Album review: “from me 2 u” by Dare Art Alade

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Dare Art Alade!

To be real with you I used to playa hate on the guy. I was like dude wants to use his charm and fame to sell records. Saw his well attended album launch on TV and I was like fuck it, he doesn’t deserve it. Yeah I’d heard a few of his songs but still wasn’t tripped, it’s until I saw his stage performance at the African Movie Academy Awards in Bayelsa State that I was won over. Excellent stage presence/performance and the songs weren’t bad either. After that I didn’t need much persuasion, I copped son’s album like it was drugs. After enough listens I can say the boy definitely has talent...plus a wonderful voice.

Being the son of one of Nigeria’s late musical greats Dare had a solid music foundation. Sang in the choir, started performing at shows early, worked on the radio and participated in an African reality-TV talent show: Project Fame. Finally some months back he came out with his 17-track debut from the stable of his Storm Records family. One thing to note about Dare is that although he sings he does so through a variety of genres. Rhythm and Blues, Hip hop, Fuji, Jazz etc nevertheless the album has a general theme of love, inspiration and dance. Production wise the tracks were laced mainly in Nigeria and South Africa.

Personally the tracks that appeal to me are (in no particular order): escalade, original Naija 1, fuji 1, sijioni, escalade part 2 and Youngman 1. “Escalade” is a soulful ballad that talks of a young man's desire to have a meaningful relationship with a lady regardless of his small cash flow. On “Original Naija” he’s simply saying he’s proudly Nigerian till the grave. “Fuji” is a certified party track expectedly with some fuji flavour. “Sijioni” is a love song to that special girl; the chorus is taken in some South African language and the verses in Yoruba and English. On “escalade part 2” along with some featured artists he’s saying something like this: “if you don’t like me because of my low cash flow, then to hell with you”. “Youngman” which was recorded years ago basically says yes I’m young and I’m African but best believe that I’m musically skilled.

On the down side, the album had a little too much variety. Reggae, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rhythm and Blues etc. it’ll really benefit him if on his next album he tries to be the master of one trade and not the jack of all. Also he seems to have been bitten by the Nigerian remix craze. Having two versions of Fuji with the only difference being the featured rapper is kind of dumb. The same thing applies to “Youngman”. Why remix it a second time with just a new set of rappers? What’s the point? The first version with El Dee and KB was just ok. The “original Naija” remix without the rap was to fill up space abi? But the thing that really ticks me off about the album is that it isn’t well mastered. Some of the songs are of different volumes and adjusting your radio while playing the CD can be annoying. After all said and done I give the album three and a half stars out of five.

Listen to “escalade”. More info on the artist and album available at www.dareartalade.com

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musician. 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.

Album review: “hitsville” by Paul Play Dairo

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Paul Play on one of his former album covers.

After learning from Laide of the exschoolnerd's Xanga fame that “forever” by Paul Play Dairo was her and her boyfriend’s official song I kept my ears on alert. I finally heard the song on radio, fell in love with it, consulted with the gods and before you knew it Paul Play Dairo’s third offering since he blew up in 1999 was mine.

The songwriter, producer cum musician and son of the late Nigerian music legend I.K. Dairo must have been up to two things prior to recording the album. Firstly he must have been listening to a lot of Brian Mcknight, Carl Thomas and some old school Hip hop joints from the early nineties. And secondly he must have been like “to hell with the critics who said you can’t score unless you come in a traditional genre while singing in vernacular or pidgin”. That’s because unlike his former albums which had a fair share of Highlife, Juju, Ragga and Nigerian flavour on this album he was strictly Rhythm and Blues with one Hip hop track for effect. What more if not for the guest raps and the accent you probably wouldn’t know the album was Nigerian. Dude just did what was on his mind, the end product of which is a nine tracker released under the playgroundentertainment label (which includes two remixes) with a general theme on love.

Propelled by the smash hits “angel of my life” and “forever” (both of which have remixed versions) which are sure to send any listener into a love frenzy Paul Play shows with this album the depth of his talent in song writing and production. The voice is also great and couples are warned that after a night of hitsville, babyville often follows. As can be expected a few of the songs contain rap verses, Paul Play even dropping some himself in “crying in the rain”. The track “playground anthem” is the exception. It’s a rap song with Playground Entertainment’s own artists: Ruff Rugged and Raw having the rap honours and being on point while Paul takes the chorus. It’s a perfect Hip Hop song and along with “forever” it’s my favourite on the album. This ain’t really a biggie but for Nigerian standards the album design was tight.

Talking about the cons of the album I must say that for a producer an album with just seven tracks is quite pitiful. The two remixes on the album also sucked. They weren’t much different than the originals, just a minor instrumentals adjustment (to make it party worthy) and a change of rap verses. Seems it’s the latest Nigerian fad…oh dear. On the whole though the album rocks for me, on a scale of five I’m giving it four stars.

Listen to “forever” featuring Alibu and B Rite. More info on the artist and album available at www.playgroundentertainmentng.com

Note: This post is used for the purpose of cultivating interest in the featured musician. 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.

Omo no think am!

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I’ve been being shuffling/reediting my posts of recent. The first two comments of this post are testament to that. But any which ways no think am, just enjoy the writing.

Dey don mark am say we go make am
Papa God don sign am say we do am
Na my destiny, so make you no think am


Have you heard that song? It might be rhymeless and might be the latest hit by a fluke-one hit wonder-Lagos ghetto boy but I sure am feeling it.

Translation:
It has been declared that we’ll make it in life
God himself has signed It that we’ll succeed
It’s my destiny so don’t even think about stopping my progress


Was feeling iree yesterday so I copped four albums. Dare Art Alade’s “from me 2 u”, Paul Play Dairo’s “hitsville”, Sound Sultan’s “the compulsory text-book” and Rymzo de Gusto’s “mysterious”. Oophs, they’re all Lagos based artist, anyways good music is good music. But I’m still waiting on a tight “rap” Nigerian album, I’ve seen no one worth coping yet (I’ve been meaning to buy El Dee of the Trybesmen’s album, but I can’t seem to find it). So is it a case of no one keeping it real rap-wise again, poor marketing or maybe I’m not checking the right music stores? By the way I recorded a song last week with a bunch of guys. But I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy. When I do I’ll upload it. Watch this space for follow ups.

The WorldCup starts today! But the problem is that the power situation in Abuja is at its all time worst. PHCN are so fucking unpredictable, they seize the power almost every day for at least five hours. Some years back we were really living it up in AMAC (Abuja Municipal Area Council) but now I’m sorry to say I enjoy more power at UNN than I do here. Kai! Anyways make I no think am, match viewing center na de very place to hit.

I know say you get issues and worse still Naija no go dey WorldCup but no think am, just enjoy the football