Tuesday , November 30 2021
Dear Reekado Banks, welcome back [Pulse ‘OTR Vol. 2’ EP Review]

Dear Reekado Banks, welcome back [Pulse ‘OTR Vol. 2’ EP Review]

From a large pile, ‘Options’ featuring Parker Ighile and ‘Need More’ featuring Kida Kudz are just two incredible records, which curiously eluded mainstream attention. Soon after, the singer went down an uncertain path: first, he got unfairly demeaned by Burna Boy, in a public Twitter moment.

Despite Wizkid’s public rebuke – also a sad moment of public twerk for endorsement on the part of the Grammy winner, as he postponed his Made In Lagos release in the wake of #EndSARS – he released ‘Omo Olomo,’ a subpar and slightly aged track. He then released Off The Record EP, a quite shabby, forgettable and unimpressive outing.

Like clockwork, Reekado was back with quality collaborations like ‘You Dey Mad’ with Attifaya,My Chargie’ alongside Teejay & Lord Afrixana and ‘Raise Your Hand’ featuring Nomcebo Zikode and Pheelz. He then crowned it with the buzzing single, ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe,’ a commemorative commentary around the Lekki tollgate massacre and life on Lagos Island.

Like Banks has always done, he found a pocket on verse two of ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ to elevate his record.

He sings that, “When if you think say you be giant, you be giant for your pocket…” and sealed the song’s fate. While the record is obviously a nod to Nigeria’s flailing and questionable status as the cliche ‘Giant of Africa,’ some people have argued that it could be a belated reply to Burna Boy.

On the back of the record, Banks returns with a surprise sequel to his 2020 EP, Off The Record (OTR) EP Vol. 2. From the opening record, the stellar R&B number ‘Pulling Up,’ it was clear that Banks had returned with an instant improvement on the lacklustre ‘Off The Record.’

While ‘OTR Vol. 2’ has commercial viability, it feels like Banks was in a much better mental place, while recording its songs. It feels like he was simply speaking his mind on each record, not chasing hits.

His songwriting is more centred around resonant, properly articulated topics around love, appreciation, socio-politics and even confusion. Significantly, he also picked significantly improved beats. ‘Pulling Up’ is as stellar an R&B record as Nigeria has heard in 2021 and ‘Lupita Nyong’o’ has all the markings of yet another hit record, after ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe.’

While ‘Selection’ would have been better served with a Mayorkun or Davido feature, ‘Self-Esteem’ is a picture-esque articulation of imperfect love, expressed through subtle hints of sex.

But in this form, Banks could have done better than produce a paltry five tracks. When you find that pocket, you seal it.

Nonetheless, this is an amazing way to close 2021. 2022 looks bright for Banks. Let’s hope he doesn’t fall asleep again.

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