After the success of his hood boy dreams EP, a 6 track body of indigenous trap songs which was dropped during the pandemic, Jeriq has since gone on to join forces with both Phyno and flavor to drop the remix of remember on the ep and oluoma with flavor. Two years after announcing himself to the trap world, he releases his debut album BILLION DOLLAR DREAM, a body of work that in his words, “Will change the game.”
As a starry-eyed kid from the streets, all Jeriq had growing up was dreams. After the hood boy dream which the success of the EP made a reality, he said “After making the millions I dreamt of in the EP, things changed, the money I thought was a lot of money became smaller by the day. Not because I was running out of money, but because even though I had fulfilled the hood boy dreams, I had to make the dream bigger. Hence the title of this sequel BILLION DOLLAR DREAM.
BILLION DOLLAR DREAM
The album begins with the first track Billion-dollar dream that starts with a one liner that says “I remember when I was praying for a million naira but now, I have spent over a million naira buying marijuana” Followed by “I am broke until I touch a billion dollars.” A testament of growth and the unsatiable nature of ambitions. The song continues by shedding light on his background and where he grew up in Nkpor- a dusty, haggard Igbo community that beats with heart and soul, but most importantly dreams- and the unforgettable lesson he learnt while elbowing his way out of the limitations of his hood. An almost motivational song that reminds his fans that “Do good or do bad, umu uwa g’ako” Littered with profundity, he choses to tell the story of how he motivated himself because there was no single person to help him.
Chukwuebuka, Jeriq’s native name made it to the track list as a song that reiterates the magnanimity of “Chukwu”, the most supreme being in the Igbo pantheon. In the single he reminisces about the conversation he had with Sambalitual, when he told him that word on the street is that his fame came so fast and so sudden. He brings the “kwechiri” philosophy to the fore. The philosophy of tenacity, the defiance of never saying never. Even when the police are chasing after you. “Running from the popo in my c400” He argues that “Never die broke” is the eleventh commandment. Before the end of the song, he had an epiphany where he realized that everything and everybody has a price. That is why the bag is the priority.
BACK TO BASIC
It is always the dream of a young Igbo boy particularly one with a late father and the familial responsibilities of the first son to provide for his family. This dream is one born of struggle, pain and hope itself. It’s no wonder therefore, that this is a personal song to Jeriq. He says that “at some point in life I was feeling depressed cos I didn’t have the basic things of life.To me the basic things of life is “a b c”, The Air we breathe, Benz &Crib (for me and for mumsy)”
He said “I just cashed out that period I was alive and breathing, I paid for a crib in Enugu, changed my mom’s crib she doesn’t live in Onitsha again, then went to Lagos to buy a Benz! When going home from the car dealers’shop, I started rhyming
I’m back to basics /
Mercedes racing I am accelerating /
I felt like I’m back to having the basic things of life cos I was down for so long.”
The first feature of the album sees two young trapstars trapping their realities into a Jayswag beat in Eko atlantic. “YP is a beast. He recorded his verse in 25minutes” jeriq says over the phone. The rappers prayed to the trap god, punctuating their lyrics with hope, belief and praying that they make it out and hold their cities down in the trap game. Promising eternal commitment to the trap game because to the two artists, it is the trap life or nothing.
With faith and nostalgia as his greatest tool and motivation, Jeriq coins the term “Financial Konji”, a declaration of financial horniness, to describe the insatiable urge to claw out of poverty. In the track, he reiterates his loyalty to the bag and how he won’t choose feminine seduction over the wealth of Igbo oil magnate Arthur Eze. He expressly tells “owuite” to call him back later that he is busy paper chasing.
DND is a true-life story rendered in trap/rap. In the beginning of the song, he tells a security man in the bank not to tell him to be on the queue because according to him “I went to the bank to deposit some millions and I didn’t understand why I was being asked to stand on the line until I walked into the banking hall and saw other people who were depositing multi millions.” As a gangster he his humbled by the sight of more racks than his. As a street boy, the thought of carrying all those monies he saw crossed his mind and he said “Thank God I am not with guns and guys” because if he had come to the bank with them, the story would have changed.
A continental collaboration that sees the Igbo trapstar and his Ghanaian counterpart sing about loyalty to the cartel only. The beat was produced by so flashing, the first producer jeriq ever worked with as an underground artist in omagba years ago. He confirms their creative compatibility after he told the producer that he wanted something that bestrides drill and traditional sounds. Hence the infusion of the igbo musical instrument, Oja in the song. Kofi Jamar, the Accra based drill act did his lyrical gymnastics on a different kind of beat that inspires nostalgia in the heart of every igbo listener. The song in itself is a full circle moment, where Jeriq can go back to his roots and give a nod to his proud Igbo heritage., recognizing that the cartel business was born from the “izu afia’ gene passed down through his Igbo ancestors. He pays homage to the commercial geniuses he encountered in his everyday hustle by reiterating that the Cartel is a collective enterprise born of the struggles of his people, and its growth and story spans across all major markets in Igbo land. Jeriq speaks of the joy of an igbo man which is hinged on the successful landing of his containers from the high sea. The song ends with an outro, where he calls the names of business owned by his friends who are part of the iyoo cartel.
A thanksgiving song for the streets where he recalls the goodness of God in his life especially how things changed for him; from washing cars to feed, to being a dealer and other menial realities he had and now being in a song with Africa’s biggest highlife artiste Flavor. The feature according to Jeriq is the good work of ‘Chukwu’ who blessed him through Ijele of Africa. An inspirational song that speaks about the wonderful works of God in his life.
“This was a musical experiment. If you pay attention, you will see that the it is the first song I sang without igbo. I spoke English all through this feature” he said while laughing. Joining forces with Alpha P in a room in continental hotel Lagos. In this track, the duo redirects all the negative energy and vibes to go through the back door. While it seems to not take it self seriously, the song uses its appeal to the swag of the younger generation and the seamless fluidity of the well thought out lyrics, to remind naysayers that the hustle has earned its respect. So of course, bad energies don’t deserve the front door. Jeriq tells the industry that “I am not an underdog I belong to the top floor,”a reminder that he knows what he’s worth.
In this track the message is simple: Jeriq is unconventional and successful, because he is focused, driven, intentional. He did not dwell in the limitations of his surroundings but instead to operate in a higher real of consciousness—airplane mode. This track is a formula of sorts for any young man who wishes to make it out of the hood it’s a simple formula: while others are missing girls and lovers, chose instead to miss flights.
TRUE LIFE STORY
A musical chronicle of his life from the hood and his immediate family realities including the loss of his father and the inescapable responsibility of cushioning this reality as a first son. He shed light on his dark past that had his mother sell chin-chin on the side as a teacher just to ensure that ends meet. An emotion packed track punctuated with nostalgia. With little focus on the beats, this track cements his place as the lyrical genius of his generation.
RULE NUMBER 1
After the joint EP East and West with Dremo, Jeriq says that “This collaboration was always going to happen because of the creative compatibility we share” in the song. The two artists at different points in the song tells listeners that Rule No 1 in the street is to make sure that you put yourself first. That one’s problem begins when they don’t put themselves first. Dremo ambushes the listeners by saying that rule number two is still rule number one; Put yourself first.
It is worthy to note that a collaboration between Jeriq and Dremo is nothing but Musical Sorcery.
In conclusion, the success of this album on the first week of release is a testament of a well rounded project. Going number one on Apple Music and staying there for over twenty four hours. Only people born in Onitsha may understand the magnitude of this feat. Safe to say that Jeriq is here to stay. The album is an 8/10.