Modenine enforces the argument that continuously includes him in the best lyricist conversations with Hence4th.
When it comes to the Nigerian rap scene, Modenine remains one of the most consistent emcees, staying true to the art and despite the distraction of commercial music and chasing trends, he just wants to rap and stick to the elements in its purest form.
With his last studio album, Insulin in 2016, the lack lustre reaction towards his music seemed to have finally gotten to him and it reflected in his lyrics, his core fans had heard it all before while he struggled to win new soldiers to his team.
What followed was Modenine stating that he would no longer be putting out an album in Nigeria, but two years down the line, Modo is back and in the space of seven days, he dropped a collaborative EP, Long Story Short with producer Kid Konnect and has now followed that up with a full length body of work alongside Black Intelligence, titled, Hence4th.
Running for 71 minutes, the 20 track album houses features in the persons of UK based femcee, Aina More, Maka, Amuta Stone, Toyin Akins, Holstar and Silver Saddih with remixes of seven previously released singles.
With past reviews of any work by Modenine, words like lyricism, wordplay, boombap are sure to surface.
Modo has associated himself faithfully to a predictable range of subject matter and sound, which at times have gotten monotonous and earned him criticisms but what he does, he does better than any other and it is no different on Hence4th.
The leading track, Dominion is gritty from the off, as Mode declares, ”About to save the game, Black Jack Baeur”, not sure if this is one prophecy he will fulfill, but this is hard, like really hard.
On Beautiful with Aina More, he mellows down, showing his soft side, but even when he is wooing a lady, the Nine still uses lines like ”When I get excited, I start speaking geek, advanced mathematics”.
Born to do it, sees him continue his ongoing war with his Twitter followers, while Haka Teke is very wittingly crafted as he states,”nobody wants to see the lyricist on industry night”.
There are few personal moments here, only showing glimpses on songs like Rainy Days in Mars and one of the album’s standout cut, Goodbye Remix with now frequent collaborator Maka, where he talks about his return, fans turning against him and the pain he feels, ”They say Modo chill, you know you got skill, for real, you better switch up, that got me bugging, made me want to turn my back on the culture I was loving…
I’m tired of all the half love and fake blog rating, every time I search my timeline, somebody hating”.
Legal Money preaches positivity, while be brings boombap back on In My Zone.
On Rocky Way, Modo shows he has kept up with current trends as he seeks acknowledgement with a sample of Charles Okocha‘s voice, with lyrics throwing back to his days as a member of the Swat Root clique.
He has been away for two years, but there is no dust on his lyrical prowess or him having nothing to say as the shortest track on the album, Rectitude & Justice clocks at three minutes, one second.
He stays mad at the industry, kids and critics who show him disrespect, everything is watered down and only him can light up the fire again, at least, that is what he seems to think.
Hence4th is consistent with the purist that Modo is, an album of top-tier lyricism, stripped off too many emotions, brief glances into his personal side, but clear artistic growth in the musicality, the project is littered with a healthy dose of braggadocios chants, witty bars and ear bugging words.
Having Black Intelligence produce 19 of the 20 tracks again worked in his favour as they form a bond crucial for any hip-hop project.
This album may not open new doors for the Mathematical Sege, but it fully enriches his discography and puts him in contention for the year ends lyricists of the year awards, as this is by far his most definitive work since Above Ground Level and like he spat on Zoning Out, ”I’m light years ahead of y’all, rocking a silver blazer”, indeed he is.
3-Worth Checking Out