Release Date: 16th of August, 2016
Record Label: Redeye Muzik
Modenine the Polymaf experimented with his last album “Above Ground Level”. He left his comfort zone (Boom Bap) to try out more radio/club-tailored singles like “Some More” that featured Don Jazzy. Fast forward to 2016 Modenine serves up the insulin to figuratively reduce the sugarcane hits in the rap scene i.e the dominance of bubblegum rap. Insulin sees Modenine return to his comfort zone. The 21-track long LP is straight Hip-Hop, vintage Mode is on display.
The album opener is the title track – “Insulin”, it samples a child’s voice proclaiming Modenine as the best rapper and a dope MC followed by a Legendary DJ Jimmy Jatt intro then Modenine dives in with punchy bars – “hey think they got me with my back to the floor/ but its a guard position, and you ain’t ready for war” . These bars set the tone for the album, Mode is out for war with critics and haters alike. The track closes with DJ Jimmy Jatt declaring Modenine as the truth.
The second record on the album entitled “Open Ur Eyes” boasts a guest appearance from Jeremiah Gyang who adds soul to a gruesome story, crooning in hausa. Modenine chronicles the tale of two hustling brothers who are denizens of Lagos but were struggling with their finances. They both decided to go overseas for better opportunities , they ended up regretting their decisions. The morale of the story is perseverance and patience. “My Country” is a social-conscious number. As it is aptly-titled it details the state of affairs in the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria.
On “Chapter Four” he reminds us once more he his the best to ever bless the mic around here. “The Sound” was crafted by a female producer and Mode attacks fans and critics that slate him for not evolving sonically over the years. On “Same Girl” he shares a relatable story of his encounter with several girls on their material demands and their fiend for the limelight. Modenine stays on theme with the females on “Bye Felicia” is story of his romance with a new flame gone awry. Like the title suggests its a break-up song.
“No Matter What” finds Maka, a long term collaborator enlisted for the second time as Modenine addresses critics once again and claims his stance no matter what happens, he’s not budging and delivering bubblegum rap. “Blind Man’s Symphony” is one of the highlights of the LP, Modenine says he’s turning blind eye to critics and making his circle of friends smaller. He delicately rhymes “I’m paranoid, i’m bringing out a lie detector to reduce my circle of friends into a minor sector”
“Warriorz (Worry Us)” is a reggae-tinged radio-friendly number that features Rockstar. Modenine reiterate he’s a warrior and the champion of Nigerian rap. “Police” is a commendation of law-enforcement officers, conversely Modenine shares some of his gloomy experiences with the Metropolitan Police and South African police. “Nibo” is another social-conscious number with saxophonist Mike Aremu providing the horn riff while Modenine delivers his bars with panache, Tonie The Emperor and Nuel were on hook duties.
‘International Emcee” sees Modo put his jaunting and globetrotting adventures on wax fittingly with help from international rappers – Elom 20ce & DJ Raiko. Modenine shines once again on “Bird Scheme” putting his metaphorical prowess on display.
Ultimately, Insulin is a solid body of work, but in as much as he claims he turns blind eyes to critics and haters they were copious talks on the subject matter. Modenine has a lot of pent-up frustrations he needed to let out of his system making the theme on the LP a wee bit monotonous. The album like most of his works is a lyrical masterpiece like he said he’s got wikipedia bars but sonically it’s a bit hackneyed. You can hear the same cadence from Pentium IX on some of the cut
The storytelling on the album is impeccable, the album was made for the cult-followers and loyal fans of Modenine. Modenine remains a rap virtuoso and if you’re looking for that wordsmith that can evoke the golden generation ethos of Hip-Hop/Rap, the polymaf is the one you call on, but i’m not sure if he will ever appeal to most of the millennial generation.