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Cuppy’s ‘Original Cuppy’ is filled with good vibes back by identity [Album Review]

The production on 'Original Copy'is its best feature. It’s so amazing and well-rounded that it offers more than three favourites to any non-cynic who genuinely played this album with an open mind.

Stonebwoy, Efya featured on DJ Cuppy's Original Copy album

When this writer had a chat with her in the weeks leading to this album, she joked that like any creative, she was both nervous and excited about the album. On August 21, 2020, Original Copy was released as her first release under Platoon. The truth is Cuppy needs to relax, her album is actually pretty good.

At the root of Original Copy is Cuppy’s visible will to retain identity as an Epe native, a Nigerian and an African. The very first track on Original Copy is dedicated to her roots in Epe, Lagos State.

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Epe is the land of her fathers and she delivered a ringing endorsement to it, “I am looking forward to expressing myself on different sounds, but I want to make sure that on every track, I’m integrating my own DNA, you know. So even if I’m creating music that’s for everyone globally, I’m still reppin where I’m from and that’s here in Epe.”

As the drums of Afro-House fuse with the amazing vocal performance of Efya Nokturnal who sounds like she was delivering the victory score of an epic movie, Cuppy noted two things that intimate her will to retain identity; she wants to integrate her own DNA and retain the part of her that is fro ‘Epe,’ from Nigeria and from Africa.

When the time was right, she delivered a proud ode to Africa on ‘54’ with the help of Julian Marley and the legendary Sir Shina Peters. During that interview with Pulse Nigeria, Cuppy said that being the host of Africa Now on Apple Music was helping her understand the truth about her African identity even better than she realized or anticipated.

On a Trumpet-rich sound that feels like Calypso-infused Boomba from East Africa on pon pon drums sits this ode.

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Julian Marley sings, “No place like Mama Africa.” While that line is very much cliche, it is not any less of the truth. At a time blackness is under attack across the world and black people are desperate to connect with their roots, songs like this have more value.

‘54’ is a symbolism for the number of countries in Africa - 54. Shout-out to Sir Shina Peters for clarifying that bit. As you read this, scream “Ace!” to celebrate this Nigerian legend...

She then goes further to showcase African talent on the love-themed Dancehall tune, ‘Karma’ featuring Stonebwoy and on, ‘Jollof On The Jet’ featuring Tanzanian act, Rayvanny and Nigerian singer, Rema. ‘Jollof’ is one enigmatic topic that both unites in uniform nomenclature and divides Africa in a case of petty quest for superior culinary output. Shout-out to Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria.

The sound that births ‘Jollof On The Jet’ is what a Nigerian will call beautiful and soft lamba music. One time for Killertunes for this beat. And can someone help us ask Rayvanny why he went off like that with, “Pakorafimbomechemechekalifileghettonattachakaza…” All in all, it’s such an amazing song.

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Another legend shows his face on Original Copy to aid Cuppy’s cause. On a Pon Pon beat, Cuppy tells a love story as she declares her love for a faceless man. This is her weakest vocal performance on the album and just before Wyclef came in, the song was getting kind of flat.

Aided by stellar production, Original Copy is filled with feel-good. Another one of such is, ‘Feel Good’ featuring Fireboy. The P-Prime-produced Afro-pop track is something that a lot of women will definitely like. But then, the littest song on this album is, ‘Litty Lit’ featuring Teni. For once, a hyperbolic title for a Nigerian song feels accurate.

The song feels like mixing eating cuisine by a lake on a great September morning - it’s that good. In fact, it’s so good that Cuppy thanked Teni for her contribution at the end of the song. If this write were Cuppy though, he would have put Niniola on the track too - just to drive everybody crazy.

We also got an Afroswing number with the well-written ‘Guilty Pleasure’ featuring Nonso Amadi. Darkoo also came through on the Latin-Pop-Fusion of, ‘Cold Heart Killer.’ That hook is so amazing too.

When all is said and done, the best verse on the album belongs to Ycee on, ‘P.O.Y.’ I mean Ycee said, “Looking like a snack, but I know that you a feast…” Yo… When they were called upon, Seyi Shay and Ms Banks also performed. Cuppy’s line, “My name is Cuppy, mo nife boy…” is meh though.

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The tracklisting on Original Copy aids sequencing, progression and sonic cohesion. However, songwriting on the album is not as impressive and neither are Cuppy’s vocal performances which sometimes feel like exertions. But then, Cuppy understands her own artistic limitations. So instead of going all Beyonce, she chose her moments wisely and delivered as necessary.

That said, production on Original Copy is its best feature. It’s so amazing and well-rounded that it offers more than three favourite to any non-cynic who genuinely played this album with an open mind. On ‘Epe,Cuppy said that, “I am looking forward to expressing myself on different sounds…”

Ladies and gentlemen, she achieved that. Kudos to her. Her roots as a DJ definitely came through. More than anything, the album is also very African.

Ratings: /10

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• 0-1.9: Flop

• 2.0-3.9: Near fall

• 4.0-5.9: Average

• 6.0-7.9: Victory

• 8.0-10: Champion

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7.0 - Victory

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