Everybody Loves Ice Prince
With his 2011 debut album, the rapper born Panshak Henry Zamani catapulted himself into the upper echelons of Nigeria’s music ecosystem. As a member of the Choc Boiz collective, he tossed his hat in the ring with assistance from Jesse Jagz, Brymo and M.I Abaga. Possessing an undeniable cool, Ice Prince would fold Afrobeats, dancehall, Afropop and hip-hop into alluring tracks—most notably scoring a colossal hit with the infectious “Oleku”, which clinched Hottest Single at the 2011 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and won the 2011 City People Entertainment Song of the Year award as well as two Headies for Best Rap Single and Song of the Year. Cementing Ice’s entry into the mainstream with follow-up singles “Juju” and “Superstar”, E.L.I would go on to clinch a 2012 Headies Award for Best Rap Album. Ice’s versatility shines through the album, with Afrobeats cuts like the Wizkid-assisted “Olofofo” and 2Face-featuring “Wassup Wassup” meeting the highlife-infused “By This Time” alongside Wizboyy and the Sean Tero-enlisting “Small Small”. With this sonic adventurism and an assured demeanour underpinning his delivery, Ice Prince helped position African rap as cool again.