Cheque flexes his versatility on 'Bravo' [Pulse Album Review]

At the root of this EP is cohesion, afforded by Cheque's style and vocals as well as the beautiful beats he works with.

Cheque flexes his versatility on 'Bravo.' (TBD)

Cheque is a unique talent. His entry into Nigerian music is perfectly-timed and he is versatility personified. As a youngin, Cheque fell into the music by accident. Initially a bookworm with a smart mind, he started making music, but constantly got mocked by his peers.

Instead of backing down, the Ondo State-bred son of a police officer kept going with grit and determination, aiming to prove people wrong. Initially, he was a rapper's rapper under the moniker, Kyle B. It was at that time that he met a certain DML, now named popularly known as Fireboy.

A little later, he kicked a freestyle on a challenge that Reminisce launched. From there, labels took interest, his name went round and he became Superboy Cheque. He signed to Phyno's Penthauze Music, with new looks. He had also started breathing Emo and Cloud Rap with Afro-pop.

His debut EP, Razor produced the unlikely smash hit, 'Zoom.' These days, he's famous for his unique identifier; his voice. He engineers that strength by testing the limits of his vocal range in a way that a listener might not notice. More importantly, he expands on his range and tests his versatility.

Everytime, he comes up trumps. But beneath the talent and the music lies an unlikely blend of hunger, confidence and timidity. A lot of that seems to come from his years of proving people wrong as the police kid who came from Ondo State and his excellence on an outlier genre, in a landscape dominated by Afro-pop/Afrobeats.

On his impressive debut album Bravo, Cheque puts his versatility to test once again. While records like 'Rockstar' and 'Anybody' showcase his bravado and inbred grit, other records like 'Dangerous,' 'Call Me Baby,' 'LOML' and more celebrate a softer side.

On 'Rockstar,' he tells an overcomer's story on a 'Grass To Grace' story, made for TV. He describes himself as a "wrecking ball," and basically screamed, "Get out of my way!"

But at the same time, he craves to be 'Free.'

On the same record, his gritty side sings, "Many men go fall, if they try to test me..."

By 'Anybody,' Cheque raps like someone who has a point to prove.

His calmer personality is better reflected in his amorous records - which form a large part of this EP. Usually, Cheque sings from the perspective of a suitor or a man smitten. The way he discusses sex on 'Blind' and 'LOML' will definitely be alluring to women.

But 'Pray' is that record - with huge potential to be anthem at Nigerian weddings.

At the root of this EP is cohesion, afforded by Cheque's style and vocals as well as the beautiful beats he works with. When Cheque does Afro-infused records on 'Dangerous,' 'LOML' and the spectacular 'Pray,' he wins big.

But in the end, the album could have done without 'Change' and 'Sweet Love,' even though the latter could pull a surprise.

Ratings: /10

• 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

Album Sequencing: 1.5/2

Themes and Delivery: 1.5/2

Production: 1.7/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2

Execution: 1.3/2

Total:

7.5 - Victory

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