Album Review: “Young Preacher” by Blaqbonez

With “Young Preacher,” Blaqbonez perfects the experiment he began on his debut album “Sex Over Love.”

Blaqbonez_Young Preacher_reviewer_Remix

Artist: Blaqbonez

Label/Distributor: Chocolate City Music

Genre: Hip Hop/Rap/Afrobeats

Date of Release: 28th October 2022

Producers: JAE5, Blaqbonez and more

Album Art:

Blaq

Before Blaqbonez made his album debut in 2021 with “Sex Over Love,” question marks surrounded his ability to deliver on the promise of his talent. Fast-forward a year later, and, the conversations have changed, much for the better too. Bonez has had an unpleasantly dynamic market and audience to contend with. Where singers and club-hit makers have continually enjoyed commercial success without much ado, Blaqbonez and his kind have found it rather difficult to capture and hold onto a sizeable share of the market.

Maybe that played a part in the prodigy’s delayed fruits; but the quality of his two projects prove it was well worth the wait. Somehow, he’s managed to master the wicked versatility required to make it in this rigid market, both critically and commercially. He built from the ground up, not only his image, but a stylish way of capturing attention, communicating, and influencing the culture. On Young Preacher, he shines with the splendour of a master craftsman. If this was a crusade, Young Preacher arrives 13 letters— the number of tracks on the album.

The title track immediately sets the tone for what to expect: light, sharp jabs that yet land heavy, as Bonez masterfully weaves the sensitive topics of sex, love, parenting, and religion into a 2-minute-22-seconds long refrain-less song. Those themes continue on “Hot Boy”, as the project fully morphs into its true-self– a sequel for “Sex Over Love”– a celebration of Blaqbonez’s witty and exaggerated controversial disapproval of monogamy. Amarae and Lojay lend their talents to the enthralling “Whitsle”, and they combine with Blaqbonez to produce what will prove one of the biggest hits on the song.

The fourth track, the obscene “Fashionnova” memorably opens with a sampling of the catchphrase popularised by American rap group Migos: ‘Bad and Boujie’, and without any particular message, ushers in the mammoth “Back in Uni” featuring Ghanaian-Born British producer and singer JAE5. But if we thought “Back In Uni” was going to steal all the headlines on Young Preacher, we had been mistaken.

“Fake Nikes” and the Paul Play-sampled “Loyalty” hold their grounds– the former particularly catching the eye. “Fake Nikes” is all about Blaqbonez’s ruthless hustle ethics and IDGAF attitude– two strengths you must possess trying to make it big in Lagos. Because your fake Nikes are priced higher than mine doesn’t make yours original; Africa’s designer fashion market is dominated by imitation after all. So, we might as well rock our fakes with pride knowing fully well that the real ones are not kind to the pockets.

Similar with its prequel, Blaqbonez deploys the same formula of blending singing with rapping, spitting brash, pungent punchlines with a believable falsetto, hence enlarging Young Preacher’s gamut of potential enthused audiences. It’s a perfection of “Sex Over Love,” yet sounds remarkably refreshing. Rather than experimenting with different sounds like many artists have in recent times (remember the Amapiano craze), he finds a way to keep the heart of his project at the core of both Hip Hop and Afrobeats, without coming off as the typical rapper or singer. There are songs for all kinds of listeners on Young Preacher.

“Ess Mama,” one of the more typical Afrobeats songs on the album features Tekno, but the next track “Mazoe,” with Takura and Bien quickly snatches the spotlight away it; not even Tekno’s frisky delivery could prevent that from happening. However, “Back On BS” ensures a strong interluding finish to the project while the Asa sampled “I’d Be Waiting” — a victory anthem that puts Blaqbonez’s witty, egotistic, and lush delivery in a glass case— ensures a befitting end to the listening experience.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4/5

Have you listened to Young Preacher by Blaqbonez? What are your thoughts on the album? Also, what’s your favourite track?

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