Blackface continues to protect his legacy "Defender” album

Blackface drops a poignant reminder of his skill and it is worth revisiting, for nostalgia sake.

Blackface album art front

Album – Defender (Vol 1)Artiste – BlackfaceGuests – Mc Loph, DaBeatmaker, Skinny Rose, Blacknation, Azadus, Marvelous Benji, Emperor MasProducers – Jiggyjeg, Nervevs, Superdipper, Donchyke, Eden, Orlando, Skyl'Pee, Dagenius, IB, Nelson BrownRecord Label – Purple Mate Entertainment (2016)Duration – 76 Minutes

Of all the folks who took off from the splinters of Plantashun Boiz, BlackFaceNaija is the most divisive of characters, with arguably the least successful solo career. Still stuck in a time warp about the wrongs done to him by 2face Idibia, the singer has extended those attacks to more new school acts, accusing Wizkid of intellectual property theft and copyright infringements.

The repetitive nature of these complaints have devalued his celebrity and credibility among fans and music enthusiasts. The mention of his name meets with groans and dismissive waves. Sometimes, it’s good material for comedy.

But his accusations do hold water. BlackFaceNaija is a genius, whose works have formed the inspiration of numerous artistes. A multi-genre artiste who raps, sings, made roots reggae music, dancehall, and represented his minority tribe Idoma with music. He also made Gospel Music.

The authenticity of his infringement claims have been verified grudgingly. 2face Idibia still draws melodies and songwriting help from the singer’s catalogue, admitting to getting BFN’s help on his most successful single off his “Ascension” album – ‘let somebody love you’ ft Bridget Kelly. And this is coming decades after the ‘African Queen’ debacle.

This year marks 10 years since he dropped his acclaimed debut album “Ghetto Child”. His new project, “The Defender” is BlackFaceNaija’s next effort which still has the singer in form, lyrically sound, with songwriting still his biggest forte.

Opener ‘Omeworom’ is perhaps the most thankful song Blackface’s ever done, referencing his enemies as he ponders the blessings of God. But has he become a Gospel singer all through? Not quite. He takes vengeance into his hands and attacks his haters directly with ‘Bench you’. There’s raw romance here, which comes through the root reggae of ‘Lifetime’ – another fine addition to the list of flowery affectations – and ‘Defender’ is brilliantly passionate, yet his dance inclination is hard to suppress for long. ‘Jeje’ makes for a good dance song of pop proportions and ‘Ikebe super’ plugs in another one; where there are numerous nods to the feminine section of the dance floor, with the dancehall ‘In the club’ designed for more dancing. ‘Obimmo’ is the true confluence of everything woman and dancing.

The full, experimental spectrum of Blackface is on show here, as wide as it’s ever been, with his EDM muscle flexed on the thumping ‘See u move’, while a jiggly Latino beat is the constant on ‘Robadoba’.

A major drawback on the project is the sound quality, which remains rudimentary, with a rawness that is both gritty and of a poor quality. The production on a  number of songs is leaden and fails to do justice to the lyrical brilliance of the man. That aside, Blackface drops a poignant reminder of his skill and it is worth revisiting, for nostalgia sake.

Rating:  3/5

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

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