01 Apr The Listening Sessions: Episode 9
Super sad to announce that the Listening Sessions will be taking a short break after episode 10. We’ve had a great run of dope new music and have created playlists of our fave so far. A playlist of our favourite songs from across the board will be dropped shortly after Episode 10!
1. EY mAmA – DV’k (prod. by Kiienka)
DZ: This song is so good. I love the bounce so much, his cadence is effortless. The only thing that seems to be the problem with these upcoming artists is the engineering, I could barely hear him in some places. All in all, it’s a jam and that artwork 👌🏾
ST: I liked this one. It had a nice flow, dope bounce to it. Mixing was POOR but besides that, I really enjoyed it.
DV: His voice doesn’t really stand out, the production carries him a lot. It’s a catchy, if generic, beat, which will definitely have listeners moving their body. The lyrics themselves aren’t all that, they are the run of the mill, the singer tries to chat to a girl lyrics, and don’t really leave much of an impression. That said I think it could be one of those songs that grow on you due to the beat, I could definitely see myself bopping to this whilst hanging out with friends.
IR: The artwork really stood out well to me. I think the song is good too, but the bad vocal mix robs it unnecessarily.
T: The beat for me is the best part of this song. I guess because of that I expected a lot more from the artist but I can definitely jam this song outside of this conversation.
Y: This. Beat. Has. BOUNCE. Jeeez 💃🏽beyond the beat I guess it’s alright. The artists have a smooth delivery. The lyrical content is serviceable for this kind of song. Engineering is the shortfall of the song but it’s not horrid. I’m gonna keep vibing to this one for sure.
2. Fantasy – Malyna (Prod. By SteineBEATs)
T: I mean yeah, she can sing, but it doesn’t stand out to me. I think it’s important that if she’s got some sort of storyline like this, then it should really be clear in the sound, this doesn’t say “Malyna the Wild City Girl”, I definitely got bored of it.
DV: It’s an interesting riff of ‘Work’, her voice doesn’t seem to be mixed well/don’t really think it fits well with the beat. I think the song gets better as it goes on, the beginning felt weak but there is more certainty in her singing towards the middle, I started enjoying it more then. Her vocal performance doesn’t leave much of an impression, but that said it’s a song I could see myself partying to, but, that could be because it reminds me a lot of Work.
ST: There was nothing really special about this to me. It felt like a song I’ve heard plenty of times from both male and female artists alike and she did nothing to elevate it or add something new to it.
Y: This strikes me as a drugstore version of Eva Alordiah’s “Lights Out” (check the song out if you haven’t heard it), I like the idea but I feel like it doesn’t sound unique like she didn’t own it. It’s not a bad song though, I like how it develops, the singing is quite nice and the lyrics are effective.
Side note: I listened to some of the others and I can see the alter ego; she goes for a softer Yoruba-heavy Afrocentric sound…I’d say she sounds a bit more comfortable as Ajoke.
DZ: When I listen to female Nigerian artists I like to judge them on originality and this babe didn’t cut it for me, she sounds like every other female doing mainstream music in naij. The song is actually a jam but I would have thought this was Seyi Shay or someone had I not seen the track title. Dope artwork too.
IR: There was nothing really special about this to me. It felt like a song I’ve heard plenty of times from both male and female artists alike and she did nothing to elevate it or add something new to it.
3. Green Light – Mylo Hebron (Prod. by Wenger)
T: I don’t like this, but there is a crowd for this, it’s just not for me.
Y: I like the concept of the song. I feel like, the beat doesn’t work for it like I can totally hear this working with a different beat under it. Also, quite a clear mix… so props on that.
DV; Interesting beat, easy-going singing style draws you in, but his lyrics don’t seem to go with the beat, somewhat distracts from it. This song doesn’t leave much of an impression, it was okay to listen to, but, once it ended I didn’t feel compelled to play it again.
4. Black Rose – David Ibeh (Prod. by False Ego)
DZ: Hmmm. I will give him props for songwriting and the song structure, he drew me in. But he had basic bars and (sigh) “ELOQUENCE” it threw me off at the start. But I actually like this, might give it a couple listens. Artwork is nice.
T: Okay I saw the artwork and I already preconceived the sound I expected from this (very soulection-style chill-hop), and I got what I asked for from the beat definitely. I loved the intro, I loved the rap in many bits (although some issues with his flow in places). The female vocals tied this up for me. I love this tbh, unashamedly love this.
DV: The featured female artist absolutely steals the show singing the chorus, her voice got me into the song, I felt like I was dream walking listen to his first verse, but her voice drew me in. Wish we had more of her on it. The second verse from Davide was better, he exuded more confidence, there was more conviction in how he attacked the beat. The song grew on me as I listened, and won me over at the end. I definitely want to listen to my music by the female artist and I’m intrigued to hear more of the rapper.
IR: Love the whole structure of the song. The confident rapping over the dreamy beat is a contrast I fw. The featured artiste also adds a nice touch. Overall lyrics are very decent too. Good effort
Y: Absolutely drawn in by the way this started. I like the beat (snare was a bit harsh for me but eh, nitpicking)… don’t even think the eloquence is that bad, just sounds like the accent is a bit too intentional if that makes sense. The writing is beautiful and the hook with the female vocalist.😍 Rainy day playlist for sure. Lovely effort. I wanna know who the singer is 😭
ST: ELOQUENCE O! But it wasn’t that bad overall, the start was mad shaky but it was pretty smooth. His rap skills need tightening up but yeah it’s a dope one. Loved the female vocals!
5. Love Talk – Cyprian Alakija
DZ: Not feeling it. Quoting T “there is a crowd for this, it’s just not for me”. I’m not in a position to judge this fairly. The artwork is a nice touch though.
AP: In the words of Charlamagne, that ain’t it.
DV: Boring and formulaic, his voice is mediocre and leaves no impression. You know the saying if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything? Yeah that’s me with this song.
6. Take Flight – Dwin, The Stoic (ft. BarelyAnyHook & Paybac)
DV: Impressive flow, but the pacing was somewhat off, love the energy in the song though. .Dwin’s voice on the chorus was strong and his verse was impressive, he was the best thing about the song. I didn’t really notice Paybac and Barelyanyhook on the song if I’m being honest.
IR: Love the transitions within the song. Not really drawn to the lyrics as much as I am with the beat.
Y: It sounds so very different and interesting. I feel like the beat wasn’t balanced?! I don’t know how to word what I can hear… it doesn’t sit well behind the vocals.. almost like I’m listening to it through someone’s radio. Everything that is performed is beautiful though, the verses are on point, the vocals are clear and the hook is nice. It’s just, something about this beat is … off? Like a hung painting that isn’t particularly straight and it’s irking me.
ST: This is a pretty sick listen. The singing was unique/cool, rappers came in and dropped fire. Didn’t really get the hook of the song but, it was still nice to listen to.
DZ: This song had so much potential, there was just so much going on in it that I couldn’t fully appreciate it. Can’t say for sure if this is actually a good song. Also, I got mad love for BarelyAnyHook but I wish he’d value his features more. The artwork is nice.
T: Okay so there’s something noisy about this beat, I can’t get over that sound but compared to the other music I’ve heard from Dwin, I absolutely love this one, it’s different and it actually works. BAH and Paybac, came in to kill their verses but Paybac took my ticket on this, and the art is cute. I also agree, there’s a lot going on and it will take me a few more listens to fully take in each part.
7. AL Right – Brapurple ft Hitz Magik
T: Ghana! God, I love their accents and the storytelling in their songs, but…the only thing I like about this song is Brapurple’s flow, not the content, not really the beat, not even the art.
Y: If this guy can get better with his lyrics, and really get that bounce, he could really be on to something. He has the accent and the ease of the flow, it’s just not banging yet. Practice makes perfect sha and I can definitely hear some potential
DV: Don’t really know how I feel about this song, it didn’t excite nor disappoint me, it just passed through my ears without leaving much of an impression. The two artists on it had great chemistry and played off each other really well though, that’s the best thing I can say about it really.
8. Daylight – Lanray Ft Jkae (Prod By ThaBeatsmith)
Y: The intro had me lost in its world lol. Funny thing is, I kinda liked the way the knocking kick entered, I just expected it to give way to something with more bass behind it, it did become very distracting. Apart from that, the beat is sweet and I really like this. It’s easy listening. Love the hook, the daylight and the vocal chops. Beauty. That knocking kick, upends the whole thing.
IR: The song gets interesting towards the end and that’s about it for me.
T: I really like the chorus, best part of the whole song. I wish the rappers came harder on this beat, a whole lotta repetition, makes it seem like the artist is not very confident in his sound. Props to the producer, but the knocking sound was a bit overdone/overused for me. I’m trying to figure out if he created the artwork himself – I love the concept of it, I can see a more finessed version in my mind, but mad props if he created that concept himself, he should consider graphic design.
DZ: This is nice. I like the beat and the chorus. The rapper sounds a bit like Logic and his bars didn’t leave an impression.
DV: The beginning of the song was very smooth, Jkae’s vocals drew me in, it mixed really well with the beat. I didn’t really feel the rap as much, some of the lines were cliché and didn’t have an impact. For a song about love and feelings for his girl, I felt like Lanray failed to pass on his feelings in any impactful manner. The switch up on the beat at the end wasn’t needed.
ST: This song was alright. I wasn’t mad at it, it was pretty cool but it’s not something that you’ll hear and be like wow this is amazing.
9. SNACK! – Osayuki (Prod. Yung Flavs)
DZ: This Osayuki guy always has something for us. This track is not it, to be honest, he’s never really impressed me. Safe to say I’m not looking forward to his EP.
T: Osayuki is easily becoming one of my favourite finds through these sessions. It’s just tooooo short, I want more, kinda how I feel after a snack (a concept). I’m a fan, love this, love the guy. He reminds me of slump god and cole bennet’s gang, I would love to creative direct videos for him!
Y: Still warming up to this guy. I like the concept, the snack leading up to the EP. Way too much distortion on the 808 for me, muddies up the mix. I feel like he sounds like he’s rapping hard but I can’t really hear much. His Adlibs (hardlips lmao) are fire though “whaaa?”.. I really like it lol
ST: Flames! It’s just too short.
IR: I feel like he’s saying something with this but I’m just not really getting it.
DV: The intro was too long, for a song that is 1:30 minutes long wasting 30 seconds is just poor, better to make it shorter than waste that time. His flow was smooth, but I don’t think he hit all his bars effectively, but the way he ending it hinting at his EP was clever though, definitely got me interested in it.
10. 90’$ Baby – sad-IQ (Ft. Magic)
DZ: Man I’m a sucker for Lo-Fi Hip Hop beats, that’s the only thing that grabbed my attention in the first verse. The 2nd rapper really came for it though, I thoroughly enjoyed his verse. Fire track but the 1st rapper ruined it.
Y: This beat is majestic. Beautiful. Lovely. Smooth. Baileys on vanilla ice cream. The first guy is decent -not bad, not amazing. I wouldn’t switch away but I wouldn’t beg for it. The second guy though – the flow, the voice, the lyrics, everything was on point. Saved the best for last I guess.
ST: The first guy was Joey Badyansh but the second guy was on POINT!
T: I was so close to pausing this from the jump cause I wasn’t going to listen to this guy ruin such a smooth beat but the second guy came through a dope flow and bars, I enjoyed his verse so much, had to listen twice.
IR: The second guy came with the fire. He really did justice to the beat.
DV: This is perhaps the best song out of all I’ve listened to in the session. The beat sets the tempo perfectly and lets the listeners know they’re about to have a good, calm time. It’s laid back, something you can kick back and just vibe. This allows the rappers to strut their stuff, and boy do they do that. sad-IQ effortlessly kills it, he doesn’t break a sweat while doing so. His line, “I grow bars for days, but Nigerian want to dance not listen. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it”, stands out for me, it just shows sad-IQ has amazing wit and coolness. Magic goes hard as well and perhaps seems most at ease with the beat than sad-IQ. It’s a song that had me hitting the replay button.