On his debut solo album, Rudeboy [of P Square] failed to 'KillUs' [Pulse Album Review]

There is a way to impress the current soundscape and it’s not ‘RudyKillUs' - we are alive and well.

On his debut solo album, Rudeboy [of P Square] failed to 'KillUs.' (TBD)

In September 2017, Nigeria’s greatest duo of the modern era called it quits in a public spat which involved familial divides and alleged betrayal.

Over the past two years, Rudeboy and Mr. P have gone on to release music as solo acts with Rudeboy claiming the upper hand with two highly successful records, one of which was ‘Reason With Me,’ Nigeria’s most-viewed music video of 2019.

He also released ‘Audio Money,’ which tied into the Nigerian zeitgeist. ‘Woman’ performed commendably, but it never quite matched the level of its predecessors. Naturally, excitement began to build for Rudeboy’s debut album, especially as many have alleged that he was the musical nucleus of the duo.

A few weeks ago, he announced RudyKillUs, his debut solo album and it garnered excitement across the Nigerian soundscape. P Square fans were going to get albums from the P Square brothers just weeks away from each other.

At the root of ‘Rudy Kill Us’ is further proof that Rudeboy was the stylistic nucleus of the erstwhile duo and that was a blessing and a problem.

This is the ‘most P Square’ type of music that we’ve heard in four years, since their split. Mostly mid-tempo and methodical, the 15-track album significantly canvassed love, women, relationships and the necessity of money, with cliche ‘poverty aesthetic.’

While ‘Reason With Me’ followed the same cliche and succeeded, that was a different time. Victor AD also succeeded with the same template. But it’s been three years, even Victor AD has finally agreed to move on from that ‘money/poverty aesthetic.’

It’s then a surprise that an OG Rudeboy chose to continue on the same path with three more songs; ‘Ego Nekwu’ and ‘Broke Land.’ Yes, we know money will forever be important, but it’s an overkill when an artist creates more than two songs to highlight that on the same album.

That factor is one of three elements which underlines how sonically and stylistically stale this album occasionally gets. Topics might change from time-to-time, but this album's sound is better suited to 2010, not even 2015. While there might be a millennial market for this brand of music, the market isn’t enough to drive it to success in a country where 53% of its citizenry is under 19 years old.

Rudeboy tried to evolve and tried to be cool with his chatter about smoking on ‘Nowhere To Go’ and ‘Focus,’ but those contemporary elements were too flimsy to elevate this album.

Nobody is asking Rudeboy to be AV, but this music needed more freshness - especially sonically. Across 15 tracks, the album sounds way too ‘familiar.’ It feels like we’ve heard it all before.

Records like ‘Ayoyo,’ ‘Ego Nekwu’ and ‘Catch Your Fever’ offer some sonic freshness. ‘Ayoyo’ borrows from South African Afro-House and shares sonic similarities to Master KG’s ‘Jerusalema’ while ‘Ego Nekwu’ sounds like a potential hit, but Rudeboy’s approach, style and technique were still too ‘familiar.’

And at 57 minutes, this album is simply too long. When P Square needed to compete in the evolving landscape of 2011, The Invasion borrowed from EDM, Terry G’s lamba and Hip-Hop. Here, we are not seeing significant evidence of that awareness. But I guess you can forgive Rudeboy, he has been there and done it all. When you’re him, you’re just making music for passion, not to really make any money.

But whatever is worth doing is worth execution with aplomb and this album lacked that. More importantly, it lacked the features that could have carried it. Rudeboy’s A&R could have done better. There is a way to impress the current soundscape and it’s not ‘RudyKillUs.’

And what were those Reggae records in 2021?

That said, 'RudyKillUs' could yet provide two or more hits from this album. Even crazier, Rudy still has clout, this his numbers are likely to be great - especially on YouTube.

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

5.0 - Average

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