Pieces on Film, Prose and Music by a Nigerian

Tag: Music


The Man Who Wants to be King

DKM by Dbanj

D’Banj may need Don Jazzy to produce anything with as much cultural resonance as The Entertainer. But with evidence presented on his compilation album, D’Kings Men, he is able to produce very listenable melodies without his erstwhile partner.

A good entertainer at least, he doesn’t jettison everything his reputation is made on: the sexual and material braggadocio remains, the once lost harmonica returns, and, tellingly, a few songs still bear Don Jazzy’s sound. Global smash Oliver Twist is here and For Example by Kayswitch, contains the hoarse background grumbling Don Jazzy perfected before the break-up-heard-around-the-world. Also the Igbo highlife track, Obimo is an inferior version of an earlier Don Jazzy produced tune, Make Me Fall In Love from his sophomore The Entertainer.

At twenty songs, it could be said this is D’Banj’s making up for lost time. He isn’t. The album contains four previously released songs and two remixes: Cashflow, Bachelor, Top of the World, Oliver Twist are songs the average radio listener has heard already.

Olamide shows up magnificently on the remix to his own runaway hit, First of All, but other artists have varying results: Durella is beastly on Ibadie, new boy, J Sol can sing but doesn’t have much of a personality on display. Fally Ipupa, it appears, is featured only for vanity points.

But it is Kanye West on the Scape Goat remix that puts D’Kings Men into perspective compared with D’Banj’s earlier efforts. Mr. West’s two verses are so unmemorable it is clear the power structures at Kanye’s GOOD Music are different from what obtained at Don Jazzy’s Mo Hits.

Watch the throne, Kanye announced on his album with Jay-Z; and so, for all this album’s titular posturing, it is clear who is king here.



Same Ol’ Mode


That Mode9 is still able to release albums in an industry that treats him with a shrug is a wonder.Apart from winning five consecutive Lyricist on the Roll plaques at the Hip Hop World Awards, he’s been left alone. On one hand it is tragic a rapper of such intelligence wallows in neglect while purveyors of clichés receive attention; still, it is terrific he is still making records when nearly all of his contemporaries and lyrical peers are not.
Three years after Da Vinci Mode he is back with punchlines nobody else offers. Named Alphabetical Order and in conjunction with XYZ, his producer, his newest effort has tracks literally in alphabetical order— one of the many self indulgent moves fans of the man have come to expect.

Novacane, Zoning Out, Let It Go would warm the cockles of hip hop heads, while lovers of R&B would gravitate towards Vacay and One on One.
Alphabetical Order isn’t as melodious as E Pluribus Unum his debut or as wildly inventive as his Pentium IX mixtape, but it tramples any other rap album out there; which confirms a long-standing truth: Mode9 is his own competition.


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