It’s not so often that I offer to review a mixtape/album before I hear the finished product. That’s exactly what happened though, when my friend sent me some unfinished tracks by the artist I am about to introduce to you. So I hit my friend back to ask who this was? I had never heard of him before and I was pleasantly surprised. His voice, his delivery, and the lyrics come absolutely correct and I’m glad that with the full mixtape now out, he did not disappoint me. I have to apologize for the late review, as the mixtape came out in July, but this is a great way to start the new month I promise. Without further ado then, meet the Nigerian rapper/singer and songwriter, Ozzy B – who brings to us a fresh sounding vibe on his debut into the music industry in Diaries of a Loner.
This 18-year old (is it just me or are artists coming out younger and younger each year? I digress) has masterfully keyed in to what has been a prevailing trend in Hip-Hop music in recent years – story telling, especially as it relates to the female species + no heavy punch-lines, but enough to make you smile at the ingenuity or sometimes, the lack of + great beats. Drake comes to mind as an easy example of this, Ozzy B mentions him and Kanye West as two of his influences and its quite evident that he means that literally as he emulates his mentors a lot on this mixtape (especially Drake) while still staying unique to where he comes from – let’s listen to some music, shall we?
What you just listened to is a BankyondaBeatz-produced track titled “Anime and Video Games” – very interesting title, I might add. This is probably my favorite track on Diaries of a Loner, probably because what would have been my favorite track is way too short to share on here (by the way, Ozzy B imma need you to make “Love Stains” a full song, thank you very much). I love his delivery on this song, which is backed largely by Old School-styled drum machine patterns courtesy of BankyondaBeatz, and I like that it has that ‘freestyle’ feel to it – it’s just him doing his thing and you can hear the raw talent he possesses. What do you guys think about this?
What you just listened to is called “All Over Me” or as I like to call it – “It’s Time To Dance”. I love the up-tempo dance musical backdrop on this one – backed largely by loud trumpets, synths and drum kicks – upon which Ozzy B flows effortlessly – switching his style from a laid-back flow on the opening verse to Pidgin English on the hook to an (unflattering) attempt at “Jamaican Patios” on the second verse. Shout out to GMK on the production because he does a fine job on this song as with all the other songs he produces on Diaries of a Loner with “Holla” being another one definitely worth a mention.
Fire. Straight Fire. What you just heard is titled “Cool Kid”. The production on here is heavy – there’s that Afrobeat element to it emphasized by the lush horn patterns and some futuristic thing going on as well – and this is the kind of song I would love to hear performed live. Ozzy B is not too overshadowed by the large production of the track, he holds his own and has me even questioning if he is really Nigerian as he channels Lil Wayne heavily on this song? I do love how he is able to switch it up between different flows and styles on Diaries of a Loner and I think he is a very talented artist – he is neither trying to force it nor fake it and you can tell that he is having fun with his music but at the same time, hungry enough to show that he is not to be taken lightly.
Ozzy B has definitely crafted one of Nigeria’s best mixtapes and with time, I see him totally being amongst the prominent faces of Nigerian Hip-Hop music. We certify this GOOD Music and wish him all the very best.