LABEL - E.M.E (Empire Mates Entertainment)
RELEASED -  02.13.13
SCORE - 5 out of 5

I want to believe that the day Banky W. released the tracklist for R&BW, he pretty much confirmed the rumors about the “Star Boy” - Wizkid not being a part of E.M.E anymore because Wizkid was not featured on any of the tracks. Due to this reason, a lot of fans have shown concerns for the record label because they believe that the record is still relevant today because of WizKid. Although, we still don’t know why he left the label, some of us are still shocked, but these things happens. We had the Plantashun Boiz (Faze,TuFace, Black Face) back in the days, and they split up. Even D’Banj and Don Jazzy split up, so, Wizkid leaving E.M.E just proves to us that nothing really lasts forever. But if you still think that E.M.E will be nothing without Wizkid, you might want to listen to R&BW.

With that being said, I have decided to review this album, specially for the people who are yet to buy and listen to it, so that you won’t miss out on a gem like this. As usual, I will only review my favorite tracks because the album is still very new, I don’t want to give out all the details,so I will only review my favorite tracks, in no order,   this might be challenging because I love every single song on this album, but let’s see how this goes.

R&BW basically has a love theme through most of it, from tracks like “Good Good Loving”, “Be My Lover”, “Yes/No”, to other tracks like “Find You”, “To My Unborn Child”, “Low Key”, and “Say”.

Skales is one of the most talented artists we have in Nigeria, but I still would rather him sing than rap. But that didn’t stop him from shining on Track 03 - Magic, which is a little up-tempo, compared to several other tracks. The song is about a guy got hypnotized by the way a girl danced and how she stood out in the midst of other girls, so it felt like magic and that just means that she might be the one. As usual, Banky W. did not disappoint with his amazing vocal skills. I thought the harmony and his ab-libs were well on point.  Skales also showed us that he had some pretty cool lines like “Trapped in your enchantment and I ain’t trying to be free/ To other girls I’m ghost, ‘cause I always wanna have you close/ You ain’t supposed to lose me, that’ll be magic gone wrong/ Me and you behind closed doors, I won't tell, your magic, girl, I’m under your spell”. I think he is still proving to be one of the most promising artists of today.

Track 11 - To My Unborn Child, features Lynxx. This song reminded me of 2Pac. Not only did Banky impress with his vocals, he also showed us that he could spit a few bars like - “The only person in your way is the one in the mirror / if it hasn’t worked out, it ain’t the end. It’s ok to fail as long as you try again/ Greener on the other side, some say so, make sure you cut the grass slow so the snakes show/ Loyalty is thin as ice, it’s easy to skate, a promise is easy to make and easy to break.” Lynxx also came through. His verse featured lines like - “Never let your feelings show when you sleep, it’s a cold world / And remember, money isn’t everything, but your last name can get you anything/ Never let your feelings show when you sleep, it’s a cold world/ Always be aware of the company you keep/ Always put God first in everything you do/ I hope you grow up to be a greater version of me.”  One would consider this track to be “deep” because it is hard for some of us to explain these feelings and put them into words. I think it’s pretty tremendous. Think about the impact it will have on your child as he reads/listens to it later. This particular song happens to be my favorite on the album.

It’s not a R&BW album till it features a baby making song, right? And who can really make you say “na na na na na na na” if it isn’t Banky W.? Track 09 - Say, features E.M.E’s Shaydee, Sammie and Rotimi. If you want to make love to your special lady, this is a track you want to keep on repeat. Talk about eargasm! These artists brought their everything, from lyrics, ad-libs, harmony, soul, everything, to the table! I don’t know who Sammie is but now I want to hear more of him. I just might like Shaydee’s voice even better than Banky W. I just might! And Rotimi’s sweet soulful voice just makes you warm and fuzzy inside. This is a beautiful song.

The album is not  100% R&B. Things pick up a little more on tracks like “01 - The Way”, “07 - Do It To Me”, “13 - Never Let You Go” and  “14 - Good Good Loving Remix” where he features Tuface (You guys will love Tuface on this one). Another track that stood out to me was “12 - African & Proud.” Banky W. features Camp Mulla, Sarkodie and Vector. I read a tweet a couple of weeks ago, asking Nigerian artists to stop featuring Sakordie because he always outshines us. LOL. I think he is an amazing rapper, although, I only understand him when he speaks English, but Vector blew me away! “You go real, we go realer, beat our chests on that ape sh*t!/ Swing in the club like I play golf, Chale!” Whattttt! Vector literally murdered this track!

We see a more spiritual side of Banky W. on Track 16 - Mercy. He gets emotional as he sings about getting things right with God, he wants to be saved from himself - a work in progress, and he asks for mercy. Not only is Banky one of the best vocalists we have in our industry, he is also a good rapper and this track proves it.

The album also features familiar tracks like one of his hit singles “05- Yes/No”, “08 - Be My Lover ft. Niyola”, and “06 - Low Key”, he also features Chocolate City’s M.I Abaga and Trybe RecordsEldee on Track 15 - More.

Overall, R&BW is a very intelligent album, filled with beautiful lyrics and a lot of soul. Banky W. has made good music in the past, but this is his best work so far. 

Get R&BW here.

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