Rema RavesRoses Review e1648209525529

Album Review: ‘Rave & Roses’ By Rema

Rema’s highly anticipated debut studio album arrives with so much expectations and substantiation. It’s 16 tracks include enchanting feel-good tunes that have become the penchant for loving Afrobeats around the globe

A destiny child– there’s always been something special about Rema. Right from the off of his career, confidence, self-belief and a realisation of self-worth have remained his mantle.

Artists struggle to lustre without those qualities; and end up not making authentic music because of fear of acceptance, backlash, and being misunderstood.

Aware of his gifts, zealous, and committed to touching the sky, Rema referred to himself as “the future” on stage at the 2019 Headies Award. Prophetic words or arrogance, the 21-year-old has dominated with every initiative that’s been handed to him.

How well do you know Rema’s bangers? Guess the song these lyrics were taken out from

In the early days of his career, people compared his vocals and style to Wizkid, especially after the release of his smash hit “Dumebi.” But fast-forward a few years and the Mavin Record’s singer has buried those cofounds, almost inventing his own genre of music (he calls it Afrorave) influenced by sound elements from diverse genres, including trap, reggae, etc.

raves & roses

Now the wait is over, and the goods have been delivered- ‘Rave & Roses’: a 16-track list play centred on themes of love, addiction, and destiny, with an ensemble cast that includes American singer 6LACK, British rapper AJ Tracey and French vocalist Yseult.

Keep reading as we give you an overview of Rave & Roses – one song at a time.


“Divine” is the opening track on ‘Rave & Roses’. It’s typically a song about Rema’s birth, the tragedy of losing his dad and brother, and his fated transcendence to the top of African music. Born Divine Ikubor to Benin parents, Rema oozes the same confidence and grandiose that have epitomised his music and rise to superstardom. He also highlights the significance that names can have in the life of an African child.

“Hold Me” (ft. 6LACK)

“Hold Me” is a typical Rema love song. It’s a special record describing a mystery girl whose only desire is love and attention, not the fancy perks that come with dating a wealthy and famous man. Speaking to Apple Music, he said about the record: “She just wants to hold me down and be that real one for me. So, the title represents feeling safe with this woman. That’s what every guy looks for: those quiet moments where you feel safe in this crazy world. I did this song with 6LACK and it’s a masterpiece.”


“Dirty” is the third record on Rave & Roses. Rema’s soft and silky vocals flow over a sonic blend of high-life and jazz, with the same undertone and raciness as in 2021’s “Soundgasm,” which has also been included in the album.

“Calm Down”

“Calm Down” is already a hit record in Nigeria. There are no strings attached to the meaning of the record, with Rema confirming to Apple Music it was merely the product of a freestyle about a girl he met in the club, with a beat from Andre Vibez.


Released in 2021 as one of the flagship singles of the project, “Soundgasm” shines with Rema’s ever enthralling vocals.

“Time N Affection” (ft. Chris Brown)

Fans where excited when images of Rema and Chris Brown sharing the same studio surfaced the internet. The product of that link-up of course, is “Time N Affection,” a fine fusion of New York-style pop and Afropop, thanks to Chris Brown’s lush flow and passionate connection with Afrobeats.


“Jo” is merely one of Rave & Roses’ feel-good song. Its typical Afropop tune makes it a proper celebration of African music, with Rema namedropping a few popular African woman-celebrities. “Jo” is Yoruba word for dance, and this is exactly the kind of song that enchants the body into those uncontrollable rhythmic movements.


With echoes of addiction, Rema’s romantic adventure peaks on “Mara,” right from ‘Hold Me’ to ‘Dirty’ to ‘Mara’ and ‘Love,’ which is the next song on the album. The lyrics are weightier than in the previous songs but Rema maintains his alluring vocal range.


“Love” continues the Rave & Roses’ Afrocentric-romance chronicle. With a slightly higher pitch, Rema raves about a love interest over a trap-like beat.


This particular record would mean a lot to Rema– for the Mavin Record’s star, trapping had always been his first calling. His Souncloud page is littered with trap recordings, and being able to include “Addicted” on Rave & Roses would have been a personal conquest. But this is not your regular trap song, it’s Travis Scott level; like Kanye turning Daft Punk’s electronic samples into symphonies. “Addicted” is rock star music, and will most definitely enlarge Rave & Roses and Rema’s global appeal.

“Are You There”

On “Are You There,” Rema examines certain societal dynamics, including politics and the situation of his country’s leadership, religion, and the propensity for people to judge you and criticize you when you’re famous. It’s way more conscious than the other songs on the album, but Rema still manages to sprinkle fun all over it.

“FYN” (ft. AJ Tracey)

Rema and British rapper AJ Tracey’s “FYN” is an acronym for Fresh Young N**a. At only 21 and barely 4 years into his career, Rema has enjoyed unprecedented success. That success comes with deep pockets and high purchasing power of course. And after being born into a relatively average family in Benin city, Rema can now boast of being able to afford the things he could only dream of.

“Oroma Baby”

In his own words, “‘Oroma Baby’ is a jam. It’s just a dance record that still covers the term ‘love’ and how it is attached to the ‘Roses’ side of the album.” That’s exactly what “Oroma Baby” is about.


“Carry” is another vain record that will probably inspire various viral dance videos on social media. Its non-stop rhythm coupled with Rema’s racy lyrics make it a typical Afrobeats club banger.

“Wine” (ft. Yesult)

Once again, ‘Rave & Roses’ reaches another remarkable point before its closure. “Wine,” featuring Yseult is a cross-border song that will appeal to both Rema’s African and European fans. Rema and Yseult combine wickedly to body London’s beautifully laid beat.


It’s not just Rema’s lustrous vocals or the brilliance of London, Vibez and the rest of the producers and contributors on Rave & Roses that make it a great experience, there had been ingenuity written all over the album sequencing. However, that excellence ended with “Runaway,” which many critics would describe as tumbling the experience. It’s a record that maybe should have come earlier, with Rema reminding listeners about his past insecurities with keeping a woman or missing out on love. Nonetheless, the record in itself caps a memorable journey of almost an hour, and certainly Rema fans should be proud of this album. In all its hype and prophesied glory, it was well worth the wait.

Rating: 3.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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