ALBUM REVIEW: Is Cheque’s Debut, “Bravo” Worth The Hype?

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Cheque - Bravo Album

Is Cheque’s Debut, “Bravo” Worth The Hype? 

“I’m a fucking rockstar, so don’t treat me like I’m not,” he screams on “Rockstar,” the intro to the LP, where he talks about how he’s way up and people are ‘tryna’ bring him down still.

True. Cheque is a proper pop star now, a guy who has mastered the art of fusing hip-hop and trap styles with Afrobeat so well people are calling him our very own Roddy Ricch.

He has the potential to be one of the most relevant to the culture, and this album “Bravo” is just the first step in that voyage to the hall of fame.

For the youngster, though, this is just an opportunity to show listeners what he’s about. Know what they say about first impressions? It’s his debut, so it’s very important.

Cheque who first came into the limelight when he was featured on Olamide‘s 999 EP early in 2020, has come a long way since then. He has released an EP, had two smash hits, and has been on songs with Wale, Davido, among others. He’s a star, and yeah, I’m just being modest.

What “Bravo” is supposed to be is an LP with the sauce. We all know Cheque, so naturally, anyone would expect a fusion of elements of rap with laid-back afro-pop vibes that are dominant in this era that he’s from.

If the album’s lead singles are anything to go by, anyway, it’s predominantly hip-hop. “History,” for example, released earlier this year, was his first hit since his “Razor” EP last year.

The hit featured YBNL’s Starboy and fan favorite, Fireboy DML. “History” didn’t have the sass that made “Zoom” a bop, but it had something else. It had the promise of something fresh in the industry. Hearing Cheque and Fireboy flow on the R&B/hip-hop instrumental is a delight.

That same delight that comes from hearing a new guy burst some fresh vibes and do it the way it has never been done before is what serenaded “Call Me Baby

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,” the album’s second single which was released a while back.

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But this is his album and as a pop star, his focus is to make music that appeals to people. Hence, the Afrobeats tunes that accompany the hip-hop jams on the LP.

Take the Ayra Starr-assisted “Dangerous” for instance. The only reason a song like that is on the album is to make an impression that he’s just as good at doing afro tunes. Seeing as most of the bops from his first project like “Loco” and “Odun” went under the radar, Cheque still kinda has to prove that trap isn’t all he is good for. “Dangerous” might be a lazy effort, but it gets the job done.

Flows, check. Lyrics, he got it. Bangers, check. Versatility, check. What else? He probably doesn’t need more than that to make a statement. But there’s definitely more.

The album is very short. Well, it’s long enough. It well could’ve been shorter, but I doubt taking off some songs would’ve made it better than it is, so it’s cool.

Songs like “Blind,” “Sweet Love,” and the pre-released “LOML” with Olamide are instant fan favorites. The album could’ve used a few more guest features too.

Bravo” will most likely not spur many hits like Fireboy‘s eclectic debut, “Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps.” But this will probably be Cheque’s magnum opus. It’s also a valid template for new artists trying to make their first album in this industry.

Bravo” is good enough. No, it is better than good enough. And, allow me to say, that’s on period!

Rating: 7/10

On A Scale Of 1 — 10, What Would You Rate “Bravo”? And What’s Your Best Song Right Now?

Let’s hear from you.

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