Album Title: Corporate Miscreant
Producers: Dabeat, Hycienth, Beatbyben, Obodo, Puffytee, Citiboi, Young D
Featuring Acts: Kosere, White Man, Citiboi, Shokah, Reekado Banks, Flekta Man, HHS
Duration: 72 minutes
Record Label: MSN GANG/AROGUNMENITE SOUNDS
Like clockwork, a little over one year since the release of Money Stop Nonsense (stylized as MSN and reviewed here), Ajegunle’s finest, Oritsefemi, is out with yet another Long Playing record he calls Corporate Miscreant. Before we come to the issue of this curious title, it is noteworthy that he is one of those who still care deeply for the art and act of making albums.
And now to the laughable title ‘Corporate Miscreant’, it seems that Oritsefemi was being prophetic especially following his recent gross misconduct at the Quilox Nightclub. But to borrow descriptions from the Quilox people’s public notice, the behaviour of the “music act” is not of much consequence here.
At 21 tracks, Corporate Miscreant, like most Nigerian albums, is beleaguered by too many songs. Thankfully, unlike on MSN, Puffy T does not play house producer; in fact, he produces just one track, ‘Eyo’. A crew of producers—Dabeat, Hycienth, Beatbyben, obodo, Citiboi and Young D—offer technical support for the acoustics. Admittedly, there are fewer featured artists and Oritsefemi is alone on a whooping 17 tracks.
The album opens with ‘No Dutty’, which rides on a subtle feel-good beat and offers a not-so-subtle counsel. Here Oritsefemi plays the ‘corporate’ side of the miscreant, pressing home with decisive demands, his threat lingering in what he leaves unsaid. The Hycienth-produced ‘Happy Day’ is a spare mid-tempo rhythm that reeks of divine thanksgiving; the album warms up to a listener’s demand.
On ‘Eyo’, he invokes the spirit of Lagos best embodied by the masquerade. Puffy T’s uninspired Nollywood soundtrack production notwithstanding, Oritsefemi’s vocal abilities shines through.
The next track, ‘Baby Boo’, tries for the dancehall feel, the album shuffling into familiar territory—i.e. You can complement the song with a start-stop Galala dance. ‘Rewind’ pulsates with the ambition of a good dancehall song but its drab lyrics are a letdown.
‘Freestyle’ drags the album into the familiar terrain of dancehall Afrobeats, producer Dabeat being the pilot. The Citiboi produced ‘Korect’ labours from its producer’s ambition and Oritsefemi’s lack thereof. ‘Sanumi’ melds that riveting bass guitar riff with an insistent percussion that seems to drive home its prayer mode.
‘Ongbalarami’ has the trance feel of a religious procession with its quick repetitive rhythm parleyed with an additional echoing percussion. Add to this its call and response mode, but it is more attuned to fetch money from the prominent names it mentions.
Then the album finds utopia on the mid-tempo makossa-tinged, ‘Awoo Ewaa’. Imaginably, Oritsefemi slips into that Kofi Olomide mode with his retinue of dancers bending their body in the most awkward positions, in the most beautiful way with intentional symmetry. The lyrics of this song is neither entirely supplicant nor flattering, the Dabeat beat does most of the work.
‘Olo Noni’ and ‘Baby Oku’ are in the crisis of being derivatively tiring. ‘Emi Ni’ features the trio of White Man, Shokah and its producer, Citiboi who also puffs out a few bars. It works generally as a feel good American song with a tendency to crunk. The first rapper fires shots at Olamide’s ‘Who You Epp’ on the matter of his philanthropy and the entire song has a cipher feel thumping with an excess of vitriol.
Reekado Banks helps out on ‘Mr Gomina’, that brilliant dancehall introducing Oritsefemi’s new moniker. The bridge says it all “that he flexes his life”. Perhaps he should have also warned that he can also be given to affray. ‘Omidan’ is one of his stronger vocal deliveries as Oritsefemi sings to and for love assuredly.
“Ara N Bada” features Flekta Man and the Musical Taliban goes back to the mode of MSN discussing what money does. The rest of the album enjoys half-conceived songs that seem to work best as filler than as gem. As expected, no A & R personnel was listed on this album credits, hence all music recorded is lifted straight from studio into the LP for a full but sometimes fumbling experience.
On account of the few gems on this album and that Oritsefemi gives another album so close to his last efforts, he deserves accolades. Corporate Miscreant might not be the finest of titles but it takes nothing from the album’s finest moments.
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