A strong review of Nigerian (Naija) albums
GENRE: Rap/Hip Hop
LABEL: Storm Records
Year of release: 2010
In the last 3-4 years, when most 9ja Hip-Hop heads pen out their top 5 9ja rappers, Sauce Kid’s name always seem to feature. The most recent being MI’s famous August, 2010 tweet about his current favourite Nigerian rappers where Sinzu made the number 4 spot “The album is gd.. But if u wnt 2 respect dude listen 2 his freestyles.. He made a better version of roger that than YM”. Heck he’s even in my own top 5 as well (hmm.. dats another article all together).
But what really makes Babalola Falemi so prominent in all our lists? Dude’s only involvement in the Hip Hop scene for the past 4 years has been the release of 1 2007 mixtape ‘Moneylong’, 1 history making freestyle over Scott Storch’s produced beats for Remy Ma’s “Conceited”, features and scattered single leaks from his 4 years overcooked ‘Product of My Environment’ debut album (which about 10 of them still make this album).
There are numerous reasons for this, but the most obvious is his ability to slay all kinds of beats thrown at him in a calm and nonchalant way and still leave fans with a new buzz word for the streets! So in between leaving the Q Beats Entertainment Fam and signing up with Storm Records, Sauce Kid’s long awaited ‘African American’ debut album got done.
The brooding “Keep Pushing” which opens up the album, gives us an insight of a still-hungry and hardworking MC (‘belle never full/but hin slippers don chop’) and some of the struggles he’s been thru on his journey ‘This industry is filled with ass-lickers and assholes/ But I still manage to swim the stream like a tadpole’; how he intends to keep pushing even from the point he’s gotten to. I couldn’t have asked for a 9icer collabo than the head nodding “Elenu” featuring 9ice which is the next track. Sauce Kid tpains on Captain Majjit’s mid-tempo beats as 9ice sings the hook and drops his characteristic Yoruba maxims on the 3rd verse. This track along with a handful of others actually help save this album from being strictly an album for Rap Heads with no commercial value.
We get a long snippet of “Bang around here” whose slamming beats are used optimally by Sauce Kid with so much calmness. Liking this track. We then get connected to Sinzu’s personal side where he shares his past relationship with his baby’s mama with us and his daughter – Nejei and calls to the Lord to give him strength to be able to support his daughter always ‘she put this heavy load on my chest/like a bench-press’. His earnest bars deserve some praise especially as he shows us a soft caring side to his gangsta-like exterior. The song is also blessed by the vocals of the Future in 9ja RnB – Meaku.
Sauce Kid then playfully rips Don ‘Na Who Do The Beats’ Jazzy’s Fuji inspired beats to shreds on his 2nd single; the party starting “Under G”. He spits effortlessly as he switches flows between Yoruba & English ‘it is my fantasy to fi ata si’. Fuji seems to be the order of the day as ‘Sinzu Is Sinzu’ drops in. This up-tempo track has eLDee’s production signature all over it and the song is guaranteed to make u dance. He again fuses Yoruba into his flows. Loving both tracks.
Usually I don’t talk about skits but the “EDonDeyMadt” skit is one of nicest and funniest skits I’ve heard in 9ja or anywhere else. The jam itself is madt. He uses Pidgin English playfully to deliver wordplays reminisce to my primary school ‘You mess yabs’ (You mess, 5 Akara form Voltron) and also throws in some phrases in Hausa & Igbo. I love everything on this song from the background ‘Ooh!’ on the Ikon produced beats to lines like ‘why you wan use groundnut oil take dey drink garri/Imagine make I shoot Rita for head/Come leave her retarded /U go like baf up go toilet/ U r out of call credit/Ur call no connect/Craze woman dey show u pant abi/it’s obvious say u don dey madt abi’ LWKMD. I think this might just be Sinzu’s niche as he’s at his lyrical best spitting like an Afro-Nigerian on these 3 (and “Yebariba” of course).
Sauce Kid uses auto-tune to toast (not rap) quietly on “Nobody” – A track definitely made to ensure that Sinzu also becomes your girlfriend’s favourite rapper. No harm in that cos now u and ur honey can bump the same CD without arguing. Ladies Man Banky W laces the chorus for this one. The string instrument play (not sure if it’s a guitar or violin) @ the end on Nobody is most def!!! Sauce Kid, General Pype, Ghetto P & Iceberg Slim all try their best to resurrect the 2005 Channel O nominated “Omoge Wa Jo” with a new remix and without Mike Okri’s vocals. Track seems outdated on the album and ought to have been left out.
When Sinzu dished out “Na Me Be Fine Boy” from the saucepan as a 1st single in 2009, people listened and started talking. It was well received and the anticipation for his album grew. Apart from the poor production on “I Can’t Feel My Face” and the fact that I’m sure that I 1st heard this in 2008, the track is still hot. He spits like my favourite G-Unit member – Lloyd Banks on this one ‘went to sleep on Tuesday/missed out on Wednesday/Woke up on Thursday and felt the worst way/Now I’m thirsy’ and I’m liking the chopped and screwed voice effects on the Sossick beats. Track is like a refix to “Yebariba”.
“Distribution” with Meaku on the hook is for the rap heads. The bars hit hard like nails. I skip “London Town” all the time. Not feeling it. On “I Get BZ”, Iceberg Slim makes me a fan (I followed him immediately on twitter after hearing this just once) with a just 1 verse (and yeah he still says Somebody wants to die). This is real hip-hop; u can bump to this all day in yo whip and it’s blessed by beats that Cannibus would love to get his hands on.
After all the true hip-hop, he regresses to the commercial “Monkey Banana” which became a street anthem when released last year along with General Pype & Ghetto P – ‘I’m a hungry monkey about to go bananas/I’m from another country please pardon my manners/feeling like a kid on Christmas waiting for Santa’. He returns to his Hip-Hop roots for the chopped “Diamonds” and calls upon his 5 & 6 – Ghetto P as they wax lyrically on “The Game Needs Me” which samples Jay-Hovah’s line. “We Duzz It” is disappointing.
I was surprised when I heard the 2008 underground banger- “Airplane Mode Freestyle” which also got released on Knighthouse’s mixtape. No remix, Nothing! Same sh*t, same beat! Common Sinzu, we need some new sauce on the side for this track which u absolutely nailed it back then. My fave part still is ‘I’m on point/I was appointed by the streets/ u missing the point/& that’s why u disappoint the streets/but i would never disappoint the beat/Soon as u point to the beat/I turn that beat into a joint & make it a joint for the streets/I’m in airplane mode (3ce)/I’m so high it’s like my nose is bleeding/I’m so high it’s like my shoulders freezing/I can’t feel my face, my face filled with goose-bumps & I don’t know the reason’
With a Debut album blessed with so many producers (Don Jazzy, XO, Sossick, eLDee tha don, Captain Majjit, Ikon, C Zure, H Code etc) that can only be matched by Drake’s, the mastering and production quality were far from impressive (trust me, i’ve played the album on Chubby’s Mark Levinson). He gets massive points deducted on this front cos if we could wait 4years, 2 more weeks to master the production would have been a breeze.
This aside, Sauce Kid seems to provide a track dipped in sauce for everyone – from Nairalanders (Raw Chilli) to Alaba peeps (Tomato Sauce).
Outstanding Tracks: I Get Bz, EdonDeyMadt, Sinzu Is Sinzu, The Game Needs Me, Elenu
Disappointing Tracks: London Town, Omoge Wa Jo(remix), We Duzz It
VOCAL DROPS Rating System
OPINION (Personal): 7/10
SKIP FACTOR: 6/10
On a long awaited debut album, Sauce Kid half delivers. The album is a mixed bag. No cut on Sinzu’s debut album is as good as “Yebariba” (hmm.. EDonDeyMadt comes close), the breakout mixtape single that brought him national fame and a new dictionary word – Samboribobo. Peeps also keep saying why the name African American …my guess is cos he and his music has been influenced by 9ja & Yankee (but u can tweet him to confirm).
The arrangement of tracks for the album was less than convincing – For instance, the first song of your debut album needs to be explosive, forcing the listener to take an actual interest in the artist; the 1st track could have easily been “Elenu” and the reflective “Keep Pushing” pushed towards the middle.
The tracks selection as well wasn’t at par. There’s really no need to have a 19 track album if people have heard about 6 of them way back in 2008 (@ least I did). Artists need to learn when to let go of old tracks (Even slu…ssh kid knows when to let go of old keles (shirls?)). Heck! Put them as bonus tracks if need be. No need to cram in all your life tracks into one debut album(If only he had called in a focus group like me and me crew 😉 to select the final tracks to put in – all the good songs wouldn’t have been swallowed by the old and surplus cuts.) Lil Wayne & The Game would probably have 50 track albums then.
Let’s just hope now that with the weight of finally releasing a debut album off his chest, he will be to concentrate (hopefully not for another 4 years though) and deliver an album we believe he is capable of and claim a stake to this throne cos Sinzu is Sinzu
BUY this album & SUPPORT THE ARTIST
A few listens to the tracks below should convince u. Yup! Get familiar!
Sauce Kid - E Don De Madt.mp3 (3.1 MiB, 2,900 hits)
Sauce Kid - Sinzu is Sinzu.mp3 (4.1 MiB, 1,971 hits)
E don der madt (skit) [recommended for your Friend’s caller tune]
E don der madt (skit).mp3 (1.2 MiB, 4,145 hits)