T.I Blaze debuts with his fiery ghetto
After his breakout moment in 2021 with the hook of “Sometimes’’ catching on across the entire Nigerian music community, TI Blaze remained on everybody’s radar as one of the new leaders of street-pop music. With one extended play dubbed, Fresh Prince of Lagos, released earlier this year, and several singles out, the vocal prodigy has now stepped out with his debut studio album titled, EL Major.
Like in his earlier record, TI Blaze tows his trademark themes of survival, love, mental wellness, among others, on this 13-tracker masterpiece.
In EL Major, one can see T.I Blaze, born Akintunde Abiodun Timileyin, take on a rather pensive-realist glance on the ‘rat race’ nature of life. In songs like Alone featuring fellow street-pop maverick Bella Shmurda, he reflects on the solitary nature of man, partly-inspiring and partly-admonishing listeners with lyrics like, ‘Nobody send your papa or mama/ Las las, na your mata/ Shebi na who get no dey chop alone.’
He pontificates similarly on songs like Faraway, where he reflects on his myriad blessings and the journey so far; Frenemies, where he laments on the reality of envious and backstabbing friends; and also on My Life, where he takes his stance on enjoying the low-hanging fruits of life and avoiding overthinking issues beyond his control; and on the song Benefit, he revisits the value of meaningful friendships and watching the type of circle one keeps.
In EL Major, TI Blaze makes street-pop music wholesome to consume, even for non Yoruba-speaking audiences, as his lyrics are regularly switching between Pidgin, Yoruba and English. He taps sound whiz Okizy, Rexxie, Niphkeys, Dibs, Spykida, Enta to create a sonic palette for his brand, which means that you can be having a bad day and TI Blaze’s music will be as soothing as when you hear it in your wildest moments at the club. It also highlights the importance of having a good A&R team; as the whiz that Kelechi Chopper Akwari displays brought this record to life. Also with the backing of T.I Blaze’s Exec Producers, Damilola Dapper Akinwunmi and Adegoke MOG Babatunde, it will be easy to interpret the depth of T. I’s artistry in visual formats.
EL Major might be a deeply reflective project; but it’s a great mood regulator and a treasure trove of music for everyone and every moment.