Easily the most prolific of the Afrobeats class of 2011 (including Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido) Olamide has fought his recent spell of creative wilderness with staggering productivity.
How else does one account for the quality dip that birthed Lagos Nawa and 999 but to chalk it up to some kind of fatigue, the exact kind that blotched the promise of 9ice’s discography after his solid sophomore, Gongo Aso?
Olamide countered this hypothesis simply by troubleshooting his difficulties while revving his creativity and flooding his discography.
By the end of the first listen of Carpe Diem, it was clear that he had gotten his mojo back.
The testimony lingers in that inexhaustible ear candy, Infinity, with deft assists from golden boy, Omah Lay.
Tellingly, another Olamide album is upon us—almost!
Named after red supergiant star UY Scuti, Olamide has moved beyond naming his music after superman athletes (see Usain Bolt P.) to namechecking celestial bodies.
Enter Rock, his gambit and first single of his twelfth studio album.
Featuring bold production by fast rising Eskeez, the music pays respect to the P.Prime produced Green Light, Olamide’s delayed riposte to his ambiguous implicit consent on his Street OT gem, Story for the Gods.
The stuttering, tentative, playful and predictable xylophone-like piano notes adorn the relentless shuffling percussion and zigzagging guitar rhythms backing Olamide’s confident singing in what appears to be his most tender song yet about a love proposal.
There is enough brawn and machismo to give its primal texture and just enough silent moments to suggest that agency is being sought here, either on the physical dancefloor or in the intangible impending relationship.
Clarence Peters directs the video to achieve that sense of balance. Olamide cedes conspicuous visual presence to Soliat Bada who delivers intense dance choreography in what seems like a tribute to Micheal Jackson’s Thriller and the swanky, upscale Lekki of the Lagos nouveau riche.
The promise of material things, that incurable catalyst of romantic relationships christened Assurance accurately by Davido is represented in the video’s understated use of grand automobiles as props.
Social media is already agog with Rock mime challenge powered gingerly by a hashtag and bodied by other Afrobeats stars including Tiwa Savage, whose miming cuts the most memorable facial expression of the song’s most memorable line, “Ma lo fe broke Nigga/Fight for your life.”
Little wonder the song is charting next week on TurnTable Top 50 at No. 1 debut and video stats on YouTube seven days after release is already in excess of one million views.
Olamide has delivered a summertime hit, all right.