by Ore Fakorede
1. Like A Bottle – Shina Peters, Nneka, M.I, Bez & Ice Prince
Released as a promotional track for the upcoming second edition of the Hennessy Artistry Nigeria music contest, the Kas-produced Like a Bottle is a mash-up of genres that fails to hit the bull’s eye. With the collaborators oscillating from Fuji to hip hop, soul and r’n’b, there’s hardly enough time for any one genre to make a real impact. Even the usually superlative M.I falls below expected standards with weak punch lines like “Always buy Henny from the bar by the liter/Always hang with bosses like Sir Shina Peter” (yes, he left out the ‘s’ in Peters). His protégé, last year’s Hennessey Artistry Nigeria winner, Ice Prince, does only a little better. Kudos to Nigerian export Nneka and guitarist/vocalist Bez, who perhaps rescued the track from total musical suicide.
Listen: Like A Bottle
2. Start It Out – Lloyd Banks Featuring Kanye West, Fabolous & Ryan Leslie
G-Unit backup rapper Lloyd Banks looks to consolidate on the success of his recent hit, Beamer, Benz Or Bentley, and he brings an all-star ensemble to help him pull it off. The aptly-titled Start It Out is the lead single off Banks’ upcoming album, H.F.M (The Hunger For More) 2, scheduled to be released on November 23. Call it organized noise, but from the synth-infused beat by producer extraordinaire Swiss Beatz, to returnee MC Kanye West’s typical killer rhymes, the only time the song disappoints is when it ends. Fabolous serves up some of his best lines, and Leslie embellishes the song with his trademark ad libs. This is definitely a radio hit you’ll want to listen to over again.
Listen: Start It Out
3. Faze – Relate
Since the Plantashun Boiz split in 2003, Faze has shown over and over again how much of an incredible solo artiste he is. With ubiquitous commercial hits like Tattoo Girl, Kolomental and Originality under his belt, he has become some sort of staple on the Nigerian music scene. Relate is produced by Spankie, and Faze’s latest offering is set to be just as successful on the charts as its precursors. With tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a witty reference to the Blackberry craze (What if I give you my BB pin/Shey you go gimme your BB pin?) laid over a catchy beat, Relate makes for a club-friendly track that is sure to give the current Nigerian jams a run for their money in the coming months. Can’t wait for the eponymous album to drop in November!