‘World Best’ connotes ‘the highest quality, excellence, or standing’, but could Nigerian Afro Dancehall singer Patoranking’s fourth studio album be only ‘Best’ in its title?
Patoranking has been making music since he signed with Igberaga Records in 2010.
He shot into the limelight in 2014 with his hit, ‘Girlie O’. Since then, he has retained a favourite spot on Nigerian music playlists.
Since 2014, Patoranking has consistently shown his artistic creativity by blending elements such as reggae, dancehall, Afrobeats, and hip-hop.
Patoranking, during an interview with Rollingstone, revealed the concept behind the title of his latest 15-track music project.
He said the title spurred from reflections on his career, “World Best’ is a name my friends and fans already call me. I affirm the path chosen and that the road less travelled will pay off.”
Considering the new album’s title, it would break records, top international charts and all of that. However, the real question is, why is nobody talking about it?
His first track and solo, “Inshallah”, offers prayers of blessings and hope. It prays that our hard work will pay off and keep soaring higher to achieve goals.
It encourages listeners to trust in their process as it would yield productive results.
The vibing tune leaves listeners tempted to get on their feet while bouncing and singing along like a hip-hop artiste would.
“Everything goes dey okay, Inshallah
We go get money pass Dangote, Inshallah
We go dey go loke loke, Inshallah
This hustle must pay, Inshallah,”
His second track and solo, “Higher,” is probably my best listen to him. The song blends a fusion of dancehall, amapiano, and afrobeats and uplifts God’s protection and kindness. It tells how God is the reason for his existence.
The song is quite relatable and leaves singing along without realising it. If I didn’t know Patoranking, the song passes for a good Gospel song at first listen.
In his fifth track, “Smoke & Vibes,” Patoranking explores the dangers of drug abuse. He tells the story of Tunde, who tried Indian hemp against his mother’s instructions.
The intro reminds you of his song ‘Abule’ until you get into it deeply to realise it is different. However, I love how the rhyming pattern and the backup version of the dancehall tune get you invested in the song.
Aside from that, the storytelling technique feels like listening to a story only that it is told as a song. This makes it more attractive for listeners to follow through.
The track “Abobi” is another hit on the album that follows a storytelling approach. It tells the story of a family man killed for no reason. The song draws on the emotions of listeners to tell its story.
In “Na Na Na,” his 12th track, Patoranking, serenades his lover in a harmonious rhythm. He talks about how much he misses her. However, you need patience to realise this song is interesting because it doesn’t hold you down until halfway through.
The “World Best” shines in its myriad featured acts, including international stars such as Ludacris, Beenie Man, and Popcaan.
Patoranking also linked up with fellow African hitmakers Kizz Daniel and Diamond Platnumz and up-and-coming artists such as Gyakie, Victony, and Zion Foster.
His song “Babylon” is undoubtedly my best feature on this album. It’s how perfectly Victony breathes melody into the song, accompanied by the irresistible beat that leaves you drowning in it. Trust me, you would be tempted to replay as many times as possible.
I love his “Tonight” feature with Popcaan; though it sounds predictable and familiar, being Patoranking’s style, it gets you vibing and dancing.
Another exciting feature is “Kolo Kolo” with Diamond Platnumz, who brought his A-game to make the song dope. The dancehall tune captures your attention to the end and leaves you smiling at how their collaboration aligns.
Miracle Baby, featuring Ludacris, tells Patoranking’s usual grass-to-grace story and how God helped him amid what people did to him.
Ludacris’ verse wasn’t necessarily needed in the song. It could still have been fine without his collaboration. Regardless, its relatable lyrics and tune are something to take away from the musical track.
My most anticipated feature is “Gal Like You” with Kizz Daniel, but it failed my expectations. It was hard to differentiate Kizz Daniel in the song because they sounded alike. Nothing new!
The ‘World Best’ album, released on 7 September, can be likened to a delicacy you probably eat every time and you’ve gotten too used to its taste.
It means you can tell how the food tastes the same regardless of the different times you eat it.
In that regard, despite the high anticipation that trailed the album when Patoranking dropped the ‘Tonight’ and ‘Abobi’ singles off it,’ it waters down expectations, capturing the predictable familiar sound we are used to from the artiste.
The album is worth listening to, as a few songs still compensate for the time spent.
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