Ice Prince has disrupted his two-year hiatus with an EP album. He returns to an earlier fascination with physical states by calling this 8-track new material, Cold. Cold has been the exact state of his music career, since his third album, Jos to the World, refused to bring neither him nor the world joy.
I have always been circumspect about Ice Prince’s abilities. Since he crawled into our consciousness via the Hennessy talent hunt nine years back and scored big with Brymo-assisted breakthrough hit single Oleku, Ice Prince’s overall performance has been average at best but the hype around him has always soared above average.
Whilst Cold is not his first EP (Trash Can is) listeners shouldn’t consider a fresher course for listening to Ice Prince. If you are familiar with what the radio ferries, then you know what Ice Prince is bringing to the table: it is simply zeitgeist redux.
If you listen with expectation for punchlines, metaphor, creative word play or fantastic storytelling, you are not in luck. Ice Prince appropriates mumble rap and crunk music, adding only his braggart nature for good measure.
The album starts with the JethroFaded assisted Shutdown. In Ice’s reckoning, the song’s heavy percussion, is enough to relaunch his career; this and his coprophilic bars. Space Funk is Uptown Funk lite with RemyBaggins bringing magic and Ice Prince obscene language.
Hit Me Up sounds like a Future song. Ditto for 254 which is about Kaya and Kenya and Tour-bus sexual conquests gone wrong. At this point, Ice Prince brings minor memories of Fabolous’ Call Me and JayZ’s Girls, Girls, Girls.
If the K-Switch assisted So High is a love song to grass, Watching You is a song supposed to be about love but it dwells too deeply on female anatomy. Las Gidi No. 1 Chic is about love and remembrance but Ice prince bungles this dancehall song with facile lyrical details.
The familiar tropes in Ice Prince’s music has not changed. It is either dance or derriere or doing drugs or deifying the act of doing drugs or diddling. It is quite disappointing that after three LPs and two EPs album and nine years of limelight, Ice Prince has never been this out of depth.
This is music aping the dominant American sound and this is not even bad enough, what is worse is that Ice Prince neither innovates or inspires within the creative dormitory he is squatting. His collaborative estrangement from the Abaga brothers has not been helpful. Perhaps it would have been rewarding if Ice Prince had bared down and wrote songs that speak to his absence and his creative struggles.
But it appears honesty is too gritty to make for fine lyrics. Honesty requires a kind of vulnerability that pop stars neither have in the recording booth nor in the strobe light. Ice Prince, after his unexplained recess, returns to the microphone two years as if nothing happened, spewing, by rote, that small-minded mantra of popstar influence and relevance.
Regrettably, Ice Prince hasn’t a cold.