In 2015, up and coming rapper CDQ became the biggest beneficiary of producer Masterkraft’s underground hit single Indomie. Starring Olamide, Davido and Masterkraft’s insanely catchy beat as lead acts, it was CDQ who with his passable verse, somehow received credit and the greatest boost for the runaway single.
This new found clout has served as launching pad for a career in indigenous rap. Fancying himself a genuine artiste as opposed to a one hit wonder, CDQ takes full advantage of both his association with Masterkraft and his semi-hot status to record and put out his debut album which truth be told, no one really asked for.
Produced in its entirety by Masterkraft, CDQ is able to attract big name guests to make his stuff go down easier. Ice Prince opens the record with Shanowole, a solid if unremarkable street influenced number that establishes CDQ as an unambitious dude content with following trends and tried and true formulas.
Wizkid contributes a chorus on Nowoesoke and damn near carries the record to its modest heights. Wizzy’s former boss Banky W fares even better with the change of pace romantic call, Odikwa OK and Reminisce walks away with Olowo almost unchallenged. Soundcity VJ Adams also turns up to spout some gibberish on a needless skit.
CDQ and Masterkraft try for the same formula that birthed Indomie for Salaro but it quickly dissolves into that place in the memory where copycat, uninteresting singles go. Accompanying Salaro on this ignoble journey is the repetitive Ferrari (not to be confused with Yemi Alade’s hit single from early in the year) and the Drake-ish Talosobe.
When CDQ slows down however and attempts some form of introspection, he unwittingly comes up with winners, hinting that beyond the shallow thirst for catchy street hop singles, lies a promising young rapper. Oobi (with Cayana) may be rough around the edges but it showcases CDQ in a flattering light as a promising rapper and 4AM’s freestyle run is not the disaster it could have been.
But CDQ is really chasing that follow up stomper to Indomie to if anything, separate him from the other guys who have made a splash with just one song. FCFS could have been a contender with its sticky, pleasant chorus and Otishe is likely to connect only because of its count-your-blessings autobiographical message. But ultimately, both lack that supersized X factor to spark with a wider audience beyond the crowd that will naturally gravitate to CDQ and his kind of music.
Quality is not a bad record but as the music industry has proved time and time again with the likes of Wizkid and Davido, a bad record isn’t the worst thing that can happen on an artiste. Quality is instead likely to suffer because it is too lukewarm. At its core, it is merely a passable effort from an artiste who isn’t exactly getting fans worked up for a complete body of work.