Raoul John Njeng-Njeng also known as Skales released a sophomore album with twenty tracks, a bit too much if you ask me. This album gets a C score at most with its best showings in the features. While Skales in his own right is not a horrible musician, he lacks a particular spark; this spark keeps him outside the gates of mediocrity but no where close to the greatness he was initially destined for. In the build up to this album, records like Temper Remix, Ajaga and Give me Love featuring Burna boy, Davido & Timaya and Tekno respectively give a sad overview of the album in its entirety – Skales does not own his songs especially when he owns the song.
Less impressive than his first album; Man of the Year, The Never Say Never Guy has a rather impressive list of collaborators with Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Lil Kesh, Timaya, Phyno, Sarkodie, Davido, Fifi Cooper, Egar Boi and Pj Morton of Maroon Five and production credits to Echo, Young D, Krizbeats, Jaypizzle, Killertunez, Mckeezy, Pimpz beats and Young John on roaster. On paper, this should be one of Nigeria’s best albums but in reality, it’s the most easily forgettable body of work simply because the album is not what it was touted to be.
The works of Burna boy and Wande Coal on the album on Gbefun onetime and Make love in the morning respectively are its highpoints. The colourful mesh of musical ability with brilliant producing makes the songs stand out. Skales neither owned the songs or had any presence in it. American-Nigerian R&B act, Rotimi on Lavish helped make another impressive song. Save for Ko ma gbon, all other songs without features on the album will not be making any charts as they are bland.
There seems to be a general sense of regression in the musical ability of Skales. A lot of work needs to be done by the rapper, cum singer and now self-proclaimed songwriter. Without a story arc, this project is a disaster without a sense of direction or general storytelling. In picking the production team and collaborators, Skales has done incredibly well. Right now, I think Skales needs to go underground for a while, rediscover what made him the sought-after rapper from Kaduna and do right by the people that believe in him.
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin