Jeriq “Billion Dollar Dreams (Deluxe)” Album Review

Jeriq’s unapologetic embodiment of South Eastern hoods grants him a feel of relatability to indigenes of this region, especially its teeming young population who, like him, are working daily towards the eventual big payday. Impressively, Jeriq does this without alienating the rest of the country, as the spirits of ambition and brotherhood he preaches, the snatches of romance he squeezes between this, and even the confessions of the murkier parts of his history are very much universal themes.

He first established himself as the score composer to the daily grind with his debut EP, Hood Boy Dreams, a gritty introduction to the streetwise rapper and the city in which he battled for more than just his daily bread. His efforts did not go unnoticed, as he earned a feature from rap maestro, Phyno, on the remix of “Remember”. 

He released Billion Dollar Dreams in May 2022, a year and a half after Phyno‘s verse and the jump in status it brought, distilling his drive to succeed into 12 songs that bounded on hip-hop and trap production majorly supplied by Dr. Jayswaarg. Its release was to a fairly warm reception, with the bulk of this coming as expected from South Eastern Nigeria.


Since then, a number of new releases have pushed his debut album to the back burner (including a superb project from a certain Seyi Vibez bearing a similar name), as is to be expected in Nigeria’s competitive music market. Jeriq therefore finds himself in need of a reminder of his talent, a piece that shuffles him back to the fore. He takes the popular route with a deluxe, adding a further six songs to the album’s collection that tie into his original focus while stretching the sonic feel of the album.

On it, he contemplates the lowliness of his upbringing and the edges this poverty has pushed him to, the stoicness and relentlessness with which he and his brothers fight to escape and the palaces he envisions for himself as a reward for this hard work. He juggles these experiences without weaving a complete story out of them, presenting images of the different levels of his life in non-chronological order.

“True Life Story” is a fine example of discordant storytelling producing a clear picture. It lives up to its name, as Jeriq doesn’t spare ugly details from his past—about his mother combining jobs to offset the loss of a father, him stealing kerosene to cook, and even selling Marijuana in a Catholic secondary school—that would be more conveniently left unsaid.

He prefaces this with a caveat: ”this is a true life story/ don’t judge idilo holy”, asking only those without sin to cast a stone. This picture is placed beside recent wins, from co-signs from more established rappers (“Ice Prince posted me on IG/ I just got a DM from Yung6ix”) to endorsement deals (“My fashion game is sexy just signed a deal with a model agency”). 

This acknowledgement of progress does not, however, signal any desire to slow down, or the album would not have both “Billion” and “Dollar” in its name. He is eager to show that his newfound momentum is only the beginning, outlining as much in the chorus of the titular opener: ”Adim (I am) broke till I touch a billion dollar”.

The hustling spirit that fuels his life is breathed into the album, and every song carries some of it to a different degree. “Back To Basics” pictures him accelerating towards his dreams and confers the double entendre of the fast cars he would drive in them. “Financial Conji” hilariously likens his want for money to sexual desire, in which scenario he wants to chase the money ‘till day break’ and not for a ‘short time’.

On “DND” and “Airplane Mode” he shuts himself off to trivialities that would shift his focus from his goals. For inspiration he lists Nigerian and foreign billionaires, praying to God to fast track his growth to match Bill Gates, Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote. 


His relationship with God, religion and Christianity would be confusing to anyone unfamiliar with the tenets adopted by many faithfuls of many religions in resource poor countries. He alludes to having had a much tighter devotion to Christianity in the past, looking back to a time when he held positions amongst the ranks of mass servers and the Legion of Mary, important societies in the Catholic Church.

He has come a long way since then, and on Billion Dollar Dreams, Jeriq is eager to to call for help from the almighty for a push towards his dreams, while neglecting commandments that are ostensibly his role in the God-man exchange. 

For “Oluoma” he recruits Flavour, and for a change this is more thankful than supplicatory. He may still be far from the life he desires, but he has put enough distance with the life he came from to deserve a highlife-gospel tune with Flavour.

Jayswaarg turns in another top shelf performance here, and it’s not just because he handles this song with as much adeptness as he did the bouncy trap core of the album. Jayswaarg’s tuneful pianos convey celebration with each stroke, and they let Jeriq’s lines glitter with optimism, even his narration of previous hard times. 

With the bulk of the album crowded in a narrow theme, Jeriq relies on producers to provide a robust soundscape. They bestow his trademark trap with a little distinction in each track, so that “Trapping” with Psycho YP, “Cartel Business” with Kofi Jamar, “Back Door” with Alpha P and “My Bro” with Phyno each carry a greater uniqueness from the others than can be attributed to the variety of features.

With the deluxe he expands this further, working in amapiano production via “Payment Slip” and the more breezy “Akpofegom”, two songs that sport the tags of the producer, Nameless. The latter bears an even bigger distinction as the sole track with a lascivious focus; Jeriq suspends his “Money first” mantra for three minutes to make a song that taps into a sound that has been fully absorbed into Nigerian music, and it will provide an accessible entry point to his music for listeners not particularly keen on rap. 

These songs show Jeriq’s intent to push closer to mainstream Nigerian music, and like many  rappers before him, a little dabble into more popular genres is an acceptable tradeoff for the added acceptability. With Billion Dollar Dreams and its deluxe, Jeriq lays out plans to stretch his popularity beyond the South East and bring himself closer to his dream. He lovingly references Enugu cities—Obiagu, Council—showing his ties to home are fully intact, but if this album says anything, it’s that he is ready to take a big step forward. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

“Bully Season Vol.1” is Kel-P’s official entrance as a recording artist

Next Story

Lindsey Abudei Returns With “Kaleidoscope”

Latest from Music & Playlists