Rolling back memoirs from the days of the Pre – Jagz of all trade album through the Post – Thy Nation come album, it is logical to say Jesse Abaga is one young man in a class of his own that we are all either afraid to touch, judge or predict. We could picture him as residing in the first floor above the ground floor where the Nigerian music industry is happening. He is one of those in the game of redefining Nigerian Hip-Hop and he is doing fine a proof to which is the (rather too long) 11tracks, 1hr 04min 16sec album -The Royal Niger Company.
With samples cut from historical sounds such as Scarface, Mad dog, Chaka Khan’s Ain’t nobody; a cover art borrowed concept from the original Royal Niger Company’s logo (a mercantile company chartered by the British in the nineteenth century) and features that ranges from Jumar, Tesh Carter to Femi Kuti, Tupac, let’s find out if Mr. J.G. Abaga (whom I would love to address as the Super Rhythmic Heavyweight, until proven otherwise) wasn’t lying when he said The Royal Niger Company is the best album ever. Read the broad track-to-track review for broader view.
This is a very good song that one can easily get addicted to. The reggae touch Jesse Jagz added to his rap is evident in the song and captivating but the track is lost its assignment as an introductory verse. It is also a rather too long number as a song to itself which is not very estimable of the dopeness of the album although Jesse himself was in the song.
JARGO (Ain’t Nobody) ft. Tesh Carter, Chaka Khan
I hope it would be fair enough to say this is one of the most effective deployments of Tesh Carter. She got Jesse’s back perfectly as he whirls the river of the wonderful beat. This song would have made a very good introduction to this project – The Royal Niger Company.
OCEANS AND LAKES ft. Sarah Mituru, DUGOD
Oceans and lakes is a slow melody supposed to water the tempo of the album which is much needed in any compilation. Sarah did considerably well on this verse but I don’t understand who was killing the spirit of this song or if there were any spirit at all. Something went wrong with this number aside the fact that it should have been placed somewhere in the second half of the album (if it has to be on the album at all) than placing it No.3 (except for the way the track listing is constructed).
SUNSHINE ft. Femi Kuti
This is a groovy melody to which the additional morale you get when Femi Kuti accompanies you to the studio was there for Jesse Jagz again. Sunshine is one of the numbers that would receive most love on this album and it’s sure worth the love.
THE SEARCH (Radio) ft. Jumar, DUGOD
The search is a traditional Jesse Jagz kinda beat. We knew him for stuffs like this and loved him for it. He caught us with the tale telling again, with the power of rhymes. Ours guests were awesome, this is one song you would respect Jumar for the classic hook but DUGOD was weak a little thou.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
This song would steal you away and reposition your entire inside as he truly teleports you. This is pure strain African Hip Hop by the super Rhythmic Heavyweight rapper – dope everything! And for God sake, why title a rap verse “Supply and Demand”? Another reason why Jesse Jagz should have been M.I (Mr Incredible)
*for the record Mr. Jagz, if you ever consider a remix of this song, pls do me a favour, put Sarkodie on it. I would love you eternally!*
HIGH LIFE ft. Rexx
It’s no longer hidden that this genre of music (in-between Hip Hop and Highlife) Jesse was part of its advocates has come to stay and any rap compilation would be incomplete without it plus the love he’s for the igbos too, only God knows. High life is a ceremonious kinda song the only issue here is that the song is too long and somewhere along the line, Jesse lost us. Rexx’s failure to grip the song completely may be the reason a usual Flavour or Duncan Mighty would have been more effective.
SUNRISE (Shine On)
This number is just another show off verse for Jagz. You would respect his rhyming skills, tale telling and in no time would have no choice than to listen to the story as it was “Jagzically” delivered. Sunrise is long too but he got us through the entire time something he failed to do earlier with high life.
THE CASE ft. Show Dem Camp
No matter how long or deep we talk about this verse, it would still be all understatements – this song is not from this planet. In the simplest of instrumentation, Jesse left his rhyming comfort zone for a break to reside in punch lining and our guest was so perfect. I would ordinarily beg for SDC to be on this. I trust Ghost (I laugh as I write this). Tec should have “dopen” his verse a little more to soar with Jesse and Ghost but notwithstanding, I recommend this number for best rap single and collaboration 2014, this is the case!
WINDOW ft. Jumar
You would take time to laugh at the cock roar messed with a form of baby cry effect on this song. Jesse again had this “you must listen message” of revival delivered poetically with a catchy chorus by the superb Jumar and it’s a round of applause for the duo. No rap album is complete nowadays without a song like this.
HOW WE DO ft. Tupac
I thought Tupac had said it all and the verse should have been left as a Tupac’s skit only for Jagz to add up his kinda freestyle attitude to make this a verse worthy of repeat, punch lines and rhymes packed. The same way Tupac said “…listen to what we say and hold us accountable for it”, we do hold Jesse Jagz for how he does and in the best of a way, he rounds up Royal Niger Company as I beg a standing ovation for Mr. Jagz for a superb workdone!
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