Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Album Review: Ayo the Nigerian Nightmare - Delusions of Grandeur

My first album review! I'm pretty excited. Here goes: a good friend of mine asked me to review this album because the person in question, Ayo, is his artist. That being said, I will give a fair and just review, I owe it to my readers don't I?

Ayo is a Nigerian born and NY based rapper and spoken word poet. That's right folks, he does poetry as well. You shouldn't forget this because if you don't like poetry or spoken word performers, you probably will not like a lot of this album. This is because there are a few tracks on the album that are Ayo doing his poetry thing, and they are, if you're into that, some of the really stellar parts of the album. For instance, the track "Folasade" was one of my favorites; a very melodic and hypnotizing track was the backdrop for Ayo's ode to his first love by the name of Folasade. His wordplay really comes out in his spoken word and definitely in this track.

The album starts off with a very funny audio from a little movie called "Coming to America." Fitting I thought, because everyone loves that movie, and it's a great part of the film. From there we get right into the music with back to back tracks featuring Omni Blaize, "Dreams" and "She's Leaving," respectively. Both good tracks, but "Dreams" is my favorite of the two; what can I say, I like the beat more. On "Tales of the Forgotten" he starts off the story telling by giving a shout out to rapper Immortal Technique, who I went to High School with of course. Felipe whatup?!

The next track is "To The End Of Time," which actually features my friend who asked me to review the album in the first place, Areckless Mind (clearly not his real name). Now although this beat is super sick, I wasn't a fan of the deliveries of both rappers, and I definitely didn't like the chorus on the song. The lyrics are there but I felt like both rappers were going faster than the beat, if that makes sense? It was right around here that I thought that maybe really slow beats weren't really Ayo's thing. Well time would tell...

Up next was another great spoken word track, "Reflections on Race from an Outsider's Perspective." Not much secrets here, I'm sure you can guess what that one is about! The next track as a good one, "Bright Lights" featuring L05 on the hook. Again I felt like maybe the beat was too slow for him, and he was kind of ahead of it again. It's a good song but if he rode the beat better it would have been splendid. The next song is "Groove" and truthfully this is my least favorite song on the album. It seems like he attempted making a kind of club banger song here but falls short, and I found it twice as annoying because the album has such a poetic feel to it that I felt like maybe he was reaching here with this song.

I won't talk about everything on the album, but asside from the tracks I mentioned, other standouts for me are "Bad Men" and "It's the Nigerian Nightmare" featuring Louise Browne. Both have great beats, with the latter having the better one, but he really shows off his flow and lyrical wordplay on both tracks. I wanted to see more stuff like this on the album because they're really good songs. "Excess Baggage" represents the best spoken word track on the whole album, with the chorus sung by Shelly Bhushan. His words (he reminds us that baggage makes planes and relationships sink) in conjunction with the vocals of Ms. Bhushan make an excellent poetic track. I think that this track would be great to people who don't even really like spoken word, because this is just flat out great. He finishes with a song called ""Thin line between love and hate," which features a quite famous track (I won't say which one!) and he cruises it to near perfection. All in all it's a good album, and I'm willing to give it 3.5 out of 5 because it has some great stuff, but other stuff just could have been better. But really you shouldn't take my word for it, the album is available for FREE at Ayo's website: ayoinmotion.com/. I say check it out and listen for yourself.

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