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
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
Takealot Disappoints on #BlackFriday after website crashes at payment screen
Takealot started their blue dot sale for Black Friday today at midnight on 23 November but according to their customers, the company didn’t provide a great experience thus far.
Takealot customers have taken to Twitter to complain about numerous issues such as problems with paying for their items on the website, some consumers found that they were charging more for the item today than a few days ago and complaints came through with the website not being responsive.
Users stated that the website crashed at the payment screen after they had clicked pay, and on certain occasions funds still came off their account.
The company was responding to certain users on Twitter to try and help them resolve their issues.
In response to the checkout issue, TakeAlot said on Twitter: “We’ve disabled the Credit Card and Masterpass payment options until our payment partner has restored their service. Please try using one of our other payment methods like Instant EFT via I-Pay in the meantime.
Over an hour later, the company said that the service was up and running again.
“The Credit Card and Masterpass payment options have been reactivated on our platforms. Please feel free to use your credit card or any of our other payment options, like Instant EFT to complete your purchase. Thank you,” said Takealot.
Julie-Anne Walsh, Chief Marketing Officer at Takealot.com said “All of the preparation done for the enormous increase in shoppers has paid-off and the site performed well, staying online. Thousands of Blue Dot Sale deals are still available for shoppers to take advantage of over the entire Blue Dot Sale weekend. ”
Walsh added that Intermittent technical issues with Takealot’s credit card payment provider resulted in some customers experiencing difficulties with credit card transactions but this has since been fixed.
9ice – Thank You ID Cabasa Reviewed
9ice – Thank You ID Cabasa – A 9ice album review by Wale Applause
It was an early morning drive to Eko hotels, in the usual traffic around Onikan are the Cd hawkers. I beckoned at one of them to hand me a copy of 9ice’s new album Id Cabasa. We had a slight argument as regards the price as a CD in traffic is customarily N150, i wanted to know why Id Cabasa will cost me N200.
After a few banters, i had to part with my N200 while he did his CD.
I always knew 9ice dropped a new album, but truth be told, the PR of the album release was not strong enough. If you ask me i will say it was a little wacky as you would expect quite a lotta buzz about a 9ice album.
Back to my journey, there in traffic i looked at the Cd in my hand and the design was bleh. I am here being as honest as possible. Holding the Cd in my hands, there was nothing appealing about the jacket that would have made me buy it if not for the recommendation by the best graphics artiste i know Arc Olayemi Graphix AOG.
I remember saying to me a couple days before that 9ice dropped a fantastic album and all the songs on the album are well above par and close to perfect an album Id Cabasa is.
Another reason why i went for the album that morning was because the night before, i took a bike to go get fuel for my noisy generator and from one of the cars, i could hear a nice 9ice song from one of the cars queued to buy fuel. The quality of the sound was so good, it wasn’t a familiar 9ice track, so obviously it was from one from the Id Cabasa album.
Let me be quick to say that 9ice has never dropped an album below par, that was an added advantage to have to buy a physical copy and I sincerely appreciate 9ice kind gesture towards Id Cabasa. Naming an entire album after the veteran producer Id Cabasa and having all proceeds of the album go to him is one gesture that can only come from a man with a good heart. On behalf of Id Cabasa, i say Thank you 9ice.
Now about the album, like i earlier stated about the album cover and the PR of the Id Cabasa album, these 2 could have been better. They definitely should have been better. The Jacket is very unappealing and if you are not a music person, you wouldn’t even know 9ice dropped an album.
As a person who would rather talk about solutions rather than the problem, as regards the issues aforementioned, the Id Cabasa could be repacked by his new management company, renamed Id Cabasa International Deluxe album with a proper and international standard album cover and a proper PR that befits a veteran’s album.
Now let’s deal with the content.Tracklist
9ice – Glass House
Aiye Familete Kintuto
At The Moment (ATM)
The album is a 20 tracker, and for the sake of your time as i know you have several other things to do, i might not be able to dwell on every track but i will do well to make mention of each of them.
The first track GLASS HOUSE produced by Dj Coublon is a good welcome into the Id Cabasa Journey. No one would have expected anything less from a 9ice/Dj Coublon union. Glass house gave a feel of the traditional 9ice. The lyrical content is what we always knew 9ice for. Good synchronization between, producer, artiste. Good fusion between the beat and the lyrics. The call and response in the chorus is what we always knew 9ice for. With this intro, i knew i was going to go all the way to the outro.
POISON by DaPiano in my opinion should have been named after Hadiza. A very good track i must say. Although the beat has a similar progression to that of Banky W’s Loving you, i think that even made it a lil more appealing. Something about good familiar sounds.
For me, Dapiano made good use of that progression to create something fit for 9ice. The way 9ice bounced all through beat is very fantastic. This is something that should attract his Nothern fans, even though the song has more of Yoruba lyrics, 9ice did well with the fusion of a few hausa words that gave the song a lil different feel. This is another good product of the synergy between artiste and producer.
The third track OJO brought back the 9ice of old. This song demonstrated 9ice proficiency in yoruba. What would you expect from a KrisBeat production. This song will really appeal to the older folks not just because of the use of words, but the lyrics and the sequence of the beat. Any lover of King Sunny Ade or Ebenezer Obey will really groove to this song. KrisBeat has now enacted his name in the long list of Back to back hit making producers. With a lil beat of several genres of music as Juju, Hip life and more, KrisBeat gave 9ice a good raw material which 9ice converted to a fantastic end product.
9ice introduced maybe not a brand new producers, but i think this would have been his first major project Sammytex on the track he titles ALO. Obviously Alo as a track has quite some input by legendary Danku as 9ice wouldn’t let us rest with the frequent repetition of his name ‘Danku’ anywhere possible. The song is another good one, but in all honesty doesn’t match up to the previous 3, but what can i say it’s an album, there are 16 more tracks to go. That been said, the Alo song isn a bad one in any way.
LIVING THINGS produced by Hit Factory with a recently dropped video is everywhere on the streets already. The song is banging from clubs to bars and almost every Dj has it on one playlist ior the other. Aside the little irony in the chorus which i would not go into further details about, the song is a heavy tune. 9ice had a target market for the song as it is a material aimed for the “succesful” yahoo boys. Towards the end, 9ice had to Ayefelelize his song by mentioning quite a long list of names from the group of people mentioned. Kudos to 9ice for giving the street a material to groove to.
I could see what 9ice was trying to do with the track OH BABY produced by Id Cabasa. This track is supposed to be something for his Igbo fans. 9ice an artiste who is customarily known for his use of yoruba language in his music wanted to do something for the easter folks, but it did not cut it for me. Probably because i am not the target audience of this song, it almost did not appeal to me at all, if the song wasn’t on the album, we wont’ have noticed its absence.
Depthwise, ORO produced by Olumix is very deep. The track is synonymous to what the yoruba folks call Ewi Only that this has beat to it. Here 9ice talks about the happenings in the polity. My heart lost count for a second when i heard him mention a few names towards the end of the song. Taking a cue from what Audu Maikori is currently going through, i was almost afraid, then again i remembered 9ice is another psuedo-politician.
AIYE by veteran producer Puffy Tee, in case you don’t remember Puffy, he is the man that produced the evergreen Yahoozee, also he introduced Mayokun to us as the son of the Eko seller. Aiye dropped sometimes ago as a single. Not particularly a hit single, but it was and still is a fantastic song. The slow tempo and lyrical content of the song makes a song for the older folks. You know that thing they say about old wine? Aiye as a song is aging well. For a song that was dropped a while back and still sounds that good on the album, Thank you Id Cabasa, sorry i meant 9ice.
Makossa-esque ABEFE produced by Olumix is another good song that dropped as a single. A good song for yoruba parties. Although the video which was released a while ago did not cut it for me because listening to the content of the song, then you go far away South Africa to shoot Abefe with a white lady, what a wawu. That’s like having my pizza served in a sphere shaped box.
MIO YO produced by another veteran, the man the album is named after Id Cabasa, is quite good. I used quite because you probably need to be a 9ice fan or a fan of country music to really be in love with this song. I personally like the production perspective Id Cabasa came from, and as regards the lyrical content as usual 9ice came through, but welcome to Nigeria where our most beloved genre of music is gbagbagba. Mio yo is in a lot of ramifications another good song off the album.
ECONOMY!!! What a heavy tune. The wizard Dj Coublon again came through on this track. The union between both parties have never been below par. A fantastic pair the 2 of them are proving to be. Economy talks about the situation in Nigeria and on this song 9ice tries to pacify the people in his own way. Everything will be alright.
Yes a video was shot, thats is one video that should have been promoted very well. Great material economy is. Somewhere in my head, i think the acceptance of the song must have given 9ice more confidence about the success of his forthcoming album.
OGARA funnily is one of my favorites off the album. This song also dropped as a single and i must say when it dropped it topped my playlist of most played song on my phone at the time. Ogara was produced by Id Cabasa, and as at when produced it gave me another side to 9ice. Rumour also has it that he directed the video himself. Ogara is another fantastic song if you ask me.
BEAUTIFULLY SPOILT without mincing words shouldn’t have been on the album. The song sounded fake deep to me. Probably 9ice had a target of a 20 tracker album, that’s is the reason the song made the cut, if you again ask me if i was the executive producer, i’m sure not having a song on track 13 spoil my already beautifully made album.
AUNTY!!! The way 9ice introduces himself as ancestor fingers my brains. I dont know what he does and how he does it, ancestor as an intro gets me everytime. Here he sings for a girl that he spends on and break his heart. He calls her aunty. This is a beautifully arranged song. Produced by Tony Why, a name i am seeing on a Cd Jacket for the first time.
Now maybe i can be permitted to say 9ice has introduced to us 2 new producers who did not disappoint. Aunty is another dance-able tune too. Kudos 9ice.
Remember i said earlier that i heard a brand new 9ice booming from a car on the queue at the filling station? OLORUNSOGO is the song. IF any song deserves a video, then it has to be this song. Produced by Id Cabasa, this song is a classic. Notice how i haven’t called any song a classic all through.
A prayer song that will suit every occasion. Every music lover should listen to Olorunsogo. From the production to the the lyrics, to progression, to delivery to the ad lib, to the harmonization this is one song if well promoted can almost do what Gongo Aso did back in the day. Listen to what Id Cabasa did to the beat towards the end? The match past rolling!!! Where did that come from? On this one, it’s indeed Kudos to Id Cabasa. If 9ice ever reads this, he needs to shoot and heavily promote Olorunsogo. In no time, even the celestial churches will have it on their playlist.
Nothing much can be said about AIYE FAMILETE KINTUTO produced by Id Cabasa. This song also dropped earlier as a single. Arranging it immediately after the banger Olorunsogo could either give it more audience or for people like me who always have Olorunsogo on repeat no airplay at all. Permit me again to say here that Olorunsogo is a jam and half.
Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar, this song shouldn’t have made the cut. Maybe good as a single, but this album, Nah! I will not take away the effort of the artiste and producer Puffy Tee, but as executive producer? I won’t let this sugar give me pile.
Nice can be pardoned already cos himself had it in bonus tracks.
Smart man 9ice had one for his real fans. By real fans, i mean the people that will spray him money at parties or could just call him to request his account details. On this song, he hails the real street kings, lowkey rich men and NURTW bosses. It is one song for dance floors ATM, (At the Moment) is a good song for dance floors. Whenever 9ice is invited to sing at any event where any of these men is present, be sure he/they might empty his/their bank account on him. Money must be made because indeed that’s why we are here.
I was a little offended that FAAJI was placed amongst the bonus tracks. To think songs like Beautifully whatever and Oh Baby made the cut and Faaji was placed in the bonus section almost made me fault the track arrangement. Dapiano! Dapiadapiano!! That is one hell of an intro. The hook of the song, ‘Dapiano fun won ni piano Dapiano wa polongo o’’ is one that will make you have the song on repeat. Dapiano indeed made a song for faaji and faaji lovers. This song again establishes the chemistry between 9ice and Dapiano. On this one, Kudos to the producer Dapiano.
LORD’S PRAYER produced by Puffy Tee is a good way to exit the album. Though song was earlier dropped as a single, it doesn’t take away the joy of listening to it as the last track of the Id Cabasa album. Lord’s prayer will make you want to listen to the entire album again from the beginning.
All in all Id Cabasa is a very good album, an overall fantastic album i must say, this again make me trust the music judgement of the best graphics guy i know AOG as he was a catalyst in my purchase of this album. A move i haven’t regretted ever since.
My 2cent will be that for a larger audience, the album can be repacked to fit international standard, a few tracks taken off and a few others added and then sold as an international deluxe edition.
Another side of the coin is having the album heavily promoted in the south western states of Nigeria, also London city. These are places where 9ice has a wide range of fans, also these people can easily relate to his lyrics. South western Nigeria need to feel the impact of a new nice album. The entire album should be rolling back to back on radio in states as Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti. Djs in these states should be put to work. With the Id Cabasa album, 9ice remains a legend, and not an outdated one.
I will not fail to acknowledge the effort of every Sound engineer on the album, Swaps and co did a fantastic job. The clarity of sound and arrangement of vocals is top notch. Kudos to additional vocalist too, Klem, Danku, Eazy Plus formerly known as Minus 2, The man himself Id Cabasa and Puffy Tee.
If there is anything i learnt from the Id Cabasa album project is that every good deed will eventually be rewarded. Scandal free Id Cabasa since inception has been perceived and known as a good man, helping the likes of 9ice, Reminisce, Jahbless, Olamide, Pheelz to limelight. One day 9ice wakes up and decided to name his album after him, i’m sure he will die a happy man. He also gets the proceeds from the album, i congratulate him and hopefully this is a lesson for all and sundry, just DO GOOD!
Reviewed By Wale Applause
One Africa Music Fest: Rhythmic Unity of the African Diaspora
The One Africa Music Festival broadcasted live on TayoTV and TiDAL, a monumental stage of African music in the U.S. Bringing some of the biggest names in Africa together for the first time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York; the festival solidified summer 2016 as truly being the summer of Afrobeats
Here’s a recap of some of the biggest moments:
Hosted by Banky W, the concert officially began with Tiwa Savage who was accompanied by the esteemed CEO Dancers. As the first lady of Mavin’s Records Tiwa exceptionally represented for all African female artists. Not forgetting her right hand man, Tiwa was later joined on stage by Don Jazzy and finally closed off the show performing their hit song “Eminado” and throwing up the roc, as the newest member of Roc nation.
Proving the diversity of music presented, Tanzania’s very own Diamond Platnumz brought on stage a mix of afrobeats, afropop and bongo flava. Diamond performed crowd favorites such as “Nakupenda” as well new music like “Kidogo”.
Blending afrobeats and dancehall, Ayo Jay followed on stage and performed his musical concoction “Your Number”, which only prepared the anticipated crowd for the next performer who reminded us who made the night possible.
Without Fela Kuti there would be no afrobeats. It’s no surprise that when his son Seun Kuti stepped on stage to pay tribute to his father with “Zombie”, joyful pandemonium broke out within the crowd. Bringing fourth funk, jazz, pop and traditional music, Seun took the crowd back to the founding basics!
Laolu Senbajo’s work was seen throughout the night as well. Known recently for her project on Beyonce’s lemonade, the Nigerian visual artist and musician’s stunning Yoruba marking were seen on Seun Kuti during his performance as well as on many other very lucky participants.
Seun and Laolu were not the only ones who brought aspects of raw African traditions to the stage. During his performances, Jidenna, brought on stage a Zangbeto! While performing his hit “Classic man” and his new song “Little Bit More” the voodoo guardian of the night rocked with the audience in the cross cultural experience!
Bringing the most energy of the night, Davido performed his numerous hits such as “Dami Duro” “Skelewu” and “Aye”. Davido did not come to merely play his music. Davido came to perform and without a doubt had one of the best performances of the night.
-Flavour Performing at One Africa Music Fest
Easily a fan favorite, Flavour stepped out in an all-white suit to “Ada Ada” and perhaps left every woman in the crowd mesmerized with his waist moving wishing they were his “Adamma”. Known for his heavily traditional influenced rhythmic songs, his songs “Shake” and “Ashawo” sent the crowd gyrating into a musical psychosis that one would never forget.
To end an already epic night, Wizkid came on stage with one of top Afrobeats DJ’s in the U.S, DJ Tunez. With a number of classic hits, Wizkid performed “Don’t Dull” “Caro, the number one song in the country “One” dance, as well as many others. As if that was not enough, Wizkid also brought on stage Swizz Beatz who performed “On To the Next One”. With a number of names backing him, this moment served as a reminder of his growing international audience and the dedication Wizkid has for his craft.
Although the highly anticipated Iyanya was not in attendance and Wale had to cancel due to the birth of his child earlier that day, One Africa Music Fest was phenomenal to say the least.
The most talked about moment however, was not a performance by the artists; rather it was the respect and diversity of the audience. For every single artist the audience was on their feet, cheering throughout. Regardless of the genres played, from soca to lingala, the crowd joined in and made One Africa Fest not just a festival but a celebration of all the different branches that have rooted from traditional African Music.
Wizkid x Swizz Beatz Performing at One Africa Music Fest
Through it all, Banky W took a moment and gathered the crowd together. With moving words, he held a moment of silence that reminded us all of the importance of unity. Respectively and almost instantaneously, the lights went off and everyone’s phone flash lights went on. As Banky W. dedicated the moment to all black lives globally, who have lost their lives due to injustices. This moment brought the crowd together, in the same way Afrobeats does, it took us home and reminded us that no matter where we are on the world, we will always remain one Africa.
– Vohandas Vidya
Photography by ID Asumah/Kola Oshalusi/Anuel Modebe/Insigna/One Africa Music Fest
Video by TiDAL
Milli’s dreams are set free on “Don’t Ask Me What Happened” EP
Milli’s art leads the way for an industry push for freedom, and “Don’t Ask Me What Happened” is both the battle cry, and the first blow.
Extended Play – Don’t Ask Me What Happened
Artiste – Milli
Record Label – UpNext Universe (2016)
Duration: 26 Minutes
From Surulere in Lagos, we have a man whose music is being created to be bigger than himself, larger than instant gratuity, and speaking for more than the need to be true to oneself. Milli speaks for art, bleeds for it, cries for it and f*ucks it hard. That’s why the past two years of his life has been a steady rush from base level to his well-chronicled discontent.
Brought on board by M.I Abaga in 2014 to Loopy Music, it was Milli’s contribution that played a valuable role in the creation of “Chairman” and “TICBN” albums, from Chocolate City. But while he slaved his heart for the greater good, his personal fortunes plummeted at each turn, and in a revolutionary move that took into account the business and legal aspects, he finally too his leave from the bloated record label.
A thinker through and through, ideals drive the young creator. An insistence by M.I Abaga for him to be conformist in his sounds, and reactionary in his creative process to fit in with industry standards, was the catalyst for his discontent, and ultimately, his exit. That’s why this EP means so much for him. It’s a reining of his emotions and need to prove his worth via art, and by achieving success, break the Nigeria music industry hegemony of radio sounds and a reliance on Afrocentric melodies to break even. This is protest art meets personal divulgence meets entertainment meets young dreams meets activism. All of these mantles can ride on this project, as it changes to meet the various back-stories and intentions that birthed it. ‘Promethean’ is a good descriptor for this.
With Beats by Jayy, ReinHard, Ckay and PatricKxxLee on the production, it’s ambition that flows through as subject matter for ‘We up’. He states his credentials and expresses his happiness, with cymbals, electro-fusions and finger-snapping, playing supporting cast. He rides on through the similar straights on ‘Wave’. An insistence to stay away from his time at Chocolate City is a strong inclusion on these openers. ‘Jealous’ a high-octane Trap cut is a stunner, with PatricKxxLee showing vocal dexterity and production. This is the gem of work, although that’s a close call with their other collaboration, ‘Animals after dark’, a projected party favourite.
For Milli’s singing and R&B leanings, ‘Hood’ is a dynamic inclusion which serves as two sides of his offering, with syncopation and emotions scoring a home run. Project swansong, ‘Made for this’ closes this on a deep, personal, immersive and introspective track. His vulnerability after leaving Chocolate City is addressed here, but focus still remains on his art as the main reason for his existence. “Someone tell my mama that I love her, I don’t know if I’ll ever make it” Milli admits before promising to “always be himself.”
Only ‘Unlooking’ has any sonic kinship with the prevalent sounds of Nigerian radio, a fact that underscores the progressive nature of the project. There’s a bravery that Milli exudes with the entire project. M.I Abaga’s executive objections about Milli’s sound might still resonate in some quarters, but by staking everything on his new movement, Milli is fighting a war that is bigger than his story; he wants to prove that these sounds can be accepted, enjoyed and made pop. Art should express and be embraced, not adulterated and fettered. Milli’s art leads the way for this fight, and “Don’t Ask Me What Happened” is both the battle cry, and the first blow.
3-Worth Checking Out
B-Red does not fly on “All The Way Up” EP
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
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.