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Nigerian’s Listening E.A.R. (Essential Album Rating)

A strong review of Nigerian (Naija) albums
07/01/2011 | Oyebowale ‘oyeakd’ Akideinde;;

GENRE: Fuji/Afro Pop/Hip Hop

LABEL: Knighthouse Creative
Year of release: 2010

A lot of adults will take one look at Mo’Cheddah (real name: Modupe Oreoluwa) and
immediately stereotype her in the same class as the New Boyz or Audio Push with them skinny
jeans, colourful tees, key-chains and jerk movement – basically music for the teens. It’s a pity
cos I’m pretty sure that everyone that turned on the radios just once in 2009 and ‘10, would
have definitely swayed to any of her dope singles that ruled the airwaves. Trust me, though she
may be the voice of the young people, her “Franchise Celebrity” album is littered with more
gems than a pair of J-Lo jeans.

The album opens up with a snippet of the fuuji laced “Gbedu” (heard the full thingy & I’m kinda
baffled it didn’t make the album as a full track) as an intro to set the motion rolling for our
Royalty Diva to take the centre stage on your speakers and earphones. DJ Klem’s production
madness kicks in from “Uncensored” where she attempts to remind us that she started as a
rapper; dropping rhymes over the up-tempo and high-octane beats. Her well delivered bars are
pretty weak as she displays a misguided confidence that only the youth can or should possess.
I like how she fuses the singing with the rap though. The dope electric guitar solo that seems to
have been made for Guitar Hero makes me fall in love with the joint.

“Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? OMOGE”. The fact paced party jam “Follow Follow” speeds
in and challenges the so called VIP boys and girls to get their backs off the wall in the clubs
...oh, sorry it’s 2011 get off their BBs and shayo sipping to come scatter the dance-floor.
“Abi u think say u be butter/abi u come club come drink water/ abi u dey form big boi/dey form
big girl/abeg make u waka”. Truth is, u don’t even a need a club to get ur groove on to this track.
The nectar sweet reggae infused “Best Friend” featuring Willybang follows through. The song
samples Lenky’s 2002 “Diwali Riddim” that had been previously used on hit tracks like Wayne
Wonder’s “No Letting Go”, Lumidee’s “Never Leave U (Uh Ooh)” and Rymzo’s “Rock & Roll”.
Like its sampling predecessors, “Best Friend” doesn’t disappoint. It’s kind of like Lover’s Rock
with a Pop edge and a bit of Dancehall mixed in. The chemistry between the vocals of Willybang
& our Franchise celeb makes the song really nice. Definitely one of the gems on the album.

Undoubtedly my fave track on the album screams in with 17, 18, 19 ...Loke! Loke! “Ko Maa Roll”
produced by Legendury Beats is so on point - from the use of all sorts of drums (especially my
fave – the talking drum), cymbals and several percussions for the creation of a #classic beat to
Mo’cheddah’s voice fitting in like the final piece of jigsaw. Love the video and is definitely one
track that went hard on DJ sets this Christmas.

When the single “If You Want Me” was released early last year, listeners became exposed to a
diverse type of music that incorporated shades of Afro Pop, Hip Hop & Soul into one brand. As
soon you hear Knighthouse resonate, you have a feeling that this is gonna be as big as 2009’s
“Da Finest”. Along with the Molenu Diva’s sassy & appealing lyrics matched up with a short and
self-effacing verse from Othello, the joint became a mainstay in clubs across the country, as
well as making its way up the radio charts. The song would go on to earn her the 1st Artist to be
endorsed by MTV in their new ““Brand: New” project. I wasn’t feeling the choreography in the
video though nor the kicks she was wearing.

I really like the Highlife sounding “No Be Money” where Mo’cheddah sincerely tells her man that
she would still love him with or without money. It’s like true love oozing out of the track as if
she’s actually singing it for someone ...whoever you are, you are one very lucky man ...those
legs hmmm... err, back to the song, really love the blend of wind & string instruments utilized.
Awesome job DJ Klem.

After a skipped “Wole Pelu Change E” skit, the experimental Lanre ‘Sabre’ & DJ Klem co-
produced Fuuji infused Pop joint “What’s Your Fuuji” kicks in and it’s either a hit or a miss. It’s a
bull’s-eye for me and it’s one of the longest lasting tracks on my iPod playlist since October,
2010. This “Shampion” Fyne Fly “Askhion” Gal urges all the Fuujirians out to throw up their
hands and dance & celebrate. I hope u are on the side that enjoys the joint.

“In The Morning” featuring Naeto C disappoints. Not that it’s a bad track, but it’s not as good as
the other tracks on the album. From ‘not feeling it’ at all to now ‘not skipping it’, means that at
least it’s grown on me to a point where I can now stand the annoying autotuned hook ‘baby
don’t u worry...’ which shows us an insight into what T-Pain sounded like at age 4. Super Naeto
C tries to save this love song with some big barz but at best it will stay as an album filler.

On “Maybe”, Mo’cheddah professes love over a thread-bare beat. She shows her versatility and
talent as she slows down the tempo completely to dominate the ballad genre with so much
ease. I almost believe her love outcry to me (psyching myself); I can see a lot of lights going out
in house-parties when this track comes on. It’s the perfect Naija groping and cuddling track.
What I like most is that though she’s no Waje or Christine Ben-Ameh, she knows how to work
her voice-range.
The politically positive “United” tale is told by Mo’ as she talks about an African child who won’t
stop lending her voice to resolving the issues and uniting all the diverse tribes.

Remember peeps with your single vote, you can bring in the right rulers. RSVP cos we
are the future.

“Free Worship (Part 1)” is one of those songs I would beat my chest and say it would forever be
evergreen. Everyone’s favourite Celebrity killed it. So while the Terry da Hitman G was singing
in tongues, she went ahead to concoct a medley of Gospel jams (cheekily, she even puts part 1
in her song title just like “Free Madness (Part 1)”). The Pop Diva is at her best as the smooth
delivery makes you want to bust a move immediately the beat drops. The outro “Thank You”
features Dagrin barz from Knighthouse’s “Street Scriptures” takes us out on a high.

Working with DJ Klem on most of the tracks (12) and after a handful of release delays that
made fans impatiently wait, Mo’cheddah finally dropped her debut album; An album with
singles that have already gotten her a MAMA, Channel O and several other awards. “Franchise
Celebrity” is full of creative, well crafted, fun, simple, catchy music. It is a collaboration of Afro
Pop, highlife, Soul, R’n’B, Hip-hop & reggae.

Mo’cheddah might be your average singer (without the autotune) and average MC (that might
soon change cos I was blown away by her flow at the MAMAs where she killed every other
FeMCee including Eve), but she & Knighthouse have managed to create a nice winning
formula that works for her. Add her charm into the mix and you become a fan instantly.
Providing as much buzz on her before the album dropped didn’t hurt either. Only Drake has
gotten more publicity than her in the last 3 years.

Many of the songs leaked before the album dropped; yet in the final copy, you can hear slight
modifications to each song that makes it sound fresh to the listener.

Outstanding Tracks: Free Worship, Ko Maa Roll, Maybe, No Be Money, If U Want Me

Disappointing Tracks: In The Morning

VOCAL DROPS Rating System

OPINION (Personal): 7/10
LYRICS: 7/10
RHYTHM: 7/10


In recent times, Mo'Cheddah has gotten all the attention a new artist could ask for. If Guinness
VIP is described as “the new cool in football”, then undoubtedly Mo’Cheddah is “the new cool in
music”. Saw her during the 2010 MAMA destroy the beats of “Fight the Power”; this definitely
transcends beyond Girl Power
Mo’cheddah is our present day riot celeb – not as vocally adept as other female artists, but
painting pictures with her words that turn to pure fun. Cynics may chalk Mo’cheddah up to a
young ‘un seeking for attention, but those who really listen will appreciate her underlying talent.

Definitely an album where Fuuji meets Hip-Hop which is definitely good news for all the
Fuujirians…With an awesome debut album, she is the future!

This album MAKES THE iPOD.