Laycon is a rapper, and an artist before anything else, but Reality TV can cast a big shadow on anyone.
Especially if you win a show like Big Brother Naija and you were able to gather the heat without music.
He could easily have just gone into acting or anything else for that matter. But he chose the music he’s always known, and with this debut offering, he tries to break free from that Big Brother shadow he’s stuck in.
Of course, Laycon is an industry plant and he doesn’t have to do all the hustling upcoming artists usually have to do.
He’s got the fame, everything is set for him. Now is this album good enough to let him in? That remains to be seen.
The project opens with a prayer and you can feel the sincerity in the words being said, the Islamic recitation has a good feel, and based on this alone you could say he’s off to a good start.
On “God Body,” two things become clear. One, Laycon knows his vocal texture isn’t all that, and throughout the tries to add some more bass by being relaxed. And two, his rapping could use a little more work. This would also have worked as the intro.
Mayorkun‘s vocals accompanying Laycon‘s make the beginning of “Verified” pleasing to the ears. Any day, any time, Mayor has got the melody. Laycon‘s second verse is on some Olamide wave. Decent track, couldn’t have been better, honestly.
Nobody knows Laycon as a very good lyricist or rapper, anyway, so it’s convenient for him to just jump on an Afrobeat and fool around. “All Over Me” is one of those tracks a rapper could do without, but what is Laycon anyway? A rapper?
The pre-released “Wagwan” belongs right where it is. Maybe because of the beat, it’s close to home enough. He’s not speaking plenty of English, he’s relaxed and you can tell. “Omo ope, sho n lo,” is as street as it gets with someone like Laycon, to be honest.
“Kele” is one of those songs that are carried by the instrumental. Remove the beat and all you get is a mid-song with awful lyrics. This could’ve been way better, no lie.
“Jeje” with Terri is easily the best song on the album. Terri and Laycon seem to have easily found that middle ground and the right instrumental that enables both talents to shine.
Terri‘s work with the hook and Laycon‘s commercial rap is impressive. The joint is original and it’s the kind of material any rapper should have on their project.
“Bam Bam” might be too explicit for its own good, but this is the kind of jam that makes you think Laycon knows what he’s doing for once. The beauty of the song is really in the execution.
“Want You Back” is easily a Teni song. Perfect album cut too.
It’s unfortunate that “My Lane” had to take up so much space and time just to have Laycon sound like an upcoming artist who hasn’t paid for the studio session yet. The outro, “And so they spoke” is totally a skip too.
Let’s be honest, if “Shall We Begin” sounds like it was rushed, maybe it’s because it was? The pressure to put something out there while his name is still on the streets must be a hard one, no doubt.
While some misses like “Kele” are not excusable, it’s easy to see why the album is the way it is. On the bright side, there’s no way Laycon’s next album won’t be better than this.
But it seems like that Big Brother shadow, though, is not going to leave him for a while. Because face it, Laycon’s artistry could use a little more work overall.