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Davido Is Bound On Giving Fans “A Better Time” Despite All That Is Going On (Album Review)

Damn the pandemic, Davido is here to calm us with A BETTER TIME!

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2020 has taken a turbulent turn to the start of a new decade but David Adeleke, professionally known as Davido has put all the negativities aside, just like a courier, delivering A Better Time to himself and fans worldwide.

Cover art for the A BETTER TIME album.

After almost six months of teasing a new album which will be the sequel to his 2019 standout and fan favourite album, “A Good Time”, he has delivered with A Better Time, his third studio album.

“A Better Time” or ABT for short, is laced with features from left to right, yes, heavyweight artistes like Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Nas, Young Thug, Tiwa Savage, Mayorkun were on set to deliver their different verses for this album.

Tracklist for and producers credit on the ABT album

ABT just like “A Good Time” is a 17-track LP but six minutes short of the 1-hour mark unlike its predecessor. Out of the seventeen songs on it, only 6 are solo while the remaining 11 songs contain at least one featured artiste on each of them, with the last seven tracks (11-17) being on a featuring spree.

On the album art, we see the Afro Pop start using his son – Ifeanyi – with financé, Chioma. Straight up, already indicating where his focus is placed; right from the first song on the playlist, FEM, we can feel the vibe Davido is on and the aura his letting off, telling his haters to stay off his matter and stop trying to always find fault in whatever he does.

A theme throughout this album is the good life or a better life, if I do say so myself, as we all know the singer to be a master at crafting out lyrics depicting the good life filled with exotic resorts, expensive cars, flashy jewelries, and of course, women, the beautiful kind.

Davido might not come across as a musician who really pays attention to his lyrics (something he’s been criticised for a many times) but on tracks like JOWO, HOLY GROUND, TANANA, SUNLIGHT, BIRTHDAY CAKE and FEM, we hear the singer, going all out to try to evade his minimalistic system when it comes to writing lyrics.

On songs like SOMETHING FISHY and HEAVEN, we see Davido mastering the art of recycling as he keeps repeating the chorus and verse over and over again till the songs fade. Talking about FADE, the 16th track on the album with fast rising act, Bella Shmurda gracing the song as the featured artiste, both he and Davido, sing about an “Omotena” whom they beckon to “break [her] waist” and “slow whine” her “figure 8” body nonstop as they claim their devotion to giving her their love with the song’s closing words: “If not for you I for fadeaway”.

On HOLY GROUND, Davido finally delivers his long-anticipated song with queen of rap, Nicki Minaj and arguably, she did spit one of the best verses on the entire album, if not the best, with the way she seamlessly swerves from singing to rapping back and forth as she delivers bars on how nasty she wants to get with and for her man, “Ayo, ‪I’m giving medals, I gotta give you the G / ‪I’m bouncing all on the D‬ / ‪I just had to give you the V‬ / ‪Hair blowing all in the wind ‬while we cruising, Penelope”, she raps.

On MEBE, the African music superstar taps one half of the legendary Ghanaian duo, R2Bees in Mugeez as they talk about a topic well familiar to them both – women – and the urge to want to rock their bodies “bam bam”.

Continuing on the theme of Davido’s definition of a better time which vastly involve women and sex and the urge to splurge on that desired lady is the song SHOPPING SPREE which marks the third collaboration between Davido and R&B star, second between him and Young Thug since “Pere”.

JOWO, the best written song on the entire album, in my opinion; Davido dedicates the entire song to his soon-to-be-married lover, Chioma as he says on the second verse: “It be like you be my destiny, nah / This kind of love ain’t no dey similar” and admits plenty girls want to be his lady, but his focus is on her only and what other confirmation do we need? Nothing, he pleads on the chorus: “Look into my eyes, will you be my wife, o baby jowo”. ‘Jowo’ is a Yoruba word meaning please in English.

Label mate, and music star, in his own right, Mayorkun appears on two songs on the album which are THE BEST and I GOT A FRIEND alongside South African musician, Sho Madjozi. On his Mayorkun’s first feature, he lauds Davido and praises him as he said: “You see I learnt from the best o (The best), Davido” and name drops one of the best music voices in the country, Wande Coal as he lauds him to be one of the best; on his first verse, he reinstates his loyalty and love to one of close friends, “Betty” as he said she’s also a loyal friend and will never disrespect him or his family, especially his mother.

On his second featured track, the 15th song on the album, he, Davido and South African star, Sho Madjozi should have put a disclaimer warning us to put on our dancing shoes as they groove to the beat name-dropping their friends, especially in their DMW clan, names like “Shegzy”, “Danku”, “ECool” are among a long list of close associates, Davido verbally mentions and as the song winds down, the singer made sure to pay tribute to his late friend “[DJ] Olu” and even honouring the late rapper, “Pop Smoke”. Sho delivered her verse in her dialect, the Tsonga dialect in her very usual energetic and vibrant manner over the Damn Fresh produced beat.

On what might have been a surprise feature, if Davido had not made it known via the artwork for the album, TANANA sees the two music superstars in Tiwa Savage and him on a track since her recently released album, “Celia”. They both deliver with well written verses and catchy tunes and melodies throughout the track.

The next track after that is LA LA, one of my favourites so far. Davido taps Chocolate City signed producer prowess in CKay as he did not fail to impress with the he laid out the chorus in a style reminiscent of Congolese legend and pioneer of the Soukous genre which CKay taps into to deliver his chorus on the song, even name-dropping the legend himself and the dance he helped create Makosa on the refrain of the song: “Dance to my makosa (Dance makosa eh) / Makosa yo / Selina lokosa (Eh a lokosa) / But I get the funds / Awilo Longomba (Eh ah Longomba”.

The next two features showcase two generations of rap as OBO puts Lil Baby and the Illmatic in person, Nas on track 13 and 14 respectively.

The closing song on the album takes us all the way to Kenya with legendary band, Sauti Sol bringing their expertise in songwriting and singing on the Lord Sky produced track ON MY WAY.

Some of the producer credit on the LP include: Fresh VDM, Speroach, Napji and Hit-Boy. Executive producer are Davido (himself), his father, Dr. Deji Adeleke and his son, Ifeanyi.

After releasing ABT, what’s next on the singer’s wishlist? We might not know all the details, but one thing is for sure, it’s party time in the DMW crew as he hasade known through his Twitter’s handle and quite amptly, he deserves it!

Entertainment

Davido and Nengi and RMD Faceoff for “Jowo” official music video

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Davido has released “Jowo”, track 2 on his 2020’s ‘A Better Time” album. “One time, tiri gbosa, for the two person wey born you” the song begins.

The video is shot by Dammy Twitch, a frequent videographer for Davido. He also shot “FEM” video. “Jowo” video potrays Nollywood legendary actor, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD for short) who plays the role of a mafia don trying to elimate two birds with one stone by pitching Davido’s and Nengi’s character against eachother.

Davido and Nengi in action for “Jowo” music video

The outcome was devastating for RMD’s character as both Nengi’s (the BBNaija Season 5 contestant) and Davdio’s characters both got wind of his plot against them and ended it by shooting a bullet to his skull.

“Jowo” is a love song, presumably dedicated to Davdio’s fianceé – Chioma – but no namedrops was involved, instead davido generalised the love theme by using other female names like “Amina”.

“Jowo” is co-produced by Magicboi and Napji. You can watch the video here: Jowo (official music video)

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Tiwa Savage and Ebro Darden Have a Conversation on the EndSars Protests and Music on “The Message”

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Nigeria’s music industry ‘first lady’, Tiwa Savage is the latest messager on Ebro’s hosted show – “The Message ”- an Apple Music Special and the third installment since its onset.

On this latest episode, Tiwa Savage covers much ground by speaking much about the current state of unrest and insurgency in the country which eventually led to the highlight EndSars protests.

Tiwa Savage on “The Message” hosted by Ebro Darden.

Asked on why she chose to be very much involved in the protests, she made known to Ebro saying – music is her way of expressing things, especially topical issues which she might not have the courage to speak on publicly on a day-to-day basis but seeing young ones marching and fighting for their freedom was enough inspiration to hop on the trend and also join physical peaceful protest – revealing she still tries to deal with her timid nature by adding her voice to the youths call for change regarding police brutality, killings, bad governance and all sorts of injustice faced by Nigerians.

She mentioned she chose to join the campaign against injustice not just because she has a platform with a wide range of audience also because the current state of the country affects everyone, both rich and poor, be it – bad governance, police brutality, bad health sector, bad education, poor electricity (or “light” as she puts it).

Tiwa also revealed the motive behind her song “Ole” (thief in Yoruba) which features Naira Marley, a song tackling the government’s way of handling funds and their ingrained habit of diverting public money for their personal usage. She said the song was recorded in January of this year, not even during the protests season. “Ole” was released October 30 with the video dedicated to those who lost their lives during the EndSars protests especially the Lekki massacre. She says that just goes to prove how bad the system (Nigeria’s) has been, even since the days of our grandparents.

Ebro discussed with her on the inspiration behind her 2019 song – “49-99” – which she revealed the slang (49-99) was coined by late Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti to denote the corrupt state of Nigeria’s political system. She said the number slang “49-99” represent a long vehicle or bus which under normal circumstances should occupy just 49 (or a standard specified number of) passengers but due to transporters wanting to get more money through a cheaper means, they overload the buses/trains, more than the seats can allow, leaving people hanging by the iron/metal railings attached to the roof of such vehicles; some even hang ontop (like in the case of trains) or behind the vehicles.

She revealed “49-99” is a song that challenges the government’s insatiable desires to always want more than they earn or are given.

On releasing new music and her next album, she stated she is not studio-monger as she took a break from recording after the release of “Celia” but stated she has begun writing but no recording has been done yet. Tiwa tells Ebro her next album will be more topical as she will choose to discuss more engraving subjects instead of the usual party themed and ‘feel good’ music (which will be on it but not as much).

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New Music Friday: Flavour, Mayorkun, Rema, Falz, Odunsi (The Engine) and more

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Friday, the unofficially official day for new music release and once more we have been treated to a variety of new music – singles and albums – from our favorite Nigerian musicians who endeavour to cut across genre to bring soothing relief and sounds to our ears.

Here is a quick round-up of the newest songs released this Friday – December 4:

• Rema – “Peace of Mind” (single)


• Mayorkun – “Your Body” (single)

• Flavour – “Flavour of Africa” (album)

• Falz featuring Niniola – “Squander” (single)

• Mr Eazi x J Balvin – “Lento” (single)

• Buju – “So Lovely” (single)

• DJ Tunez x Olamide – “Require” (single)

Stonebwoy featuring Davido – “Activate” (single)

DJ Xclusive featuring Young John & Asake – “Gegeti” (single)

Niyola – “Olúmorántí (single)

Odunsi (The Engine) – “Fuji 5000” (single)

These are just some of the songs released this week’s Friday. Friday for sure is a time and day for new music. Good sound to our ears.

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