[Album Review] Rema – Rave and Roses (8/10) - BeatAfrika
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[Album Review] Rema – Rave and Roses (8/10)



[Album Review] Rema – Rave and Roses (8/10) 3

REVIEW; Rema’s On a Path to Global Domination With His Debut Album, Rave & Roses.

He brings unprecedented originality to Afrofuturism with his unique sonic abilities and outstanding adlibs. His commitment to accentuating the sonic boundaries of Afrobeats & Highlife from this part of the world with one more global appeal element is undeniably genius.

In late 2019, when Rema burst into the scene with his monster hit song Dumebi, and went viral with his streak of car trap freestyles, it became clear that Afrobeats was headed in a new direction; with the genre absorbing so much more elements that it was getting as universal as it could ever be.

His sound was familiar, yet different and his unique use of adlibs made him sound quite similar to Wizkid who was already a huge success at the time. But the one who deserves the true credits for moulding the Rema brand into a force to reckon with, blending his trap abilities with the genius of slanging, highlife, call and response is D’Prince and his elder brother/label investor Don Jazzy.

For a lot of people, D’Prince was way ahead of his time during the Mo-hits era, his music was powered by calculated productions and street slanging, and a lot of that had been inculcated into the Rema brand.

Rema’s goal has been clear from the jump, and his sonic coherence on his debut project shouldn’t come off as surprising, especially since it’s taken so long to work on this full length project.


[Album Review] Rema – Rave and Roses (8/10) 4


Divine is the first track and intro on the Rave & Roses album. On this track, Rema chooses to spotlight the circumstances surrounding his birth, and first name; Divine.

Divine is a very powerful track that explores the journey of one of Africa’s youngest music exports right from when he was still in the womb up till right now. It is quite clear that the young man chose music from heaven, and his ability to expand his sonic palette makes you wonder if he wrote the Divine track while he was still in the womb.

He faces any direct or indirect attacks at his destiny both within and outside the industry. Warning his enemies of the dire consequences of crossing him. He also faces the pain of losing his father and elder sibling, declaring all these as the culmination of his destiny; a truly Divine one.


Hold Me is the second track on the Rave & Roses project, a powerful feature with 6lack that draws its inspiration from a fusion of Afrobeats and Trap-based symphonies to accommodate 6lack. It’s a feature that’s sampled throughout the entire album.

Just like many other Rema tracks, this song equally spotlights his affectionate moments with a special lady. When 6lack jumps in with his verse, we can feel the beat changing into its trap components and quite reminds you of a similar stunt pulled by Drake & Travis Scott on their monster hit collaboration.

Rema is very elite with his lyricism, punctuating it with the right adlibs and ensuring that his melodies do not hit you as Afropop should.

Oh baby hold me o baby hold me
Na you dey cool me down baby hold me…

His confident delivery stems from his confidence in the results of his hard work in crafting and perfecting his Afro rave subgenre while working on this project.


By the time the third track DIRTY comes on, you’re already wondering if Mr Divine made a commitment to drop only the most sensual records, but the uniqueness of his sound takes you on a journey that transcends beyond ordinary human capacities.

Dirty is a dope record, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it do mad numbers on streaming platforms when the official video drops.


Although we’ve all listened to Rema’s first single off the album over and over, the projects introduces it in a new light.

On first listen, Calm Down sounds like a rip off of Wizkid’s MIL sound, but on subsequent plays, you’ll find out that although the sounds may seem quite similar, their flows are indeed different and both artists move in totally different directions with Rema leaning more towards an upgraded version of Mo-Hits era D’Prince.
It’s a bold track that makes use of a monotone sound, allowing Rema to flex his song writing skills as well as his melody crafting expertise.

TIME n ATTENTION feat Chris Brown

The two times Chris Brown tried to make an inroad into Afrobeats with Davido & Wizkid, it wasn’t based on some identified chemistry, it was simply a play for wider listenership and viewership. He sounds dope, but not much of anything else, than projects meant to help build brand equity both ways.

However, on TIME n ATTENTION, the chemistry is quite obvious. Rema’s ability to blend his renditions with more than just the heavy percussion & call and response which are the main cruxes of Afrobeats. He takes it one notch farther, showing how much of Western influence his personally crafted sub-genre can take.

With Rema & Chris? Everything is just perfectly blended and their vocals compliment each other quite well.


Jo is a decent track, but most definitely a freestyle that should have been left off the album. On this track it’s not clear what Rema’s really trying to communicate with her, but it all ends up in a chant to dance and a declaration of undying love.

The melody is great, and it’s suited for the local market, but it just doesn’t fit into the theme of the project and therefore sticks out like a sore thumb.

Like every other record on the project, JO fits in but you can see that it’s simply decent compared to the other outstanding tracks on the album. The name calling makes it sound familiar, but only because Rema uses this frequently on his songs not cause of anything special about the song in particular.


One of the things Rema gets huge credits for on his debut project Raves & Roses is the smooth production and very clean mixing and mastering on the songs, with Andre Vibes doing exceptional work on Mara. Although a huge proportion of the project is spent on varying levels of romantic conversations and communication between lovers or prospective lovers.

On Mara, Rema leans deeply into his Afro-rave sub genre to produce the perfect blend of Afro life. He keeps the lyrics as simple as possible, but the message is clear and resounding. “Baby, I no go leave you!


On Love, Divine Ikubor returns to his love and affection for women and decides to express profound love to a mystery lady who’s deserving of all the love he’s got to give.

This one Na love nwantiti …”, works well as a dope hook on this track as obvious as it might seem like it could have been inspired by Ckay’s 2021 surprise global smash hit, it’s still an incredible record and Rema can do no wrong while professing his love over and over again.


Addicted is undoubtedly the best record on the album. A properly laid down trap beat with outstanding vocals that’ll give Post Malone & Travis Scott a run for their money.

This track chronicles his addiction to the lifestyle of a rockstar, especially with the fact that he’s in love with a junkie. Although his friends try to caution him, he throws it all to the wind and he just leaves his life on his own terms.

He moves on to equally send words of caution to his girl, contemplating how to get out of the entire situation.


When Rema interjects his tracks with his tag-phrase “another banger”, be prepared for a mind-blowing song that will take you straight to the moon.

Are you there is the first and only socially conscious song on the project, on this track, Divine touches on different ills affecting the society and still manages to keep the melody perfectly intact.

He gives a dancehall-based performance that blows you out of the water, but still rooted in the basic sonic tenets guiding each song on the project.

FYN feat. AJ Tracey

Fresh Young Nigga (FYN) is a collaboration with British rapper AJ Tracey where Rema takes a deep dive into his current societal status and the wealth and lifestyle that comes with being fly like he his at the moment.

AJ Tracey does justice to the track with his medium-paced verse while Rema does justice to the song with his futuristic sound. FYN was the last single dropped in anticipation of the album and it’s currently doing massive numbers across all streaming platforms.


Oroma Baby is another typical Rema track, pairing his unique vocals with hybrid highlife sounds is a beauty to watch.

The call and response in OROMA Baby is executed perfectly, and it’s guaranteed to be a huge banger in Nigerian clubs now that nightlife is back and the pace of Nigerian music post-covid is starting to pick up faster than ever.

On this record, Rema continues on his streak of romantic, sensual renditions. Serenading this lady with his usual lively lyrics and perfect blend of imagery and adlibs. It is clear that Rema is on a sonic journey that will become very clearer in future. He’s managed to turn a nasty conversation that built up around him sounding like a Bollywood singer into a sonic expression that’s left a whole continent in awe.


When this track comes on, it certainly feels like a continuation of the previous track. Rema extends his sonic expression with Carry. Showing off his ability to bring a whole new perspective to the melodies that can be crafted from the ebbs of his genius.

The sound is clean but also quite detailed, and his adlibs are also very pronounced. While the lyrics are very sparse on this record, the purpose is clear and it steers us towards the end of the project with magical precision.

WINE feat. Yseult

At this point in the album, Rema’s legacy as the future of Afrobeats is secure and his debut is a certifiable success story in the making. He makes an extended play for the French territories with an outstanding performance from Yseult who takes the song in and delivers an eclectic performance.


A deserving outro to a perfectly written, arranged, composed and performed body of art. On Runaway, Rema ushers is towards the end of this galactic journey with a sad love story.

On this one, he’s not grabbing at any female parts or any manipulative gestures, rather he’s hell bent on getting her love the right way or eventually eloping if that seems like the only option left.

This is a new, gentlemanly Rema, flashing a possible Diamond ring and promising eternal bliss to a young lady with whom he’s prepared to be on the run with forever.
The London-produced track is a deserving crown that sits atop other successes of the project in its entirety.

Rema’s coordination on this project is very clear, and the amount of work and resources put into pulling off a project such as this can only be drawn from a certain confidence in the ability to make sufficient plays for more music real estate in other parts of the world. It is no wonder that at the time of writing this, Raves & Roses was number 1 on Apple Music in 14 countries while charting in over 60 countries.

Rating: 8/10
Comments; Kudos to Rema, Mavin, Jonzing World and the rest of the team for an outstanding Ravers experience. It was a galactic ride to the moon, and I can’t wait to see Rema dominate the new Billboard Afrobeats Charts.

Written by AfrobeatsMerije.
Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian writer & Music Executive.
Tweet your favourite, random, mind-boggling songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects to him; @AfrobeatsMerije. 

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Basketmouth, Duktor – Horoscopes Album Review



Basketmouth, Duktor – Horoscopes Album Review 17

Basketmouth “Horoscopes” Is the Culmination of an Ever-Evolving Creative Process.

When Basketmouth dropped his debut album, YABASI, strictly produced by Duktor Sett in late 2020, as a soundtrack project for his web show Papa Benji, a sizable proportion of the industry thought it was just that.

An overblown movie soundtrack project; little did the crowd know that this was Basketmouth’s way of retracing his steps to leverage on the power of his first love as a creative, MUSIC.

This time, Basketmouth isn’t making a comeback as a rapper, but something entirely different.

There’s a new wave of non-performing/recording music executives who’re focused on changing the game by leveraging on the opportunities created by the presence of streaming platforms and their influence on the way music is published today.

These new sets of executives are backed by major labels, and equipped with the resources to dedicate their expertise to crafting music projects that rake in as much revenue as their performing colleagues.

With emerging A&Rs like Basketmouth in the music space, it’s a new dawn for the music making process in Africa.

A few days after the Horoscopes album dropped, in one of my music/creative collaborative sessions I bumped into and shared a puffy conversation with Duktor Sett, who’d produced the album in its entirety. My deep curiosity would not let it go, I just knew we had to have a conversation about this bombshell of a project before he hopped back into his creative shell.

The first thing we dissected was the creative mindset of the entire team while working on the project, and in his reply, the situation becomes quite clear.

This is Basketmouth and his team making huge strides to fix up some lapses in the industry, some serious creativity deficit and lack of organizational structure.

To the Baron’s World Entertainment outfit, this is just another one of those creative risks that we’ve known Basketmouth for all his career, another one that he’s resolved to be extremely successful at, even if the clime is somewhat tagged non-profitable.

In a crazy fit of Indica-induced laughter, Sett retorted; “Basket say make we just add small seriousness to this thing o.”

Horoscopes is just another good day of work at Baron’s World, and it’s back to business right after. Despite a 12-year studio journey as a music producer, Horoscopes is Duktor Sett’s first project with as much success as this.

Basketmouth’s contribution to Horoscopes as an A&R is the final lap of the first race in a new frontier of publishing in the music ecosystem.

His brilliance in the areas of tracklisting, collaborations and choice of artist are quite commendable and I’m delighted to see what he has in store for the future.

His deal with Empire is as legendary as, and even maybe more than the first time Larry Gaga achieved similar success with Universal Music Group.

Topping a decent project like Yabasi with Horoscopes is a feat that very few people in the Nigerian music space may be able to achieve. His coordination and coherence on the project was clear, and even though all hands were clearly on deck, Basketmouth steered the ship to the final destination.


Basketmouth, Duktor – Horoscopes Album Review 18

LOVE & LIFE – feat. Johnny Drille, Simi, M.I Abaga

The first track on the Horoscopes project is a straight knockout of the pack. Basketmouth makes a bold, assertive intro with the mid-tempo love track.

This is the tale of a young married woman, who’s still in love with her ex; who on the other hand, is a convict.

Johnny Drille does justice to this song with his usual boisterous and emotion-laden nightingale voice and the chorus sounds like something out of a 007 movie soundtrack. His range is out of this world, and his mind-piercing vocals are a good pair with Simi’s powerhouse rendition. Simi’s reply to the record’s underlying story is quite on point, and MI seals it off with a finishing verse that could have very well been avoided. MI’s saving grace here is his ability to whip up a verse that fits perfectly into the story line, making him a good substitute for the convicted ex.

YOUR BODY – feat. (Buju) BNXN.

Your body is one of those BNXN’s 2020 collaborations that ruled the airwaves and equally dominated all the charts. This was definitely one of the songs that helped to solidify BNXN’s legacy and real estate as a musician.

This record was dropped as an official single off the album, and it proved to be one of the best Basketmouth decisions that leaves its trail of success all over the album both prior and post release.

BNXN’s power as a money-making hook specialist is largely uncontested. For the past two years, he’s been quite able to hold his own when it comes to collaborations, some might even say his collaborations are way better than actual songs.

Your Body was a perfect single off the album, and it does justice to the entire project. It is equally an impressive follow up to the intro track, as per the storyline of the album.

LISTEN – feat. Wande Coal

Listen is a record where Wande Coal’s vocals truly shine. He sings about his journey in the Nigerian music space, dishing out premium advice for all the youngsters looking to get in the game.

The track begins with a line of admonishment and a plea to listen to his advice;
“Tetiiiiii, tetiiiiii si ohun ti mofe so na ooo”; this is directly translated in the English language as listen.

Listen is like a blank vocal chord cheque in the hands of Wande Coal, he possesses the most intriguing voice out of Africa, and he’s sure to bring a grenade to a knife battle.

CELOWI – feat. Peruzzi

This is one of the most outstanding tracks on the project. Perruzi’s experimental rendition on the record is both powerful and sensuous enough to distract you from the remainder of the project.

His ability to weave a melodious number even on such a deeply Latino influenced beat is another proof of Peruzzi’s vocal prowess.

Although Peruzzi sounds uniquely different on this record than others, one quality that truly stands out is the vocal dexterity required to deliver one such stellar performance as the youngster did.

What Basketmouth did on this project is quite clear. He was obviously working to beat the genius of his debut project Yabasi which also doubled as the soundtrack for his web series; Papa Benji. His pick of artists for this project is definitely elite.

MONEY – feat. Oxlade & EFYA

This is another vocally encapsulating record on the Horoscopes project. On Money, Oxlade completely unleashed his vocal prowess like never before, switching between ranges like he’s got a surgical throat.

Although EFYA did sound a little like Teni on this record, her verse is equally an absolute killer. The record is a simple tale of money and what you would do if you had it immersed completely in your grasp.

TROUBLE – feat. 2Baba & Blaqbonez

A Basketmouth album without 2Baba on it is definitely incomplete, especially if the project is poised at achieving cult classic status.

As usual with 2Baba, in this record he’s in trouble for snatching someone else’s wife/girlfriend. Blaqbones on the other hand contributes his legendary wordplay to the song, all the while sticking to his sex over love campaign with braggadocios lyrics about his performance in chasing and bedding the opposite sex without any commitments.


The Traveller is undoubtedly the best song on the album. The record brings the highly underrated Cavemen into the spotlight, while introducing a wider audience base to the beauty of their unique brand of highlife.

The best part of The Traveller is the simple fact that it is a truly pan-African record. It is guaranteed to do crazy numbers on charts across Africa because it is rooted in a super cool blend of our traditional sounds. KWABENA KWABENA blesses the record with his genius, and all is well with the world.

The first line of the Traveller song is one of the most nostalgic references to a baby boomer or the average millennial.

…The journey to Mandillas dey start with Kitos”…

LEAVE ME – feat. Reekado Banks

Leave me is a decent song that could have just been left out of the project. Reekado Banks sounds absolutely lazy that you can easily figure out this was a free verse.

The song contributes nothing nor takes away nothing from the entire body of work, instead it casts a bad light on Falz who’s an exceptional artist on his own.

Leave Me is an easily forgettable song, and it deserves no place among all the classic records that made it unto the project. Basketmouth May have been trying to play super A&R with a calculated move that benefits from Reekado’s comeback but this is simply not well executed.

ASSEMBLY OF GODS – feat. Cavemen, Magnito, Falz, Dremo, IllBliss, Flavour

Assembly of Gods is a mind-piercing mid tempo highlife song that perfectly suits The Cavemen & Flavour’s ability to spurn out the most culturally referenced songs, and it equally gives rappers like Falz, Dremo, & Magnito a chance to shine through.

At the beginning, it initially feels like two generations of highlife colluded to drop a bombshell until it’s clear that this is a classic record for the books and no single collaborator was meant to shine more than the record itself.

The rappers also contribute to the record with sleek, boisterous lines, rhymes and wordplay that are both melodious and easily identifiable to the layman.

It is a deserving outro to a fantastic performance, and also redemption for Falz for his lackluster performance on Leave Me.

Rating: 7.5/10

Comment: Although Larry Gaga first charted a new course for A&Rs in the game, Basketmouth has expanded the territory and brought more bags to the table.

Horoscopes is one for the culture and for the books. Congratulations to Basketmouth & Duktor Sett for an outstanding performance.


Written by AfrobeatsMerije.
Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian writer & Music Executive.
Tweet your favourite, random, mind-boggling songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects to him; @AfrobeatsMerije. 

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Music Review

REVIEW; Burna Boy and Wizkid’s Ballon D’or Is Blessed With Hype! Spectacular Beat, and ‘Wack’ Lyrics



REVIEW; Burna Boy and Wizkid’s Ballon D’or Is Blessed With Hype! Spectacular Beat, and ‘Wack’ Lyrics 19

Burna and Wizkid have a new song together- Ballon D’OR and if we are being honest, the song is wack, lacks Champion qualities.

BALLON D’OR” wasn’t what I and many expected from two Grammy winners- Burna Boy and Wizkid. With the way they are aggressively hyping the song on social media, You’d expect it to sound better and be bigger than Essence, which will obviously be retaining its title as the biggest song in Africa.

When Burna Boy announced at Wizkid’s Sold Out O2 show that he and Wizkid have a song together, we thought he was capping. I mean, it’s Burna Boy and it will not be the first time he will be using Wizkid’s platform to chase clout.

Burna Ballon D'or

However, they went ahead to release the song and I would have preferred it if Burna Boy was just chasing clout and there was actually no song. Two words to describe B. D’OR – Trash, A big Disappointment.

From the cover art to the lyrics and flow, it was a major turn off. There are certain songs that at first listen you don’t like, second listen you start warming up to the song, Third listen you are humming the song, but Ballon D’OR at the fourth listen had me switching to the next song.

It recked of disappointment. Compared to ‘Ginger’ which surprisingly didn’t receive the recognition it deserves because most people hated it, it gets a solid 100 when compared to Ballon D’OR.

Wizkid Burna Boy Ballon D'or

B. D’OR isn’t what people expected from the Grammy men. The lyrics didn’t inspire anyone, it won’t even inspire the African Giant and Machala. With the wack lyrics, it feels like Burna rushed the song and just wanted to drop a single before 2022. But on a serious note why didn’t he ask his close pals and music critics if the song is worthy to be heard.

A social media user said The song might have been the official anthem of the prestigious football award- Ballon D’OR if they had sung along the line of inspiration and maybe told their individual stories. But no, they decided to sing about drugs and weed, Wizkid sang about women, not impressing others who no-win Grammy. Yes, Burna talked about Messi, but what were the other things you heard in the song?

REVIEW; Burna Boy and Wizkid’s Ballon D’or Is Blessed With Hype! Spectacular Beat, and ‘Wack’ Lyrics 20

The only thing that might make you want to listen to B. D’or is be the beats and obviously Wizkid’s verse. Yes, sad to admit that the beat of the song is mad, groovy, catchy and fun. It clearly confirms what a Twitter user did said producers reserving only the best beats for Burna Boy and Wizkid because they know what to do with it. Too bad only Wizkid utilised this one well.

Putting inspirational lyrics one side, Wizkid’s verse on the song was mad- fire!. His vocals blended in with the beats, he delivered his part well.

Wizkid FC and Burna Boy fans will never agree the song is wack because they want to oppress 30BG and Davido, but I will tell you the truth, it’s wack.

RATING – 2.5 Stars (half of 5)

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Music Review

‘Question’… Has Burna Boy Lost Local Acceptance Just To Stride Global Fame?



‘Question’… Has Burna Boy Lost Local Acceptance Just To Stride Global Fame? 21

‘Question’ by Burna Boy evokes massive nostalgia, taking us all back to easier times…

Months after a celebratory win at the Grammy Awards, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy drops his second solo single of 2021, “Question“. A sneer at naysayers who still can’t reconcile Odogwu being one of Africa’s greatest music export.

An easy hit with one of the biggest music moguls out of Africa in the last decade, Don Jazzy.

Question is a melodious number that reminds you of how playful Burna can be when he’s not making socially conscious music.

If there’s one thing that’s always been lacking in Damini’s music since he hit commercial success, it’s local acceptance.

‘Question’… Has Burna Boy Lost Local Acceptance Just To Stride Global Fame? 22

In order to stride the corridors of fame, and enjoy global successes, Burna Boy has constantly alienated his audience. He’s dedicated himself to creating the kind of music that’s taken him across the ocean in the past three years and now that he brings one of the most credible African producers on ‘Question’, it is clear that Burna Boy may care for his local audience more than he cares to admit.

In the last couple of years since Burna Boy hit global success, he’s been very open about how much he’s had to struggle with acceptance from his core audience here in Nigeria, and to be honest numerous fans have equally come out to express the same. Opining that Nigerians never really supported him until the rest of the world did.

This is Damini Ogulu’s claim to fame. An unapologetic aim at the stars with his spaceship vehicle. A never settle mindset that’s earned him a Grammy, despite pessimists around him telling him the otherwise would happen because of his attitude.

Burna Boy Question Don Jazzy

Question is a really good song. But it does feel like Burna boy hanging on to echoes of an audience that refuses to really hear his pain, hear his anxiety, hear his genius.

Yes, Don Jazzy definitely props anyone up when it comes to street credibility. He may not have as much as Olamide does, but he’s got enough when combined with overall influence, enough to make almost everyone with a project knock on his doorstep for one final hearing.

Life itself is one big question that we all answer everyday, so the dominant satiric value of the song, was retained from start to finish. As an average human, you’re faced daily with questions you don’t have answers to.

So what happens when it’s time for Don Jazzy to answer a question like “When you go win Grammy?” He laughs, shrugs it off, and dances about it on a Burna Boy joint that’s got the whole country questioning everything they know about themselves.

So ask yourself these few questions;

Does Question sound like another Global hit? (Cue in the chorus)

Why’s Burna Boy consistently trying to make music for his ‘non-paying audience’? (Cue in the chorus)

It’s a really cool song. But as a solo single that wets our appetite while expecting his post-Grammy album? That’s a question I’m not very motivated to answer.

Rating 6/10.

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