This is the first listen take on CDQ's sophomore studio album, “Ibile Mugabe (The Voice)'' which was released on Friday, November 16.
CDQ has officially released his second studio album, ''Ibile Mugabe [The Voice)].''
The indigenous rapper who introduced himself with his debut effort, ''Quality'' in 2016 returns with his sophomore project titled, ''Ibile Mugabe [The Voice]'' released in the early hours of Friday, November 16th.
Producers who worked on the project include Masterkraft, JayPhizzle, DJ Maphorisa and Big Mouse.
First listen reaction to the album
1. 'Ibile Mugabe' – Over synth and reverberating beats, CDQ clearly states his intention with hard bars and repetitive hooks as he sounds a warning to everyone who cares to listen that he runs the streets now. ''Gbogbo ilekun to ro pe awon ti, ni mo ja key.''
2. 'Entertainer' ft Davido – DMW boss Davido, who has worked with CDQ previously on the 2017 single, 'Ko Funny', takes his spot quite early on the project as the party officially begins with this bouncy bop inducing record.
3. 'Soft' ft Mr Eazi – The second guest artist on the tape is the Banku Music honcho, Mr Eazi, who also recently put out his sophomore project, ''Lagos To London.''
'Soft' is that tune that invites CDQ out of his comfort zone, as the beat takes a slower variation and he is rapping more in Pidgin with a mix of the Yoruba language and Eazi delivers the hook.
4. 'Information' – CDQ makes the solo run on the fourth joint off the album. This is a 'middle finger' in the face of his enemies type record, and where the hook does enough to keep you entertained, his verses do not exactly match its energy.
5. 'Gbayi' ft Kizz Daniel – I like how this starts, Kizz Daniel is on that melodic chants, then he breaks into this hazy verse that you can't help but nod to. One can already picture this doing damage to the dancefloors this festive season, the first feature that actually brings his A-game. This is the jam you need to put on repeat.
6. 'Bang Bang' – CDQ showcases the latin influence that a number of Nigerian artistes are beginning to lean towards in their beats on a bolder scale on this Masterkraft produced record.
'Bang Bang' is that joint for true rap fans and the way the beat keeps switching underneath his vocals makes this strong number.
7. 'Gbemisoke' ft Tiwa Savage – Mavins first lady contributes a warming hook as they give thanks to the Almighty, it is a fairly cliche topic but they do enough to keep it worth one's listen.
8. 'Aye' ft Phyno and Reminisce – This was one of the records that jumped at me immediately I saw the tracklist. Indigenous rappers have stolen the spotlight over the last few years and two of the leading names in Phyno and Reminisce come together in what is expected to be a bars fest.
The trap inspired record talks about how life should be lived as simple as possible, CDQ is rapping, holding his own as he takes the lead, the lines are heavy, it's like he is pumped for this, Phyno is next and his delivery is yet another reminder of why he is the 'Beast from the East' and then he says, ''Screaming f**k you nigga like a feminist'', and I am quite lost.
Reminisce is the elder stateman with the more controlled verse, his authority is clear as he spits every line and easily steals the show.
9. 'Falala' – Halfway through the album and you can sense his commitment at trying almost any type of sound or style. Then this record starts with some intriguing ochestra type keys but it turns out to be a quickly forgettable record as his experiment is a rather weak attempt to offer something different.
10. 'Ghana Must Go' – On this record, CDQ calls himself 'Yoruba Demon' but despite a stronger second verse, he does not exactly raise hell on a joint that is more lukewarm than scorching.
11. 'Flex' – As the title suggests, 'Flex' is tailor made for the clubs and is swelled by vibrant production from JayPhizzle. There is not enough to overwhelm you but it is not in anyway a bad record.
12. 'Want' ft Wizkid – 2018 has seen Wizkid bless a number of artists with features and CDQ also gets a vocal contribution from the Starboy.
Wizkid is singing, you probably have heard this type of hook if you have been following his releases all year, CDQ is rapping easy, I like the idea of the song, the synergy is quite present and it has enough vibe to stand out from the tape.
13. 'Werey Yo' – Previously released single, 'Werey Yo' sounds every bit like the one year old record that it is. It doesn't seem to fit in with the current sounds he sought to achieve on this project and probably should have been left out or at best introduced as a bonus track.
14. 'Say Baba' (Remix) ft DJ Maphorisa – His hit record gets a Gqom spin with the help of South African producer, DJ Maphorisa and also we get to hear another Shina Peller reference.
15. 'Scatter' ft Shaydee – He enlists Shaydee on this record as the singer brings the potentials that has won him a lot of admirers to the fore. A promising record and will likely enjoy steady rotations.
16. 'Asante Sane' ft Stunner, Laylizzy – The official closing track on the tape sees CDQ bring back the energy he kicked off with. His flow is tight, the beat is doing all sorts of good things to me. The rapper on the second verse is bringing the flames, his delivery when he switches the flow is near immaculate and the final verse also offers a good showing.
'Asante Sana' which is translated into 'Thank you very much' is the type of record that CDQ can actually do, but the lure of commercial success hinders him from giving it a go more often. This is victory music and a really good way to close the album.
My Thoughts: CDQ's sophomore effort is same of what you have come to expect from the street rapper. Strongly rinsed in street slangs and catch-phrases, witty Yoruba bars with a few pidgin moments filled with plenty ear cringing punchlines.
The project is well boosted by its rich feature list as their contributions help, but fails to totally save it from being above average.
The length of the album is a worry and in this age where the attention span of listeners gets shorter every minute, any artist putting out a 17 track project that spans over 1 hour must have enough content and twists to captivate and hold the attention of its audience and CDQ stumbles heavily there.
With the interesting title, ''Ibile Mugabe [The Voice]'', one is forgiven for anticipating an album that has a theme, heightening the curiousity to discover the 'voice of what exactly?', but rather it is a collection of songs and an attempt to find that one that is fortunate to gain acceptance and become a hit record.
The approach is forgiven, but the execution is not as effective and even though he does not fall under the sophomore curse, the album is no upgrade on the level at which he currently plays.