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17 September, 2009



He has steadily been building buzz on a number of tracks with his unique blend of ... ermmm … shall we say Afro Hip-Hop? Suffice to say, he’ll never win a spoken English competition or even woo you with his oral English prowess.His name is DAGRIN.

With all due respect and with no intention to deride this extra-ordinarily talented artiste, his attempts at spoken English can be laughable at times and cause you to wince. He is aware people call him bush, a fact he alludes to on this album, aptly named ‘CHIEF EXECUTIVE OMOITA’.

Sincerely, this is the best album I have heard in a while in the industry and I say this because from all indications.

Da-Grin is your ordinary, run of the mill, hood boy who turned to music to escape a life of crime (another fact he alludes to in the song ‘Thank God ’)and who against seemingly insurmountable odds made it to the very top, through sheer hard work and fortitude.


Ghetto dream (ft. Sossick) – A Stand out track. Sossick lays his heart on this self-produced track with a heart-rending hook that informs of memories of consistent suffering, an aspiration of greatness and a fondness of the hood. Da’grin on the other hand, takes you on a journey of his past, his present and his future in his usual blend of Yoruba puns, punch lines and all round ‘hoodness’

Everyday (Another Sossick produced joint) – On this track, Da-Grin speaks of his daily grind, giving us an insight to the reasons for his hustle and his drive to succeed.

Pon Pon Pon (Another Sossick produced joint) – A club banger with a twist, Da’grin laces this hard hitting track with humour “omo naija mo leyin fi shi Pepsi” (Nigerian kid I use my teeth in opening a bottle of Pepsi), puns and just a very fun, happy go lucky style that just moves you. Very basic beat but it works. Local kids will love it.

Kondo (Magic Stick) – No prizes for guessing what this track is all about. A raunchy but unbelievably groovy song, this is another club banger for the ladies to get wild to. Though he is simply soliciting for sex, look behind the lyrics and you have a generic song to dance and for kids to sing to (look behind the lyrics..). All in typical Da’grin fashion.

File (ft. Cartier) – A SWAG song, Da‘grin shows off an attitude that is unique as well as admirable. The puns are there as well as the unique Yoruba metaphors. He is aided by an ill verse from Cartier (This dude sounds like one to watch for). Production is a bit iffy though.

Make doe (ft. Sossick and Dark Poet) – Sossick produced and did the hook on this song that speaks about making money and reaping the benefits of wealth. Dark Poet put in a solid but unspectacular showing.

Gboro (ft. Isolate) – This track would have been bland you know? An album filler would have been the perfect description, save the presence of featured artiste, ‘Isolate’, who takes Hero worship or style-biting to a new height. I had to keep checking the CD sleeve because this dude can easily pass for 9ice; same style, some voice, same content, same attitude. In all, it’s a good song.

What They Want – Another raunchy song for the ladies in the ‘ouse,(his words not mine). Da-Grin informs the ladies that he is the new Sir Mix-A-Lot as he speaks extensively on his penchant and preference for women and their backsides (most especially the very large ones). It occasionally gets a bit over the top with the overtly suggestive lyrics as he leaves nothing to the imagination. He has what they want and he’ll give it to them. Not for sensitive ears.

Hola (ft. T-frizzle) – Tinged with a Middle Eastern flavour, this song is enjoyable but unspectacular. It speaks of drawing attention in whatever form. A decent song, delivered in that happy go lucky style of his. This kid just manages to have fun on almost every song. It features a cameo by T-Frizzle.

Thank God (ft. Omawunmi) - Da’grin puts a twist on the compulsory ’ Thank you God’ song, by offering supplications to The Most High God. In this Dr. Frabz produced hit, Omawunmi delivers a star cameo as she delivers on the chorus. It is arguably the best song on the album.

+ Two bonus tracks

One from back in the day (also talking about ladies and their backsides) and a song Bigiano featured him on.


I must say that there are moments when the album sounds like a demo, where the grit and rawness I absolutely love about it almost turns tacky. As with an album produced majorly by one producer, it can get old very quickly.

All in all, he sounds like he is having fun (which you do not hear a lot of nowadays as artistes have made it a do or die affair). He may come hard but he sounds so relaxed.

There are the usual allusions to liquor, sex and a list of other vices but this album gives us an insight into the life this young man has lived and left behind; the life that made him.

He pulls no punches, but the album is still as gritty and raw as it can be and that is what endears this writer to the album.

If you are looking for a smooth talking rapper then this is not the album for you.

Though there are times that the hooks or beats sound basic and childish, it can be likened to that incongruous beauty, whose individual parts do not look appealing but on coming together, is a sure delight.

While his producer, Sossick may not be your best producer at the moment, the chemistry between both Grin and Sossick is apparent for all to see and it sure works for them.

If you are not Yoruba language inclined, the album may alienate you. But if you like 9ice, then you can like this album; while 9ices’ album was a refined, grown-up attempt, this is much rawer offering and I for one appreciate it.

I give him a 7.87……

That’s all folks…(well for now anyways)


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