This is a project packed full with tired inspiration, tepid and repetitive lyrical composition, and a formless delivery that lacks both character and charisma.
Artiste – B-Red
Extended Play – Alll The Way Up
Producers: Teekay, Kiddominant, DJ Coublon, Shizzi
Record Label – HKN Music (2016)
Officially signed in 2014, B-Red has been in the shadows of Davido, something he hates, but has to deal with. From backing the singer up at contracts, and receiving support financially from the label that is built around David, he has been performing admirably for a back-up man; always perspiring, but never grabbing the spotlight.
He hates this situation deeply, and feels utterly discontent with it. But he hasn’t been working to change it, at least not publicly. But within the family, various stories of incessant fights and arguments with Davido always has him at the center, the agitations of a dissatisfied man. On the mic, a couple of singles have shown promise, but ultimately lacked enough to push it across the line. Collaborations have come in thick and fast, but none took him to the promise land. Akon also had a shot at B-Red on a single – ‘Cucumber’ – but that too fell flat on its face.
These days Davido has his pet project, and his personal artistes. This has further exposed the weakness of HKN sans Davido, hence leaving the rest of the group to find new ways to keep themselves relevant. Danagog has had his shot with an EP, now B-Red follows suit.
‘Te Flow’ has too much Davido on it. A great song stuffed with engaging kicks and enough infectious braggadocio to make it stick and inspire acceptance. But it stands as one of the shining lights of the project. ‘Dele’ is cliché material, as is ‘As e dey go’, ‘Iwotago’ and ‘Kolo’. They all explore templates that have failed to work. ‘Romantic’ offers syncopation and dynamism, but the beat is too relatable, almost hackneyed, with too much drama on one track. By the 4 track the lyrics become a blur, with very little invention served up.
Where he gets it right, he shines. ‘Give them’ is a thumping dance song with House fusing with ragged percussion. ‘Worry’ also comes close, with emotion flowing through to draw you in. Title track ‘All the way up’ and ‘Blessings’ are perfect microcosms of what B-Red ought to be. More efforts like these, and he will have been more. ‘Twerk it’ with Davido is a single, which failed to fly.
“All The Way Up” EP offers sums up the content-based reason for B-Red’s stagnation. It’s a project packed full with tired inspiration, tepid and repetitive lyrical composition, and a formless delivery that lacks both character and charisma. Credit although has to be given at some point, but only his effort at creating a body of work, and a few songs are worthy of glory. But sadly, that’s too little. This is his first work, hence growth is expected. Here’s to hoping he finds that.