END OF THE ROAD FOR DADDY SHOWKEY?

Galala na for life… Because galala means expanding and growing…say d thing dey expand, e dey grow… today, many boys dey play my style, and dey try 2 b like me… And body dey sweet me o! .. Whether dem like dem agree or not, but I know say I don try…

If you’ve listened to Daddy Showkey’s new album, Take 5ive, then you must be familiar with the above words… And in case you’ve not, well, that’s the opening skit on the act’s new 12 tracker, released by Ojez music. True, Showkey, a ghetto apostle and pathfinder of sorts, has paid his dues. Since his stint with Pretty Busy Boys (made up of himself, Daddy fresh, Cashman Davies And sexy Pretty), his appearance on Daddy Fresh’s debut, and his own impressive 1994 solo debut, the Ajegunle-bred entertainer has made music his own way; flouting conventions, thereby creating fresh paths, and leading the way for hundreds of hitherto-hopeless artistes to follow. But now, the most successful of the pretty busy boys, and indeed, the most successful artiste yet to come out of Ajegunle( a notorious lagos ghetto, close to Apapa known to have produced some of the most talented music and soccer stars) is stuck in the middle of a once thriving career, trying to fast-forward, so that dozens of his protégés don’t leave him behind. Showkey’s latest effort at resuscitating his embattled career is Take 5ive. I’m well aware that this is a make or mar album, so I have refused to be part of discussions where Showkey’s new album is on discourse. But right now, I’m sitting down in front of my oversize desk, trying to listen to the 10tracker, dosing of intermittently, yawning ten times per minute, and managing to nod my head once or twice. That’s not a very good sign, for someone who can sing all the tracks on Showkey’s 1994 album. And, knowing that two things are certain: (1) the success of Take 5ive will mark the beginning of a new phase for Showkey’s career, and a better future for ojez music (having failed with Baba Fryo, and lost Sunny Neji); (2) The failure of this album will not only mark the beginning of the end of Showkey’s recording career, it could make Joseph Odobeatu start thinking again, about this whole music business. So? I listen to the album again, trying to keep my eyes open, and my mouth shut. On the opening song, young girl, Showkey is joined by Tallman to reenact the song earlier recorded in 1994. Apart from the fast tempo (with increased beats per minute), it’s obvious showkey is trying to ride on his old formula this time.

And the trend is glaring, from Brenda to jah ehovah, ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Chicago( a song that’ll make you laugh) and 117 (this one could make you cry). Ignore the weak vocals, elementary songwriting, and you’ll be amazed at the melody on Take 5ive, Shalala and one day. Oh, and the one that’ll get you up, wipe away sleep from your eyes and plant dance on your feet, is rolling, a tribute song to Pa Fatai Rolloing Dollar. Unmistakable highlife feel on rolling is fabulous… what else do you expect of a song dedicated to FRD? The showkey-FRD collabo is one of the rare great cuts on this album…you’ll like the guitar solo… you’ll like Pasuma’s verses on 117 too…

Thanks to the guests on the album (Pasuma, Tallman and FRD) and afew good beats as cooked by OJB, fans and critics will not be in a hurry to throw take 5ive into the trash can, and throw the trash can into the incinerator…but it’s not likely it’ll on the most-wanted list at record stores or radio stations…but I trust that Daddy showkey and his people will do everything possible to make this one album work. At a time when everyone’s wearing a pop garb, and urbane music is rave of the moment, it’s sad ans scary to think that the likes of Showkey and the concepts they represent are an endangered species. Or, tell me, who wouldn’t rather listen to Marvellous Benjy or African china than sit through a Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo or Daddy Fresh song? Even trendier acts like Blackky, Lt. Shotgun, and Daniel Wilson are battling endlessly to get the chains of their mics…all over the world, it continues to happen, that most music careers are ephemeral, with most artistes never making more than one hit album in their entire career. And with several unpredictable factors determining what’s hot and what’s not, most times, there’s nothing an artiste can do, but to gaze helplessly and offer sacrifices to appease the god of music whi is so stubborn, he isn’t even listening to Michael Jackson!

While I’m not saying this album will nail the coffin of Showkey’s career, I don’t expect it to perform better than K1 Ultimate’s Flavours or Sound Sultan’s Textbook: both average albums that have done nothing to enhance the artistes’ careers. But while KWAM 1 continues to live on concert appearances and incessant praise-singing, and Sound Sultan riding on critics’ support and an assured musical future, Showkey’s demand continues to wane by the day, with many a pundit claiming he has run out of ideas and concept. Money is not the issue, though, as, like KWAM 1, Showkey is blessed with loyal fans who don’t mind blessing him with gifts and, even, contracts…but unlike KWAM 1, showkey’s repertoire is dangerously lean, and if take 5ive is an attempt to add to the list, I’m afraid it may be far from successful. We all want to live long, stayu healthy, and see our great grand children. But, bless our souls, not all of us will. Right? Every artiste wants to record all their lives, it’s not just about making money… it’s fulfilling a calling. But what’s the essence of an album fans don’t want to listen to? An album critics are laughing at, and CD players are rejecting?

I’ve listened to take 5ive over five times already, and I have a suggestion: why doesn’t Ojez withdraw the album from circulation, select 117, Rolling, Young Girl, Brenda and Chicago, maintain the producer and the choruses, and get someone else to write and arrange Showkey’s lines? Then they can re-release a great 5-song EP that’ll be aptly titled take 5ive… oh, the rest songs? They can give them to Baba fryo… he’ll consider them excellent, compared to the trash he calls songs…

Ayeni Adekunle Samuel. february 2007.

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10 Responses to “END OF THE ROAD FOR DADDY SHOWKEY?”

  1. They can give them to Baba fryo… he’ll consider them excellent, compared to the trash he calls songs…

    abeg try dey criticise small small…and let it be constructive!

  2. danny alaba Says:

    if u are an upcoming artist and u want to promote your song from alaba or mistape call this number 08085088437

  3. Alberto Says:

    Please just send us some feedback on the Jah Jehovah videoclip you find at youtube portal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af2YLPGrLFI
    Thanks

  4. Quite interesting, well I just wanted some songs and got your blog. Thanks for this one mate 😉 I just loved it. An additional comment or feedback which I would like to give is that this theme is quite boring and you need to work on it but everything else I fine.

  5. update

  6. hi showkey u ar already blessed,we need some more hit that will trip people

  7. showkey,u hv done a great in press in music is not easy,we need more hit to ur fans

  8. CD Players are nice but today we have DVD players and Blu-ray players that are even nicer -‘,

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