CITY PRESS REVIEW: Priddy Ugly's album is pretty bad

2018-02-18 00:00

Johannesburg - When I heard that Priddy Ugly had become a rapper, I remembered seeing him krump with the infamous Freeze Frame dance crew. His movements were forceful yet cavalier, and full of conviction and intensity. His debut album E.G.Y.P.T (Everything Godly Yearns Patience), however, does not embody those characteristics.

The title track sets the scene for what I thought would be a soulful and spiritual offering. A distant horn gives the almost baseless track an old school jazz feel. Until Priddy’s auto-tuned vocals are injected, that is.

Priddy was faced with a big issue on this record. Choosing menacing beats can sometimes mean that these overpower the emcee, and this happens far too often on this record.

Take Runaway Girl for instance – the instrumentals steal the spotlight. At least R&B artist KLY’s feature here provides some stability, and he laces the track with a Majid Jordan feel.

There’s more singing on the track Look Alike, and it works amazingly on this one. I hate this rap singing thing, but even I couldn’t help but bob along to this Afrobeat with reggae nuances.

He kicks a subtle but funky flow with Jamaican Patois-inspired vocals. This may be the cut of the record. On Smogolo, the vocals draw on Craig David’s Walking Away, Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam and TKZE’s Shibobo at different times throughout the track. I found that refreshing. The beat is very kwaito, which never hurts. Priddy’s flows are still playful, which works wonders on the hook, but I found the verses wanting.

He then brings out fellow Ambitious signee Emtee for Bietjie. Priddy reminds me a bit of Rouge on the hook – his delivery is lazy and slow, and the production absolutely intoxicating. The track II Wavey cements the overall trap feel of this offering. I could have done without this track as it’s pretty standard, aside from the clever use of waves crashing on the shore in the instrumental.

He then provides us with Karapoa, a fiery ode to the quick fish, the Opel Cadette 200, which he explains as a car used by thugs to make a quick getaway.

Then comes 02 Hero with Shane Eagle. This is one of the better cuts and the video for this single is mad fresh. However, I recall seeing Nasty C and Runtown from Nigeria doing similar car stunts in their video for Said.

Priddy does tend to let his features get the better of him, much like YoungstaCPT did on the banger Come to My Kasi. Shane does this too, but Priddy keeps Saudi at bay on In The Mood, which is not how I wanted to end this album. For me, the record reached a natural crescendo with the heater Karrots.

Priddy is definitely an ideas man and has an understanding of street culture, but the styling on this record needs to be cleaned up and his lyrical content needs a bump. It seemed like he was pitching his music at a level far below what he’s capable of. – Phumlani S Langa

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