International Music Review – Album Review of The Collectiv3 by The Collectiv3
Arguably Africa’s hottest Hip-Hop duo, Show Dem Camp (SDC) has had Kid Konnect behind the boards on Happy Weekend. Poe, an affiliate of the SDC movement, is a regular from The Dreamer Project to stealing spotlight on OD to the Alternative Hip-Hop cut that was Feel Alright. Syndik8’s Ikon created magic on The Dreamer Project, straight from the title track with the horns blaring. Temi DollFace had a feature off that debut album, too. Her well-received 2013 Pata Pata was co-produced by Ikon. Ikon, Poe and Funbi collaborated on the 2014 Slow It Down. Tec and Ghost (SDC), and Konnect host DZRPT TV’s Breakfast Show. Nsikak, the guitarist comes into the mix to complete the supergroup (call their sound Alternative Hip-Hop as they blend Hip-Hop, House, R&B, Afrobeat, Soul).
The Collectiv3 creates art through their music. For fear of sounding pretentious with the ‘art/creative(s)’ tag that runs rampant among Alternative artistes, The Collectiv3’s “challenging status quo” mantra is by no means clichéd.
The supergroup bears semblance to one from out-of-the-country, PBR&B Queen Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland– featuring Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, and St. Beauty. That link runs deep in music, fashion and the ‘art’ of it all (including the photoshoot).
What hits you when the album comes on?
Ikon’s horns—As triumphant as Ikon’s horns. That’s a profound simile for the brilliance Lynxxx’s partner has become known for.
“It’s the return of the king oh/Everybody sing ‘yeah, yeah’ (Akintunde),” Temi DollFace’s voice breaks the gong sequence for the entrance of the rapping Ikon on Akintunde—in case you forgot he raps or somehow your copy of BlackMagic’s Version 1.0 vanished. “And the sword is the pencil, the beat is the armour/To protect the people from propaganda…This goes out to all the dancers, politicians with zero answers (replace phrase with ‘BASTARD’)/Everybody called and the hero answered.” You’re welcome to enjoy this audiofest!
Temi DollFace, Ikon and Nsikak are not bullshitting with preserving the art posting black and white images on instagram or tweeting cryptic messages; they cut to the chase, and deliver that sublime!
On School Your Face, Temi continues in this excellence on the Tee-Y Mix-production that blends elements of Soul, House and PBR&B as she politely tells an ex to keep it moving—“But the louder voice within says, ‘I’m better off alone.’” As she fixes the broken pieces and gets back on her throne with applause, the ex-lover perhaps does a dance of rejection out of the door like Beyoncé’s man on Irreplaceable.
L-R: Funbi, Poe, Nsikak, Ikon, Kid Konnect, Temi DollFace, Tec, and Ghost
The legend of Eris or the biblical object of temptation shows up on Forbidden Fruit as Funbi finds himself stuck in a love triangle- threesome involving his best friend and lover with the Devil enjoying the voyeur- “Ma je n ri’ja orogun!” Funbi had that buzz in 2010/2011 but disappeared from the music scene without prompting. The Ikon-produced Synth-Pop record (accompanied by thunderclaps and DJ scratches) build a cinematic layout for Funbi’s falsetto/tenor.
“Omo Aye” gets a dedication on the humorous Sexy Bitch—the title similar to David Guetta and Akon’s.
By this time it is clear Ikon is on a roll creating magic behind the boards. Poe writes verses for the lady Solidstar referred to as ‘Omotena’ and Reminisce called ‘Bisi My Lover’. Flashbacks to Kanye West’s Gold Digger—the modern day instagram model, twitter hottie- the kind that has PBBs or DJ Zeeti or every and anyone begging for a followback.
“What smells better than a man with money?”
Kid Konnect’s bassline on beats are as menacing as they come—no one has the meanest bass like…“Ha Gawd!” That’s how you feel, and voice it like Tec. Kunle ‘Kid Konnect’ Oluwadiya’s humorous ad-libs are something of a wonder to listen to. Tec and Ghost of Show Dem Camp continue where their affiliate, Poe, stopped—“Money speaking, girls wanna answer”. The minimalist production on Shey Bai has the members of SDC flipping wizardry.
“The sign(s) of the Judgement,” Soul/Hip-Hop singer Nneka sings. Loose Kaynon and Ghanaian rapper M.anifest drop verses on the Konnect production. Religious imagery plays on this track—“when I come in a to(n)ga, get the choir singing worship and praises”, “what you expect- they got Loose and M.anifest and we’re sprinkling holy water on the track.” Loose Kaynon and M.anifest have at different times been on tracks titled “Halleluyah” so religious tropes are not strange to the duo. Nneka’s catalogue is filled with such—Lucifer, Book of Job, God of Mercy.
Temi DollFace returns with a bang! in the form of social commentary on the Jo Pee-produced Just Like That. Just Like That tells the story (no pun intended) of a lady deceived by one with cash to spend, and a dysfunctional family. Temi DollFace ‘chops and screws’ lyrics from Fela’s Just Like That, Destiny Child’s Independent Women, Tinashe’s All Hands On Deck, and Jay-Z’s Excuse Me Miss in a brilliant piece. Temi’s Drama Soul-leaning shows up on this Hip-Hop-Afrobeat fusion almost flawlessly.
Funbi, Poe, Nsikak, and Ikon Adore Her– the lady of their dreams- on the 8th track. This R&B track is way too smooth for a 4 minutes 15 seconds run. This is one of the best love songs (hats off to Omotayo, though) you will hear this year from a Nigerian artiste. Nsikak David’s riffs are gorgeous—Valentine’s Day came early for lovers! On Happy Day, Nsikak is just showing off his guitar skills and he does well as the riffs hit a core of our souls.
Kid KonnecT, Ikon, Show Dem Camp, Poe, Temi DollFace, Funbi, and Nsikak combine brilliantly on The Collectiv3 LP for the best sounding Nigerian musical project this year. Album or EP or mixtape by any Nigerian artiste this year? Bar none. There is none touching this awesomeness by The Collectiv3, yet.
The LP is the most cohesive work in the music industry—from direction to songwriting to performance(s) to production; these were all done excellently well. Nothing short of brilliance! This is art! Art in the purest form! Chin Okeke handled A&R perfectly on this project that it is hard to fault any aspect of the work.
Every member of the supergroup brought his/her A-game on The Collectiv3 LP including the guest producers- Tee Y-Mix & Jo Pee. Sound engineering on this LP deserves praises from Konnect to Ikon to Rhymz to Juicer to Nsikak.
Like the cover art, The Collectiv3 has shattered expectations and ‘broken records’—Just Like That!
Review by Udochukwu Ikwuagwu