Speaking of influential pop groups in contemporary music in Nigeria, none can stand taller than Plantashun Boyz made up of Black Face, 2Face, and Faze.
Plantashun Boyz's debut 'Body and Soul' still sounds fresh 15 years after
A review of one of the most important albums of the last fifteen years in the Nigerian music industry.
Plantashun Boyz (minus Faze) first appeared on the radar on Toni Tetuila's historic song 'Omode Meta'. Shortly after they released their unique brand of R&B music.
After teasing us with songs off their album, the released their debut project 'Body and Soul' in the year 2000, marking a turn in Nigeria's pop scene as a new millennium kicked off.
Produced entirely by Nelson Brown who released the album under his imprint Dove Records, the trio of singers (who could rap too) produced one of the best albums of the last two decades in Nigeria.
The albums started off with the welcoming self-titled track announcing the arrival of a group that will influence R&B music and pop in Nigeria. It's a suiting intro for a great body of work highlighting their stress on sharp vocals and bias for Hip Hop (Black Face rapped on the track).
The track 'You and I' night time love track. For many of us this will be one of the few spot-on love tracks. The urban music scene in Nigeria was still in its infant stage, but Plantashun Boyz showed us what it could be like in the future. 2face's voice was clean and sharp (and innocent), on this track. New member Faze also held his own the song.
"Girl why you do me so. Tell me why you have to go. Why did you have to find another brother...no wonder when me make love to you, all you do is hold me tight and call another brother name" sings 2face as he ponders on the deception of love.
The trio also dabbled into conscious waters on 'Can Live'. Nelson Brown's production even though slightly dated still is an okay sound bed for the song.
On 'Ememma', the boys were confident enough to imbibe local content on their songs without sounding corny and wack. Delivered in Benue dialect, the boys produced another marvelous track with their sweet harmonization. Ahead of their time, Black Face rapped in his native tongue.
Plantashun Boyz masterpiece is the R&B gem known as 'Knock Off'. This has to go down as one of the best R&B contemporary songs. With their voices floating on Nelson Brown's stringy instrumental, Plantashun Boyz proved that quality urban music could be made in Nigeria. This is one of the first Nigerian pop songs in the late 90's to break the monopoly of American Hip Hop on Nigerian radio.
Thick with emotion 2face sings "I just can't get you out of mind. I think about you all the time. It's a mystery to me when I think of all the things you did to me. Baby can't you see that you knock me off my feet". This was rich writing and dope song lyrics that was captivating. It still sounds good after all these years. 2face totally owned this song.
'Don't You Know', is a slight brush of disco from Nelson Brown. The song introduced Faze as a high-pitch show off. The melody held together by Nelson Brown's breaks is still a stroke of genius. With each Plantashun Boy playing his part, this is a classic track brought together by teamwork.
Five years shy of being 2 decades old, 'Body and Soul' is still a strong body of work that is relevant in today's climate. Fresh, innovative, and genius, this album marked a new beginning in the Nigerian music industry.
Rating 5 out of 5.
3.5-Worth Checking Out
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