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Best of October: Our picks of the best Albums/EPs – Rema, ODUMODUBLVCK & more

October was a very interesting month with some very interesting moments. The opening of the month was a bit frontloaded with releases and then majority of its duration was sparse, and then came the last weekend with perhaps the most packed New Music Friday in history. Here we highlight the best projects of the month, in no specific order;

EZIOKWU – ODUMODUBLVCK

Odumodublvck's "EZIOKWU" cover
Odumodublvck’s “EZIOKWU” cover

Definitely the biggest moment of the month, where September is concerned and arguably overall biggest of the year where Hip-Hop is concerned. Aptly labelled a mixtape so as not to be burdened with the task of prioritizing an holistic album experience. Instead it’s a compilation of songs and sonic influences that appropriately unify ODUMODUBLVCK’S Hip-Hop origins and current mainstream-leanings in a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

It’s also being a big moment for Hip-Hop, as it became the 2nd Hip-Hop album to ever peak at #1 on the Spotify albums chart (after Olamide’s Unruly) and it’s also churned out a major mainstream moment in Blood On The Dance Floor that’s on course to become a hit song. All these and more is enough evidence that ODUMODUBLVCK’S recipe of grime and Okporoko music is indeed tasteful.

Sincerely, Benson – BNXN

BNXN's "Sincerely, Benson" cover
BNXN’s “Sincerely, Benson” cover

Bnxn’s debut album has been one of the most highly anticipated albums of this year, because he’s been one of the most sought out talents of the new generation and his 2 EP’s are a testament of his great curating acumen. In Q1, he he also shut his detractors and notched a hit record of his own with Gwagwalada, ending the narrative that he wasn’t more than “feature man.”

Sincerely, Benson is unmistakably Bnxn in his raw, uncut glory replete with introspective stories, impressive songwriting and an RnB infusion soundscape. The shortcomings of the album is also in the sense that the album is too Bnxn, as he plays it safe for majority of it, implores familiar deliveries and is hardly dynamic and delivers anything out of the box. Nonetheless, it’s still a good album with some great cuts like Pidgin & English and Party Don’t Stop.

ATSG – Reminisce

Reminisce's "ATSG" cover
Reminisce’s “ATSG” cover

Baba Hafusa is a Nigerian rap great that isn’t burdened with the need to release albums consistently to remain relevant, especially when he doesn’t have anything tangible to say. It’s been about 8 years since we got an album from him last and boy, was it worth the wait. Alaye Toh Se Gogo is not just good music, but it’s good music that sums up the state of mind and position of the artiste making it. A seasoned veteran that has paid his dues.

There is enough range for listeners of different tastes to love on this album. The hardcore rap heads would gravitate towards the chest-thumping, defiant Awon Aye, the lovers of raunchy topics would find Shina Peters steamy and the hopeless romantics would love Why. From only the first listen of this project, you can tell it’s an intentional one.

Uburu – Basketmouth

Basketmouth “Uburu” cover

Over the past 2 years, veteran comedian has already made a name for himself in the industry and established a status as one of the best A&R’s in the game, when he released 2 amazingly curated LP’s that delivered compelling music that drew influences from multiple soundscapes like Highlife, Palmwine music, traditional folk music and Afrobeats.

Whilst, Uburu the third installment isn’t the masterpiece in cohesive progressive music that Yabasi is or the rollercoaster of compelling mainstream Afro-Pop, traditional pop and R&B that Horoscopes is—it definitely does enough to justify its existence. The line up of the guest artists once again shows Basket astuteness in picking specific artists that can convey certain moments in the most profound way. It’s a pity that the LP is a bit let down by plain, minimalist production.

RAVAGE EP – Rema

Rema's "RAVAGE" EP cover
Rema’s “RAVAGE” EP cover

Still fresh off the confidence boosting success of the international smash-hit, Calm Down and the mainstream success Charm also generated, Rema released his fourth EP in the most densely packed weekend ever and came out victorious, on the commercial and critical front. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that RAVAGE EP is his best project yet.

It’s Rema at his most experimental and defiant. He’s in an headspace where he’s confident enough to take creative risks and it results in a cohesive Afro-pop project that flirts with elements of Hyper-pop and Hip-Hop. The production and sound engineering is simply otherworldly and Rema’s unpredictable dynamism on the project ensures the listener is always kept on their toes and isn’t given a breathing space. Edgy music doesn’t get better than this.

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