REVIEW: Octopizzo’s Bold and Dreamy Album ‘Next Year’
The editor’s notes on the Apple Music preview capture Octopizzo‘s new album ‘Next Year‘ rather concisely: ‘Splendid beats and rhymes from Kibera’s outspoken rap figurehead.’
‘Next Year‘ is a 17-track, 1 hour 4 minute personification and exploration of the possibilities of a homegrown, dreamy-eyed, purpose driven and immensely talented rapper with his eyes set on global domination.
We Can is an inspiring single meant to showcase the possibilities of achieving our dreams, dedicated by Namba Nane to every young person on the continent. The ambitious introduction, right after the more traditionally-sounding intro, is a tribute to his roots, exemplified by heavy instrumentals and bassline right at home next to any top notch international rap music produce. Jazzy on the other hand is a hypnagogic blend of rap and jazz, seasoning his usual sounds with a more acquired taste of tunes.
The next track, Miss Me, continues in this sultry fashion, featuring relative newcomer Nitasha Randhawa as the subject of his affections, in a love ballad that’s fleshed out with the beautiful husky vocals of Nitasha. She also features on another track later in the album, Past. Monopoly, one of my favourites on the album, feels like its Octopizzo’s assertion that he is on top of his game, and he does it with such bombast that it’s hard to ignore.
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BITD, Nu Afrika and Wavy teeter between the familiar and unfamiliar sounds, with interesting audio trinkets such as goats bleating and antique but polished auto-tunes and drumlines. Noma Ni and Make Peace are the Octopizzo we know so well, causing a coordinated fracas with the earlobes.
Let’s Get It tip toes into the RnB genre, featuring Kay Green, with impetuous lyrics and fluid sounds and echos that would make this track a breeze to listen to, with or without the vocal arrangements. It was my second favourite. Trilla and EIGHT (featuring Tracy), conflagulate together to exhibit the the musical mayhem that rap, instrumentals and interesting sounds, can cause.
It would only make sense that ‘Next Year’, with its controversial album art featuring topless women, would end on a dramatic note as with Young Puffy, which sounds like it’s just out of a blockbuster crime family saga.
You can listen to and download the album HERE