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ODUMODUBLVCK Blends Hip And Soul In Perfect Recipe On EZIOKWU (UNCUT) [Deluxe Review]

On the original version of the mixtape, ODUMODUBLVCK found the ideal balance of soul and rap and it resulted in a delightful album experience that’s on course to become a classic Hip-Hop record. On the UNCUT version, he doubles down on these distinct elements and dilutes the mainstream approach a bit.

Odumodublvck EZIOKWU (UNCUT) Cover Art
Odumodublvck EZIOKWU (UNCUT) Cover Art

For every SAINT OBI and COMMEND, there was a KUBOLOR and ADAMMA BEKE. And for every MC OLUOMO, there was a BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR. Basically, for every record on the OG version that was an acquired taste where the mainstream was concerned, be it a hip-life record or an aggressive grime song, there was always an ensuing mainstream friendly record to counter and water down the overall pathos of the project to one that could appeal to many.

On the deluxe however, ODUMODUBLVCK doesn’t seem burdened with that sort of consciousness and is simply doubling down on the core sonic ingredients of his brand of music. Melodic highlife synthesizers, hip drums, aggressive Hip-Hop delivery, abstract coherence in topical progression and a larger-than-life persona that makes the music unmistakably his. The new songs on the deluxe take a step further in that direction and grounds you better in his sonic atmosphere.

Tracklist

ABUJA PEOPLE is the sonic embodiment of my earlier point. A riotous hip-life record that intersects at the juncture of Igbo highlife and street lamba. With the airy flutes going off in the background, one can’t help but envision a ceremony gathering of the sorts, where cultural roots and heritage are celebrated in the form of energetic and feet stomping dance choreography.

HOTEL LOBBY is more Afro-Swing and contemporary, in comparison with the other songs on the deluxe and it’s a really good song, but it’s the least impressionable new song because it’s not really bringing some fresh dynamism you didn’t hear on the initial version. BADMAN BOUNCE is more of the same, but the vocal texture of Duncan Mighty’s voice brings some refreshing ambience to it and the drums are more visceral and alive here. That coupled with Duncan’s voice that’s tailor made for hip-life, makes BADMAN BOUNCE the better record.

MINIMAL FUSS is a slow burn, potent hips-gyrating record that’s so licentious with its rhythm and melody, that you’ll get lost in the groove and lose track of the fact that the song is about ODUMODUBLVCK wailing about a promiscuous lover who got with his friend, broke his heart in the process and doesn’t seem like she’s slowing down anytime soon. A1 PERICO is another grime record cut from the same sentiment and sonic fabric of SHOOT AND GO HOME and SAINT OBI and whilst it’s a decent offering, it pales in comparison to the both. Nasty C puts in a heavy shift though.

On the trap and Dancehall fusion, NO PROTOCOL—Teni delivers the best guest performance on the deluxe and arguably on the entire album. The chaotic and hyper nature of the track is well primed for her usual dexterous flows—that also populated her album which dropped some weeks back—and this is also a testament to the good A&R work on the album, alongside the nice sprinkle of Caribbean patois on the record by Masicka.

Black Sherif has no business stealing the show and gliding so effortlessly on the beat of WOTOWOTO SEASONING and he makes the song. ODUMODUBLVCK’S flows and delivery at this point has become quite predictable and all-too-familiar but luckily, he’s rescued by a stellar shift from a guest artiste that elevates the song and that’s what collaborations are about really.

EZIOKWU (UNCUT) doubles down on the formular of EZIOKWU and risks a little accessibility for more sonic adventure and it does pay off. The original version has solidified its status as a monumental project for contemporary Nigerian Hip-Hop and so the deluxe can be afforded more leeway to be experimental and free. And most importantly, the UNCUT version would also help in prolonging the shelf life of the project.

Final Verdict:

Sonic Cohesion: 1.6/2
Unharried Transitions: 1.3/2
Expansive Production: 1.5/2
Songwriting & Delivery: 1.5/2
Optimal Track Sequencing: 1.3/2

Total: 7.2/10

Written by T.J. Martins, an avid lover of music.

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