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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Davido – ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ [Album review]: Money can solve everything except perfection

Album- Omo Baba Olowo- The Genesis
Artiste- Davido
Producers- Shizzi, Jay Sleek, Maleek Berry, Gospel, Spellz, Dokta Frabz, Davido and Theory Soundz
Features- Naeto C, B-Red, Sina Rambo, May D, 2Face Idibia, Kay Switch and Ice Prince
Label- HKN Music (2012)
It has just been a little over a year since Davido released ‘Back When’ featuring Naeto C, his debut single.
The 19-year-old, thanks to his cameo on Sinzu’s ‘Carolina’, his smash hit ‘Dami Duro’ and big-budget videos, has risen to the top faster than any Nigerian artiste before him.
O.B.O is what you will expect from a teenager who has suddenly found fame and (more) money. It is a celebratory album. Money, girls, balling and fame are the four themes that make up Davido’s debut. Thanks to Davido’s cheque book, some of the biggest beat makers in Nigeria (Shizzi, Jay Sleek, Maleek Berry, Gospel, Spellz, Dokta Frabz, and Theory Soundz) were enlisted to craft his eagerly anticipated album.

This young baller is clearly aware of the fake friends around him because of his wealth which he addresses on ‘Dollars in the Bank’ featuring Kay Switch – ‘I’ve got a couple of million dollars in the bank/and now they want to be my friend/and now they want to have my time/and now they want to spend my money’.
On ‘Video’, Davido’s swag is on point as he charms a fan into shooting an adult film with him. ‘She says she wanna to play me on her stereo/I turn the lights down, let’s make a video/she says she wanna ride me like a rodeo’ he sings on the hook. It seems Davido has a thing for bad girls (Sonia La Bomb?).
Mary Jane’ shows his predilection for the type of girls that burst his membrane, but in the presence of an elder, Davido tones it down. 2Face appears on ‘For You’, and on this song, he tells the love of his life they are ‘like Will and Jada’. 2’s verse isn’t stellar, but an average verse from him on this song balances everything.
On this album, Davido claims he represents the new school. ‘New Skul’ featuring B-Red and Sina Rambo doesn’t offer anything that will make us believe that Davido and his HKN brethren are about to usher in a new musical sound or philosophy. With a heavy reliance on beats and no attempt at deep lyrics (‘I’m not a small boy-kekere/I no dey craze like Denrele’) they continue the trend made popular by Terry G when he dropped ‘Free Madness Part 2’.
Shizzi proves what he did on ‘Dami Duro’ wasn’t a one-off, as he replicates his magic on ‘Gbon Gbon’- the obligatory cut dedicated to rump shaking. It doesn’t have the laser-like sound of ‘Dami Duro’ but uses drums that induce booty shaking.
Davido is an ambitious boy. Ambition is good but it can also be bad especially when you don’t have what it takes. On ‘Sade’, David Adeleke actually tries to sing, and while it’s a good attempt, it would have been better if he actually had the voice to carry it.
No Visa’ featuring his HKN comrade Sina Rambo is a merger between Euro-Pop and Azonto groove. Just like on ‘Dami Duro’, Davido uses his ‘na na na na na na na na na’ chant to fill up bars where he thinks words are unnecessary. The song is still successful even with Sina Rambo’s poor delivery and elementary rhymes ‘familiarity swag- they don’t know me/I’m like a hot plate, they can’t hold me’.
All of You’ reveals a cocky Davido, who sees himself as a victim of unfair criticism. With all the perceived attacks on him he ends up claiming ‘I’m bigger than all of you’. He might come off as arrogant on this track but it’s a very good song, one of the best on the album, and gives us a glimpse into Davido’s mind.
On ‘Feel Alright’ featuring Ice Prince – a song about the ups and downs of a relationship and weed – Davido sings again. Fortunately Dokta Frabz’ orchestrations help to cover his shortcomings. ‘Feel Alright’ is a laid back quality track, in stark contrast with most of Davido’s frenetic songs.
Davido delivers on what he knows about – money, fame (the highs and the lows), balling, and women. He has a beautiful cast of producers but they fail to cover his up his failings as an artiste – his songwriting skills could be better and his voice could be better groomed 
Having said that, O.B.O is a satisfactory album from a 19 year old boy who succumbs to the thinking of most teenagers - money can solve anything.

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