When Mavin newbie Crayon released his debut and introductory “Cray Cray” EP, a lot of people didn’t know what to make of it. Undoubtedly, the boy had talent but many just couldn’t help seeing him in the shadow of Mavin’s golden boy, Rema.
In May 2019, Crayon was officially unveiled on the Mavins’ Don Jazzy-led posse cut, ‘All is in Order’ that got people asking questions. Just a couple of weeks after, he also laid down a solid hook for Ladipoe’s fling with Afropop, ‘Based on Kpa’.
But with ‘So Fine’ a standout cut off his EP, Crayon laid every doubt to rest about his talent, delivering a soothing yet body-moving love number that radiates a level of confidence rarely found in burgeoning acts. And with a label with far-reaching tentacles like Mavin, Crayon’s name was everywhere although the project recorded a middling success.
Now, the singer has regrouped and is bent on winning over unbelievers with his first post-“Cray Cray” single, ‘Kpano’.
Like most releases in this streaming-led climate, ‘Kpano’ is a very short but sweet affair, running just over two minutes of magic. On this stunner, the young singer needs no assists as he sounds super-charged crooning about his love interest over a heavily packed Ozedikus beat headed straight for the clubs.
Steaming with overwhelming crossover potential, this might just be the spark Crayon needs to propel him to mainstream consciousness and perhaps dominance.
Enjoy the record above.
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By Victor Aderibigbe — 1 day ago
The first time I ever heard a Paybac song was in 2018. I had stumbled on ‘The Mami Wata Song’ early that year while exploring my newly found SoundCloud world littered with hidden gems. Just that one song with its refreshing originality and Paybac had me completely. I might have have been late to the Nigerian SoundCloud party but I was right on time for Paybac’s debut album, “The Biggest Tree”.
With “The Biggest Tree”, Paybac walked me through the dark corridors of his genius mind, offering firsthand experience of what it feels to have grown up as Caleb Hanson Iboro. A personal favourite on the tape was the Bella-assisted closer, ‘Best Day of my Life’, a soul-baring victory lap where Paybac Iboro openly celebrates his wins, no matter how small. It came as a fitting end to a very personal album that featured some deep-seated storytelling of the gritty life he’s had to endure and his inflamed scuffle with depression.
Quite a lot has happened since “The Biggest Tree”. Between his 12-track debut and his sophomore, “Cult!” released earlier this year, Paybac held our gaze with two collaborative projects. In November 2018, he joined forces with frequent collaborator Charlie X to release “Autopilot”. Barely six months after, Paybac reunited with longtime friend and associate, Boogey, to release their critically acclaimed “Alternate Ending”.
From these releases, you can simply just tell that Paybac is building an impressive catalogue. With eight projects under his belt, Paybac has been putting in the work, and it’s paying dividends already.
In October 2019, he got tapped by East-Coast American rapper Juelz Santana for an appearance on his tape. Also last year, he secured his first Headies nomination in the lyricist on the roll category alongside Boogey, AQ, Ycee and SDC. Paybac didn’t go home with the award that night but got the reassurance that his work isn’t going unnoticed. People are out there listening. The industry is watching and keeping tabs on his progress.
And on his latest album “Cult”, Paybac is patriotic more than ever. He had grown up like many of us, trying to shy away from his Nigerian identity. It seemed cool at the time to distance oneself from the Nigerian culture. People even used this resentment to gain cool points. It was such a common thing to hear people say “I don’t watch Nigerian movies” or “I don’t do Nigerian music.”
But things have turned around. It’s so cool to be Nigerian now. The past few years have given us so much to be proud of, particularly in the entertainment sector. Afrobeats is doing so well across the world now. Nollywood is also doing its bits, shedding itself off its old skin. And with “Cult”, Paybac stands as that maverick leading that U-turn back to national pride.
This album showcases Paybac as more than just a rapper. All through its 15 tracks, he comes across as an artist who doesn’t pander to expectations.
Everyone has this idea of what ‘rap’ should sound like. But “Cult” is different. “Cult” is free. “Cult” is ambitious. Sonically, it doesn’t walk in the exact footsteps of his previous releases. Thematically, Iboro presents “Cult” as a national pride hymnal for this generation of Nigerians. In the opening seconds of ‘Boy Band’ one of the album’s standout cuts, he references a popular Chinua Achebe quote, “being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting.” And it is this paradox that the album wraps itself around.
Paybac sweeps nothing under the carpet. He brings it all to bear on the album. He wraps up the myriad of emotions you feel as a Nigerian, balls it up and goes off on the tape. “Cult” almost plays as a soundtrack to your experiences as a Nigerian. You can connect to his pride on ‘Activ8’, relate to his loath on ‘Nigeria Suk My Dik’. And when he yells, “Fuck a politician” you flip your middle finger in the air in disgust and scream right along because that’s exactly what you feel.
You can relieve the whimsical pride as well as the profound anger, confusion and helplessness that comes with being a citizen of the continent’s biggest economy, which also happens to be the poverty capital of the world.
Another interesting thing about this album is that despite the fact that he raps mainly in English, he sounds very Nigerian in every way. Many rappers in these parts try so hard to sound like they aren’t from here. But not Paybac. With him, there are no phoney accents. Neither will you find those imported rap mannerisms present on the album.
“Cult!” inspires an unprecedented level of reverence in Paybac’s career. Some already call it his best ever. Others swear it’s one of the best 2020 projects in these parts. But one thing we can all agree on is that with “Cult”, Paybac solidifies his foothold as one of Nigeria’s most gifted rappers. It sets him right apart from his peers and also flaunts the depth of his artistic creativity.
With each release, the ever-evolving Paybac proves himself as an artist to grow with. We almost have no idea what the next Paybac album would sound like right now, we’d just have to wait and find out. And if you ask me, that’s already pretty exciting.Post Views: 81
By The PGM Club — 4 years ago
So it’s Super Sunday. Liverpool had just lost their only opportunity of silverware in the 2016 Capital One Cup final, Arsenal experienced a shocking defeat and a dent in their title challenge at the hands of a junior Manchester United team, and one of the most anticipated events of the year; Darey’s Love Like a Movie #LIAM was just about to begin. But here I was, on my way to Surulere for a private album listening session. I had gotten information that some MCs were about to release a Hip-hop album. You know I am a huge fan of good music, irrespective of its genre and where it’s coming from. So, I made some calls, got my crew ready and we found our way to Surulere; the land of aspiring Olujumoke’s and good food according to a buddy of mine.
As we ascended the stairs of this very modest apartment where the studio was located, I had no idea what to expect. You see Hip-hop or Rap is still in its infancy stages in Nigeria. With all its influences, popularity, and successes, recorded in the Americas, most Nigerians still regard Hip-hop/Rap genre as not being a very profitable genre of music. Although, we do need to acknowledge and give credit to the likes of M.I, Olamide & Phyno, Illbliss and others, who have successfully made a career in rap.
I obviously can’t speak for you, but to me, hip-hop is not just a sub-cultural movement formed during the early 1970s composed of four distinct elements; Rap music, Turntabilism (Disc jockey), B-boying (Physical dance moves e.g. breakdancing) and Graffiti art (Visual). Hip-hop is a medium of self-expression, an articulation of words in rhythm and poetry. “Hip-hop is a way of life.”
Now enough of the academic banter, lets get back to the main story.
After all the pleasantries were exchanged, we immediately got down to business. Boogey led us into the studio, which was actually a bedroom that had been converted into a recording studio. We were immediately greeted by the mask; Charlie X. This almost skinny looking dude looks nothing like the musical genius we were about to find out he is. He completely embodied the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
Charlie X took us through the behind the scenes of every single track, explaining the twists and turns in the album. According to Charlie X, “Face Off is a concept album between two insane MCs – Paybac and Boogey – exploring different aspects of storytelling in music.”
To get a clearer picture of the kind of creative minds that worked this album, I have broken down their characters below.
Charlie X is an alter ego; he is a white faceless mask who introduces himself as JR or some other name when he is not in work mode. He could be right next to you and you would have no idea. He is a Veteran producer who started production some fifteen years ago, back in High School. Growing up in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, he got his name from a long time buddy of his; Jesse Jags A.K.A Emperor Jags. He refuses to be boxed in as a hip-hop producer, and works across different genres. When asked to describe his production he says,
I am not one of those producers who needs inspiration to produce, I produce with ideas.
A quick google search will do no justice to the incredible talent that is Paybac. Born and raised in Jos, Paybac is a prolific rapper and storyteller who graced the Hennessy Cypher 2015. On the album, his storytelling skills are clearly evident in the song ‘Lucid’ where he created imaginary worlds with lakes and talking dolphins. On another track ‘Ready to blow’ he does a word play on the title ‘Ready to blow’ and tells the story of an artist on stage ready to become known or to blow up to bits.
If you have followed hip-hop music in Nigeria in the last decade or so, the rapper Boogey needs no introduction. He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to Morocco, where he obtained a degree in Biology. This wordsmith also speaks French. Read his full profile on his website: https://boogeythat.wordpress.com/profile/. On this album he delivers more of his fast paced, free flowing lines that have drawn comparisons to US rapper and Aftermath prodigy Kendrick Lamar.
This beautiful album art was designed by Hovii Are. She is an amazing artist who works with pen and pencil. You could see some of her other works on Instagram @hovii_are.
Face Off – The Album
The story telling on Face Off is pretty impressive, I can say with some level of confidence that it’s been a while that so much detail and depth has been paid to a body of work. Face Off is like a long 90s movie, complete with the bad guy element, the party scenes, a little bit of love, fantasies and climatic sounds that show the intensity of a producer who works across genres. On ‘BBQ and Shayo’, they call on the vocal prowess of Rexx, (an artist and radio presenter with Metro FM Lagos) who delivers a soothing performance that sets the stage for Paybac and Boogey to drop some playful, but hard hitting lines. On another track; ’Tales by Moonlight’ they decided to go outside the box and recruited the services of Plumbline; a Yoruba spoken word artist. On ‘Grateful’, my personal favorite off the album, they took the music to another level. After having locally sought for a female vocalist to sing the hook, to no avail, I must add, they finally got an unknown lady from the Philippines to drop the heartwarming chorus. Now when I say; I tried to get more information about her, I really did, but they refused to tell us whom she was. Charlie X explained that the lady in question didn’t want any credit. All I got from him was that she was based in the Philippines.
The Face Off project took about three months to complete. It may not be mainstream or the typical Jollof music Nigerians are accustomed to, but I have no doubt that the strong lyrical content and refreshing production sounds in Face Off, will find a spot in the hearts of true Hip hop/Rap fans and good music lovers. I am so grateful to have had the making of the album explained to me by the curators.
The album is officially out on 03/03/2016. However, douglasjekan.com – where we push traffic to good music – has gotten the exclusive right to stream the album for you. Simply click here
And just for you we got all their Social Media:
Charlie XPost Views: 574