More than six months have passed and the much vaunted double album of afro hip hop star, 9ice, is yet to hit the streets. Fans are worried. Followers are wavering. The faith of loyalists is flagging. Confusion reigns supreme in the minds of many. You can’t blame them really. 9ice’s fourth studio album was originally billed for release in October 2010. Then, it was postponed to December and later, March 2011. Three months after, no news of an album release is emanating from the singer’s label, Alapomeji Records, or any such affiliate. So many reasons are being adduced for this, notably, the fact that doing two albums is a grandiose adventure; and that the singer has lost his voice.

On Wednesday, E-Punch spoke with 9ice who was in Ghana then tidying up arrangements for a performance on July 1st. He says, “I have heard the rumours about my voice cracking and I find it very funny. That is beside the point. If my voice had cracked or I have lost it like some people even said, would I still be active, performing all over Nigeria week in, week out? Some people just sit down and concoct wild tales. It’s not nice.” Continuing, he says, “The double album package is 32 songs in all plus 12 jazz versions of some of my new and old songs played by Yemi Sax. It was quite challenging putting all these together but we thank God that it has been completed. The kind of effort I put into the albums would not make me release them like any other album. We are putting in place a proper launch, network distribution and international marketing because the 9ice brand is universally accepted and fans are everywhere that we need to reach. Also, we want to maximise our profit.”

He says further that if not that the deal they got on mass production was on the high side considering the quantity he wanted; the album would have been out. “Now, we just got a considerable deal and all direction leads towards mass dubbing.” 9ice posits that it was because he didn’t want his fans to feel his absence too much that he has been releasing singles off the album; chiefly, Health is Wealth featuring K1 De Ultimate, and All the Way featuring P-Square.