Our song of the week!
Since his breakthrough at the beginning of the last decade, Olamide, the de facto leader of street-hop music, seemed to have made it his life’s mission to shine his glistening light on others just like him. The 32-year old rapper who once paraded the gnarly streets of Bariga with a mouthful of rhymes and a head full of dreams perfectly gets it. The odds are always stacked against people like him: underprivileged talents brimming with potential who come from the city’s underbelly, the ghetto, the slums, whatever you want to call it. So it comes as no surprise that since he made it out, he has used his robust influence to consistently give others who mirror a young version of himself a fighting chance, a platform to showcase themselves. Lil Kesh, Zlatan, Bella Shmurda, T.I Blaze, Picasso, Yomi Blaze, Lyta, the list is endless.
The latest in the line of artists who have benefited from an Olamide cosign is perhaps the most interesting. Portable, a gangly rapper and singer who was enjoying a stint of virality online from his rapid-fire freestyles loaded with part street lingo, part nonsense became a widespread sensation when the YBNL boss jumped on his hit single “Zazoo Zehh”. The vibrant single while garnering millions of streams upon release, divided opinions regardless. While some considered the record lively and tailor-made for dance floors, some found Portable’s frenzied style a bit too jarring.
However, while Portable is clearly still rough around the edges, his latest single “Ogo Forever” proves that there is calm in the midst of his raging tempest, some rhythm to his chaos. He is less animated on the Bylinx-produced single, subsisting his erratic style for a more melodic and balming approach. With the chaos turned all the way down, his words are less muffled and more earnest. He’s singing to the heavens for sustained relevance accompanied with everlasting wealth. “Aje ko wa mi ri / Kan ma fowo pe mi” which roughly translates to let wealth and abundance find me is a regular prayer that most would make, particularly people who come from the kind of place Portable comes from.
The most striking line here comes midway into the song when he sings “Awon kan wo wo December / Emi wo wo forever” (some are looking for December money, I’m looking for long-lasting money) with impassioned delivery. That line on face value addresses the regular search for money to enjoy the festivities in December, however, taking a deeper look, it could also be an allusion to the unfurling of his burgeoning professional career. He became a hot sensation at the tail-end of last year, performing in multiple shows alongside some of the country’s biggest acts and presumably securing the bag. Portable however doesn’t want to be a flash in the pan, another rapper from the hood who enjoys a brief period of stardom and is quickly relegated back to the streets, back to dealing with the harsh realities he has once known. He wants to show the world he’s the real deal, capable of doing it big time and he’s begun just that with the release of “Ogo Forever”.