Critical Breakdown:- MC Galaxy – Breakthrough

Critical Breakdown:- MC Galaxy – Breakthrough [ Album Review ]

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Artiste:- MC Galaxy
Album:- The Breakthrough
Record Label:- MCG Records
Distributed By:- I-Tunes
Guest Appearances:- Olamide, Zinnia, Muno, True Voice, Kaffy D Dance Queen, Davido, & Chris String,
Producers:- Mr Chidoo, Shizzi, Big Terry, Uhuru, Chris String, T-Spize, Young D, Spellz, Gospel On De Beat,& DJ Coublon,
Release Date:- April 24th 2015

In 2011,Afro-pop superstar Iyanya dropped the video for his single Kukere, off his Magnum Opus Desire ( yes its a genre classic ), there were a lot of things unique, special and captivating about the video, the latter mentioned quality was defined primarily by scenes portraying an awkward looking dancer wearing a pink shirt who performed a series of hyperactive dance moves which eventually defined some of the standout moments in the video, a little while after the video went viral, the said dancer had been identified as MC Galaxy, when he won 500,000 Naira at a birthday party which Davido held in Lagos to mark his 20th birthday the following year.Identifying himself as a part time comedian, dancer and budding musician, MC Galaxy continued his journey to stardom playing hypeman and in-house jester to Davido and his HKN Gang team in 2013 while dancing on the side and working towards dropping a single which he did later in the year, the Shizzi produced, Davido featured Afro-Dance song Nek Unek which became an instant hit and catapulted him from a bottom feeder to a bonafide superstar who could compete with the best artistes in the music business. Nek Unek would prove to be a defining factor in the grand shcheme of things, because not only did is have a unique sound courtesy of Shizzi, but it was helped mainly by it’s unique video which displayed the rich Ibibio culutre, colourful carnival costumes and traditional attires ( Davido was begged and coaxed to put them on , but see how it turned out ) which until then had not been represented in a grand scale by any recording artiste. MC Galaxy will come to be the official “spokesperson and ambassador” of the Akwa Ibom musical scene but he was still dismissed as a fluke, one-hit wonder and a Jester singer by a section of the general public and some of his peers who couldn’t understand his “overnight success”. MC Galaxy remained undaunted and by the time he delivered his follow up single, the T-Spize produced Sekem, he has found his style, musical direction and most importantly his sonic leaning which he declared to be “New Dance“, a sub-genre of Afro-pop music that is primarily centered around contemporary African dance music.

4 years after appearing as a dancer in the Kukere video, he released his debut album aptly titled Breakthrough a 20 track offering which was launched in his hometown to great pomp and fanfare, and also one which he intended to use to stamp his genre of New Dance into the mind of the masses. The album starts off on Abasi Amanam, a gospel-style pop song on which he sings “From Uyo to Lagos, with a BRT bus, I no get even socks, thank you my God O / I start my comedy club for Surulere” ( I never knew BRT’s plyed Uyo-Lagos ), It’s a slightly addictive song on which he sings with a combination of Ibibio and English and encourages anyone with a dream to trust in God and never give up. The album continues to Ampaulina, on which he taps into the Cameroonian Makossa sound and features Zinnia who hails from the francophone country and gave the song a more authentic feel, once again Galaxy combines the Ibibio language with Zinnias DJ Arafatesque delivery to create a nice song. Waka Waka Baby borrows from the contemporary Afrobeat sound and is a surprisingly good Shizzi produced song which comically details industry groupies and their exploits while the Olamide featured My Heart O is an Ajegunle/Galala influenced track that was spiced up by a very good guest verse ( The song was specifically inspired by Marvelous Benjy ). South African producer Uhuru borrows his one dimensional sound to the album on the next song Komolop Cholop which was lyrically appalling, but was driven mainly by the Afro-house instrumental as a dance song should be but I do feel he could have done better on an cross-country collaboration. Number One is a song nobody will believe he can pull off, but he did, creating a romantic highlife song remniscent of the 70’s and he sounded like the older highlife acts from the school of the great Jim Rex Lawson, This one is for the grown and sexy and will definitely send a lot of senior citizens down memory lane. The lovey-dovey feeling continues on Ketekete another love song which is one of the best on the album and on which he stated “I no just want your waist, I no be Iyanya O“, a subtle shoutout to the man who put him on. Not done serenading the lovers, he makes it a romantic hat-trick with Amami, a finely crafted song. Iyaya Eh is yet another love song  and at this point one begins to question the A&R direction of the album ( I’m guessing there was none ), which is something that hurt a vast majority of the Afro-pop albums that dropped this year.

The chart topping Sekem is next and continues the album groove to Alagalaga Yo a song I feel should have been left off the album all together, it’s another attempt at creating another love song, albeit a catastrophic one ( The name dropping of actresses and female celebrities, some married ones too was quite cringe-worthy ). The next song is another Afropop song titled Supaman which sort of restores normalcy on the album and features Zinnia and Muno two artistes who are signed to his burgeoning label MGC Records under which he released his project, all of them did really well on this and it deserves a video to further promote( Muno and Zinnia ) even better. Ima Ima is another attempt to create the same magic on Sekem, by utilizing the same baseline and delivery pattern, instead he delivered another uninspiring album filler. By the third time you hear Zinnia ( who was featured a total of 3 times on the album ) on Bounce, you will be convinced as I am that she is a raw talent that can be harnessed, as her contribution to the song made it a bit more palatable. The biggest song of his career so far ,The Davido assisted Nek Unek comes next, right before the drum-driven Osho Free one of the better songs one the album which was produced by Gospel On D Beatz and disparaged people are fond of propositioning ladies of the night on an empty pocket. U Don Win is a well produced and executed dance track that was centered around gyration music, This is a song that will work well for live performances and the progressive percussion by Chris Strings was one of the best sonic moments on the album. Dance queen Kaffy is a natural collaboration on a “New Dance” album but Are U Single which listed her as a guest did not feature any of her vocals and is a poorly executed song.Katakpo is a DJ Coublon produced dance track that also defines MC Galaxys “New Dance” genre and the final track Oshe Baba Featuring Chris Strings is a Gospel track that ended the album just how it began, on a spiritual note.

MC Galaxy reminds me of Pasto Goody Goody,( Clap for yourself if you remember him ) not because they are both from Akwa Ibom but because they are alike both in the manner in which they entered the business, the way the fans ( and their peers ) perceived them and also how they were able to use their minimal talents to their advantages but I daresay Galaxy has taken it way further than Goody Goody ever did.He is not your conventional singer, he is simply someone who was determined, driven and destined to make it in Nigerian entertainment. Before I listened to this album, my expectations for an MC Galaxy album were quite low, but I have to say that he did commendably well on his debut album. While I can say he recycled most of his lyrics and over 10 tracks on the album are about love and relationships with the opposite sex, I can also say the same about 75% of the Afro-pop artistes in the industry today. MC Galaxy made the best of what he has and harnessed all his average talents put together to the best of his ability, that to me is a remarkable feat. The album may not sell in Lagos and South-west Nigeria but I can guarantee it will outsell anything in his home state and its environs. While it is not the best album you will hear this year or even the top 10, if you are a fan of Nigerian pop music you will find a handful of songs to add on your playlist for a house party of a Saturday barbecue, and if you listen close you will be able to find it within yourself to respect his musical abilities and give him an ounce of respect. The key to reviewing a body of work is juxtaposing the talent of the artiste with what he was trying to achieve on the project and critiquing a it for what it is or what it was meant to be and as far as Afro-Dance music goes, this is one album anyone that loves the genre will definitely enjoy.

Beats/Production:-  8/10

Lyrics:- 4/10

Composition/Arrangement:-  5/10

Best Verse:- Olamide On My Heart O 

Standout Track:- Sekem 

Musical Moment:- Nothing Special 

Album Rating:-  5.6/10

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