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5 Takeaways from “UY Scuti” by Olamide

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18th June was the chosen day set aside by Olamide to bless the ears of fans, music lovers and critics with his unambiguous 11th studio album – UY Scuti. In less than an hour after its release, congratulations and reviews started pouring in like a heavy downpour of rain, safe to say, majority of them (if not all) happened to fall on the good side. Without a doubt, Olamide Adedeji once again proved why he is so much critically and commercially acclaimed as one of the finest musicians to ever come out of Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

This is not a “review” write-up, that should be of note but just I (Olumide, the writer), pointing out major takeaways from UY Scuti as a body of work, a musical project, that is. Enough said folks, here they are:

1. Evolution:

In 2015 on “Local Rappers”, Olamide said and I quote “. . .punchline o jawo mo” but not until some six years later, did it take him to really actualise those words in their entirety on a music project. Let me explain: since 2011 when Olamide dropped his breakthrough single – “Eni Duro” followed by his debut album, “Rapsody”, never has he released a complete album (solo or joint) or EP without the predominant genre being Hip-Hop/Rap.

With UY Scuti Olamide’s full blown evolution is copacetic, a clear one at that! From rapping about early childhood sufferings and trauma in the early stages of his career before blending upbeat production with Rap and street slangs, creating a groundbreaking genre, now known as Street-Hop to hopping on Afrobeat, Pop and any other type of production thrown his way (which he killed as usual) to UY Scuti, a group of mellow, soft rhythm and a few Reggae/Dancehall infused records, Olamide’s versatile discography is brought to life on UY Scuti, a Pop predominant album, with R&B and Reggae/Dancehall acting as the sub-genre but even at that, not one of the 10 songs on the album gives listeners an ounce of doubt at Olamide’s musical prowess. Once you press play, you would be moved to finish the album without skipping a track.

2. Co-sign:

Apart from music, another thing Olamide is synonymous with is putting other talents at the forefront of success, giving them that push required for them to garner some mainstream recognition, hence more or less a headstart for their musical career/journey to blossom. One word for all the ‘big boy’ grammar written is – co-sign.

Acts like Lil Kesh, Pheelz, Adekunle Gold, Young John, Fireboy DML, P-Priime are testimonies to the co-sign Olamide offers through his many albums and record label.

With UY Scuti, Olamide continues to scout for newer talents instead of resting on his oasis, sucking for the A-list (perhaps B-list) artistes to feature – a likely revenue for making a commercial hit song; on UY Scuti, Olamide once again showed us why they call him “Baddo”, always being aware of the ‘baddest’ newest music talent in town—Jaywillz, Layydoe and Fave (appearing twice) are names with little to no recognition at the mainstream stage but with features on tracks 2, 5, 6&7 respectively, they’re sure to get some clout come their way.

Artistes are not the only ones recieving from Olamide’s care-package of co-sign as Eskeez who executively produced the album also got his shine, producing 9 out of the 10 songs except the first track on UY Scuti.

3. English as the Language of Choice:

If UY Scuti is Olamide’s way of proving critics and doubters wrong anytime they bring up discussions surrounding him not being able to make international hit songs due to the language barrier, then he did so easily in a fine manner.

Yourba is Olamide’s chosen language. Once we hear of Olamide being on a song, our minds immediately wander to him speaking Yourba so fluently, inventing new flows through speaking it but on UY Scuti, he chose the English language route and it paid off superbly.

For the first time on his album, Olamide sang in English on over 90% of the tracks, with “Cup of Tea” (track 8) containing more Yoruba words, lines and verses than the entire tracks on the album combined; ”Rock” (3rd song) being the next on the list, that says a lot as we all know Olamide had more (Pidgin) English words in it compared to Youruba.

Whether this is due to Olamide signing a distribution deal with international body—Empire—or him just being intentional about the next line of action regarding his evolving artistry, that remains something only him can answer.

4. Continued Bromance with Phyno:

On “Ghost Mode”, Olamide clearly stated: “Phyno and Olamide, we’re just getting started” and true to those words, the duo have remained close, making good music ever since. On his previous album, “Carpe Diem” and latest release, UY Scuti, Phyno appeared as the only A-list featured artiste. That itself proves the point, don’t it? Phyno is featured on “Somebody”.

5. Cool, Calm & Collected:

All previously released albums by Olamide have something in common – club records, ‘bangers’, Street-Hop (or simply street jams) but on UY Scuti, a newer side of his personality is explored, where we get introduced to the 3C’s, i.e cool, calm and collected characteristics of Olamide on a wider range and truth be told – I love it! We all love it!

Olamide’s use of softcore Pop and R&B/Soul genre blended with Reggae/Dancehall tunes with a little bit of Afrobeat production is very conspicuous. On UY Scuti, Olamide continues to draw from Carpe Diem‘s refined sound, almost (if not) bringing it a perfection.

Now is the time for you to listen to UY Scuti.

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DJ Neptune releases the star-studded “Greatness 2.0” album

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Well renowned disc jockey (DJ) and perenial hit maker, DJ Neptune releases the part two to his debut LP, titled “Greatness 2.0”, featuring collabs from industry heavyweights and the likes from Rema (“For You”), Omah Lay & Joe Boy (“Abeg”), Mr Eazi (“Do and Undo”), Adekunke Gold (“Love Potion”), Simi & Peruzzi (“Ololufe”), SA’s star – Focalistic (“Hustle”) amongst others.

With “Greatness 2.0”, DJ Neptune makes a playlist which cuts across various genres like hip-hop (“Cupid” featuring Cheque and Blaqbonez), Afropop blended with street-hop (“Gaza” with Patoranking), Amapiano with the help of 2021’s breakout South African star, Focalistic, R&B featuring a masterful performance from Adekunle Gold, just to name a few.

Yung Willis, DJ Krept, Magic Sticks, Deratheboy, Andre Vibes, SperoachBeatz, Fancy Beats, Reflex and Sess are the producers tapped by DJ Neptune for Greatness 2.0; all songs are mixed and mastered by Milla Mix., with DJ Neptune himself serving as the executive producer to his second LP.

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Ruger premieres his second EP – “The Second Wave”

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Ruger, once gain, comes as a lone soldier on his second EP, The Second Wave, consisting 4 tracks, which continues his Reggae/Dancehall voicetone blend with the ever growing Afropop sound and reinforcing his artiste-producer duo combo with KukBeat.

On the intro track, Champion, Ruger recounts his humble beginnings to triumphing on stages, performing his hit songs across different countries; on the third record off of The Second Wave, Ruger borrows the R&B sound, showing off his macking skills through the use of the social media app known as Snapchat; on the closing track, he flexes his fine boy looks and well groomed personality on the rightly titled song – Dior.

Just like on “Pandemic”, his debut EP, Ruger continues to spread his infectious hit making ability, needless of the help from his fellow industry colleagues, self-assuredly converting one listener after another to his RuNation army. A valiant effort from the rookie turning superstar.

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2021 Top 10: Nigerian Songs

With new acts like Ayra Starr and Monalisa making waves for themselves with “Bloody Samaritan” and “Monalisa” respectively, staple figures in the industry in Olamide and Adekunle Gold did not back down either, coming in hot with dope singles in “Rock” and “High”; here is our Top 10 Nigerian Songs for 2021.

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For the second installment of our 2021 Top 10, we have decided to go with top Nigerian songs that not only had tens of thousands of playtime on our individual playlists, positioned reputably on various charts, made a trend for themselves either through social media challenges or just by the aura the song gives off but also are certified bangers in real life, that is, the streets, clubs, parties etc.

It is no secret that there is no “official” chart yet in Nigeria where music fans, enthusiasts and listeners in general can go to source statistical data of individual songs but thanks to the Apple Music Hot 100, TurnTable Charts, Official UK Afrobeats Chart, Top Charts, we were able to put the chart positioning of the 10 songs that will appear on our Top 10 Nigerian songs for 2021 into reasonable perspectives.

Criteria:

• The song must be a 2021 released single.

• The song must have appeared on various charts Top 10, especially. . .

• . . .a Top 10 presence on Apple Music Hot 100 and TurnTable Charts. . .

• . . .and at least a reasonable positioning on iTunes, YouTube or the Official UK Afrobeats Chart.

Now let us get straight into the Top 10 with some few words on why each song made it on our list and why it is ranked in its respective position.

10. MonalisaLojay, Sarz

Like an unexpected loud bang in the middle of the night, Lojay burst into the Nigerian mainstream scene with Monalisa from the Sarz-produced “LV N ATTN” EP . Thanks to our mazophilic brethrens, anytime they hear “‘Cause this your miliki for front na for me” or those who tend to be pygophilic than the average dude, hearing “Ibadi e lo ta bi rodo orekelewa / . . . / Your water bum wey drown like tsunami orekelewa o ehe“, the ambience immediately takes up a mosh-pit life of its own.

Monalisa peaked at No. 3 on NG Apple Music (AM) Hot 100, No. 4 on NG iTunes, No. 4 across various radio stations and No. 7 on TurnTable Charts (TTC). Quite some impressive numbers for a first time charting song by an artiste in the ever volatile and competitive music world.

9. SoundgasmRema

Hold! Wait! You must be thinking how the heck is Soundgasm this low on the ranks, best belive, we thought likewise too but as the popular meme goes: “It is what it is”. Rema’s sensual hit single, Soundgasm, is a force to reckon with undoubtedly, especially the effort in transforming the R18 sexual innuendos filled bridge into an ASMR voiced commercial success without the NBC having a problem with it or even outrightly banning the song from being played on radios and TVs, a very commendable one, not too many artistes can pull off.

Rema’s Soundgasm enjoyed fruitful charting, achieving the pole spots on AM and YouTube while peaking at No. 2 on TTC and iTunes; the song is still currently enjoy massive airplays till date, so sweet to hear like the “Do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, do-oh, ah-ah” hook.

8. Sip (Alcohol) Joeboy

The intoxicating trendy smah-hit single by Joeboy debuted at No. 1 on different charts in the country, so much that people got figuratively drunk and started to show-off their weird sides (but lest I digress). In general, Alcohol (as it is colloquially known) is a feel good song which exuberates positive vibes unto the listeners.

TurnTable Charts, iTunes and Apple Music Hot 100 peak of No. 1; No. 3 peak on the Official UK Afrobeats Chart says a lot about the massive reception of the single by fans all over the world. I feel it would also be wise to note that Sip (Alcohol) only ranks this low on our list because it is the most recently released single amongst the songs we deliberated on; it was released about 2 months ago, September 24 to be precise.

7. Bounce Ruger

The Kukbeatz-produced big chune which mesmerises females with jiggly big bums, inevitably causing them to “Wiggle that booty and whine fi me” is no stranger to our earbuds at this point.

Like the title says, the song bounced its way to the top position on NG Apple Music and its affiliate iTunes NG while also maintaining an average 7th position across radio stations in the country and a peak of 4th on TTC. Ruger definitely made a ground statement with Bounce and no denying we all bopped to the tune.

6. Rock Olamide

Hmm! What else can I say? Olamide’s presence on every end-of-the-year song or album debate is always expected and that is FACTS. With Rock (and the subsequent “UY Scuti”) release, Olamide completed the beautiful transitioning into a pop artiste so blissfully, a newbie would have thought Baddo had always been a singer, an English-speaking one at that.

The midtempo Eskeez production perfectly matches Olamide’s gentle wooing vocals, gliding the song to peaking at No. 1 on AM, TTC and YouTube, with a No. 2 charting pinnacle on iTunes and an average of 8th spot across Nigerian radio airplays. I ask again: what else can I say? The song rocks!

5. UnderstandOmah Lay

The loveability of Understand was instantaneous. Immediately the kick starts sounding, we immediately begin to fictionalise Omah Lay’s first words, first line, first rhyme, in fact, the entire song but the irony lies in the fact that we enjoyed the tale of a heartbroken man, even forming dance moves to go with the Tempoe-made instrumentals.

However, what has Omah Lay been able to accomplish with Understand? A rightful top spot on the Apple Music Hot 100 and YouTube, not forgetting that of TurnTable Charts. I guess it is safe to say, heartbreak makes for the best R&B songs.

4. Bloody Samaritan Ayra Starr

When the 19-year-old Benin Republic born gifted singer, Ayra Starr, magnificently declared: “Everything I desire, I go receive“, she meant it unremorsefully. Releasing her eponymous debut EP was a moment for Ayra Starr, something very uncommon for a female artiste in the Nigerian music industry but Ayra Starr and her team pulled the right strings and it worked out marvellously in her favour.

Bloody Samaritan and its low effort dance move forced a TikTok frenzy amongst influencers and fans of Ayra Starr, shooting it up various charts, even till date, the song still ranks high among its contemporaries, that is, song that was released within the same time frame of early August. We have it peaking on the TTC and iTunes rank, a peak of No. 2 on NG Apple Music, No. 5 on Official UK Afrobeats Chart and an average of 7th position across varying radio charts in the country to show for it.

In case you need the Ayra Starr’s formula to stardom and commercial success, just know: “A wise man said, “Follow the stars”“.

3. High Adekunle Gold ft. Davido

AG Baby and Baddest brought their A-game when recording High. The Amapiano-infused instrumental made it easy for the vibrant track to enter the already infected Amapiano oversaturated Nigerian music soundscape.

The charts took the “Me I just want to be high / Be aight, be high” verbatim, placing it No. 1 on AM and iTunes, 2nd spot peak on YouTube and TTC, including an average No. 7 rank on various radio charts in the country. Well as Davido said “Watimagbo“, we indeed did hear High unrelentlessly.

2. PeruFireboy DML

Not to sound condescendingly oblivious but who would have thought Fireboy DML would be the artiste to break the Official UK Afrobeats Chart record? Going 4 straight week at No. 1? An incredible feat!

Fireboy could not be extinguished as Peru literally continued to burn fiery hot, tearing down charts, peaking at No. 1 on Apple Music Hot 100 and its sister chart, iTunes as fans bought the track, not paying mind to how much the single cost.

1. Feeling LadiPoe, Buju

Feeling being at the summit of our Top 10 Nigerian songs probably did not surprise you. Yes, we know that already. Apart from being our No. 1, LadiPoe’s and Buju’s well composed Feeling song enjoyed viewing other songs at No. 1 on Apple Music Hot 100, iTunes and TurnTable Charts.; an average 6th spot spin on varying radio stations in the country is not bad either.

Cliché but LadiPoe and Buju must really like the way they are feeling now.

Honourable Mentions:

• Outside – Buju
• Bling – Blaqbonez ft. Amaarae & Buju
• Naira Marley – Zinoleesky
• Lie – Kizz Daniel
• Big Thug Boys – AV

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