Archive for the CD Reviews Category

Enter the KoKo (Pt. 1): No Long Thing.

Posted in CD Reviews, Gbedu with tags , , on May 3, 2009 by Naijaman

No long thing











I first heard of D’Banj in the spring of 2006 during my first trip back to Naija in almost 10 years. My dads driver noticed my general interest in Naija jams and asked if I had heard of D’Banj. I said no and he promptly inserted a copy of D’Banj’s debut album, No Long Thing. A quick scan and I could immediately tell that this was something different and original. The skits also cracked me up and I promptly bought a copy somewhere in Lagos traffic.

 The Intro skit features D’Banj trying out different genres of music; R&B, Rap, jungle/garage and Don Jazzy telling him “I don tell you say your voice no coagulate with this kind music…”.

Tongolo introduces the very element and originality of D’Banj as yarns us “De Koko” and shares his magic/secret word for catching babes with us. Very catchy beat and chorus, guaranteed to keep you bopping. We also hear “No Long Ting” for the first time in this song. He also shows his versatility in the tight Yoruba verses he drops to emphasize the power of the magic.

Mo wa talented… Yes mo wa gifted!

Seri kini mi? Oma gbe e lifted.

Seri hips e? Maa file shifted.

Igo oju e? maa file tinted.

Boyfriend e gan, o wa evicted.

Se o mo pe D’Banj is addicted?

T’eba sope no, ma wa persistent.

Mo ni iyawo nile, don’t get it twisted.

In Socor, he brings a new style of dance with a nice mellow and inspiring flow to go with it. The Ph.D holder in Womanology teaches us the importance of knowing how to do the socor rather than just going to a club to pose and dance rubbish. I don’t know how I missed the “J’un kan”, “Le mo” and “Te nkan” movement! There needs to be a remix/part II of this song man! Let me get my Socor on! If none of this is making sense to you, check out the video here

In case you missed it, D’Banj actually plays the harmonica quite well and it shows through in the next couple of songs on the album. I thought the Pastor skit was hilarious! In All the way, D’banj talks about his commitment to music despite being pulled in a different direction by his parents and mentors. “I try, try, try.. book no enter my head, So I come start this music”.

Iya Mi is a beautiful rendition to his parents. Sung primarily in Yoruba with a nice and rich “Yoruba” beat to it, he also uses this as a tribute to all the mothers that have made a difference to him. I thought that was a really cool song.

In Mr Olopa sings about Naija police brutality as he pleads with the police to let him go after some heavy brushing. An okay song overall but I agree with Don Jazzy, your voice no coagulate with that kind song! Leave am, I beg. Lol!

Mobolowowon comes after a skit that sounds like a bunch of Witches in a Naija movie scheming to run him down. In Ika O Da, he sings against acts of wickedness and selfishness.

Ask me is one of my favorite songs on the album. In very correct Afrobeat style, D’Banj sings about Suzie; An efizy loving, allegedly independent omoge who is all about what she can get from him. He calls her up to see if they can “fire” and she starts to yarn…

Suzie: D’banj, I wan buy moto…

D’Banj: Se baba e ti fun mi lowo moto ni?

Suzie: D’banj, I wan buy Gucci…

D’Banj: See your mouth like Gucci o!

Suzie: D’banj, I wan buy Prada, I say I wan wear Burberry, se you go make my life betta?

D’Banj: Make you no ask me wetin I go do for you. Wetin you go do for me wey go make my body stand well, well!

The album closes with Na Lie which is a wake up call to all the liars and woman beaters out there.

Overall, I would rate this album 5 Opekes! If I had to classify D’Banj’s music, I would call it Nu-Afrobeat. He takes the popular combination of “Yoruba music” fused with percussion and vocal styles and makes it his own by bringing that D’Banj truth, attitude and his harmonica. He also sings in English, Yoruba and broken (English) in his open embrace to all Naijas. Props to D’Banj & Don Jazzy for their originality and for bringing us a new style and standard in Naija music!

Album Details:

Label: Mo Hits Records

Producer: Don Jazzy, D’Banj

Running Time: 42:56

Released: 2005

 Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Tongolo
  3. Socor
  4. Pastor (Skit)
  5. All the Way
  6. Iya Mi
  7. Mr. Olopa
  8. Witches (Skit)
  9. Mobolowowon
  10. Ika O Da
  11. Ask Me” ft. Kween
  12. Na Lie ft. Nova & Raga Remi

Ayo – Joyful

Posted in CD Reviews with tags , on March 30, 2008 by Naijaman


Her name is Ayo (Joy), her style is “AfroAcousticReggaeSoul”, her flow is mellow and her message is Love.

I first heard “Down on my knees” in the spring of ’06 and probably didn’t pay as much attention to it as I should have. Ayo sings of a love so deep and unconditional I can’t even start to comprehend. As I listened to the song, I kept wondering… Why is she begging and crying for this bobo like this? Down on my knees ke? I guess love really is stronger than pride and I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to suck it up, face Lagos, get down on my knees and beg. (If y’all are looking for a more objective CD review, there is a correct one on J).

Without you” gives me yet another reason to be proud to be a Naijaman. Ayo offers a sincere appreciation for her father’s influence on her life and how he was always there for them while they dealt with her mother’s struggle with drug addiction which she sings about in “How many times”.

And it’s supposed to be love” picks up the pace with a pleasant and familiar air that I just can’t seem to put my finger on. “Watching you“, “Only you” and “Neva Been”, brings us some more of that ‘I go die’ love.

From the feel good, airy vibe of “Help is coming” to “These days” (one of my favorite songs on the album), she sings a message of hope. The catchy “Life is real” comes to you straight from the back of an okada on the streets of Lagos. I tell you, it doesn’t get any realer than that!

As she wraps it up, Ayo asks “What is love?” Well, pop in the “Joyful” CD on a lovely Sunday evening like I did and you will surely find the answer.

Four joyful stars for this one!

Click HERE for the Joyful CD.

April 15th, 2008 Update:

I was fortunate enough to see Ayo perform last night at Hiro in New York and if she was a stock, I’d put all my money in her right now! The joyful CD does absolutely no justice to her capabilities. I recommend you to go see her live whenever you get a chance. You’ll be blown away. I’m looking forward to the new album and will feature it here once I get my hands on it. I’m predicting a 5 Star sophomore album. She’s going to be huge y’all! HUGE!

Dozie – Redemption

Posted in CD Reviews, Omoge on March 28, 2008 by Naijaman


Aaaaahh… Excuse me dance…
You just dey fine, dey kack
Ah ah!, Madam, which one now?
Ehn? Ah, no o! Make we just commot here, go one corner
You know say you fine pass. That is, eh…
No, noo.. I just wan yarn you small…
Make you and me dey make music, shey you get?
I beg, let us get down
You no be woman? You wan be lady?
Problem no dey, now…
Wetin be your name self? 

Magdalena (Track #10)

After hearing Dozie engage Magda in broken English, I quickly realized that I had to brush up on my toasting skills and quickly ordered the CD. (I might be an Ibadan boy but I love me some Igbo babes!).

The album kicks off with “Uwa Ke(dis life self!) which reminds us about the ups and downs of this thing we call love. “You know it’s just a game that we’ve got to play… ‘Cause it’s all just part of life”. This jam is so tight that for a long time, I never even made it to track 2, “Gabriels Lounge” which is song about losing those we love to the afterlife and the ensuing feelings.

Before the documentaries, before Kanye, before the movie, the Naija “Soldier” tells the sad story of what we now know as Blood/Conflict Diamonds. “I got the knife. Long Sleeve or short sleeve? I guarantee you won’t have no hands to fight us back”.


This is a Public Service Announcement to all the omoges out there:

If “Sensuality” starts playing and na only me and you dey, you better RUN if you are not ready to be a superstar. That song is not for small children! ‘Nuff Said!


In “Onwu Obi”, (death of the heart) he sings about how yesterdays love becomes today’s pain in a way that almost makes you crave the heartache. “Redemption”, the title track, is one that you need to listen to whenever you get tired of the struggles of love and live… “We’ve gotta keep on keeping on!”


From his voice to the musical arrangement to the unobtrusive infusion with broken English, Igbo and various Nigerian musical instruments, I am totally incapable of even starting to describe Dozie’s road to Redemption. It is a musical adventure with unexpected twist and turns that just continue to exceed any expectation you could possibly have. You’re just going to have to experience this one yourself!


Redemption” has held down slot #1 in my Car CD changer since the day I bought it back in ’06. This is a CD that you have to listen to in three dimensions: One for the music, one for the lyrics and one for “the two both of them” together (if you dare!).


5 Shekeres seems insufficient for this one but that’s as bad as it gets!


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Sasha: Naijas female MVP… Better Recognize!

Posted in CD Reviews with tags , , , on March 9, 2008 by Naijaman


I settled into work this morning and put on my headphones trying to catch up on the latest Naija jams. Who is this Sasha self? I remember her name from some collabos with trybesmen a few years ago and one other song. From the moment I hit play I knew I was in for something. The intro had me sit up straight in my chair! This madam isn’t playing o! Every now and then, I would forget myself and start bouncing around in my chair. (I can’t afford to be jammin’ like this at work with all this subprime mess going on!). 

Ti Da Mo (recognize) jumps at you with that “if you don’t know, better ask somebody” confidence. Guaranteed to keep you popping. A must have for my Naija party compilation CD; it has the makings of the classic party jam and I’m calling it! De Roof… De Roof! Ahaa Ahaaa…  Ohoo Ohooo! Where are my boys? Where’s my whistle?? (Damn, I miss Ibadan!).  

A tear rolled down my eye as I listened to Baba mi (My Father) , a Yoruba acoustic rap rendition. One listen and I quickly realized this wasn’t just a song. I immediately called my dad in Naija. “I just wanted to hear your voice, dad”.  

Asa, the new Naija musical sensation introduces yet another flavor as she reinforces Sasha’s flow on Let Me Go. Only One? It’s T-pain, it’s Eve… no it’s Sasha. E wa ba mi jo (Come dance with me) brings some well appreciated Jaara to round up the musical journey. 

This CD has something for everybody. I’m not quite the rap connoisseur but I know a good album when I hear one. Sasha is a true story teller, poet and lyricist. Her message is sincere, positive, thought provoking and memorable. To echo her words, this is feel good music with a lesson. She seduces you with her wordplay and locks you in with her message… She made me laugh, smile, think and even cry.  

Sasha, thanks for that complete musical experience, It was certainly worth the wait. 5 Akaras for this one o!

Asa – The Captivator

Posted in CD Reviews with tags on March 9, 2008 by Naijaman


A first glance taunted a comparison with Tracy Chapman. However, once I got over the dreadlocks and the guitar and got into the groove, I quickly realized that there was something far deeper in the soul searching vibes, something far more cultural than the fact that she sings in Yoruba.

As I started to get comfortable with her flow, I made a second attempt to define Asa… Songs like  Soul (featuring silver saddih), Fire On the Mountain, No One Knows, Burn, Jailer and even Eyin Mummy threw me off completely. I found myself right back at square one, left with nothing but respect and admiration at the sheer depth and breadth of her musical expression.

In a kinda bluesy, Jazzy, finger snapping way, Ilu (Nation) challenges our leaders and asks them what they have done with our great country. She reminds us of a time when the Naira was stronger than the dollar, of a time when police checkpoints were unheard of. “Dollar je Naira lowo… Ko si wetin you carry”. – Fela would be proud!

I had to remind myself to breathe while listening to Eye Adaba (Birds in the sky). Her rendition in English of the same exact song was a fresh experience that was just as amazing as the original. (I wan craze!). Mama (mother)/So Beautiful, a slow dance in honor of her mother highlights the sacrifice, selflessness and pricelessness of motherhood. I think I now have enough songs for my “Sweet Mother” mixtape. MAJOR brownie points coming my way on mother’s day! Iba (praise) brings it back to earth by giving thanks & praise to Heaven for all the things we tend to take for granted.

I’m not sure if it’s the sincerity in Bibanke (When I cry), the high from soaring with the birds, the rain outside or the vodka inside but um… Asa… will you marry me?

Asa has seriously raised the bar and set the standard in the “Yoruba Acoustic Soul” category.

Could I have some ogi to accompany these 5 Akaras please!?

This CD is available HERE.