Rema falls under the bolder artiste. With times changing and music evolving, artists are under pressure to adapt, though it’s not necessarily compulsory, it’s worked for some acts, it hasn’t for others. In the heat of it all, some artists have altered their style to reach everyone irrespective of their music morals.
His galactic, career-shifting Afro-pop songs have made him his genre’s biggest superstar. If you thought the success of “Calm Down” and the debut album was all he had in his Afro-bag, you are in for a ride. Besides the song being the most successful and biggest Afrobeats song of all time, he would go on to perform at the NBA All-Stars, feature in Jordan’s Jumpman advert, collaborate with Ice Spice, and perform with her on SNL. His performance at the just-ended Ballon d’Or ceremony in France also capped a proper rollout for Ravage.
The whole concept of bending sounds has been Rema’s forte, and with his right-hand producer London, next to him, the difficulty it comes with simmers down a bit. Ravage explores new directions of Afrorave in modern composition. “Trouble Maker,” the momentous opener of the EP, is simmering and righteous. Produced by Blaisebeatz and London, Rema shares his villain arc with his listeners. He knows he is a troublemaker, and he has reasons to be. The Log drums and violin strings do justice to the direct lyrics Rema spits on this song, making him sound compassionate.
Though “DND” occasionally depends on tempo and density curated by P.Priime, it’s extremely loud at all volumes thanks to the thumping drums. His writing here is resilient, he is full of rage and courage in his lyrics, giving us a club anthem and a confidence-boosting jam at the same time. But Rema is not just a troublemaker, on “Smooth Criminal”, he puts on the armband suit and channels his inner MJ, gliding on a wave by P.Priime and London.
P. Priime’s presence on Ravage maintains his style of sparkling Afro tunes. From exotic strings, moody piano chords, and patterned log drums, with London in the same room adding his potions, you’d get well-cooked records. “Don’t Leave” is the smoothest song on this project, it glows continuously in the light of soft-focus vocals and production, sinking into a morass of melodies that reverberate across three minutes. Rema caps the EP off with his signature sound, tapping into the whine-wasting edginess that follows up with Indian culture and his trademark ad-libs, one of his favorite modes that has produced bangers since 2019.
Ravage is a testament to Rema’s tendency for Rave culture and it peaks here, from a fitting cover art that depicts a skeletal version of him riding a horse on fire to songs that compliment his artistry, Jordan’s new ambassador is here to stay and lead the Afro-Rave moment.
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