Artiste:- Black Magic & Kid Konnect
Album:- Black Friday
Record Label:- Based On Belief Music
Distributed By:- I-Tunes and Online media outlets
Guest Appearances:- Ice Prince, M.I Abaga, Adekunle Gold, Sir Dauda & Jhybo
Producers:- Kid Konnect [ Entirely ]
Release Date:- 24th September 2015
Everyone who listened to his 2011 debut album Blackmagic Verson 1.0, did not need any further convincing to deduce that Black Magic or Ejay as he is fondly called had something unique, groundbreaking and special to offer to the Nigerian Hip-hop community and the music industry as a whole. While his debut Album Blackmagic version 1.0 was not as successful as his second offering 2013’s Black Magic Version 2.0, it was a clear indication as to the musical path the eclectic/experimental rapper was headed in and set the foundation for his second project which affirmed him as a household name and contained classic singles like Repete, Confam , Miracle and the street favourite Africa which spurned a remix with Phyno, Vector, M.I and Reminisce.
Having clearly broken the sophomore jinx, he parted ways amicably ( or not ? ) with Syndik8 records and established his own record company Based On Belief, an independent label which caters solely to him ( at least for now ) and got together on a mission with his friend and producer Kid Konnect ( perhaps inspired by the magic they made on the aforementioned Africa ) to create a body of work which combined Blackmagics musical ideology with Konnects experimental, explosive and progressive production qualities, thus creating the Black Friday Ep which opens up with him crooning “One hundred percent O, I no want fifty, please just give me one hundred percent O on 100, a piano driven, consciously charged song which urges everyone ( leaders, hustlers, students etc ) to give their very best in every endeavour they find themselves, whilst letting you know his music comes from his heart, a sentiment I very well agree with. On the next tune Levelz, he combines Nigerian humour with his minimalist rap style and a repetitive lyrical pattern rhyming every bar with “Levelz” over Kid Konnects bouncy baseline to create yet another song his fans and lovers of light-hearted rap music will appreciate.
Number 1 is a delightful love song which was brought to life by KK with a scrumptious Reggae backdrop which takes you right to the heart of the West Indies and gave Ejay the appropriate ambiance to serenade his love interest assuring her that she comes second to none with his mellow Baritone voice; He showed off his matured, sexy,vulnerable and soulful side whilst creating a lovers anthem in the process. Rock Your Body is a nice song that features YBNL man of the moment Adekunle Gold and Sir Dauda ( whom I am still getting to know ). The sound is a combination of Fuji and Highlife elements with a more contemporary leaning. While it’s not exactly a song I’m going to be spinning on repeat, it continues the listening process right to the next song NATMS, an acronym that reads Niggas Can’t Tell Me Shit. It’s a Snap-rap ( you guys call it Trap ) inclined song that features Chocolate City duo M.I Abaga and Ice Prince as well as Jhybo ( whom I feel is a criminally underrated alternative rapper, but that’s another story ).I also feel he stole the show with his rapid delivery which pointed to the fact that he still has some hunger in him as opposed to Ice Prince who was the weakest link on the song. M.I Abaga dropped a controversial verse, listing rappers whom he feels are relevant and telling whomever wasn’t mentioned that YOUR time in the game is limited, doing his best to channel Kendrick Lamars Control verse, not only won’t it give him the reaction he expects from other rappers but I feel like at this point in his career, he doesn’t have the power to spark a wave of replies like Kendrick did because the new school rappers coming up and grinding their asses off couldn’t care less what he thinks of them neither would they form a sorority. Peace Sign is a well produced and performed inspiring ode to hardwork and persistence which I know a lot of his core fans will like while Aunty Shola is an underwhelming attempt at making a mainstream pop song ( I don’t like it ). The EP ends on a reflective note on the emotion laden Stress, a spaced out song that has him touching on relationship issues, real life issues and “Nigerian issues” every single listener would be able to relate with, thereby closing the project off somberly.
While this is neither Kid Konnects nor Black Magic best projects ( I’ll take Bandits with Khali Abdu and Black Magic Version 2.0 respectively ), It’s one that not only has a few potential hits but also shows where both artistes are creatively at this point in their careers, as we are witnessing their best years thus far. There is a bit of a swagger to Black Magic who now sounds a bit more confident and is doing better than everybody in Syndik8 Records ( except maybe Ikon ), this shows on this project as he experimented with new sounds and styles as well sometimes being a bit lazy or relaxed lyrically. Kid Konnect on the other hand shows his evolution as a sound producer, A&R and executive producer which was also evident with his work on The Collectiv3 EP ( our highest rated project so far this year). All In all Black Friday is an above average body of work that will not only inspire them to go harder, but when they look back years from now, they will remember that they were having their best years as artistes up on till that point when this project was released.
Best Verse:- For Me, It’s Jhybo On NATMS
Standout Track:- Levelz ..( There’s Just something about it, but Peace Sign comes second place )
Musical Moment:- M.I’s verse on NATMS would have been, but it just won’t work like Kendricks Control.
Album Rating:- 7/10