The singer has the second HKN body of work to be released after Davido’s smash hit “O.B.O” album. In this context, he has leapfrogged other signed acts on the label.
Extended Play – “Hookah Dab”
Artiste – Danagog
Producers – Jfem, Mix Masta Garzy, Kiddominant, G-Maks, Joshbeats, Del B, Shizzi, EOD, Mo’Green
Record Label – HKN Music (2016)
Duration – 32 minutes
Little known and with no hit, Danagog was signed by Davido in 2014 on a four-year deal. Two years down the line, the singer is yet to emerge from the shadow of a superstar boss. A couple of singles have been released, budget videos have been shot to give them life and spark acceptance, but none of these have worked.
Danagog still remains an outsider to the big time, popular by Davido’s side, but unable to find any sort of relevance. Halfway through the duration of his deal, he has released his first body of work, an Extended Play loaded with singles, led by his ‘Hookah’ collaboration with Davido, and inexplicably (and head-scratchingly) named “Hookah Dab”.
Eight tracks and failing, Danagog throws in all his weak singles which has failed to garner enough attention to make him a force. He opens with star quality, throwing on Davido for the title single ‘Hookah’. A lavish display of pop music sensibilities, the song comes through with nothing special, except for the moments where Davido throws his weight behind proceedings. ‘Ketan’ is urban Highlife gone wrong with everything dragging across tediously. The prosaic nature of the song couldn’t fail to cover Lil Kesh in mediocrity. ‘Iskebe’ is dark dance music, with neither character nor melodious dynamism.
There’s very little to consume lyrically, but the percussion on ‘Your way’, makes for interesting listening, with arguably the best track on the EP. Unsurprisingly, Davido is on it, pushing his artiste just across the finish line. There’s also some joy to be found on ‘Pelemo’ with Lola Rae, but that is quickly eroded by the retro discordant ‘Koba’ and ‘Oluwa lo seyi’.
‘Bamidele’, ‘Shabba’ and ‘Hakuna matata’ wrap up what has been a tedious affair, with very little to consume and no lasting highlights. If anything, this work comes across as a flimsy attempt to show quantity for time spent with HKN, with very little thought given to the quality of release.
As an artiste, Danagog’s failure to break through to mainstream appreciation is self-inflicted, with the singer failing to apply his quality in the studio, and out of it. To think that ‘Hookah Dab’ EP comes from a label highly stylized by the efforts of one of Africa’s biggest singers is alarming, and should go on record as the worst project to come from the house, yet. It can’t get worse than this based on quality of music.
But in the effort department, you cannot fault Danagog. The singer has the second HKN body of work to be released after Davido’s smash hit “O.B.O” album. In that order he has leapfrogged other signed acts B-Red, Sina Rambo, and Deekay. Perhaps the next two years will have him show growth, and gain perspective and a sonic direction for all of his hard work. If that happens, he surely will get his big break. Over to you, Danagog.
3-Worth Checking Out