Pryse came into our consciousness in 2011 with a bang. She looked all set to take the music industry by storm.
With her feature on M.I Abaga’s “No-tis” (a cover of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis”) on Illegal Music 2; label leaders Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo were blown away by her. But its been a lot of years down the line. Yet we still have no concrete achievement to pin on her. She’s still an upcoming rapper and an underdog in a much neglected sub niche.
Over the years, the Nigerian female rap category has suffered some quietness. After the gentle departures of legends like Sasha P, Blaise and Weird MC; Eva Alordia has played the role of the leader for some time. But with no smash singles and solid albums since “High”, even Eva’s still only a side kick to the other males rappers in the hip hop category.
After signing for chocolate city during their Nigerian hip hop domination era, Pryse was expected to contend with Eva Alordia for the smaller crown. She was the new princess of Nigerian rap.
It was the period when every blip from the Audu Maikori led label became a hit. With acts like Brymo, Jesse Jags and MI; Pryse had all the creative and financial support an artiste could ask for. Now she’s out of the picture and fans have to ask “Where is Pryse?”
Here are 3 reasons why Pryse fell off
1. Pryse signed for chocolate city too early
When I heard her for the first time on radio, I knew there was a lot of work for her to do still. The lady sounded too basic and unsophisticated. She still does. For a rapper from chocolate city, her verses weren’t just going to cut it.
It looks as though her signing for the top label dwarfed her artistic growth. Perhaps it came too early in her career.
Every artiste needs to develop skills before reaching the superstar level. Her case was a reversal. She reached the superstar level before she could really learn how to make music like a Nigerian.
2. Sorry, but the label didn’t really need her
Chocolate city was owning everything. They needed to make more statements. And the best way they thought to do that was to introduce a female rapper into the Nigeria scene. This would improve their standings and diversity profile. It would also help them invade a female category that was dominated by Storm records at the time.
Thus, it was never really about the rapper. It was simply about the numbers and strategy. This became evident when she began to get fewer opportunities and less investment.
Chocolate city has revived the careers of acts like Nosa and Jesse Jags. But for Pryse, it doesn’t look like they believed so much in her. But hey, business is business. And in the music business, labels spend only on the product with a highest potential. And that wasn’t her, she became a stock with low return on investment.
The label must have seen that she wasn’t the gold mine that they thought she was. So they moved on really quick onto Victoria Kimani; another female but one with more spice and diversity.
3. She lacked the appeal and charisma to blow on her own
Apart from the usual exaggerated bars which she uses to express her braggadocio, she’s really low-key on other facets. As a Nigerian rap artiste, Pryse was not well rounded. She had poor presence across social medias and was quite a boring act to follow.
Her stage performance was not coordinated and she couldn’t really do freestyle. She didn’t have the appeal too. She lacked the sultry-ness of Eva Alordia, and didn’t have the looks of Muna.
I did not go into the discussion about whether or not she’s got talent. This is why; a lot of rappers get by without talent. If she had charisma or appeal, she’d have done well even without Chocolate City.
Instagram personalities and slay queens build fan bases by engaging their followers. And they don’t even make songs or appear on TV. They just the charisma to make people want to see them.
In Nigeria, talent really isn’t the issue. All a smart artiste needs to rise to the A-list is a few heavy weight collaborations and one major push on an album or mixtape.
Pryse had that opportunity, but it slipped. Now she’s on the “almost” list of rappers you know but don’t care about.
However, 2017 is still a good year for anyone. She can pull a comeback like OritseFemi did with “double wahala”. So before you ask “where is Pryse?”, remember she’s still upcoming…