November 30, 2023

ExposAfrica Magazine

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Reekado Banks – OTR Vol 2 Album [EP] Review

OTR (Off The Record) Vol 2 is a five-track extended play by Nigerian singer/songwriter and former of Mavins Record, Reekado Banks. The body of work was released as a sequel to his 2020 Off The Record project that bears the critically acclaimed banger Rora. However, the year 2020 was also going to be adverse in the music career of the young crooner, as he was publicly dissed and embarrassed by two A-list celebrities, WizKid and Burna boy. To reply to his critics and clear his name, Reekado Banks needed to release an excellent body of work that will prove his musical skills and ingeniousness and also leave a better imprint in the minds of his fans and the general public.

On a surface level, OTR Vol 2 seems to be a project filled with mostly relaxed and laid-back records. It is only when you strip it down to its lyrics that you can begin to uncover the raw emotions and musical themes packed within the tracklist. Songs like Pulling Up and Ozumba Mbadiwe showcase feelings of sentiment and revenge; While Lupita Nyongo and Selection showcases flattery and commitment. Although the sound engineering and production on the tracks are heavily influenced by the South African’s Amapiano genre, the impact of Nigerian music producers P.Prime, Biggie Jazzy, and others on the sonic instrumentation can be immensely felt and acknowledged.

The 2nd song and hit single on the album, Ozumba Mbadiwe features a good balance of top-notch sound production from P.Prime, combined with excellently inspired lyrics from Reekado Banks. The singer found a way to belt out his thoughts and feelings about the 2020 Lekki massacre that happened on the Ozumba Mbadiwe Highway in vocal melodies that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. His line in the second verse of the song about Giant of Africa is a double entendre that refers to both the Nigerian government and Burna Boy. A laudable stroke of genius that ended up sending almost the entire music industry into a frenzy.

Apart from Ozumba Mbadiwe, Songs like Pulling Up and Lupita Nyongo contain catchy flows and commendable sonic instrumentation that give the OTR Vol 2 EP an enjoyable overall experience. However, other tracks such as Sentiment and Self Esteem are merely just fillers and a clear intent by Reekado to pad the tracklist. We hope to hear impeccable tracks like Ozumba Mbadiwe on future projects by Reekado Banks. For now, we can only enjoy the banger from OTR (Off The Record) Vol 2 and lick our fingers.

Album Score: 7/10

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