Ahead of the bittersweet moment ‘Unruly’ will usher in, listeners can take consolation in Olamide’s rich discography that packs timeless projects.
Ranking Olamide’s albums is not an easy feat as the rapper always undertakes to outdo himself in a career that has seen him evolve from a smooth-talking young rapper to the head honcho of Nigeria’s Hip Hop.
Nevertheless, it’s this daunting task of ranking Olamide’s projects that this writer aims to undertake. This ranking is a celebration of Baddo’s greatness and a preparation for the release of his 10th album.
Here is a ranking of Olamide’s solo albums in descending order.
9. ‘Lagos Nawa’ (2017)
The last offering in Olamide’s annual album release, ‘Lagos Nawa’ can be considered to be the output of a spent Olamide who delivered an album every year in the preceding 6 years.
Although boasting the smash hit ‘Wo’, the album doesn’t offer the array of hit tracks or a collection of stinging rap records that defines Olamide’s classic projects.
8. ‘UY Scuti’ (2021)
An unexpected release from the legend, ‘UY Scuti’ was the album that signals Olamide’s evolution from hitmaker to veteran status. The album notably sees Olamide slow down the tempo of his delivery while also employing more Pop and Dancehall stylism.
Like every Olamide album, ‘UY Scuti’ delivers a hit record in ‘Rock’ and listeners would also fondly remember the album for introducing listeners to a crop of new talents.
7. ‘The Glory’ (2016)
This is a sensational body of work that somehow still struggles to get the credit due to it.
‘The Glory’ is perhaps Olamide’s most defiant album as he leans more into his rap side in an assertion of the dominance of local rappers who at that point shaped Nigeria’s Hip Hop scene.
From ‘Omo Wobe Anthem’ his swaggering collaboration with Burna Boy to the smash hit ‘Who You Epp’ and ‘Pepper Dem Gang’ Olamide brought the best from the guest artists while also offering a more mature part of himself.
6. ‘Rapsodi’ (2011)
This album carries huge sentimental value as it is the genesis of Olamide’s career. Heralded by the hit debut single ‘Eni Duro’, where Baddo showcased himself as a smooth rhyming rapper set to take indigenous rap to the next level by filling the void left by the late great Da Grin.
From ‘Omo To Shan’ his hit pop collaboration with rising star Wizkid to ‘Boys Are Not Smilling’ where he displays the spirit of the street hustle, the 16-track album positioned Olamide for mainstream success.
5. ‘Eyan Mayweather’ (2015)
The album was ushered in by ‘Bobo’ which might be his biggest hit record while also delivering a balance of Street Pop and Party-starters.
From reminding listeners of his prowess in ‘Eyan Mayweather’, showcasing incredible range in ‘Melo Melo’, and delivering club bangers in ‘Don’t Stop’, the album is a summary of Olamide’s greatness.
4. ‘Street OT’ (2014)
This album completed Olamide’s album trifecta and Headies Album of the Year 3peat.
Led by the hit record ‘Story for the Gods’, ‘Street OT’ saw Olamide further lean into his profile as a “Local Rapper” while kicking off a Street takeover.
While it doesn’t deliver impressive hit records, ‘Street OT’ delivers some of Olamide’s best collection of rap singles which enhanced its critical acclaim.
3. ‘Carpe Diem’ (2020)
When Olamide released his eighth album, ‘Carpe Diem’, it ushered in an artistic evolution at all levels. At that moment, it was one none of his contemporaries could manage.
His decision to explore pop at a significant level showed a change in style and mindset. Olamide was making a switch from hip-hop royalty who balanced rap with party-starting street hip-hop to a laid-back legend who wanted to make music for the fun of it.
‘Infinity’, which was the lead single, is a song that wouldn’t have been a choice for Olamide before the days of ‘Carpe Diem’. But with the album came a change in delivery, thematic preoccupation, and general approach.
‘Carpe Diem’ ushered in an Olamide who has evolved beyond the conscious search for hits. The album ushered in Olamide’s next artistic evolution. one notably sonically different from his evolution from a young fame-searching rapper to a confident superstar rapper and Street King.
2. ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’ (2013)
After reaching superstar status, Olamide undertook to consolidate his place at the top, and with that, he delivered ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’ which earned him a Headies Rap Album of the Year and the Album of the Year prize.
This album is filled with hit records that left no doubt about Baddo’s status as a culture shaper and a generational talent. Asserting himself at the head of the table with ‘Sitting on the Throne’ to dominating the street with ‘Durosoke’ and the club with ‘Turn Up’, this album secured Olamide’s status as an artist that will hang around for a long time.
1. ‘YBNL’ (2012)
After his debut album positioned him for mainstream success, ‘Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL)’ is the moment Olamide grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
‘YBNL’ is Olamide’s magnum Opus that announced him as a superstar hitmaker set to redefine the entire soundscape. ‘YBNL’ delivered unforgettable hit records in ‘Voice of The Street’, ‘Stupid Love’, ‘First of All’, ‘Owotabua’, ‘and ‘Jale’, thus introducing a new generation of listeners to a new strain of Afrobeats that will shape the industry.