All things considered, Reekado Banks has had a pretty eventful year. He co-wrote Adekunle Gold’s hit song “Something Different”, enjoyed continued success of his hit 2019 single, “Rora” and got into two unfortunate incidents with two of Africa’s biggest. He rounds off the year with a 7 track project, Off the Record, and it’s no wonder there are a few “statements” here.
The project starts off with slow jam, “Need More” featuring Kida Kudz and EO. It attempts to be an interesting slow burner but lacks the hook of “Something Different” and sex appeal of “Rora”. Kida Kudz and EO add very little feature value and the song as a whole isn’t memorable.
The trend continues with “Happy Yourself”, a standard feel-good reggae song. It’s adequate but still not good enough to have made it on an EP. A filler by most standards.
Things pick up on “Speak To Me” featuring Tiwa Savage. It’s a beautiful song and Tiwa’s verse is a breath of fresh air. The problem however, is that the songs feels a little dated. The beat sounds like a throwback from the 2014/2015 Woju era. Like most songs from that era, it is good! But that’s the point… it’s from that era, not this one.
The “statements” begin on “You Dey Mad”. Reekado seems to be throwing shots and addressing leeches and haters in his life and in the industry. It’s crafted well enough to not be cringe-worthy. As an album track, “You Dey” is only adequate.
“People Dey” is the real gem of this EP. It sounds like a merger of all the songs on this record. It sounds important. Reekado addresses haters and industry personnel like he did on “You Dey Mad” but sounds a hundred times more genuine. Mr Eazi’s verse is filled with context and conversation and is fervent to listen to. It is by far the best song on this record (save Rora of course).
No question, Reekado is a gifted songwriter. That much is shown in his lyricism. But the production on this EP sounds uninspired and dated. We find traces of the hitmaker that shone with Mavins but he only flickers and rarely burns bright. Off the Record is almost bold…but “almost” is never enough.