My man zero from africanhiphop.com said in one of his threads that a lot of us don’t do enough to support our local artists by buying their albums. I admit I’m guilty of that, so to set things straight I’ve copped some albums. Marvellous Benjy’s “take control”, Resonance’s “Chinwe Ike”, Massai’s “last man standing” and Bouqui’s self titled album. And now I think it’s only right that I drop little reviews.
Marvellous Benjy (take control)
Take control by Kennismusic’s latest signing Marvellous Benjy is a dance hall/ragga album. Liking some of his past and present stuff I bought it, but after feeling it I admit I’m quite disappointed. Minus the two great songs “swo” and “just a little” featuring Luccy along with their remixes (in both cases I prefer the originals) the other songs in the album didn’t really appeal to me. And for a producer/artist releasing a mere seven tracker (minus skits, intro, outro and remixes) is really poor. In a scale of 5 I’m giving it 3.5 stars. I wonder why Black Face wasn’t on the album, in the past they’ve done some good things together.
Play “just a little”
Resonance (Chinwe Ike)
Resonance is a rhythm and blues/hip hop gospel duo made up of a half-caste girl and a guy (a couple perhaps). The chick does the singing while the guy does the rapping. They’re very popular in the South East where their hit song “chinwe ike” is receiving massive air play. And for real that song is the shiznit, it belongs to the class of great Igbo gospel song’s like “ibu Chineke” by Kennismusic’s Slam. It’s the kind of song that makes lukewarm guys like me love gospel music. And did I mention they are (or were) UNN (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) and UNEC (University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus) representing. On to the criticism: an eight tracker album is really poor. And I think the CD would have been a whole lot better if it was filled mainly with her singing. She’s got a soft, sweet, angelic voice. The raps by the guy and other guest artist were just of the banal type...unimpressive. Truly she’s the active partner (makes Resonance what it is) while he’s the sleeping one. That said, in a scale of 5 the album gets a 3.5 rating from me.
Play "chinwe ike"
Massai (last man standing)
Massai a fourth year Law student is another UNEC guy. And like most albums by Nigerian youths “last man standing” his debut album is all hip hop. If you like 2shots and Biglo you’ll definitely like Massai, who with a thick Igbo accent raps mainly in Pidgin English with heavy use of Igbo vocabulary. The album is generally comical, has got party tracks (“onye kwulu oto…” and “hey hey hey”), social-conscious tracks (“in ten years”, “dance 4 mama”, “rite attitude”), a really good breakup song (“you left me”) and an overdose of girl-themed songs (“story to tell”, “oyi m”, “landlord pikin” and “this na UNEC”). By the way my boy Kenieflex is featured on “in ten years”. It gets a 4 star (out of five) rating and it's definately worth the price.
Play “you left me”
Bouqui (album is self titled. Bouqui is pronounced Bukky)
Nigeria lacks really good female rappers. A lot of those in the lime light don’t really deserve to be there. If they were guys they’d be in the wack or infant league (also true for female footballers). But after seeing so much Bouqui buzz online I decided to cop the album in hope of a miracle. To be honest I was quite impressed but someone should have told me that she’s a gospel artist! Unlike a lot of other debut artist it seems Bouqui had a lot of studio time (female artist always have a lot of benefactors), because minus the skits et al the album Is a 14 tracker! The down side is that there are one too many beat and chorus samples and the skits et al weren’t really worth it. My favourite tracks are “roll like that”, “major problems” (the beat reminds me Mase's "i really like it") and “dead man walking” (has a Dr Dre like beat which the Xzibit of the “restless” era would have done good justice to). Minus this three the other tracks are about average to me. On the whole the album gets a three star (out of a possible 5) rating.
Play "major problems"
All this listening and reviewing makes we want to go record. But I’m not motivated to write these days and in my present state I’m not ready for studio sessions.
Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musicians. It is more of a promotional tool rather than an illegal file sharing means. However, if you are an artist or a label represented here and you would like your music removed let me know and it will come down immediately.