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Album Review Alpha paints vivid images in diverse colours on his ''Half Price'' album

Alpha takes his first major steps into the mainstream with the release of his official debut album, ''Half Price''.

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play Alpha's Half Price Art Cover (Alpha)

With ''Half Price'', Alpha enters a new phase in his career without sacrificing the tenets and hunger upon which his profile has been built.

Since releasing his stirring response to the controversial song, You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives by MI Abaga, the name Alpha explosively popped up on a number of radars and the jury was put on red alert for what he has to offere beyond a few scathing lines.

Born Ebuka Alex Ojini-Ntamere, the young rapper who also doubles as a producer/audio engineer released his first studio body of work, ''No Silence'' in 2010, this he followed up with the covers only project titled, ''The Road to R.U.S.H'' in 2011.

2013 saw the release of the 6 track experimental EP, ''My Own Horns: The JazzRap Project'', where he infused Jazz and Afrobeat into his rap.

play Half Price Album back cover (Alpha)

It was however in 2017 when he caused the biggest stir with his imposing story telling response, that all eyes fell on him and at his point, he had to be ready for the next step and the weight of matching the expectations that comes with increased focus.

'Half Price' is his official debut album, and like most of his earlier projects, the entire album which houses a number of his friends is solely produced and engineered by him.

The album's gate opens strongly with the 2 minutes-long intro, 'Award Winning'. The opening sequence of the production is quite exciting with the choral chants, keys and sirens blaring like a car chase scene from a Hollywood movie, then a voice emerges asking, ''How would you like to be shortchanged in exchange for a life's work?''

Alpha's voice jumps in sounding like a rapper on a mission, there is confidence and aggression in his voice, it also packs mastery in his flow, this is just the first track and the quotables are already piling up.

''Taking it bit by bit, this isht is retaliation for the links I clicked that turned out wack as f**k'', he states.

 

Next is the album titled track, which is a mean threat to anyone paying him 'Half Price', as he uses his verses to share stories of his experiences, touching on Payola, telling how he is sick of putting music out for free and detailing the story of his hustle with a brilliant hook delivered by Fortune Angelo.

Then there is the saxophone riff that keeps interpolating in the beat, damn.

The next joint, 'Still Got It', is a delight from the off, an early stand out from the album, as the beat empties to featured act TOD's singing and chant synths as he reechoes common narratives with a melodic and comical flow. This is both radio friendly and creatively carved.

Previously released single, 'Ocean Boy' still sounds as fresh as the first time it dropped, with Alpha making a solid artistic statement, as he brags, ''I don't really give a fuck about the mainstream, cause I'm on my own wave.''

'Boli & Fish' features Oxlade, P1 Marley and Yoye, this is music influenced by his PH roots, as the quartet serve an Afrocentric tune that fits into your after-work routine. Less aggressive, has the right elements of a marketable sound, but still packs enough energy to make his attempt at veering into lighter grounds a good enough effort.

play Alpha (AlphaMuzik)

With Half Price, there are moments when he flexes his versatility, and seamlessly weaves his music to new territories.

The Trap influenced 'Black Magic' sees him jump on popular sound, while 'Ludo' and 'Yahooboy Muzik' highlights his ability to pass a message in a beautiful and detailed form.

'Love Clouds' which features the amazing voice of talented singer Tomi Owo and 'Temptations' showcases the softer sides to his personality. 

'Sour' parades rapper Blaqbonez, who delivers an impressive verse with Oxlade returning for an encore as they tell a story of love gone sour.

play Alpha (AlphaMuzik)

 

The project closes with another previously released single in 'Butterflies'

This is an album that houses various parts, but is well solidified with his delivery and stays cohesive enough to produce a solid effort.

Despite fading out a bit towards the end, Half Price has more brilliant moments than failings as for the most part, the album flourishes in his production, flow, refreshing delivery and poignant lyrics.

Alpha clearly has his ears to the ground and continues to improve artistically and this is one body of the work that sets his feet firmly on the path towards long-term success in the industry.

Buy the album here

Rating: 4/5

Ratings

1-Dull
2-Boring
2.5-Average
3-Worth Checking Out
3.5-Hot
4-Smoking Hot
4.5-Amazing
5-Perfection

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