by Ore Fakorede
1. Once In My Life – Uti Featuring M-Trill
Still reveling in his Big Brother Africa 5: All Stars victory (here’s the full gist), Uti Nwachukwu appears keen to milk his new-found fame to the very last drop. ‘Once In My Life’ is by no means his first foray into music, having previously released an easily forgotten debut single, ‘Go Down’, in June. His latest effort is a departure from the Afro-hip hop trend, being an attempt to explore rock – a genre of music that’s not really popular in Nigeria. From the trippy drums and true-to-life lyrics to the delivery of the rap verse, the alternative rock track is reminiscent of the Rooftop MCs’ radio hit, ‘Lagimo’.
However, putting both songs in the same class of quality would be like matching a lightweight boxer with Mike Tyson in the early 90s. Although the unabashed sincerity in his lyrics strike a chord, Uti’s pseudo-rock star vocals fall short of being impressive. In the same vein, his on and off screaming comes off as a feeble attempt to imitate Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, and sounds pretty out of place in the overall scheme of the song.
M-Trill’s lyrical depth was a small consolation as it brought a welcome reprieve from the prior Auto-tuned mediocrity. Unless he can polish his act to a glossy shine, Mr. Nwachukwu might be better off investing his winnings elsewhere. Enough said.
Listen HERE: Once In My Life
2. So Inspired – Waje Featuring Muna
Remember the girl with the sultry voice that sang the chorus on P-Square’s viral hit ‘Do Me’? Yes, that one! Her name is Waje and she has come a long way from a small-time singer to an emergent r’n’b powerhouse. She made her first major splash as a solo artiste in September 2009 with ‘Kolo’ and followed up quickly on that song’s critical success with ‘For A Minute’, a slick Soundcity favourite which has garnered much airplay across West Africa, making her upcoming album one of the most highly anticipated this year.
The newest single from the debutante’s eagerly awaited goody-bag of jams; ‘So Inspired’ does not belie the hype. Featuring former Most Beautiful Girl In Nigeria turned rapper, Munachi Nwankwo and produced by E-Kelly, the song’s inspirational nature is affirmed by the assertive, self-reassuring lyrics of the simple chant-like chorus: “Even if I fall or stumble, even if you cause me trouble, I won’t let it get to me/I’m so inspired”. Waje’s potent soprano cuts like a very hot knife through butter on every note of the A-grade beat and Muna’s wordplay is, at the very least, stunning: “I’m sick of your envy, please/Not in your league, I’m an MVP”. Never has a Nigerian all-female rap/r’n’b collaboration sounded so good!
If a more experienced, more popular duo, say Omawunmi and Kel, ever cook up something this awesome, I’ll be the first to let you know.
Listen: So Inspired
3. What’s My Name – Rihanna Featuring Drake
With hardcore evidence (don’t ask me!) that Barbadian r’n’b star Rihanna and hotshot rapper Drake once had a thing for each other, it was only a matter of time before they collaborated on a track. After a whole year of impatient waiting, here’s the song. Produced by the Norwegian hit-making duo known as Stargate, who take credit for such chart-toppers as Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable’ and Ne-Yo’s ‘Miss Independent’, ‘What’s My Name’ is the second single off Rihanna’s upcoming album, ‘Loud’, which will be released in November.
A total departure from the gritty, edgy and dark sounds of her last album, ‘Rated R’, this flirty track is more play than work. Drake’s cool signature flow sets the tone for sexy vocals embedded in an up-tempo reaggaetone melody that smirks of Rihanna’s first hit, ‘Pon de Replay’. The song is a surefire crowd pleaser and it’ll soon make itself at home on party and club playlists.
Listen: What’s My Name
NEW ON AIR:
Ke$ha’s hot new single ‘We R Who We R’ (from her upcoming album ‘Cannibal’) is now playing on radio! Listen to it here. Official review coming next week.