jazzy, since the split of Mo Hits in 2012, with a masters degree to his name and a happy family behind him, Ladipoe is definitely one rapper that stands out among millions from all over Africa. Since he signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin records, he’s proven that he is on a mission to resuscitate Hiphop in the country, and rightly so.
He earned his first career chart topping single in 2020 with ‘Know You‘, a feature with talented singer Simi which earned him a Headies award for the best collaboration a MTV HipHop Awards nomination.
Ladipoe may still be headed for other major wins at the 2021 Headies, given that his collaboration with Buju- Feeling, is one of the biggest songs of 2021.
Ladipoe isn’t just the Leader of the Revival in name alone, he’s put his career where his mouth is, and he’s getting bountiful rewards for it.
A Track by Track Review of the ‘PROVIDENCE’ EP by Ladipoe
The Intro to the project couldn’t have been better. LOTR II [LORD OF THE REVIVAL II] is a special acronym to all ‘Lifeliners’, not just because it’s fancy and classy like everything else that comes from Ladipoe’s camp but it’s also a reply to his horde of cult-following, the day ones who have all been followers of the Revival project from way back.
Apart from the statement that LOTR II makes, its delivery is subtle as usual and the lines are from a place of deep philosophical reasoning. Dumbing down for the fans has always been an issue for Ladipoe, although he does it to stay relevant, the fire he brings on his hardcore sessions are just outright interstellar.
“What’s COVID-19 to a generation that’s already obsessed with going viral?”
Every time Ladipoe drops a lifeline, it gives you the nostalgic feeling that comes with discovering HipHop with an elder brother, uncle or listener. You won’t be able to stop thinking about how cool it is until you bring out a book and start jotting down all your favourite lines or in today’s case, whip up your Genius app or Apple music lyrics icon and start following each lifeline word for word.
AFROJIGGA is a funky number that won’t stop playing in our heads. It’s a chill rap song that’s poised to do a madness on streaming services when the combined effect of Mr Ladipo Eso’s sophisticated and laid back commercial rap and Rema’s ravers who’re looking anticipating the Raves & Roses album and are looking for every avenue to get a peek of what’s coming. Rema’s chorus comes with the usual bang he brings on any project, and the laid back caribbean influences on the track will make it do incredibly well in calypso-heavy listening areas of the world.
LAW OF ATTRACTION is a play on one of the strategies that brought Ladipoe to critical acclaim in 2017. Melodic rap may not be a mainstream thing in Afrobeats just yet, but we’re well on the way. Melodic rap has always been a goodway for rappers to create chart topping songs, and it usually consists of a perfect blend of 90s R&B and Hiphop beats to create songs that are in between R&B and rap.
This third track is a feel good R&B influenced number that reminds everyone who claims rap has no meaning in Afrobeats anymore; wait until a few years when melodic rappers take over the entire space. It also reminds you of his 2019 hit song JAIYE.
The fourth track on the EP is the project’s official single. A classic feature with one of the brightest in the game right now is another crowd lover and it’s not surprising that it keeps doing numbers and begs for a video already at the time of this writing.
RUNNING is a motivational song that doesn’t quite strike you as one because the melody is so powerful that you’re immersed into the full experience upon a first listening. Fireboy DML’s vocals are a blessing to the track and Ladipoe’s deep cutting lines are the perfect cherry on top of an already delicious velvet cake.
Amaarae is a global superstar and her vocals on LOVE ESSENTIALS is another proof that she’s poised to take over the work with her unique and alternative mix of Afropop. Ladipoe’s seductive lines pair up perfectly with Amaarae’s deep cutting vocal arrangements. LOVE ESSENTIALS is a love song that draws you in and reminds you of why you ever fell in love.
PROVIDENCE, the title to the project also doubles as the Outro to the project so it’s not surprising to hear Mr Eso close his project with another world class HipHop resuscitation effort.
“For every Mufasa there must be a Scar boy” is one of Ladipoe’s subtle dumps on the typical industry beef. If there’s anyone who’s a genius at squashing beef before it grows then it’s Ladipoe.
The Protective Care of God. Timely Preparation. The Future of Eventualities. – The perfect closer to a project properly put together.
Every-time you hear someone say HipHop’s dead and buried in Nigeria, nudge them to give the Lord Of The Revival a listen. Welcome more sheep into the fold and let get Nigerian Hip Hop back on the map.
As a final note, it’s imperative to let you know that Ladipoe did not rise up the ladder on the power of his lifelines alone. His current success is a journey that started back in 2014, a record deal eluded him until 2017, and he didn’t reach mainstream success until 2021 backed by a powerful record label in Africa and riding the waves of strategic collaborations to earn him his coveted top spots on the chart.
Dear upcoming rapper, use Ladipoe as a template to navigate your career decisions but never forget that big things won’t happen without major funding even if your rap video clips go more viral than CKay’s Love Nwantiti hit song which is statistically impossible without a conscious injection of funds. The best thing you’ll get is a record deal which might not even guarantee success.
COMMENT: LadiPoe’s PROVIDENCE is a ‘page turner’! It’s satisfying to watch rappers who’ve spit out the hardest bars finally get their well deserved commercial acclaim.
Ladipoe Providence EP Review;
Written by AfrobeatsMerije.
Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian music journalist & A&R in his early 20s. He goes by the pseudonym ‘AfrobeatsMerije’, and considers himself one of the greatest psyche in Afrobeats.
Tweet your favourite songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects at him; @AfrobeatsMerije.