DJ Xclusive’s debut album won’t move mountains, neither will it find a place in the hallowed halls of Nigerian music.
Album - ‘According To X’
Artiste – DJ Xclusive
Guest Appearances - Wizkid, Olamide, Davido, Phyno, Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Timaya, 2face Idibia, Patoranking, Banky W, Skales, Seyi Shay, Lil Kesh, CDQ, Niyola, Sarkodie, Cassper Nyovest, Ajebutter22, Traffic, MayD, D’Prince, Fiesta Black, Reekado Banks, Kcee, Pepenazi, Terry G, Tillaman
Producers – Phyno, Vinnie, Orbit, Masterkraft, Don Jazzy, Spellz, Del B, Pheelz, Studio Magic, Terry G, Tyrone, Sammie Gyang
Record label - Empire Mates Entertainment (2015)
Duration – 76 Minutes
Let’s rein in on this. DJ Xclusive is currently having the time of his life.
The young pretty boy is regarded as one of the new brands of classy disc jockeying in the country, and has amassed dedicated fans and social media influence. He has released a new album, ‘According To X’, which is currently achieving retail distribution.
It has taken Xclusive two years to hit his current height. Systematically recruiting the best of Nigerian entertainers to make music for him, he has carved a niche, and grown his influence. Think of Xclusive, and his super singles will come to mind; ‘Pangolo’ ft Timaya, ‘Jeje’ ft Wizkid, ‘Ibebe’ ft Olamide, ‘Jam it’ ft 2face Idibia, Timaya…the list goes on. The culmination of this music, is the new album.
DJ Xclusive’s album has all the best names in the game. The album boasts of the cream of Nigerian entertainment, and as an extension, some choice names from other African countries thrown in for good measure.
Wizkid, Olamide, Phyno, Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Timaya, 2face Idibia, Patoranking, Banky W, Skales, Ice Prince, Seyi Shay, and even the powers of Sarkodie and South African wonder rapper, Cassper Nyovest all make the cut. The list reads as the Nigerian footballing music first eleven. All of them, high-priced stars whose pedigree makes ‘ears’ water.
Simply put, this is the most star-studded LP to come out of Africa in a long time. Everyone gets a chance on ‘According to X’, displaying their talent and craftsmanship.
Dance is the main theme of this album. Unsurprising, and somewhat disappointing, DJ Xclusive grabbed all the big names, and pushed them through a ‘dance system’, shoe-horning them into songs that won’t be listened long after dance clubs go out of session.
The singles of this album, ‘Pangolo’, ‘Ibebe’, Jeje, ‘Tonight’, ‘Jam it’, ‘Shaba’, ‘Fantasi’, and ‘Wole’ all possess a single quality: they are dance songs with thumping beats, nice voices and no lyrical depth.
Not all songs fall through the dance net, as Phyno comes through with a bland opener in ‘All I see’. “When I listen to the radio, all I hear is me. Even when the song is not mine, all I hear is me…You know I keep it hundred, now all I see is me….If you wish to be like me now, you want to be like me” The rapper offers up a monotonous lesson on celebrity narcissism. Dynamism is sorely lacking on this song, but it stands out…from the potpourri of dance. Not because it is awesome. But it is different in a bad way. Simple and unmoving.
The most uneasy on the ears is the neo-street collaboration ‘Dami si’, which houses Lil Kesh and CDQ. It runs off as an effort in futility. Painful. Annoying. Pointless. Xclusive.
The contemporary Highlife track, ‘Gal bad’ with D’Prince and the production of Don Jazzy would have been greater, until Wizkid gate-crashed the party with “Na she dey make me come to club, she make me order 20 Rozay….meet for corner, na na, chopu my banana’…it gets too raunchy to continue that line.
That’s what this album is about. All firepower and no deep hit. It’s all activity, and no considerable distance travelled.
The jewel of ‘According to X’ is ‘Cash only’ (extended version), with a trifecta of Sarkodie, Cassper Nyovest, and Banky W. It’s a Hip-hop cut, and stands out proudly from all the mush of pop tracks. Sarkodie’s offers his celebrated rap pattern, Nyovest keeps things ticking, and Banky W gives us more insight into his fledging rapping intentions with quotable quotes.
21 tracks is a long and increasingly boring dance journey for what is essentially a pop album. DJ Xclusive’s debut album won’t move mountains, neither will it find a place in the hallowed halls of Nigerian music. On a personal level, it raises the bar among disc jockeys, and provides DJs with enough content to flood the radio and clubs. But for the music aficionado who wants something more than beats, and mindless talk, this album is not for you.
Rating - 3
3-Worth Checking Out