Critical Breakdown:- Rayce – They Call Me Rayce

Critical Breakdown:- Rayce – They Call Me Rayce [ EP Review ]

Artiste:- Rayce
Album:- They Call Me Rayce
Record Label:- Soundcore Media
Distributed By:- Don Money Entertainment, UBA Pacific, Mackings Ventures/ I-Tunes [ Online ]
Guest Appearances:- General Pype, Seyi Shay, M.I Abaga
Producers:- Admire Beatz And Ploops
Release date:-  15-05-2015

Critical Breakdown
When I First heard Roll By Rayce in 2011 , I was immediately struck by his obvious talent, sonorous voice and the obvious potential he possessed  which was crystal clear on that song, The song dominated the summer of 2011 ( at least in London ), and catapulted the young singer into the minds of Fans of Nigerian Urban Pop Music.Back then he was signed to Big Don Records, but Label squabbles are more or less a rite of passage for Upcoming Nigerian acts, and Rayce was no exception; Before any concrete move could be made to further his career, he severed his ties with Big Don Records.He then formed a Label with his friend Dpzle called Getting Our Dreams entertainment, a company under which he dropped his Smash hit Jack Sparrow in 2013,And though a Video was shot and released for this Track, the company disbanded once more before they could promote the song properly and build on it.Last year Rayce announced that he has been signed, this time by a Management company(Soundcore Media) who believed in him, and decided to put out numerous singles/Videos, and eventually a project, to showcase their Artiste to the world as one of the talented Young acts in the Business, and the result is Dey Call Me Rayce, an 11 Track EP  was released this Month.

     The EP Which was entirely produced by Ploops and Admire Beatz starts off with an Intro titled We Bad Gan , a well produced opener on which he reintroduces himself to his Fans, singing “Now they call me , Street to Street / Home to Home / Igboro T’Igboro” on a catchy tune which would definitely get listeners hooked once it comes on.Tetela which translates to “Early Success”, The next single, interpolated a little bit from King Sunny Ade’s Ja Funmi , its a solid number, performed in Yoruba Language, on which he chronicles his come-up from nothing to something, and thanked God for his new-found situation.This is a song which I feel would appeal to different strata of Music listeners, from Parents to Youths, right down to young kids.Showing his Musical depth, Rayce samples yet another evergreen hit track, Baby Paulina a song that was released in 1967 by Evangelist Ebenezer Obey on the next song Omoge Marina, a contemporary interpretation of Juju Music, complete with Yoruba percussion, as well as the talking Drums, which encapsulated what he was trying to do and created a melody which would definitely put a smile on the face of the great Musical Evangelist.

Rayce – Tetela [ Official Video ]

The first of the three Guests on the project Seyi Shay assists on the next track We On Fire, an uptempo song which was created to capture and recreate the current “Afro-Pop” sound which is ruling the airwaves at the moment,It didn’t sound like something Rayce would be involved with and was a bit too underwhelming to fit into the Musical sequence on the project.I’m Ready is another fast paced Pop fusion of South African House sounds and a Neo-Kwaito vibe, Its an average song, that was inspired mainly by his breakout hit Roll, though it is not close to that in terms of Hit quality, I actually see this being played in a couple of African Countries if well promoted.If you want to Shoki, the lead single of this EP Ring’o is your best bet, a love song which also borrows “Afro Pop elements” and is actually the better of the Pop tracks on this Album, Rayce holds this song down like an experienced singer, and utilized his vocal ability to a quite decent result.

Rayce – Ring’O [ Official Video ]

The 7th Track Wetin Dey borrows the Dancehall/Ragga Sound, and gives the sound a Club vibe, This is one of the songs on this project that would get spins in clubs, and get everyone on their feet,Definitely one of the better songs here.Property is a more mellow offering, on which the beat is slower, and is inspired more by “Afrobeat” ( Not AFROBEATS ) Music, which was heralded by the late great Anikulapo.This one is a more sombre song on which he states “Anything you get na your property” , it is definitely a song for the grown and sexy folks to groove to.M.I Abaga lends 16 bars to the project on African Beauty , which was supposed to be a celebration of Nubian Queens ( at least from the title ), but wound up with “Lets get the Party started” on the hook.The song interpolated the bassline of RnB 2 Rue, a 2001 hit track by French Artiste Matt Houston, which was quite popular in Nigeria.It is a decent song, but one that I think is highly forgettable despite the high profile collaboration which was primarily there to push the song further and give it more appeal.Rayce and General Pype complimented each other on the next cut Higher, a previously released single, which is directed to the ladies, and utilizes a slower laid back Reggae Vibe on the production.I Think this song needs a video, and would resonate well with lovers of soft Reggae Music.The Album closes up on a soft note with an acoustic Rendition on For You;Rayce showcased his vocal range, and serenaded the ladies over over the plucking of Guitar strings soulfully, to create an song which is not only an appropriate Album closer, but also a song he could use to end his shows and live performances.

Rayce is a well versed Artiste who I consider one of the Brightest Music Artistes of his generation, who has the ability to make hit tracks, and articulate his music properly with meaningful lyrics, but he kind of fell short on this Project,His first which should have been an Album, but doesn’t sound like one, neither does it sound like an EP,It sounds more like a compilation of Songs Rayce has been sitting on  for a while along with some recently recorded material.Lyrically he was on point, but the production was linear, the project sounded like it had no A&R direction, and it failed to make a proper case for Rayce as an Artiste of a High Calibre.To me, this EP leaves him stuck in the same category which he was before it dropped, and the absence of his hit tracks like Roll, Jack Sparrow and Just like that points at Record Label politics and industry drama, which hopefully he should have sorted out by now, and while fans should support him solely for his Raw talent, and creativity, he should bear in mind that this is not the kind of first project his core fans like myself was expecting him to give to us.

Beats/Production:-  6/10

Lyrics:- 8/10

Composition/Arrangement:- 6/10

Best Verse:- NIL

Standout Track:- Tete La 

Musical Moment:- The King Sunny Ade and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey Interpolations Are Welcome, As I like Samples

Album Rating:- 6.6/10

Rayce – For You [ Official Video ]