Davolee is one of Nigeria’s best rappers. Talent-wise, only a few are better. As much as we’ve seen instances of his application on his Festival Bar franchise, his self-confessed hot-head, unpredictability and the ever-evolving state of the Nigerian music industry means that, his opportunities to showcase are few and far between.
On ‘Earning Wish,’ Davolee produces great and marred moments [Pulse Album Review]
Records like the aforementioned ‘Fatherhood’ and other records like ‘King of Boys,’ ‘Food For Thought,’ ‘Music Business’ and ‘On My Terms’ reinforce Davolee’s natural talent.
In 2020, he released his debut project: additions to the ‘Festival Bar’ franchise. He has since returned with his debut album, Earning Wish. With a title that underlines his current state in his career, he has also become a new father. On ‘Fatherhood,’ he discusses how his partner named Oyin, then a final year student at a Nigerian university, got pregnant with their child.
After much rancour, Davolee decided that they would keep it. Now, he has grown sentimental and hungrier, determined to put his talent to use, and leave a legacy for his baby girl. ‘Earning Wish’ is a result of this phase: another crack at Davolee’s utilization of his well-documented talent.
Over 15 tracks and 46 minutes, the Skolly Records act discusses numerous topics. Records like the aforementioned ‘Fatherhood’ and other records like ‘King of Boys,’ ‘Food For Thought,’ ‘Music Business’ and ‘On My Terms’ reinforce Davolee’s natural talent. He speaks for the heart, bars off and links his mind with his listeners.
However, those moments are few and far between. He worked with Zaki Amujei, but ‘Earning Wish’ struggled from the absence of genuinely great beats across the board. This is probably down to Davolee’s purchasing power at this time. But we can only judge the output, not events around it.
Records like ‘Democracy’ and ‘Till The End’ feel crafted around popular topics that artists have come to see as ‘resonant,’ even though they have largely become cliche. It’s almost like artists hope that every topic that highlights Nigeria’s problem or discusses love will resonate. But they seldom do. It all comes down to the quality of the music and that was largely missing from those two records.
The other records either seem like fillers or seem dated. Fair to Davolee, his attempt at making records beyond his established rap reps is admirable, but he needed an A&R to help his chisel the music in the right direction, with the right beats. The best Davolee is the one who speaks from the heart, not the one who simply wants to make commercial records.
You can still make commercial records by speaking from the heart. Davolee didn't do that here, but his next album might. He also needs better beats to accompany those moments.
• 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
5.0 - Average
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