Album Review: Shall we say the truth about Don Jazzy’s ‘Solar Plexus’?

Mavin-Records

by Chi Ibe

There is only one justification for ‘Solar Plexus’: there was a lot of focus on the Mo’Hits split, Don Jazzy needed to change the conversation, he also needed to launch a new label, fast, so that he could begin to make money – via royalties, concerts, album sales, and the rest – quickly. To that extent, he cashed in on the overwhelming interest in his affairs and made a solid business decision – rush into the studio (for about 2 – 4 days) and release an album.

That is a justification I can swallow, because, after all, Don Jazzy is known as a business genius.

If the above is in fact not the case, then I must tell you the truth about this album of a thing from the beginning – so that readers who don’t want to hear a negative comment about Don Jazzy can go ahead and burst a vessel: it’s bad. By God, it’s bad.

Of course, half of those reading this this will call me Satan. People have set up camp in front of the destinies of Dbanj and Don Jazzy and are praying that by the success of the one, they will prove the crucial folly of the other. My ears know neither D’banj nor Don Jazzy. All they know is good or bad music. And Don Jazzy missed the mark by a mile.

It started falling apart from the silly ‘Mavin Activated’ Robocop intro, and never recovered from the pit of misery. There were tracks that weren’t half-bad – Tiwa’s ‘O ma ga’ (God save the Autotune Queen), D’Prince’s ‘Amarachi’, and Wande Coal’s ‘Forever ‘– but the others were just bad.  Good beats, weak lyrics, trashy songs. For goodness sake, immediately Don Jazzy heard their voices, he should have sent them out of the studio. There is the overpowering sense that this album was rushed;  a half-baked, uncohesive string of songs.

Save for talented production consistent with Don Jazzy, it is largely inconsequential. And that’s a big problem – Don Jazzy rules because of the wow factor, but this was mediocre. I kept waiting to be wowed and all I could do was fall asleep.

The only person that came out looking good was D’Prince (Amarachi, Take Banana), and how desperately he needed it because he had always had a lot to prove and I think he finally got the message. It’s a testament to great music that he sings “Back up, all I want is your yansh,” and the women don’t get mad. Only D’banj had pulled that off before now. Wande (Forever, Pretty Girl, I’m a Mavin) … while he showed exactly why we love his talent, he needs to do more to deliver on his potential. As for Dr. Sid (CPR)? This music thing is just not working, man. Don Jazzy should not believe the crap hype about being able to turn a crappy singer into a bellowing star with his beats. This album has proven what a big, fat lie that is.

Which brings us to Tiwa Savage, a woman whose career was on the fast track – Mavin or not. I am of two minds on this point – Don Jazzy’s beats are good for her evolving street cred, and it isn’t a bad idea to ‘razz’ her up à la D’banj, but she didn’t really shine, which is a shame. Save for D’Prince, they were all like bulbs when NEPA decides to give “one candle watt”.

So let me just come out and say the sad, unpalatable truth: the missing rib is a D’banj. Shoot me for being so predictable, but wait a minute … just give yourself a minute’s mental space of uninterrupted honesty and just imagine it was D’banj on that Tiwa tune.  Aha.

There’s a lot of love for these guys, and especially for Don Jazzy, we all want this thing to succeed, but even those who want to insist this is a good album will, in the darkness of their rooms, confess that it certainly isn’t A-game. If this was the kind of stuff Don Jazzy had given us before, he would never have earned the kind of respect he now has.

I understand the incredible pressure he is facing at the moment – but it is the way we handle pressure and expectation that defines us. ‘Solar Plexus’ was a mistake. I shall therefore ignore it, and wait for Don Jazzy to take his time and produce a proper album worthy of his talent.


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Comments

  • I agree with you on the good beats and weak lyrics.. But Chocolate, YOLO, and Take Banana will be long time club bangers Chocolate cos of the beat, YOLO cos of the lyrics (it appeals to the average naijan student n upcoming youth).I thot I was the only one dat noticed Tiwa was sounding like D’banj on that track. That not withstanding we should let the split go…. It has happened both parties took decisions dat were best for them.. Let’s just enjoy d music dey both come up with to help distract us from our on week one trouble naija…

    Bobo May 26, 2012 2:15 pm
  • oh my! i’ve argued with so many pile on this same issue.

    Thanks…that album is BAD!!! Geez.

    Pearl May 26, 2012 3:43 pm
  • The truth is, these guys were a tight combo. But, they have gone separated ways and everyone’s importance to the setup is now better appreciated. What you wrote above about this album is the same stuff i have to say about D’banj’s ‘Go Down’. I agree that Solar Plexus was not the banger everyone expected but then, lets give Mavin a chance. Peace.

    DJ Buchi Steve May 26, 2012 4:12 pm
  • Pls don’t b biased abot Don Jazzy’s new album. Weda dbanj is ther or not, don jazzy is stil a prolific and talented producer. Nobodyy is indispensable. D albumn jus got released, it wl make waves and win awards. Stop making it fill like without dbanj, music can’t go on for d donjazzy’s music group. Dbanj isn’t an all in all. He definitely wouldn’t hav risen without d support of. His colleagues like Wande Coal, Dr Sid and d rest.
    A lot of sharing of ideas go on during recording sessions
    Let’s giv d album a chance, it wl break records

    godwin May 26, 2012 6:57 pm
  • Oh finally,I tot I was in a bad mood when I listened to d album and felt like I bought fake! Lol. Let’s be honest that album isn’t all that

    gbemi May 27, 2012 6:07 am
  • I haven’t listened to the album but I’ve heard many negative comments, also Tiwa wasn’t the normal bubbly Tiwa I know in O ma ga. That song is very flat IMO, its doesn’t make anyone want to get up and dance like Love Me and Kele Kele love do. That said, Dbanj should pls let Oliver Twist rest (a donjazzy production btw) the guy has squeezed that song and milked it of every single kobo! Dbanj please we want to hear you without Donjazzy, but wait, if the crap called Go Down is the kind of music you’re going to foist on us, then pls don’t even bother! OMG Go Down is the crappiest crap I’ve ever heard.

    Valerie May 27, 2012 8:13 am
  • Remarkable! The first Y!Naija article I’m reading that already has more than one comment. I’m guessing the writer knew this would happen :) nonetheless, this was a well written article and I agree because I can barely remember what any of the songs in that album sounds like right now, not even Tiwa’s oma ga, which seemed to be a personal favourite in the first few days of release. To think that was barely three weeks ago..

    scot May 27, 2012 10:33 am
  • Omooo. Me I like it ooo. Forget plenty plenty grammer

    noomy May 27, 2012 7:05 pm
  • I remember when I first heard Tiwa’s ‘o ma ga o’. My jaw went slack for the entire duration of the song. That song was…is a disaster! I couldn’t tell if she was rapping or singing. I was even more pissed off that she AGREED to sing that song after showing us how i

    musiclover May 28, 2012 12:44 am
  • Solar Plexus in one word: RUSHED!!!
    Only D’Prince came out looking good.
    Mavin Records artistes & all Naija musicians obviously need Professional song writers (like their colleagues abroad have).
    If Don Jazzy had “cooked” the songs on this album for 2 months, the final output would’ve been much better!
    No Comments on Dapo Oyebanjo.

    Good Article!

    mcAK47 May 28, 2012 9:50 am
  • Lol. Tiwa :( from best music school in the world to razz music? Don jazzy y evil nau?? U just wan razz my sweet voice Tiwa :(

    ayo May 28, 2012 11:50 am
  • I totally disagree with certain comments here,Most album have the good and weak tracks on them but solar plexus is far from being a failure.Banana is a club banger any day,chocolate production is solid,wande se mri is also a club banger and don,t forget that a track can sale an album.We can understand the pressure in releasing the album but they deserve more than negative comments even though constructive criticism shape people future in a positive direction but music they say sink into us with time,solar plexus is a success as most of the tracks are already tearing down club houses in united kingdom weekend in and out.But for dbanj i still wish him success.God bless them all.

    elkano May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
  • Given d very short time in which d album was done, its not too bad. i think ur negative opinion on it was harsh & 2 d extreme. As 4 dbanj’s absence, they both had d chance to rejoin but obviously chose 2 part ways. Both teams shd work 2 prove their individ strenghts.

    Norzik June 16, 2012 12:00 pm
  • Great piece Hauwa. Who’re u? Well written. Thumbs up!

    Writer June 25, 2012 9:21 am
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