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Review: Gee Baller – Black Slides & White Socks

The Nigerian Rapper’s third album is a direct memoir that sheds light on his experiences and lifestyle as an emigrant in the diaspora, blending series of genres that inspired him into a body of work. 

Gee Baller is not new to the rap scene, in 2021 Apple Newsroom & GQ Russia acknowledged him as a rising  superstar thanks to the work rate and delivery on his previous album “The Genetic Code”.  

On his new album, he keeps the same energy through out all the fifteen songs, the intro “Free” features London rapper, Octavian, whose deadpan voice blazes through the reverb’d frenzy production, balancing Gee Baller’s flow with his catchy chorus. Baller’s will to work with others always brings the best out of him, his collaboration with Jay Bahd casts them as a natural pair, with rap verses on a drill beat that complements to one another in writing and execution.

It’s pure Asaaka merges with a rapper who dwells himself in the pits of drill music the together on a wave.  Rap and food have always been a reference used by rappers from time, it’s just a culture cross that comes with hiphop, or any genre.

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On “TERIYAKI”, the rapper is “dripping sauce when I walk that shit taste like Teriyaki”, referencing a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce,” matching it to his swag, he completes the pot with a saucy verse from fellow Nigerian Rapper Erigga.

Three songs in and you’ll know the rapper is an intelligent type, he takes it all for himself on “Dayshift”, on a well fixed  production, the rapper sneers about giving his all to chase his dreams,  his input doesn’t go unnoticed, as he gets “PAID” on the next single.

Baller is lyrically good, he can rap if he wants to, but his love for making bops and not using the conscious rap routine doesn’t go unnoticed on this project, “I.O.M.W” visits the trap in terms of approach, it’s your typical mumble-like production, filled with backing vocals that pays homage to rap’s new  dynamic.  “Shots” continues the run from the previous record, still

in the trap but a much more better stylistic cutting edge in terms of his flow, on a futuristic production, Gee Baller is broadly emotive and adds character to his flair here. However his chemistry with octavian seemed to have birthed multiple records, the duo link

up once again on “Ibiza”, singing in a slack, Auto-Tuned murmur, with an intrinsic tunefulness that makes this particular record different from the intro, a more melodic one.  

Baller is clearly a man of culture, he understands that it goes hand-in-hand with music, and on “Slanging”,  he gets to implements his policies on the song, giving a panoramic view of the streets with limber diction and rap lines that are backed with a reference quote from Denzel Washington’s 2007 cult classic movie “American Gangster”, summing up a gangster’s diary.

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The rapper’s will to collaborate has always been a trademark, his bond with Kazakh rapper, Skyrptonite, is one for the books, the two were tailored for each other,  Baller’s will to be diverse hits the roof when they link up, on “Presidential”, their concepts are braver and wider on “Eyoyo yo”, as they rapper flexes his love for contemporary ragga style, it’s typical UK inspired tune.

On “OG BOP”, he links up with Khaligraph Jones, whose presence  showcases a lyricist gracefully in control of his instrument, an element that has always been with the Kenyan rapper. One of the album’s standout moment is his joint with Ghanaian drill rapper, Kweku Smoke, whose performance steals the show, but that makes sense, Some of his best moments have come from the flourishes in A-Town’s production, and with  fast paced flow, the duo are exquisite here. Easily one of the best songs on here. 

Things get a bit personal on “Black sides & white socks”, he raps on the trials & Tribulations on his life, everyday problems that swirled around his come up.  

After almost 35 minutes of bone-rattling  production and call-to-arms type of rap, he ends the album with a more calm approach, “Picasso Dreams” is a relaxed record, he raps exclusively about independence & ambitions. Black slides and white socks is represents a tantalizingly wide-open door for drill, open to the sun genres whiles tailoring them with his personal experience.

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