The hip-hop project, RedHotyceCold from Nigerian label, K2O entertainment’s front runner, Hotyce is definitely a breath of fresh air to the Nigerian hip-hop scene. The album features hip-hop industry heavyweights like M.I, Jesse Jagz and Waje.
Since Hotyce’s early attempts at more conventional Naija hip-hop with Kilofoshi, Alhaji and the more successful lean towards a more comfortable niche for the rapper on songs like; The man and 10 o’clock in VGC, to his Friday Night Massacre releases, his career has been on a steady incline with his album being sort of more grease to his elbows.
However, the album is really for hip-hop lovers; so, it might not be an easy listen for music lovers of alternative genres. His hooks are mostly simple rap verses synchronized into catchy rhythmic melodies with repetitions which make it easy for the audience to sing along or banter.
On the album, he delivered classical hip-hop, no mumble jumble rap, giving it refreshing, lyrical, bouncy flows, honest content and little or no vulnerability.
The first track, say something remarkable, a Joe Budden skit introduces you to the temperament of most of the project. The intro communicates the crux of the song itself and sets the tone of the entire project perfectly. The production carries a very nice bounce, with its catchy melody, chant like rap hook, hard eloquent flow and strong lyrics makes the song difficult to ignore as it commands a head bump whenever it comes on. Hotyce’s confrontational energy throughout the album and this song contains shots at his peers and forerunners, challenging them to bring their A-game and to keep the hip-hop game lyrical, whereby saying something remarkable.
In an interview with Ehis Ohunyon for pulse.ng, when asked about the idea behind the song, Hotyce was quoted, ”there is no much thought put behind their lyrics. I just believe it is a funny time and if I have to pay attention to you then you have to say something remarkable.”
The next song on the feisty album, Red light features a melodic Jesse Jagz on the hook. On this body of work, he also provides a bridge after the second verse. This 6 minute, 22 seconds long track sounds like a cautionary public service announcement to the hip-hop industry. Hotyce introduces himself and what he stands for on this track whilst keeping his confrontational energy as he flaunts his confidence and his capacity as a rapper and character as a man, with lines like, “I don’t see myself as a person, cursing in a room where the ladies in
or rehearsing what I could do to look urban. Let me be me, I can never be you. Rule number one, you can never be two. Be diligent in whatever you do if you wanna be better than pops at 72.”
In the first verse, he places himself on a high moral pedestal, expresses his dreams and hopes, pays tribute to the men who shaped his ideologies, addresses social anomalies, insists on his Midas touch, gives life and finance advice among other things. However, in the second verse, he expresses his humanity and admits to being flawed, acknowledging God but also admitting to his vanity through lyrics like;
“All we need is a word from the savior
to save us, you don’t really need a church to save yuh.”
This is the first time Jagz is on a hook of someone else’s song and he definitely lives up to expectations. Maybe correct me in the comments section, but if I am right, this song is probably a historical marker in Nigerian hip-hop.
For the Capital is definitely a city anthem with Emmeno outdoing himself on this. While the very lyrical MC manages to touch most of the geographical lifestyle and cultural talking points of the city, for instance; referencing what used to be a creative hub in the city called, Sueno which birthed or in some cases contributed to the careers, exposure and network of a good number of Abuja based creatives. However, the spot was shut down in January, 2018 by law enforcement agents.
Hotyce also highlights the bougie nature of Abuja side by side with the dangers and betrayal the streets tell tales about. It is a wholesome tribute, all sentiments acknowledged.
Pull up with MI Abaga addresses fake people and their fake hate. Unlike the haters referenced, this song holds the same confrontational and confident energy as the first two songs. M.I’s delivery was so precise and exciting.
An interview skit intro by Phlow cues Hotyce, on the jam titled, Purpose. The song connotes wisdom, growth and a coming to or realization of what life’s really about and reevaluating your personal values and circle. The message of the song is spot on and the little bridge sung by Maka really adds to the sermon feel of it. It is a real story that an average listener should be able to relate to and if he can’t, he should take a cue from this fire jam and take the lessons and lyrics with him wherever he goes!
No song on the project showcases Hotyce’s confrontational attitude more than track 6, “I dey tell you oh” (aka Ghetto). I really love the bounce on the production once again, this time, The gentle bounce and calm flow in the verses of this piece of work produced by Ciq, provides an excellent melodic contrast which is taken a step further with a deep, pidgin chorus.
So amazing is a thanksgiving jam more or less as Hotyce alludes his success to God’s grace on this song, with dope unadulterated hip-hop melodies and a flow that just threads the beat very nicely. Best part is he doesn’t sound like anyone else. On the song all he does is basically tell his tale of how hard it’s been to get here and thanks God for where he’s at.
Give it to ya is a dance-hall style jam. I believe this song was added to showcase diversity or range of the Artist’s skill.
Meanwhile, we don’t do that over here is the only single that was released prior to the project and boy was it a great alley-hoop for the rest of the project to make a slam dunk! The way Hotyce alternates between dance-hall flows and deep hip-hop flows, it’s hard to believe he had no features on this song because both deliveries were so well done. The beat, the attitude and the crip walk associated with the song adds to its appeal. If this song comes on in the club and you know how to crip walk, trust me you will feel like a king up in tha’ club! Gray Jones produced this one.
On home again, another interesting skit preceded the flow of heavy bars, while Waje’s vocals on the hook and in the ad lib throughout the song project’s the pain that Hotyce summarized in the last line of his second verse; “I’m proud of my country, my country’s never made me proud”. It’s a beautiful song and gentle reminder of Waje’s prowess as a singer. This song might be the most lyrical throughout the project.
Ride for me featuring MAJ is a bonus track. And I wasn’t too impressed by the feature. It’s probably the only time on the album that you might sense the music is by a new cat. I didn’t enjoy the work on MAJ’s vocals and I personally believe that if you’re going to sing in proper English, your diction delivery is something to be particular about. The lyrical content was generally up to par as usual. But, honestly not the ending I hoped for.
Hotyce’s old minded wise words and youthful references keep the songs intellectual. The production and engineering was almost perfect all through with Emmeno exhibiting some versatility on this album looking back at all the tracks he produced and how diverse the production styles are, of which, would have played a crucial role towards earning it a nomination at the 2019 “Hip-Hop world awards”. Thus, I would say the body of work is a strong statement and a nice way to introduce an Artist to a larger audience as a rapper.