Ayò – Wizkid
When the initial pictures of Wizkd’s sophomore album debuted on the internet, it was everything we ever asked for from an evolving artist. Wizkid and his models were beautifully beaded, adorned in local Yoruba aso oke. Early predictions cited the Africanness of the album cover as a sign of maturity for the Wizkid brand. Music-wise however, the album failed to hold any water. Save for a crop of pre-released successful singles, Ayò didn’t hold enough surprises to keep on replay.
R.E.D – Tiwa Savage
After a motherhood hiatus, Tiwa Savage returned with her sophomore album R.E.D. The album had a brilliant marketing campaign that made use of the #IamRed hashtag on social media. The album cover for the LP featured the diva’s face hidden behind a red veil, highlighting only her eyes. The aesthetic hands-on feel of the album coupled with the suggestive title meant anything recorded on it must come packing heat. Sadly, Tiwa didn’t do anything too spectacular on the LP or even attempt to correct the mistakes of her wishy-washy debut, Once Upon a Time.
Wanted – Wande Coal
Wande Coal’s highly anticipated sophomore album was announced barely two weeks before the album’s release. The album art debuted on the internet depicting a black and white photo of Wande Coal in a Godfather-esque regalia. The album, however, has been reviewed to be relatively average.
2 Kings – Phyno, Olamide
After the duo of Olamide and Phyno released two fierce singles, Dope Money and Ghost mode even critics could not deny their chemistry. 2Kings was unarguably one of the most anticipated LPs of 2015. The album cover was a matte black beauty with a gold inscription of the words “2 Kings” and two animated lions facing opposite directions. Artistically and critically, this is a befitting cover. The musical content, however, not so much. An album that should have been a major milestone for a multi-ethnic music industry like Nigeria’s was watered down by the lack of musical direction of two heads that failed to be better than one.
GRA/CNN – 9ice
The anticipation for 9ice’s GRA/CNN double album may have been mediocre, but still, no one expected anything less of brilliance from a sub-veteran like 9ice. The album’s pre-release photography debuted on Bellanaija.com with 9ice looking sleeker than ever, sadly the album itself only held signs that 9ice and his music had begun to slip through the cracks
On A Spaceship – Burna Boy
The album cover for Burna’s sophomore studio effort was a surrealist art of Burna Boy holding a space helmet. Coupled with the album title and a distribution deal with Universal Music Group, the dance hall artiste’s sophomore album was expected to be a stroke of genius. Fans were however left disappointed by the eventual release of the LP. For an album about a spaceship, It was nothing particularly out of this world.
The Ascension – 2face
The album cover for 2face’ 6th studio LP, ascension was nothing special. Just a regular picture of 2face with his signature fingers in the air pose. The album, however, was a mix of experimental dancehall music and a 2face still refusing to evolve his sound from cheap poppy music to anything befitting of his near-legend status in Nigerian music. The album so piss-poor, the greatest high point of this album, was the cover.
Eva: The EP – Eva Alordiah
Eva Alordiah’s 2014 self-titled EP was announced with an album cover that delivered all the punches the music could not. The album cover screamed with power as Eva’s toned muscular body was put on display with her face masked behind a bandana. The EP itself was filled with inconsequential songs her management should have never allowed out of the studio.
Fire of Zamani – Ice Prince
Ice Prince’s sophomore album had a lot of hype built around it. The Chocolate City rapper announced the album with promises of great music and international collaborations. Although the latter was delivered, the album itself failed to live up to its title. It officially marked the decline of the good music Chocolate City used to be revered for. If we weren’t so desperate to look for any positive whatsoever, even this basic album cover will not be noted.
Street OT – Olamide
Olamide’s Street OT album was well received enough to spin some party-starting singles, however as a collective, the album was a mumbo-jumbo of the same trite lyricism and slang-based rhetorics. The album cover was the exact opposite of anything inconsequential. Olamide is portrayed by a charcoal painting with his head in the clouds. Artistically this is a depiction of his growth as an artist who has risen from a mere mortal to the status of gods.
D’ Kings Men – D’Banj
With the question of What’s next for D’banj? on everyone’s lips after his exit from MoHits, D’banj refused to let the murmurs linger too long before he released a compilation album under Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. To reiterate the obvious, DKM was not a bad album, but the context the album was built around demanded more from the self-dubbed King of Afrobeats. Nonetheless, the album’s cover could be likened to the myriad of album arts used by GOOD music artists like Kid Cudi, Kanye West at the time. The artistic value of this album art, cannot be underrated.