As a listener, it is very wise to wait till a singer publishes an album before one forms an opinion about such a singer. TI Blaze is one of the lot of the Nigerian underground singers enmeshed in this reality. His flamboyance alongside Olamide on Sometimes is a wrong impression for any listener who values decency in music.
Impressions like this are responsible for the profiling of especially the “street artistes”. The tag “street” is profiling in its vastness too. And after listening to the El Major album, one is hysterically questioning one’s perception of TI Blaze as a “street singer”. The shock is that there is nothing “street” on his debut album. Perhaps, he snuck out of the street. It reminds one of Bella Shmurda’s metamorphosis into the elitist preference. Bella’s case is gradual, Blaze’s own is sudden.
Burna Boy might have adopted “El Major” as a public display on his Twitter handle, irrespective of that authority, TI Blaze is dauntless enough to claim the same title in a military uniform captured on his album cover, and one ends up not questioning him as his performance on El Major makes up for whatever chastity one is tempted to weaponize against him for dragging a name with The African Giant.
Go into the street and you will not find any known underground singers as lyrical as TI Blaze. His statement construction is more English than most of his peers who circle about the comfortable Yoruba language. His lyrics are relatable and reflective of life in general too. All these are pass marks that make El Major, his debut album, a huge surprise. Notwithstanding, TI Blaze has got to improve his audibility. He has a way of dragging his words in a manner that results into the listeners needing to read a provided lyrics before picking his words correctly.
El Major is on the same train with Burna Boy’s Love, Damini, Omah Lay’s Boy Alone and Brymo’s Theta as the most detailed and well-written albums of 2022. Each of the aforementioned albums explores more than five topics that are of great relevance to humans. It’s accurate to say they are the shadow (i.e, a reflection) of human experiences.
TI Blaze is a motivational storyteller on the opening, Good Life, a teacher preaching dignity of labour on Benefit and a caretaker of the self on My Life, Play and Kilo. Fave’s fuck-off feminine attitude is a necessity to pitch the message of Play clearer to the receptors.
The glorification of drugs that pervaded his banger, Sometimes, roughly pervades two other tracks on El Major. TI Blaze’s attempt at proper Afrobeats on this entire album is saddled on Amapiano at some points. This aids his excellence the more. The love trope and voyeurism are not found wanting on tracks like Yawa feat. BackRoad Gee, Lock Up, Vigure and Panic.
Upon the closure of the album, there is a good feeling installed in every listener who has attentively received Blaze’s message. Hence, El Major is a therapy and a manual for self-care at a time when gender hullabaloo has ridden the individual of care and humans generally a sense of responsibility for all the people that matter.
Let’s put it straight to ourselves, TI Blaze’s album tells you to care for yourself, not to prioritize the manipulator or the ones who are out to blackmail and use you; focus on yourself, work, enjoy and stay healthy, regardless of the poverty and the global uncaringness the world is basking in as a result of the different uprise of controversial gender movements.