ALBUM TITLE – Unfinished Business
LEAD SINGLE – Calabar Luv
PRODUCTION – Hak, K.Solo, So So Beat, Sunny Nweke, Vicky E
GUEST ARTISTES – Femi, Jaywon, Keke, Lakreem Soljas, Mike Pam, Vicky E
DISTRIBUTION – Kennis Music
Keke Ogungbe is deeply enamoured of Eedris Abdulkareem. How do I know? Two things – firstly, even though every one of Eedris’ key career indicators may be pointing southward (and have been that way for sometime now), Mr. Ogungbe still opened up his check book to re-sign Eedris and fund his latest solo project Unfinished Business.
The second reason I say so is Eedris’ sixth album is the first time Mr. Ogungbe would take his singing ambitions from the shower to the booth and not once or twice but thrice, yes three times. First, on the album’s lead single Calabar Luv, then on self-explanatory Electoral Reform (One man One Vote) and lastly on the anthem-ic We Ain’t No Terrorist. Whether this unexpected (and unwelcome) development signals Mr. Keke’s intention to one day release a solo project of his own or whether it was just the product of some idle studio time, at least now we can’t say we weren’t warned.
Moving on, for all the flak Eedris receives for his lyrics and unintelligible delivery, he certainly deserves credit for being a social crusader through his music; Eedris spends a large amount of this album crafting socially-charged songs challenging the establishment. From African Child to What Would U Do, Eedris plays town crier as he highlights societal issues and serves a stern warning to those saddled with responsibility of making a change, namely our leaders. Then on Common Sense no Common, he turns round to spoil all his good work with some ‘megede shegede fegede’; yes my good people, Eedris Abdulkareem still speaks in tongues.
When Eedris isn’t preaching, he’s either trying to whip the club into a frenzy – One Leg, feed his sizable northern constituency - Yamata Kuje Makaranta or just wooing the ladies, Aisha; his wide topical spectrum gives Unfinished Business good balance. If substance and balance could flourish without the injection of style (Eedris avoids artistic complexity and subtlety like the plague) then Unfinished Business would be a winner; unfortunately for Eedris, you simply can’t do one without the other in this day and age and expect congratulatory feedback, it’s not ‘05 any longer. Then there’s one song that’s sure to make the hair on hip-hop heads stand erect, on Mr. Hip Hop, Eedris gives himself far more credit for the birth of Nigeria hip-hop than he deserves. From Remedies all the way down to a blistering solo career, Eedris’ legacy is etched in stone and there’s little doubt that he (indirectly) paved the way for modern Nigerian hip-hop but to christen himself ‘King of hip-hop in Nigeria’ is far too presumptuous. Eedris Abdulkarim isn’t even an MC, his craft dances along the lines of Afro pop, crude poetry and gibberish; he barely even passes for a rapper. How then can one rule a kingdom one doesn’t even belong to?
While Unfinished Business is easily one of the better Eedris Abdulkareem albums, that’s not saying much at all. Eedris probably won’t rise to the dizzying heights of ’05 on the wings of this album, but it’s still nice to see one of our music’s veterans remaining somewhat relevant even though everything around him seems to have taken a turn for the worse.