EP Review: D’Prince ‘Lavida’ is calculative and safe, but struggles with satisfaction

Posted on May 7 2019 - 11:47am by admin

The EP features Don Jazzy and new kid on the block, Rema – whom he and Don Jazzy discovered via an Instagram freestyle to ‘Gucci Gang.’

Pulse Nigeria

D’Prince and Rema in new video for ‘Lavida.’ (YouTube/Mavin Records)

The album features three songs produced Altims and Baby Fresh. Although judging a Nigerian album on songwriting might be hard, once you attempt dope songwriting, it’s only fair you get judged on it – there’s no price for ‘trying.’

With central themes around desire, sex, love and familiar Nigerian tales of ‘the chase,’ though there are some unnecessary moments of painful expletives and rhythm. The songs attempted a level of good storytelling you would seldom attribute to D’Prince’s music.

It did seem like D’Prince didn’t set out to simply make trippy lamba music. The stories were cohesive and the progressions hit a respectable level. On all the songs, moments where certain topics just jumped out of the blue to simply make up the rhythm are rare.

While it is then easy to expect the songwriting to match up to these efforts, for the brand of music Lavida EP is, that might be a little harsh.

Running on the Altims-produced R&B, afrobeats vibes, the title track, ‘Lavida’ is destined to be polarizing. It seems you would either really like it or really hate it. For other people though, they would need to listen in a particular mood to like the song. Others will simply need time and constant play to like it.

D’Prince had a really good verse from a standpoint of sticking to the central theme of the song. His songwriting is corny, yet alluring and his rhyme schemes are strong points for growth. The bridge just before the hook perfectly sets up the tone for the hook – which Rema absolutely aced.

Then, the weird part started; Rema’s lyrics were sparse and scatterbrained compared to D’Prince’s, but his technique and ability to find pockets in the beat just made his very terrible expletive-filled lyrics rise to another level. There is a weird sonic oxymoron to it all.

‘My Place’ also sees D’Prince on another commendable songwriting effort, but we can forgive him for taking the song from civil chatter about taking a girl to his mother to talking about seeing her ‘whine it,’ in split seconds. Don Jazzy tried to salvage the Baby Fresh-produced Afro folk/Hi-life, but it didn’t work.

It’s my least favourite song on the project. It feels like some string is missing from the production and the pace of the song needs to be reduced. Yet, I can see the song being the biggest from this EP.

‘True Love’ is the afro&B/afro-fusion moment of this album. Baby Fresh really killed it with the arrangement of his percussion and the strings that serenades the listener. Baby Fresh wins with this one.

D’Prince seems more at home with this beat, as he displays a vivid understanding of it. I also like that it’s a solo effort. The songwriting on his verses are beautiful. It showcases D’Prince as a sprung loverboy, canoodling with the idea of ‘sweet love’ from someone he’s seriously attracted to.

The hook is good. The second verse could, however, have been much better. I do love the saying that, ‘True love is sweet when money yapa (plenty).’

Lavida EP ends on a high with the brilliance in the final 30 seconds of ‘True Love,’ the 90’s pop drums, D’Prince’s rap and guitar moment just sealed that track.

Verdict

The song, ‘Lavida’ is good, but the yearning for true climax in shock value and enjoyment was just missing till the final 30 seconds on ‘True Love.’ The tracklist is also too short to make any judgement. Production is good, but not perfect.

This was a midly enjoyable listen from D’Prince. The songs are not bad, but ‘My Place’ falls short. That said, D’Prince seems to have only wanted something to test the market with after ‘Gucci Gang,’ his single with Don Jazzy and Davido, didn’t really pop.

However, what is worth doing should be done well. You can’t help but feel something is missing. Even though ‘Lavida’ is a good song, satisfaction is not attained.

One feels an extra track could have been just what the doctor ordered – three tracks offer more a fleeting experience that leaves more holes, fixation and questions than necessary. This might have also shined light on the other tracks.

As things stand now we are left with more questions than total satisfaction. That said, the only saving grace this project has is the 90’s pop moment with the guitar solo and D’Prince’s fresh air of rap at the end of ‘True Love.’

It feels poetic that it was at the very end of the project and it flattered to saved it, but falls short. Nonetheless, Lavida EP is understandably safe and calculative, but that still doesn’t deflect its inability to drive satisfaction home.

It’s by no means bad, but something is missing.

Ratings: /10

•      0-2: Flop

•      2.1-4.0: Near fall

•      4.1-6.0: Average

•      6.1-8: Victory

•      8.1-10: Champion

Pulse Rating: Each trait /2.5

Production: 1.5

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.0

Delivery and Execution: 1.0

Progression and Segues: 1.5

Total:

5.0 – Average

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