By Akporherhe Clinton Omoefe
Books shouldn’t be judged by their cover or title. Music album covers, however, should give a good description of what the music within entails.
Blaqbonez expressed the Sex Over Love album cover with the perfect allegory: Holding on to a bunch of gloomy roses, sadness and tears smeared across his face as he mourns the seeming departure of a lover, while, laughter and love beams in the background. What better depiction of an album marked by overtly lewd lyrics that creates an ambient feel of sex and vulgarity over love and amorousness. Nevertheless, the sheer music abilities of blaqbonez almost makes up for his recklessness.
Blaqbonez was revealed by Chocolate City record label as a rapper, but he seems to have included other music genres to his Arsenal. He is young, promiscuous and undaunted. It is not rare to see young artists from Nigeria dabble into different genres all at once. They are usually daring and more than willing to break boundaries.
Sex Over Love is a sophisticated 14 track mix of urban Nigerian and American pop sound: Hiphop and Afropop. Starting off with American trap music on the 1st and 2nd track, Blaqbonez quickly jumps into Afropop on the 3rd, 4th and 5th, only to return to the American sound on the 6th and 7th. The rest of the album follows a similar pattern. On the 11th track, the music reverts back to Hiphop’s rhythm and poetry as it approaches its crescendo and reposes on Nigerian Afrofusion for it’s climax. Hence, a beautiful assemblage of sonic frameworks.
Although each track tells it’s unique story. They all play their part in the overall theme of the album: Sex over Love. Bling transports our minds to Lagos city’s nightlife full of exotic resorts and hotel rooms as Blaqbonez sings about a persistent opportunist who proffer lust and falsehood in return for money and extravagance. Blaqbonez – confident in his street credibility – can be heard vowing never to fall for such subtle trap: /shifting the goal post, they no fit play me, they don’t know/ /cause a man come from the ghetto, but na street wey dey convo/. Amaarae and Buju’s calming vocals elevates the record to a romantic classic.
Never Been In Love embodies the theme of the album, both in sound and lyrics. Using explicit terms, he pronounces his intentions; sex, not love. He becomes vulnerable and defensive in Don’t Touch, promising to protect his his “shorty” He threatens: /Twenty man shall fall dat day, if they try/. With sumptuous vocals, Tiwa Savage hops on the track with her ever-present lyrical expansivity. In Okwaraji, Blaqbonez explains that he has learnt to suppress his love emotions, because the women around him are defiant and fleeting. Novacane, Heartbreaker and Bestfriend are splendid hiphop songs.
Sex Over Love is a quality album overall, that reflect the everyday urban lifestyle of Nigerian youth. It contends to be one of the best albums out of Nigeria in 2021.
Album score: 8.5 / 10