LadiPoe is a top-tier talent, has always been, but he needed a body of work to fully unpack his genius and that is what he set to achieve on his debut offering, ”Talk About Poe.”
From his early days on the scene with his verse on Show Dem Camp‘s ‘Victoria Island of Broken Dreams,’ off the Clone Wars, Vol. 1 mixtape in 2010, to his feature on The Collectiv3 LP and the flossy rap on Falz‘s ‘Chardonnay Music’, one could sense that a rapper with mastery of the art was on the come-up.
And at a point when rap was hitting low ends, not due to lack of dope rappers, but lack of support for the culture, Poe’s subsequent signing to music mogul, Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records gave many hope that there was indeed light at this dark hip-hop tunnel.
For some, Poe was the man set to replicate the type of run MI Abaga engineered in 2018. He has the delivery, lyrics, dexterity and presence to take the baton and lead the culture to greater heights.
It is a crazy amount of pressure to place on the shoulders of this young man, but with the likes of Ghost and Tec on his side, a well-rooted label behind him and also taking a year after penning his record deal before the release of the project, nothing less was expected, Talk About Poe could not afford to be just a whisper, it had to make a bang.
TAP opens with an intro of young voices alongside an adult female voice presumed to be that of his sister and nieces/nephew wishing him a happy birthday.
The album then starts strongly with ‘Voice’, where Ghanaian singer, Efya‘s voice brings the angels down to earth for a choral fest, now Poe begins to do damage with his rap, confident and succinct flow, when he raps, ”If I’m doing this at all, its nothing besides major”, its obvious he understands the weight of expectations that the fans have placed on him.
With ‘Double Homicide’, Poe teams up with a familiar tag-team in SDC’s Ghost as they combine to deliver a lyrical chest-beating war fest.
Ghost is well famed for his deadly nature on features and he is no different on this joint. Poe leads the way with a sharp delivery as he cockily rhymes, ”I don’t have to qualify the rappers that I nullify,” but Ghosts gravely voice and microphone presence ascends this to another level,
”Oh lord, I’m hot as a blowtorch, it’s like I’m chilling on mars n I just sent a postcard, men, the flow so vivid it cud b a folklore, Most wouldn’t get the picture even if they pose for it.”
Seyi Shay comes through with ‘Red Light’ with Poe acting the playboy as they create a really good pop record.
Frequent collaborator Funbi takes his spot on ‘One Step Closer’ and the two recreate their magic that has worked wonders over time. ‘Falling’ with newcomer Tems begins with a conversation as Poe serves a ragga flow with Tems rich vocals giving this a bouncy vibe.
‘Mood’ is the albums longest track clocking at over 4minutes and Poe’s voice is sounding heavy as he sings over a trap-influenced beat, ”I’m labelled alternative, cause the alternatives wanted to be mainstream and not pioneers” he declares.
‘Win Win’ is one of those songs that builds up gradually and gets better with every listen, while another regular Sir Dauda jumps on the train with ‘Hello Goodbye’, which has an infectious beat and it is almost hard to remember Dauda faltering on any hook and he wasn’t about to start now.
Poe clearly has a thing for the ladies and his verse tells a story of letting love go. The album closes curtains with the gloatful ‘Revival’, where Poe reinforces that he doesn’t care about your top five, mooting himself as the last of a dying breed.
Talk About Poe is a good album, a pretty brilliant one by several yardsticks, but with Poe, you expect nothing but the very best; if not perfection, anything less will be settling and that is decent, but decent is not enough for what his talent suggests and the long wait it has taken to deliver this project.
His production choices come out quite prima with Ikon, who is arguably one of the finest hip-hop producers in the land contributing alongside Spax, Otee Beats and Duggie to the beats.
At 29 minutes long [short], Poe fails to really create a mind blower with his debut effort, while his fans expected a mighty wind that will shake the foundations of the hip-hop scene and place a cap on the glorious run rap is enjoying of late, TAP comes refreshing like a breeze before the midnight rain.
The album could have been a bit longer, and more content laden, but this is however an important album and a valuable addition to the genre this year.
3-Worth Checking Out