ODUMODUBLVCK is nothing if not candid. In the less-than-a-year period since he signed to NATIVE Records, the Abuja-based rapper has staged a coup on mainstream Nigerian pop thanks to the stream-of-consciousness raps and charismatic persona that made him an underground icon. A subversive sound that combines elements of hip-hop, neo-R&B and highlife to create his signature Okporoko music has also played a role, and quickly made the singer (born Tochukwu Ojogwu) a muse.
Songs like “PICANTO”, “DECLAN RICE” and “Oganigwe” [his 2023 collaboration with Zlatan] have propped up his profile and functioned as a snapshot into the heart and mind of ODUMODUBLVCK—and his adopted city by extension. On his mixtape EZIOKWU, a word in his native Igbo language which translates to “truth”, the artist expands on his identity and worldview.
Across the project’s 14 songs, ODUMODUBLVCK playfully expands his Okporoko sound and remains faithful to himself, his convictions and his community in word and action. The Reeplay-featuring “SAINT OBI” is a booming hip-hop collab that taps into the pulse and bounce of Nigeria’s capital city. At the same time “MC OLUOMO” is cut from the same defiant streak that birthed his viral single, “DECLAN RICE”.
In other parts of EZIOKWU, ODUMODUBLVCK is reflecting on where he has come from and what dreams still lie ahead of him, as he does in tandem with fellow pop rap star, Blaqbonez, on “TESLA BOY”. His love for women also plays a central role on the album. PsychoYP and Teezee join the rapper for an ode to money and the art of stripping on “STRIPPERS ANTHEM” and he gleefully shares positive feedback from a partner after an intimate session on “COMMEND”. T
aken together with wispy, emotive tracks—like the Amaarae-featuring “KUBOLOR”, and “BLOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR”, which unites the artist with Wale and Bloody Civilian—EZIOKWU offers a glimpse into the mind of a star trying to stay true to himself.