Pato’s talent and reception has been amplified during his two year mainstream existence, and with “God Over Everything” he’s consolidated it with an LP.
Album – God Over Everything
Artiste – Patoranking
Producers – WizzyPro, Sarz, Ball Jay, JazzWad, E-Kelly, GospelOnDeBeatz, Major Bangz, Dr Amir, Dapiano, Slick Mo & UC Prof
Record Label – Foston Musix (2016)
Duration: 61 Minutes
When a man who once toiled from a position of poverty – selling rat poisons and supplementing that income with meagre proceeds from bricklaying – gets a raise in life via music, gratitude is never far from his lips. In this religious society where everything is alluded to the workings of a higher power, it is natural that Patoranking offers gratitude to God for his shift in quality of life.
Breaking through in 2014 with his ‘Alubarika’ single, he has gone on to provide the country with pop highlights, scoring a string of hit singles with ‘Girlie Oh’ and its remix, ‘My woman my everything’, and ‘Make am’. This album is long overdue, as the singer seeks to consolidate on his gains, two years after his name first passed the lips of Nigerians as a star.
Delay, though, has never inhibited his creativity. New album “God Over Everything”, the singer’s first, is his debut addition to what has been a recently-small discography from Dancehall acts: Dancehall singers in Nigeria who are on the big stage are few, and are not disposed to releasing big projects. That’s why this is a rarity in the Nigerian music industry these days.
In an effort to make this material big, Patoranking turned to two of his trusty themes of gratitude and romance – Throwing in some of the industry’s biggest names for guest spots. A swashbuckling-sounding Wizkid delivers the chorus on the refreshing percussion heavy ‘This kind luv’; the lolling ‘Money’ has Phyno and Pato discussing their commercial desirability; and fellow indigenous rapper, Olamide is typically frantic on ‘Mama Aboyo’, a throwback to the retro ghetto music from Ajegunle, Lagos state. Fuji Legend KWAM1 brings a welcome traditional cross-genre fusion in the final tribute track, ‘Ayinde’.
The rest of “God Over Everything” is set aside for Patoranking and his Thanksgiving and romantic confessionals. Opener ‘Patoranking’ starts off with a prayer and ends with braggadocio and a chorus that just sings his name on energetic repeat. Title track “G.O.E“ is a revealing autobiographical tale about his struggle to gather wealth, and how God’s hand was a blessing. ‘Cheating Zone’ has him taking on a reluctant girl (although for one who preaches so much love, disrespecting another man might seem a little hypocritical and selfish). ‘Beautiful’, meanwhile, demonstrates some ambition that refreshingly cuts through all the energy and sounds by offering drumless music. While the syncopation on ‘Love Town’ is another highlight of the project.
The project is not without its faults. There’s a monotony of themes, and sometimes, the delivery to keep the project interesting is absent as can be seen on ‘Forever’ and ‘Stammerer’. Some cuts also come up as rushed, and perhaps needed more time in the mixing and mastering department. But Patoranking’s intent is clear and speaks bravely: He digs into his influences from the ghetto and recreates Ajegunle, Konto, and dancehall music, polishing and modernizing these sounds to create an album that is in keeping with his original sound. There’s a contrasting feeling that lingers due to the popular perception of Patoranking as a Pop act, who achieves his brilliance via the dancehall roots. That feeling has been propagated by the success of his singles. But here, he goes deeper into his niche sound, and excludes those singles. “Make am” and “My woman my everything” are sorely missed on this project, their absence further playing into his concept.
Pato’s talent and reception has been amplified during his two year mainstream existence, and with “God Over Everything” he’s consolidated it with an LP. The intrigue and love that surrounds him remains, the songs he’s releasing are desirably niche, and he’ll probably celebrate this as his first time out for many years to come.
3-Worth Checking Out