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Album: God Over Everything (2016)

Artiste: Patoranking

Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie (Patoranking) released his first single, So Nice, in 2009, but that and subsequent singles, did next to nothing to affect the music scene enough for him to launch a buoyant career until Alubarika, which he released in 2013. And, in a time band of 3 years, he has grown from obscurity to become one of the biggest acts out of Africa.

It doesn’t matter that the Patois/Reggae/Dancehall sounds have no firm cultural roots in Nigeria, where he was born and bred, he adopted those sounds as his medium and it has worked for him, scoring for him hit after hit and in turn, palpable fame.

And while his debut album, God Over Everything, released on August 1 2016, is not a bad album, the collection of songs do not really express sides of him, we haven’t heard before. If anything, the singles, before the album, if classified as a mix-tape or an EP, serve as a better body of work. In other words, God Over Everything, as a complete body of work, is not a true indication of Patoranking’s impressive talent.

A few songs tend to tread the same path such as Beautiful (track 15) which feels laborious and somewhat uninspiring, even though he did put in some effort. Others like Forever (track 8), Stammerer (track 11) tow the same pattern as Beautiful. The Olamide assisted Mama Aboyo (track 10) borrows from the ‘apala’ sound, in order to cater to the streets, and even though it achieved its aim, it could pass off as a tad too noisy.

At the press conference heralding the release of the album, he said the album is about love, God, where he comes from and is headed to. His reverence for God is evident.

The opener of the album, Patoranking (track 1) starts with a fervent prayer by his mother and the religious supplications continue on Writing on The Wall (track 7) and  G.O.E (track 2) where he sings about the tough past and a major influence of his, Bob Marley.

Cheating Zone (track 3), Love Town (track 12) and Daniella Whine (track 14) is engagingly laced with his signature Patois sound.

 His pop inclinations are present, and quite interesting, on the expertly produced Killing Me (track 6) and No Kissing Baby (track 9), which features Sarkodie. Ayinde (track 16), which features King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, is one of the highest points of the album, mostly because of Kwam 1’s rendition.

Songs, by Patoranking, that precede this album include; My Woman, My Everything; Girlie O, Make Am, Alubarika, Daniella Whine, and it’s safe to say that if these were his only released records along with a number songs he has featured on, he would still be good to go. The content present on God Over Everything, is not likely to win him any new fans.

On a scale of 1-10, this scores a 4.

Written by Ade Tayo