Enchantments of the African Nation Joins Forces with the Powers of its Women
Black Magic is the third studio album released by Nigeria’s intriguing songstress, Yemi Alade. Over the last decade, she has dazzled her fans as well as music lovers with her thrilling lyrics, sonorous voice, and amazing dance steps. After venturing into the Nigeria music industry in 2005 under the label, Effyzzie Music Group, Yemi Alade has been in the business of releasing Dancehall and Afropop tracks. Now, she ranks high not just in the Nigerian music community but also in Africa and the world in general. Such a feat could only have been possible because of her consistency and mastery of her niche.
With the success of her debut album, Kings of Queens, Yemi sought to do more, which culminated in the widely accepted second album, Mama Africa. Upon the release of her third studio album, Black Magic, the expectation was that she would move on to the next stage of her career. Rather sadly, the album didn’t get the anticipated positive acclaims, as she had to deal with criticisms from many quarters. As some of her critics posited, the album reflected her dwindling fortunes in the industry, given the fact that she obviously lacked the right lyrics and composure that were expected to make the tracks a hit.
Now, you may ask, “What is the essence of the title, Black Magic?” Does this imply that the songstress was indirectly promoting the negative undertones attributed to the term? It’s worth mentioning that “Black Magic”, as described by many sources, including Wikipedia, has to do with the “use of supernatural powers or other acts of exorcism to achieve a selfish or evil purpose”. Critics of the album went further to wonder about the correlation of this definition to the lyrics and visuals of the tracks in Yemi Alade’s Black Magic album. Whether these have to do with the supernatural is a story for another day. Yet, one thing remains clear – the album took another dimension of exercising powers within your reach. In this case, Yemi Alade hinged hers on the innate power of the womenfolk, in particular, the African woman. A “power” that stems from the average African woman’s ability to use her physical attributes to achieve her aim.
A critical look at the album reveals that the songstress was literally battling to remain in charge after the success of her previous releases. To some extent, Black Magic is miles away from the vibes accrued to her hit single, Johnny. Except for the sonority of her voice and her dance steps that don’t seem ready to go away anytime soon, some analysts believe that Yemi Alade might just be at the tail-end of her career. Considering her rise to stardom in 2013, and subsequent success of her two previous albums, one expects that she would have brought in more factors to spice up the new album, Black Magic. Yemi proved her readiness to remain in the spotlight with the amazing personalities she featured in her Mama Africa album with the likes of Flavor, Psquare, and Selebobo lending their vocals to add flavor to her tracks. The same was expected on Black Magic but only a few prominent artists like Falz and Olamide were there to make the album thrilling.
Although the sky mightn’t seem rosy as expected, Black Magic, which was released on December 17, 2017, can pass for one of the sacrifices Yemi Alade has to make, as she should draw strength from the criticisms and integrate more efforts into subsequent singles/albums.
Dance to the Rhythm in the Club
YEMI ALADE “BUM BUM”
One thing nobody can take away from Yemi Alade is her ability to turn boring lyrics into a tune that would get you on your feet. Thanks to her sonorous voice that makes the lyrics a bit appreciable to the ears and her energetic, she didn’t find it hard to pull off the dancing stunts on “Bum Bum”. It’s worth mentioning that the title of the track itself already symbolizes whom the song was meant for – women with huge physical assets. Coupled with the fact that she wants to show the “magic” of the “black”/African woman, this track replicates the fact that Yemi isn’t ready to stop giving us the energetic tunes that would have feet thudding on the dancing floor.
Despite the moves it spikes in you, Bum Bum isn’t entirely a nice song because no moral lesson was embedded therein. This also brings to the fore the fact that the average African woman is considered a “tool for amorous feelings”; an attestation that this track seems to uphold. Moreover, the dancehall undertone specifically delegates the track to its worthy place – the dance floor.
Music for the Promiscuous Man
YEMI ALADE ft. Falz “Single & Searching”
There’s no gainsaying the fact that collaborations help to boost productivity. This cuts across different areas of life endeavors and the music industry have witnessed some of these synergies among several artists. Yemi Alade banks on this to bring in “Falz the Bad Guy” into the hit track, “Single & Searching”.
It’s worth considering the personalities of the duo as a basis for further analysis of the track. We already know Yemi to be a great lover that can go the extra mile to secure her lover. Falz on his part is a rapper with a difference, as he criticizes anomalies in virtually many issues, ranging from governmental policies to societal vices. The expectation, therefore, is that the duo would pull off a great romantic tale in Single & Searching. Falz didn’t disappoint as his vibes were in prominence while Yemi Alade complimented with her sonorous voice and energetic moves.
Ironically, none of the parties (Falz and Yemi) was single, as the visuals of the track posited. The visuals commenced with Falz wife’s demand for funds to make some purchases for the household. A clear look at the scene shows the kids hungry, the pots empty, and the couple dressed in low-cost clothes. As is the characteristic of every promiscuous man (as played by Falz), the claims of having “no funds to spare” fell on the wife’s “deaf ears” as she proceeded to chastise the husband. At that instant, viewers would certainly be sorry for Falz’s pitiable situation but that was short-lived the moment he left the house. Putting on an expensive material with some cash to spare, he headed to Yemi’s house to woo her with the claims of being “single and searching”. The highlight of the track/visual was the discovery of Falz’s (the promiscuous man in this case) in the club with his “catch” by his wife.
The above narrative goes to show that promiscuity is rife in marriages, and the male folk seems to have an upper hand in it. Hence, “Single & Searching” is commendable because it addressed the societal ill of promiscuity even among the married.
A Party Type of Sound
YEMI ALADE ft. Olamide “Jantolo”
It’s obvious that the Black Magic album is all about the parties. From the dancehall moves occasioned by Bum Bum, we move over to another party sound, Jantolo. Yemi Alade’s featured act, Olamide wasn’t allowed to put forward all his best, because the lyrics were already fragmented without much meaning emanating from them. Interestingly, the sounds were there to give the needed boost for you to hit the dance floor.
A Musical Track to get God on the Dance Floor
YEMI ALADE “Bread & Butter”
Amidst the criticisms that trailed most of the tracks in her Black Magic album, Yemi Alade still has a couple of singles that won her more admirers. Bread & Butter is specifically a dedication to God for His awesomeness to her career. It is the 11th track of the album and highlights the blessings of God over her life, and would suffice as a disclaimer to her promotion of supernatural powers, as denoted by “Black Magic”. Interestingly, this wouldn’t be the first time she acknowledges God as she did the same in Na Gode; a track from her second studio album, Mama Africa.
Yemi Alade has a considerable level of positive factors, which are the reasons behind her enviable heights in the Nigerian and global music industry. Although her third studio album, Black Magic didn’t go down well with many of her fans, she has some tracks like Butter & Bread, Wonder Woman, and Single & Searching as strongholds in the album. The music industry is a competitive space and determination and focus are the watchwords that help an artist to remain relevant. Hopefully, Yemi Alade would learn from the mistakes and loopholes in this album to break through once more from her dropping charts.
#Single & Searching