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Review: Kwesi Arthur – Son of Jacob

3.5

Arguably one of the most anticipated albums of the new age, the BET nominee finally delivered his debut album, after a three-year wait which was compensated with an EP along the line and a couple of singles. Son of Jacob was finally up for consumption on all platforms and the project relies heavily on themes that explore his Family and his journey from the ground up, a typical Kwesi-Esque trademark.

In his early days, Kwesi’s loyalty to rap has been intact, in fact, he blew off a rap single, and his run throughout his break out year earned him the rapper of the year award at the 2020 VGMA’s. Despite all this, a vast piece of his fanbase is still yet to buy into his diversity as an artist, an ongoing conversation that has enabled critics/listeners to give negative reviews on SOJ, criticising it for having “too many love songs” and “soft”. But where does it all originate from? 

Son of Jacob is broader and more daring, with free-ranging production giving Kwesi space to dazzle with a series of genres,  making it an album for all.  “Drama”  is an excellent point of entry into the album’s mood; it’s a panoramic view of Kwesi’s ruthlessness, he is on Go-Mode and constantly reminds everyone why he is one of the country’s hardest rappers. It feels like 2017 all over again and it’s heavily felt with Big homie flees classic speeches.

“Disturb” and “Baajo” fuel the album’s criticism, two Afro beats songs with the latter a smash hit which was released as a single for the album. Kwesi’s love for diversity is not fake, on many occasions, he has expressed how Drake inspired him (one of the few rappers that made singing/rapping a thing), and it’s evident in these two songs, that he switches to singing and softens things up with Joeyboy on Baajo.

In all fairness, you’d expect him to experiment on his body of work, especially knowing his mentor. And that’s just that, as much as it’s about the fans, artists are allowed to play around with sounds for their own feelings, a part of the story that doesn’t get to the fans.

The rap version takes over one of the standout songs on the album, featuring M Huncho, he goes to toe with the British rapper on “Jungle Music pt 2” a song where his pen bleeds to the core with kinetic flows and boundless energy that electrifies the song, they are the perfect duo for the record.

Speaking of duality, one of the chemistries that serve as a pillar for the album’s solidarity is Kwesi’s bond with Juiccxx, the producer who first worked with Kwesi in 2020 and has built a bond with Kwesi, the type that made Kwesi trust him enough to produce 5 songs on the album, the most on it. They convey the same energy to “Silver spoon”, a song that explores Kwesi’s tough moments on the come up, with lengthy verses, you can easily tell how dear this review is to him.

Kwesi’s concepts are braver and his words more arresting and illustrative, these elements sores on records like “Paper” and “celebrate”, a transition of hustle and grind, rolling over to success and celebrations with the help of Teni.

Stymied by formulaic collaborations, the features are perfect,  “Toxic” is one of the flawless songs on the project, on a reflective beat by Yung D3mz, Kwesi and Adekunle Gold spill toxicity on this song, Kwesi Channels his Romeo rapper ego with an R&B bedside manner and a touch of toxicity, and AG’s vocals are as good as ever.

“Winning” still sounds tough with Vic Mensa’s verse. But it’s his brother’s appearance that steals the show, on two Amapiano songs, Dayonthetrack bodies his big brother, imbuing his voice with such emotions and flare. Both songs are products of Ground up, with Uche B handling the production.

“Diamonds Dancing” sounds like a typical NSG song, but wait, it has NSG on it, they’re trademark is so sonically visible you can easily tell they’re on there, undermining the song’s greatness, but it’s value is held by the Kwesi’s verse. “Adom” is the perfect outro for an album that seeks to motivate and celebrate Kwesi’s success. Listening to SOJ, it’s clear the rapper knows exactly what he’s accomplished, his wins were born of his struggle and he is simply loving every bit of his craft.

Listen to Kwesi Arthur’s ‘Son of Jacob’ on Spotify below:

3.5

The iMullar is the definitive voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.

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