Dremo is raw, uncut and tentative on his debut EP, ''Codename Vol 1''

Dremo takes the first step to unlocking his potentials on ''Codename Vol 1 EP''.

After three years following his arrival on the scene and developing his talents as a member of Davido's DMW label, 2018 has been described as the year when Davido finally allows his boys explore and leading the pack is Dremo.

Dremo has been quite impressive with his singles and features on some of the group songs as he offers an energetic and hungry vigour every time he jumps on a verse.

Scoring occasional hit songs is great, delivering a well padded sixteen stuck in between the heavy presence of Davido's voice is safe, but can he do it all on his own project, where he is open to criticisms and intense scrutiny based on the talent his early years projected?

Those are the questions that Dremo seeks to answer on this 9 track body of work, ''Codename Vol I''.

The project is largely kept in-house with guests and producers coming from his DMW family.

Codename kicks off with 'Nobody', the 6 am music with the instrumentals suppressed to allow Dremo breathe.

The first few minutes sees him do justice to this as he takes us through the journey of his life, tapping into 2face's 'Nobody talks about you' line for inspiration, detailing how he got signed to DMW.

''OBO changed my life, me and the Mayor of Lagos got signed the same night'', he declares, while taking aimless shots as people he perceives are talking about him.

This is followed by 'Bigger Meat', a song that aims to sell and not to please.

'Faya' is the Dremo we have come to know as he gets the party started with this tune that has influences from both identified and yet to be discovered roots.

This joint is heavy and 'I go fire you' is his warriors chant which can be interpreted in several ways, while his ability to adapt his flow to the flipped beat adds a nice touch to this.

After three tracks all to himself, Dremo allows the guests into his house with his label boss, Davido taking the lead on the Speroach produced 'Kpa', now Dremo is singing and not sure if this is tied to the same producer or Davido's hook, but this sounds like a spin-off Davido's hit song, 'Assurance', as they demand you go down for the 'Kpa'.

Simply put, 'Kpa' is more basic than exciting, but on 'Dapada' with Mayorkun is where he finds a better chemistry, again taking inspiration fromD'Prince's 'Take Banana', Mayorkun displays his brilliance when it comes to scoring a commercial sing along, while Dremo's flow here goes well with the mood.

Simi is the outsider who crashes the party on 'Hey Ma', Dremo is singing and rapping with Simi's vocals splashed across his verses, while her verse lacks the energy to brighten the song, this is another joint that somehow feels like it is elements short of something special.

'Breezy' is the perfect welcome back joint made for DMW's latest signee, Sinzu to do rap the way only he can and not even Dremo's failed trap impression at the start could dim his shine.

Alongside the impressively gifted Peruzzi, who has brought his talent to glare in a number of features including the newest hit single, 'Amaka' by 2face, the duo attempt to turn 'Unbelivas' to believers with this love joint produced by Fresh VDM.

'Fan of my Fans' is his sign out joke, but it fails to pack enough punch-line to leave the hall rolling after his exit, as the lines are quite corny on this.

It is safe to say that Dremo will not be opening a new chapter in the history of Nigerian rap like many predicted when he debuted with his earlier singles, 'Fela' and 'Ojere', but he manages to keep his presence large enough with his delivery and flow.

The ''Codename, Vol 1 EP" is a decent introduction to a hungry artist that has all the raw talent to succeed, the beats are good, but nothing special, the collaborations work and enhances his appeal.

It does not offer the best lyrics you'll ever hear or ground-breaking music that will make you pen him down on your list of next rated, but he understands his music and his target audience.

His raw flow is also quite visible and backed by a wheel oiled machinery in DMW, Dremo will be here for a while, but will his name be first on the list few years down the line? We wait to see.

Rating: 3.5/5

Ratings

1-Dull2-Boring2.5-Average3-Worth Checking Out3.5-Hot4-Smoking Hot4.5-Amazing5-Perfection

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