Loose Kaynon, A.Q, M.I abaga and Blaqbonez who dominated the whole of August 2018 and remained in conversations till the end of the year, followed up on their L.A.M.B campaign on the 10th of January 2019, with a remarkable Martell cypher, which was released in collaboration with the cognac brand Martell. This cypher has been one of the hottest trending topics on twitter since it was released and this is not only due to the quality of the bars the 4 MC’s brought to the table, but the controversial lines and incisive dissing that was perpetrated on the cypher.
No Penny from Henny
Just In case you didn’t know prior to this article, Hennessy, another cognac brand has been quite popular in the Nigerian Hip hop space since the ‘Hennessy VS class’ kicked off in 2014. The VS class is a rap competition which takes rappers through auditions and selects the best of them to battle live on radio.
Afterwards, the winners of the competition also get to be part of the ‘Hennessy Cyphers’ where they get to rap alongside rap heavy weights in the industry. This competition has been won over the years by Eclipse, Lord Vemor, Blaqbonez, Phlow, Holyfield, Vader the Wildcard and most recently Barry Lane.
For a brand as big as Hennessy, one would expect at least a cash prize or something tangible for the winners of the competitions, sadly, that has never been the case. To top it all off as the icing on this really bad cake, the cyphers which these young rappers look forward to as some sort of bigger platform, have been quite disappointing, as Hennessy effortlessly churns out wack cyphers. These cyphers used to be released as snippets in the earlier seasons, till recent editions when full length videos were being released and most of them were still beyond par, as certain rappers, who did not necessarily go through a selection process, but happened to know somebody that knew somebody, were able to get on the cyphers and could not deliver quality. Hennessy as far as their cyphers are concerned, seem to care more about a good looking setup than the quality of the art and something reasonable to encourage the rappers that turn up for them.
The Martell Cartel
MI abaga, being the brand Ambassador for Martell, a creative genius , and having the influence to spark up thrilling hip hop conversations, (hmm “talk about it” was somewhat prophetic don’t you think?) as he has shown through YRSFUYL, probably saw the loop holes in what the competition (Hennessy) was doing with the art and decided to not only deliver great publicity and marketing for Martell but also call out the competition and promote his team as well.
Another interesting note from this cypher is that, Blaqbonez who was a former ‘captain of the VS class’ (as the winners are commonly referred to), also appears on this cypher and reps for Martell. Furthermore, another past winner Eclipse, who won the maiden edition also tweeted about the Martell cypher as “the only cypher that matters” (as shown below). According to M.I abaga, there will be more Martell cyphers with other dope MC’s. Guess the elephant had always been in the room. Hmm, could the LAMB be chasing out the elephant?
Vector the Protector
M.I Abaga ended his verse on the cypher with direct shots at Hennessy with the following bars:
“Four more bars for my dawgs, I got it / Loose and AQ we should make this episodic / Only open for rappers who deliver product, and yeah that other cognac, this is how to spend your budget.”
As you would expect, fans are already calling on Hennessy to respond to this, and they are anticipating that Hennessy brand ambassador, Vector, who has been a judge on the VS class for years, and rumoured to have some beef with M.I, will get up and lead the charge.
Other rappers associated with Hennessy Vs class and cyphers recently are Terry Tha Rapman, Phlow , Reminisce, and Zoro. Will there be a response? Or will Hennessy let Martell Boss them on this one? We wait.