Critical Breakdown:- Naeto C – Day 1 [ Mixtape Review ]


My Mind Dey Another Place, No Be Say I No Dey Hear You – Naeto CItz Too Late

Artiste:- Naeto C
Album:- Day 1
Record Label:- White Kaftan Gang/Cerious Music
Distributed By:- I-Tunes and Tidal [ Streaming ]
Guest Appearances:- Maka and Wizkid
Producers:- Sossick, Teckzilla and Masterkraft
Release Date:- August 14 2015

Critical Breakdown

Ever since Naeto C aka Super C burst into the scene with his groundbreaking snap-rap single “Sittin On Top”, it was evident to a high percentage of industry observers, taste-makers and most importantly the fans of Nigerian Hip-Hop music that a new different kind of artiste was here to stay. Though a few people dismissed him as a pampered silver spoon kid ( better known as “trust fund kids” in the same vein as DJ Cuppy , Davido and P.R.E ), Naeto proved over time that he wasn’t just a run-off-the-mill act but a genuine rap superstar who has mastered all the fundamental principles of Hip-Hop music, and was creating his interpretation of the artform from the perspective of an African kid who was born in the United States, but is well grounded and had a very deep understanding of where he originated from.

Though he was introduced into the game via his music mogul Uncle Obi Asika the CEO of Storm Records, and his close friend Ikechukwu, Naeto quickly established himself as a stand-alone act in his own rights and dropped his highly successful platinum album U Know My P ( 2008 ) which featured the monster smash Kini Big Deal and got him nominated for several awards, some of which he won. The next two years saw Naeto return to the University to aquire a Masters degree, thus earing him the sobriquet “The only MC with an MSC” . On his return to the music scene, he dropped his sophomore album Super C Season, a mainstream project ( He experimented with Pop music and diverse musical styles more on this project ) which showed his evolution as an artiste, and spawned fan favourites such as Ten Over Ten, Share My Blessings Featuring Asa ( her only collaboration with a Rapper ) and the street smash Ako Mi Ti Poju featuring the late Da Grin. Once again Naeto embarked on a sabbatical, that saw him get married, and become a father, sever ties with his uncles label Storm Records and channel his energy towards his own company White Kaftan Gang/ Cerious Music, subsequently he released singles including Owu No Dey Touch Featuring Reminisce, China Featuring Phyno, Helele Featuring Flavour, Nack Am Featuring MC Galaxy and What U Want Featuring Ajebutter 22 and BOJ,in a bid to craft a new sound and figure out the directed which best suits his music, needless to say the feedback has been somewhat cold, especially on his more pop oriented singles.Perhaps sensing the disgruntlement of his core fans and the rap world, out of nowhere,on the 13th of August Naeto dropped a 13 track project titled Day 1 which was initially labelled an album, but has been relegated to Mixtape status. The project saw him return to his core rap roots,jettisoning his usual producer collaborators E-Kelly and TY Mix opting for the more Hip-Hop sound which was crafted by Sossick, Teckzilla of Str8buttah and Masterkraft.

The project opens up on the first track Day 1z which was produced by Sossick ( who crafted a bulk of the production ) and had Naeto C declaring “I only fuck with my Day 1’s” as well as going on to state that he doesn’t make new friends, reminiscent of No New Friends a song by Canadian Rapper Drake, but executed with a different concept. The next track Bless is a more introspective record which was performed over a haunting instrumental also produced by Sossick ( he produced the first 7 songs ), on this one , he goes reflective and discusses the trappings of the fame and fortune plus the pitfalls that comes with it, It’s a song a lot of rap heads will like, and Sossick did an incredible job in the production department here. The next tune Codeine Therapy was laced with a trippy, zany instrumental and has Super C paying homage to a recreational drug which is widely used and has influenced  a bulk of the music in Houston Texas ( Naeto’s birthplace ) and has began making it’s way into parts of Africa, He uses the “Slow Effect” the song gives you as a euphemism to describe taking things slow and the importance of not moving hastily in life, it’s a song that I really appreciate. Naeto goes the boastful and flossy route on the next single Helluva Night on which he raps about the hangover that comes after a wild night of club-hopping and big spending, It’s another feel-good rap song where he experiments with a different flow and executed it with top drawer precision however at this point, the “floss rap” becomes a bit tiring and tedious to listen to

“Hol up, everything soft, I’m talking everything, everything Soft” he raps on the hook of the next song Soft, a track which I feel the instrumental was inspired by 10 Bandz by Drake and once more has him “flossing” on the bars, If any Rappers have mastered the art of “Luxury Rap” it’s Naeto and he did it properly on this track again. The next tune OG Bobby is a song that had him trying out his singing, crooning “I’m on my Ol’G Bobby Johnson” and going on to rap about his trysts with an imaginary female ( Mary Jane maybe ) now I don’t know if he was alluding to “smoking OG Bobby Kush” or watching the classic movie South Central which featured the character “OG Bobby Johnson” which was played by American Actor Glenn Plummer, what I do know is that the song is trippy, laid-back,weirdly addictive and makes for a good “4/20 song” ( if you know what that means ). Naeto slips in a Skit ( which I feel was pointless ( I respect a Skit in a rap album regardless ) which sets the stage for the next song , The Teckzilla produced High School which featured upcoming singer/rapper Maka, who gave an solid performance on this track, interpolating Nursery rhymes and using melodies from well known kiddie songs to create a song about Marijuana. Super C also gave a stellar performance on this one dropping solid “Canna-bars”, and creating another 4/20 classic in the process. The best two-song transition I have heard on any Nigerian project in a while ( especially rap albums ) took place at this juncture, as the next song Blown which also featured Maka ( who gave an EVEN Better performance on this one ) had them both singing “I might be a little blown right now, but that don’t mean shit, cos I all I wanna do what I wanna do, what you wanna do is what I wanna do” , It’s a smooth track, you just have to listen to it right after “High School” to get the feeling for yourself, The production on this one was top notch as well. Naeto C teams up with Wizkid on the next song Oluwaloseyi, which I feel is an underwhelming dated collaboration, considering the calibre of both acts on the song, The “Snap” style worked for Naeto but didn’t do Wiz any good, It’s a good song, but it’s not great and is quite forgettable.

                                 The Snap sound continues on Itz Too Late , so does the “Flossy Rap”, as Naeto raps with a mixture of Pidgin English and regular English language with a sprinkle of Nigerian humour, though it’s not a super lyrical track, it’s a fun rap track that makes for good listening. “Omo everything dey cliq, omo everything dey cliq Lord / And they know say my Connect, and they know say my Connect strong” he chants in the chorus of the next song Cliq another braggadocios rap song on which he shows off and brags over the thumping bassline , he was quite lyrical on this Masterkraft produced song, producing one of his finest moments on the tape. The Mixtape closes out on a more sombre reflective note on Confam, don’t be deceived by the title, he spit some of the most pungent bars on this project on the track

                            Honestly to understand this project is to understand Naeto C. On the surface, a regular music fan will dismiss this project as a “Drake inspired and copied project” sonically and even direction wise, but I’ll beg to differ an will try to add a little bit of perspective to this project. Naeto C was one of the first mainstream Nigerian Rappers to experiment with the “Trap Music” sound. His first single “Sitting on Top” is Trap , Ako Mi Ti Poju is Trap and Terry Tha Rapman once said “That’s like saying Naeto C never heard of T.I” so if there is any Rapper in Nigeria right now that can legitimately put out a “Trap-Inspired” ( I call is SNAP ) project, it is Naeto C, not to mention he was born in Houston the home of DJ Screw ( who invented screwed and chopped music) so you can consider this project an ode to his birthplace. Apart from that, he explored topics like Drugs and Sex, more explicitly than he has ever done on any project, showing maturity, evolution and boldness as an artiste who does not want to be censored and is going back to doing the things he originally loved. Finally, the African-American movement in Nigerian Hip-hop was introduced and formulated by Sauce Kid when he dropped Money Long ( The Mixtape ), later on acts like Ikechukwu, Naeto C and Godwon toed that same line however Killz, Sinzu and Goddy have been relatively quiet, perhaps Naeto took it upon himself to deliver a blueprint for “African-American Rap” with this project, I believe the stage is set now for the the 3 aforementioned Rappers to deliver full length projects and use this Day 1 project as the appropriate inspiration.

Beats/Production:- 8.5/10
Lyrics:- 7/10
Flow:- 8.5/10
Composition/Arrangement:- 8 /10
Best Verse:- Itz Too Late [ Full Track ]
Standout Track:- Blown Featuring Maka
Mixtape Moment:- Naeto Rapping about Codeine and Cannabis is like a dream come true
Overall Rating:- 8/10

Extra Word:- A lot of people have been asking me “What is Snap Music” , well it is “Nigerian Trap Music” and this Mixtape embodies that sound, so whenever someone asks me again, I’ll just refer him to this project.