It’s the year 2020, one of the… if not the greatest year in Nigeria’s music history. Despite the ups and downs in the year, it’s been amazing for music lovers because “our favourite artistes plan to make us overdose on so much good music.” The most interesting part of this is that the G.O.A.Ts in this space have done the unusual and dropped albums in times not so far apart from each other. But that’s enough eulogy for 2020, let’s move on to the better part – A BETTER TIME.
It’s the 11th month of the year and no better way to close the music year than to get an album with a title that bests describes it. A Better Time is the 3rd studio album of self acclaimed biggest artiste in Africa – David Adeleke (aka Davido). The serial hit maker announced its release earlier in the year, few months after the release of his 2019 platinum album – A Good Time. Although not being able to embark on his “A Good Time” World Tour due to the Corona Virus outbreak, Davido has had such a great time in 2020. He’s bagged major recognitions, amassed outrageous numbers and done what he loves the most – dropped hits. Amidst the controversies, he doesn’t seem to be distracted in any way, he says it’s enough inspiration for him, and that’s very evident in this album.
The 17 track album kicks off with “FEM”, the earlier released smash hit single where he lets some steam off and tells his haters to keep quiet. The very controversial song sparked a lot of conversations in the music world, some say it’s a subliminal message to Grammy nominated Burnaboy as both artistes are currently at loggerheads. Davido did clear the air during an interview with Bounce Radio Live’s: The Blackbox Interview, some weeks after the song’s release, according to him, it’s just him telling his haters to keep shut, and is not a direct shot at anyone. But well, if you know, you know.
Davido, who has been at the frontline of the “Afrobeats to the world” agenda has overtime earned recognition on the international scene, especially with his 2017 smash hits “Fall” & “If”. With these, he gained some audience in the US, and he did not hesitate to feature some of their finest artistes on the album. “Holy Ground” which features Nicki Minaj, “Shopping Spree” which features Young Thug and friend – Chris Brown, earlier released single “So Crazy” which features Lil Baby, and “Birthday Cake” which features Hitboy and Veteran Rapper – Nas have some potential on entering major charts in that territory. They are not all solid tracks, but then… it’s Davido.
One thing I’m certain of is that if you did not jump on the Amapiano/Gqom bandwagon in 2020, you missed heavily. Davido did not sleep on this and it did come as a shock to me. The Afropop king would definitely have Kabza or Maphorisa calling him for a studio session after hearing songs like “Heaven”, “La La” which features CKay, and “I Got a Friend” which features the Mayor of Lagos – Mayourkun & Gqom queen – Sho Madjozi.
Davido did promise us a classic and even if it may be too early to call, I highly doubt he has failed us. The album is packed with potential hits like “Jowo”, “Something Fishy”, “Tanana” which features Tiwa Savage, and a couple others. One of the biggest surprises for me is the features carrying the songs, well not all, but we won’t get into that. On seeing the features upon the unveiling of the album tracklist, I did not expect much from some of these artistes. I would like to give honourable mentions to Mayorkun for holding it down on “The Best”, like his oga, he’s turning into a serial hit maker. Ckay also did his thing on earlier mentioned “La La”, and lastly, the LASUITE who’s having one of the most wonderful break out year ever – Bella Schmurda, he brought his own kind of sound on “Fade”, and the chemistry between him and Davido was very amazing.
To round this up, I’d like to point out a few things, and these are just my honest opinions:
Firstly, there have always been talks on range and versatility when the “who’s the GOAT?” argument comes up and most often Davido falls short, but I hope this album makes it a little more clear that the man can do anything.
Secondly, Davido needs to understand that he doesn’t do so well when he collaborates with Hip-Hop artistes, asides Dremo of course *grins*. We’ve seen it enough, he should save himself some studio time and record “AN AWESOME TIME.”
Lastly, he’s not lyrically there yet for me, he needs new songwriters. But then, he’s still a vibe, so we will jaiye like that.
When it comes to the GOAT conversation, OBO remains top 2. We cannot say who is #1, #2 or #3 as we won’t be having any smoke from either fanbase. But for the 30 Billion Gang (aka 30BG), we congratulate you, your leader has delivered, and surely it’s “A BETTER TIME.”