ALBUM REVIEW: DJ Neptune - "Greatness 2.0"

1 month ago

Nigerian sic jockey and record producer, Imohiosen Patrick who is best known as DJ Neptune drops "Greatness 2.0" album.

Since emerging in the early 2010s with his maximal interpretation of Afropop that weaved together R&B, hip-hop, and dancehall influences, DJ Neptune has had a constant presence at the forefront of the genre's vaunt to global popularity, while trying to imbue popular music from west Africa with his more experimental ideas. “For me, as a DJ-producer, there are ideas I have in my head that the artists, most times, are necessarily not thinking up,” he tells Apple Music. “There's really no rules to how I make music, I just want the end results to be great.”

The success of 2018's Greatness was a vindication for Neptune's innovative approach, and on his follow-up, the Lagos-based artist pairs his technical virtuosity with hit-making gravitas. “The idea behind it is just to kick off from where I stopped with Greatness,” he explains, “and then produce a bigger album and project.” Across an album that kicks off with the aspirational messaging of “Rise Up” and closes with the loved-up swag of “Nobody,” DJ Neptune (Imohiosen Patrick) engages his phalanx of collaborators in meaningful conversation. Here, he talks us through his sophomore album, track by track.

The 16-tracks album features, Laycon, Waje, Ladipoe, Mr Eazi, Cheque, Blaqbonez, Rema, Patoranking, Simi, Peruzzi, Focalistic, Adekunle Gold, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Lojay, Zlatan, Bella Shmurda, Kofi Jamar, Jeriq, Phyno, Stonebwoy, Yemi Alade, One Acen, Harmonize & Anjella.

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The first track Rise Up features Laycon, Waje and LADIPOE.

DJ Neptune who is linked with Mr azi's Empawa links up with boss for this groovy melody. “I've always wanted to have Eazi on this project—he and I work very well. The first time I worked with Eazi, we did 'Marry,' still that same wedding vibe. So I guess there's just something about me and him creating music for the wedding audience. I think this song would eventually be a proposal anthem", says Neptune.

To do justice to this progressive hip-hop tune, DJ Neptune employs two friends, Cheque and Blaqbone on this popping tune tagged Cupid.

Featuring Mavin records/ Jonzing star, Rema, DJ Neptune shares For You. “I've had 'For You' since last year but, unfortunately, with the pandemic, I had to hold back. It's a very crazy record with a different vibe. It has a fusion of Afro-Makossa vibe in it. Rema is singing to a girl, [telling her] that whatever he has to do for her, he'll do it", he said.

Here is another product of good A/R. Simi and Peruzzi two of the best songwriters in the country team up with DJ Neptune for this melodic tune tagged Ololufe.

“'Gaza' has that dancehall element infused into the Afrobeats style. With 'Gaza,' we're just trying to let the world know that we're from the hood, but we're proud of where we're from and if you've seen the video, we literally took it back to a hood somewhere on the island. I feel like the world wants to see what they are not used to seeing on a normal day and when you're something, always be proud to represent where you're from. Be it from Soweto in South Africa or from Tamale in Ghana, that's your Gaza. No matter how big you become as an individual, it's always good to take it back to your hood and just represent the people.”

Here is one of my favourite songs on the album. It is an amapiano record featuring South African star, Focalistic.

“I don't know who poisoned Adekunle with love. I mean, everybody loves Adekunle, he delivers. I've always wanted to work with him and this was the right time. We were working on something else, but then we switched directions to 'Love Potion'.”

Teaming up with Omah Lay and Joeboy, DJ Neptune comes through with what appears to be the song with the most potential on this album. Abeg is fire.

Here is one of the single son this album. New kid, Lojay partners with street-hop rapper, Zlatan for a powerful tune Only Fan.

“I know a lot of people are going to relate to this one. People are often trying to do something with their lives, and the people who have the ability to help you, who just need to place one call to change your life, [will be] stagnant or they just feel like, 'Why do I need to help this kid?' But at the end of the day, everything is on God. You can delay destiny, but you can't erase destiny. So it's basically speaking on our journey into being the successful artist that Bella Shmurda is, or DJ that I am. We worked over time to gain our recognition and respect.”

Kofi Jamar and Jeriq team up with DJ Neptune for drill music titled Cash.

Here is another potential hit song on this project. It is groovy and danceable with a spice of amapiano.

“I started creating 'Shitto' [in early 2021] when Stonebwoy visited Nigeria. He literally wrote on the beat. I had to reach out to Yemi Alade to have her come to tell a story from the female angle, because what Stonebwoy is basically saying is 'I want to be your everything. I'm going to be your Shitto.' So I had to get Yemi Alade to come to interpret it from her own angles. One Acen is a UK-Nigerian artist, so he came in with that vibe. It's merging the Nigerian vibe with the Ghanaian vibe and that Afro-UK swing vibe on one record.”

“Harmonize and I started this record right after I released my first album. And at some point, I had to switch up the production as well. Later, we spoke about having a female artist from the Eastern side of Africa on the record and it was only right to have his own artist, Anjella.”

“'Nobody' is from [2020]. I mean the song came and did so much damage. Shout out to everyone who helped me make history with 'Nobody.' Shout out to the producer, Magic Sticks, who is majorly my in-house producer. And worked on about seven songs on this project.”

RATING

Lyrics - 4/5

Production - 4/5

Performance - 3/5

AVERAGE RATING - 3.5/5

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