It's a brave new world. More and more, the artist can be the sole determinant of their own creative direction. As the skit before Drake's timeless number, 'Pound Cake' intimates, even A&Rs don't have as much power like they used to. On June 18, 2020, Headies-nominated Nigerian rapper, Hotyce grabbed the bull by the horns.
RedHotyceCold Vol. was his well-received debut that is aging like fine wine. Its lead single, 'We Don't Do That Over Here' was a beautiful creation that earned an Headies nomination. Nonetheless, it struggled to get traction beyond predominant Hip-Hop circles. 4 No Reason feels like a defiant offering that sees Hotyce experiment with music that could resonate with a more sub-mainstream/mainstream audience.
With his Hip-Hop reps already established, it also sees Hotyce show artistic range by creatively weaving through Afro-pop and pidgin-rap, on more relatable topics. 'No Enemies' the attitude of a man chasing dreams with his focus solely on those dreams. On the Afro-pop sound, Frescool delivers an amazing hook.
'Stop and Search,' which might be the best track on this EP. Topically, it addresses the collision of two 'vices,' the perennial abuse of office by members of The Nigerian Police Force and stoners who are trying not to get caught with the 'load' by members of The Nigerian Police.
The song excels for the picture-esque narration of different perspectives and even the involvement of a faceless Sonia. With a good video, this song might do something. 'At Ease' is a lamba special with the best of Sugabana - a burgeoning talent in the Nigerian underground. Lyrically, it discusses sex with a beautiful woman.
Something is off about 'At Ease' and the topic Hotyce chose to address with it. Sugabana, however feels at home. 'Hunt' is another trap song which features erstwhile LRR act, Oladips. Look, Hotyce's flows on this song are pristine - on one part, the song addresses the hustle. On the other part, it seems like the tales of an apprehensive mind.
As experimental as this project is, there is a hue of expectation it fails to hit because of its length. Sometimes, art hits desired levels because it can sell satisfaction and four tracks isn't sufficient in this conversation. Nonetheless, Hotyce can hold his head up high. His point was made and something has been established.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10