It’s hard to mention the current state of hip-hop in East Africa without bringing up Octopizzo's name. Eight years ago, the rapper came onto the scene dirt poor with nothing but rhymes to offer. After years in the music industry, you would expect Octopizzo's machismo and lyrical mastery to get bland, but he has proved that he is not just a mere flash in the pan. Again, the rapper takes the opportunity to show his long-time supporters they were right all these years, that they bet on the right horse.
Long Distance Paper Chaser (LDPC) is Octopizzo's second album with an improved sound compared to that of his hit debut album, Chocolate City. Each track has a skillful blend of English-Swahili wordplay and brilliant lyrical flow. That way, he is able to relate to the masses and offer an interesting work of art.
The album title is incredibly fitting based on Octopizzo's life experience over the period of time he has been in the rap game. The album is a reflection of real tangible issues the artist has encountered before and during his rise to glory. The controversial rapper doesn't shy away from the spotlight, and certainly plays by his own rules. The 15-track album is his best work ever making it another triumph for Octopizzo who manages to package many of his best attributes into a 63-minute compilation.
All Black Everything, the project's opening track, is a heartfelt tribute for the departed. The talented Idi Achieng lends her vocals in Wouda.
Prezidential is basically the heaviest track in album and samples a speech from retired President Daniel Moi. Most notable is the spectacular beat. LDPC's executive producer, Musyoka, manages to brings back the feel in Just a Band's Dunia ina Mambo. The album closes with Salute me, a collaboration with top Nigerian hip-hop artist M.I.
The collaborative concept is quite exceptional, borrowing heavily from the west, possibly taking into consideration the producers of the album are said to be American. However, Octopizzo manages to give it a Kenyan touch together with Musyoka, the executive producer.
The album's cover art depicts an illustration of Octopizzo, with two pendants above him. A gold medal and an "8" charm. On the bottom left corner of the cover is a direction sign marked "8 Town" pointing towards the direction the artist"s back is facing. This is a clear indication that he artist has come from humble beginnings to become a star.
LDPC is exactly what Octopizzo needed. He shows how much great work he has left in him. The album isn’t necessarily a classic, but it does prove he is here to stay.
Star rating: 3.5