Reviews

Zoro “Sound Check” Album Review

Sound Check

Zoro

  • Genre: Afro-fusion
  • Date: 06 Oct, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 10
  • ℗ 2023 Apiam Way

Zoro &Quot;Sound Check&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 20, 2024

Rapper Zoro has always been in the spotlight. He is incredibly gifted and strongly connected to his Igbo cultural background. He has captured the hearts of listeners not just in the Southeast but also worldwide with his remarkable ability to fuse hip-hop with his cultural background. Although Afrobeats has become commercialized and it took him a long time to make his debut album, the music in “Sound Check” is new and displays his talent as an artist. Zoro is redefining Afrobeats, experimenting with rap in popular genres, and leaving a lasting impression on the music industry—all while leveraging his Igbo ancestry as his driving force. His unique style and lyrical prowess have garnered him a dedicated fan base that appreciates his authenticity and how he stays true to his roots. Zoro’s ability to seamlessly blend traditional African sounds with modern beats has set him apart from other artists in the genre, solidifying his position as a trailblazer in the Afrobeats scene.

Album Art

Zoro &Quot;Sound Check&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 20, 2024

Zoro presents himself on the album cover as Zorro, a fictional figure from the 1990s soap opera series that most millennials will recognize. Wearing a contemporary take on the character’s image, he displays his cultural history by clutching an Igbo horsetail instead of a sword, holding a rose to allude to his romantic side, and riding a black horse that may indicate his African ancestry. Zoro’s choice to depict himself as Zorro on the album cover is a clever nod to his generation’s pop culture references. By incorporating elements from his cultural heritage, such as the Igbo horsetail, and alluding to his romantic side with a rose, he adds a personal touch to the image. Including a black horse may also symbolize his connection to African ancestry, further highlighting the depth of his cultural history.

Tracks And Features

Using metropolitan elements that lend his music a worldwide appeal, Zoro exhibits his cultural roots in his art by depicting exotic situations in Igbo. Pop culture references give his music an urban edge. In the opener song, “Alusi in Balmain,” he incorporates Terry Apala’s voice and refers to himself as a deity (Alusi). Zoro’s ability to seamlessly blend traditional Igbo elements with contemporary pop culture references sets him apart as a unique artist. His incorporation of Terry Apala’s voice in “Alusi in Balmain” not only adds a distinct flavour to the song but also showcases his willingness to collaborate and experiment with different styles.

His desire to live a life of pleasure is evident in “Good Life,” where he raps, and Mayorkun helps him construct an incredibly relatable chorus. Furthermore, his track “Good Life,” featuring Mayorkun, not only highlights his desire for a life filled with enjoyment but also demonstrates his knack for creating catchy and relatable choruses that resonate.

The musician explores how his careless approach toward life has influenced his love activities, including his admission to cheating, in his song “FOAF (Friend of a Friend),” which frankly illustrates some of the difficulties of modern dating and has Chike on chorus duties. His other songs, “Young Wild and Taken” and “Easy,” highlight his development as a rapper, while “Hold Me Down,” which adds more melody to his music, shows his development as a pop artist. Overall, the musician’s diverse range of songs showcases his versatility and growth as an artist. Through his introspective lyrics and evolving musical style, he effectively captures the complexities of relationships and personal experiences, resonating with listeners on a deeper level. With each new line, he continues to push and redefine his sound, leaving fans eagerly anticipating what he will create next.

Zoro’s memorable lyrics blend seamlessly with Mohbad’s captivating chorus, while Deyaaso’s lively production on “M.A.D. (Medicine After Death)” is enhanced with amapiano elements to reach a broader audience. The record’s catchy melody, realistic political message, and well-known guest artist presence have won many listeners. The evening’s most notable guest performance was by Ajebo Hustlers, who displayed their musical prowess on the swing tune “Enroute.” Fans will be mesmerized by Ajebo Hustlers’ energetic presence and flawless harmonies, leaving a lasting impression. Their collaboration with Zoro on “Enroute” showcased their versatility as artists and solidified their position as rising stars in the music industry.

In “Sound Check,” Zoro expresses his love for dancehall bounce. The swing’s strong kick, which maximizes Zoro’s potential as a rapper, and its mid-tempo arrangement, which makes it simple to lay melodies over them, make it an obvious choice, in his opinion. The album’s last three tracks, “Vacay,” which features Superboy Cheque’s trap flows, and “Pray,” which has orchestral vocals, demonstrate how skillfully Zoro creates his melodies while creatively combining sonic diversity. Zoro raps mostly in Igbo, but he also uses English and Pidgin on occasion.

As the listening experience draws to a close, he performs the chorus in English so that everyone may comprehend the song’s subject and recognize the artistic duality Zoro exhibits in “Pray”. This creative duality showcased in “Pray” reflects Zoro’s ability to connect with a broader audience by incorporating different languages into his music. By seamlessly blending Igbo, English, and Pidgin, Zoro ensures that his message reaches listeners from various cultural backgrounds, making his music more inclusive and relatable.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Alusi in Balmain 2:36
2 Good Life (feat. Mayorkun) 3:08
3 Foaf (feat. Chike) 3:24
4 Easy 2:49
5 M.A.D (feat. MohBad) 2:11
6 Hold Me Down 2:29
7 Young Wild and Taken 2:53
8 Enroute (feat. Ajebo Hustlers) 3:01
9 Vacay (feat. Cheque) 2:45
10 Pray 3:10

Album Summary

Overall, “Sound Check” appears to have been created with two purposes in mind: to demonstrate that Zoro is still a skilled musician and to prepare his audience for the upcoming run. The track embodies Zoro’s objective of expanding his music’s reach beyond his hometown. It’s a simple commercial production that doesn’t demand much from the listener and is easy to enjoy. Zoro deserves recognition for achieving this without entirely compromising his creative vision. He employs a lot of Igbo vocabulary to maintain his cultural identity, even though the Igbo element that characterized his earlier Ogene music style is almost all but absent from this album. Instead, Zoro incorporates modern beats and catchy melodies that cater to a broader audience. This evolution in his sound showcases his versatility as an artist while still staying true to his roots. Overall, the track reflects Zoro’s growth and determination to make a name for himself in the music industry.

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