Odunsi’s the engine to Lagos’ nascent Alté scene. He revvs instinctually on his debut collection, drawing from 80s and 90s pop culture and personal reflections to craft a shattering, revealing, nostalgia-dipped 2018 album.
“It’s my time, and nobody can tell me nothing,” he sings on opener to 80s nu-wave-y “rare”. He’s indeed put in the hours; his features on songs from Santi to Juls to Tay Iwar and MI Abaga run amok on trendsetting global playlists .
“Take me there” is the laidback prelude to the slappin’, snappin’ “outcast”, which he follows up with the Davido-guesting “divine”, effectively casting the Afrobeats giant as an honorary Alté member.
Conversations about mental health and reflective meditations on modern day relationships abound, unfiltered, from the heart of Lagos, which gives rare the feel of a mixtape from an intimate partner. “Odunsi’s energy was a bit down for sometime,” a voice at the end of “take me there” shares. Disappointed in how he was being treated by some people, the Engine decided to shift a few gears back and recollect.
He’s fully recouped, the same voice informs us.
“wanted you” is straight out of the Michael Jackson School of Gifted funksters, and has Prince-like flashes of dancing in blue-lit club corridors on a sweltering night. “angel” is audio-liquid sex, shielded from the public’s gaze by moody church chords; it’s climatic phenomena meant to cast away inhibitions and free the mind.
“express” is the timely collision of South Africa’s rap dealer Nasty C, and associate Monster Boys’ regular collaborator, Santi. Odunsi announces that he can be found on the express, livin’ excessively, turning up massively, while Nasty C points out that he’s feelin’ a tad restless because “me and mami got a meeting today”, but brushes that off a few moments later with the bar’d-up boast “I’m not stressed, you can see in my face”.
Odunsi’s wavy, relaxed, charming, thoughtful, gentle, hip, and fucking amazing. Bruh, he kool as fuuuggg!
Get this project, damnit!
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