A strong review of Nigerian (Naija) albums
GENRE: Fuji Soul/Hip Hop
LABEL: Chocolate City
Year of release: 2012
Chapter 1: Birth:
- Life is too short
- Now Now (ft Jesse Jagz)
Chapter 2: The Dealer
- Go Hard
- Omoge Campus
- Rendezvous (Interlude)
Chapter 3: The Lover
- If you were mine
- Good Morning
- Your Love
- See Me
- You’ll come back (ft Efya)
- We all need something
- Chocolate (ft Pryse, Iceprince, M.I and Jesse Jagz).
For someone who has been an artiste in the industry for almost seven years, this is truly a re-birth of sorts. Brymo (a.k.a Olawale Ibrahim Ashimi) is no newbie to the Nigerian music. He first started his career in 2005. However, he did not enjoy massive success until he laced the hook to Ice Prince‘s monster single, ‘Oleku‘. With the success of ‘Oleku’, Brymo would go on to feature on other tracks, from “Action Film” by M.I, “Attention” by 2-Shotz, “Ma wo be‘ by Sasha to “Playboy” by Playbuoy and eventually start working on his sophomore album, The Son of a Kapenta.
The Son of a Kapenta is a testament to the adage sometimes the second time’s a charm. Moreover, with the support of a label like Chocolate City, Brymo attempts to strip off the ‘strictly hook king’ moniker and cement his status as a talented artiste in his own right.
The concept behind The Son Of a Kapenta is actually quite good. The album is broken into three chapters (Birth, The Dealer, and The Lover). This is an effective strategy as it allows the listener to feel they are a part of Brymo’s journey (from his past to present).
‘1986‘, a beautiful song with an electro/futuristic feel, opens up the first chapter, Birth. It is a song for his mother. He talks about the love they have for each other. He chronicles all she has done for him and how he wants to celebrate her and is willing to do anything. The song, which was produced by E-Kelly, is one of the stand-out tracks on the album.
‘Life is too short‘ is the second song from Birth. This song, which is a message to naysayers, is a fusion of pop and electro dance. He stresses that life is too short to hold on to negativity. The underlining synths to this song are quite lovely. The track was produced by Mikkyme.
After addressing the haters, we ease into the ever infectious ‘Ara‘, which was released as Brymo‘s first single. ‘Ara’ is a mesh of afro beat and techno. This track, which was produced by Legendary Beatz is still catchy to hear and is a testament to how great the song is.
‘Now now‘ featuring Jesse Jagzwraps up the chapter that is Birth. This cut, which has a cool run-on orchestra/Arabian feel, has Brymo wishing for his blessings to materialize quickly. It’s an average song.
Chapter 2, aptly titled The dealer, opens up with the hip hop influenced ‘Go Hard‘. The heavy bass and hip hop beat on the track feels like a sample of Timbaland and Magoo’s ‘Drop’. It’s an okay track. The issue with this song is the chorus is monotonous. This track was also produced by Jesse Jagz.
‘Omoge Campus‘ with its lovely horns comes blaring in next. The old school big band feel this track gives off is nice. Brymo sings about the love he has for the prettiest girl on campus. He declares that: “With him in her life, she won’t have to suffer and will not need anything anymore.
‘Rendezvous’ seems like a random interlude. It has Brymo “searching for some pedigree/being on a rendezvous with destiny/looking for Maria.” It appears this Maria might be the object of Brymo’s affection.
From the random interlude we get to ‘Akara‘ the final song in The Dealer chapter. It’s about a girl who enjoys ‘Akara’. Apparently, Brymo is the ‘Akara’ that she cannot get enough of: “She say Olawale I know say you be choc boy. Na today today come show me how to rock boy/she like the way I just dey rhyme.” This joint has a fun, dance and electro feel.
The Lover, the final chapter of The Son of a Kapenta, opens up with the slowed down ‘If you were mine‘. This song has Ashimi Olawale dreaming about what he would do if the girl he likes was his. It was produced by E-Kelly.
‘Good morning‘, the second single that was officially released off the album comes next. This stand out, smooth melodic track hasn’t lost its appeal. It is a stellar Jesse Jagz produced song that continues to intoxicate the listener with its catchy chorus and Brymo’s appealing voice. Definitely remains a fan favourite.
The third song off this chapter is ‘Your love‘. It’s a pretty dance track with an electro, pop feel that again has Brymo declaring his love for a woman.
‘See me’ has Brymo talking about his struggles, just like any other person. He admits “he’s not afraid to try and he hopes that if he falls he will be caught.” The message behind the song is commendable. The rock element to the song is a nice interesting shift.
‘You’ll come back’ is a lovely song that features Efya (her voice is such a nice fit for the song). The theme of the song is often, “we can’t help the people we love and even though we say we’ll leave them or they say they’ll leave us, we still end up coming back to them.”
“We all need something” closes out The Lover chapter and The Son of a Kapenta album. It’s a track that discusses what it is to be human. As humans, we always want something and will always have needs. Some needs include desiring “for better or for worse.” The issue at times is instead of wanting unity and peace, we, as Brymo mentions, choose to “need a new car as if it’s Jesus.” A track with a great message. It was produced by DMM Oluremi.
The bonus track ‘Chocolate’ is another stand-out track on the album. Brymo recruits his Choc city family (Pryse, Ice Prince, M.I. and Jesse Jagz) to give us a cool anthem. More like an ode to Chocolate City. As expected, they don’t disappoint: “Competition plan for your pension/ Pat em’ on the back these girls are my babies/And I admit that I’m surface sometimes but I always go deep when I operate/You should come audition when your deal’s done/ Been on top for a while and it’s still fun/Who you think taught the players to ball/Can’t fuck with this wizard of Oz/Superman showing Lex Luther some new shit.” The beat for this song is stellar. This should come as no surprise as it was produced by Kid Konnect. The only problem is that the track ends abruptly. Then again, it’s a bonus track right?
The Son of a Kapenta is evidence that Brymo’s hard work and sacrifice was not in vain. Unlike his debut album, Brymstone, which did not do as well as he hoped, The Son of a Kapenta shows a lot of growth and maturity (he wrote all the songs) both in Brymo’s sound and willingness to dabble in other music genres. This album is not strictly Fuji inspired. It’s a great variation of sounds. That said, the problem with the album is that using the same producers for more than one song makes the album sound repetitive at certain intervals. Nonetheless, production on the album is impressive.
Outstanding tracks: 1986, Life is too short, Ara, Akara, Good morning, Your Love, You’ll come back, Chocolate.
Disappointing tracks: Now now.
VOCAL DROPS Rating System
OPINION (Personal): 7/10
SKIP FACTOR: 7/10
THE VERDICT: 7.4/10
The Son of a Kapenta successfully showcases the talent that is Brymo. With this sophomore album, Brymo is truly no longer just a hook master. He is an artiste that has fully come into his own and has earned the right to be called a star because shine he does on this album. Apart from a few missteps here and there, he is able to able to adapt and shine on each song.
His soulful voice with its Fuji undertone is also what makes him special. With songs like ‘1986’, ‘Life is too short’, ‘Ara’, Good morning, ‘Akara’, and ‘Your love’, Brymo proves that not only can he deliver fun and classic songs, he makes it equally clear that his success is no fluke. This is one of the best albums of the year.
This album makes the iPod.