Like fine exotic wines or caviars, Pucado is an acquired taste. He’s a sound that demands exposure and appreciation for a wide range of music to instantly catch onto this southeastern rapper. Known for his omnivorous recording habits and unconventional flow and delivery it’s logical how he has come up with a range of distinctive tracks like his debut single “Naija Soca (Soca)”, “Imposter (Hip-hop n R&B)”, “Bigger Better Best (Afro rap)” and “Ukwu Nka (Afro rap)” all generating significant buzz to their individual respect. His chemistry with genius producer Leriq, promises to be yet another unique bond.
“Pukie The Great” is a bold genre-pushing statement of artistic anxiety, however, you can look at it from different angles: as an outgrowth of rap’s (or a rapper’s) artsy ambitions, a compilation of afro-rap-pop fusion all tied together by one voice, or simply a confident, adventurous, upstart boundary-pushing rapper demonstrating an ability to infuse modern hip-hop and afro-pop forms with a sonically audacious spirit. Pucado intentionally or not defines his own lane owing to his style, short sprint deliveries and a unique offbeat flow.
Some of the high points on this EP are, the amazing collaboration with label mate Kamar on the evergreen “Imposter”. Kamar is among the present set of newcomer R&B singers who has shown a unique ability to inculcate his undeniably seductive blend of heart-melting Hausa with urban Naija-pop sounds to devastating effect. Aristokrat official DJ “DJ Bally” under the radar before now does an immense job on his twerk remix of the huge street anthem “Bigger Better Best”. The combination of claps and electronic intensifying crescendo perfectly flowing into the higher pitched ‘We dey Bigger Bigger Better the Best’ hook is simply adrenaline fuelling and will definitely have the club bumping.
“I’m cooler than a eskimo nigga/ I swear the game is bout to grow bigger/ they checking my style they checking my flow my sound my tactics but yet they cant figure” the first few bars you here on the smooth breezy beat of “I’m Cooling” which is certainly Pucado’s best performance, he seems to get into his own on this record. He confidently recognises his inimitability, and the album art, Pucado draped in classy looking suit provides a visual for this scene: taking his place, “cooling” in his own lane. When Pucado tells the human story of “Vanity” in his native language, accompanied by the Ibo tuned guitar meshed into a masterfully crafted progression of drums and a lead bass, the result is an instant classic.
Remember Beverly Hills Cop, yeap! That Eddie Murphy Blockbuster back in the 80’s before a lot of us were born, as the first sound from “Look in my eyes” hits your speakers or headphones it is undeniably reminiscent of that soundtrack, similar horns, a little sped up, higher pitched also combined with that MJ feel underlying. Production wise it is nostalgic not entirely a bad feeling, but the production and Pucado didn’t quite ignite the 80’s disco-pop ambience that it could have. Teaming up with Phyno on the remix of “Ukwu Nka” makes good sense in theory. Phyno’s among the most successful of the crop of emerging rappers, but their partnership refuses to cohere and drive the booty-popping song into trend status; rather Pucado and Phyno’s verses basically stand politely next to each other (the former standing slightly taller, in my opinion) without interacting in a significant way to the record.
I can positively say if having an active rap scene in the Nigerian music industry was an interesting thought (at this time where if its Ibo rap its Phyno, if its Yoruba rap, its Olamide) it is now and I think Pucado/ seems in the conjuring of something/has the potential to keep things /uniquely attractive.
Final Review: 5.8/10
Listen to Pucado‘s EP, Pukie The Great for FREE