Music Review: Jolly Muke, Jaywon Feat 9ice


Song Jolly Muke
Artiste: Jaywon, 9ice
Genre: Afro Pop
Runtime: 4 minutes, 10 seconds
Producer: Metro

“Next World Music singer Jaywon  has teamed up with Ancestral Records Boss 9ice this exciting collaboration titled Jolly Mùke off his Oba Orin album. Attracted by the title of the hit single, I took some time off to listen, and here are a few things I noticed.

Jaywon is carving a niche for himself in the Yoruba Afropop  genre. After years of having his career near strangulated by Kennis music (In some  fairness to the label though they did help produce This Year, the single that made him a household name), He is finally starting to get some of the recognition his unique voice and his talent deserves. The good thing about Jaywon is that while he tends towards the mainstream hip hop/ trap movement, he makes full use of the capabilities of his voice, and puts out the occasional G-Rated party tracks that makes him A-excellent for your Owambe. 9ice needs no introduction, a trailblazer in the Yoruba language hip hop/ Afro pop genre.  His unique voice and versatility ensures that the Ancestral records boss remains   a favourite of both the young hip hop crowd and the older more reserved generation, despite his frequent periods of hiatus and a less robust discography than a lot of artistes in his class.

Thus it is hardly surprising that a collaboration between two of the music acts with the most unique voices and widest range of appeal  in the Yoruba music genre will be a masterpiece suitable for all lovers of Yoruba music regardless of age or interest  and fit for all occasions. What gives the song even more appeal is that both men are in their comfort zones as far as the song is concerned. Jolly Mùke is a song of thanksgiving/prayer, which is the type that tends to resonate well with the religious and self effacing tradition of Yoruba listeners in particular and Nigerians in general. The song of course is similar in content to the aforementioned This Year the song for which Jaywon is most remembered, as for 9ice,  Jolly Múke is another chance for Alapomeji to remind his audience one again about how God brought him from poverty to plenty, which is pretty much the content of a large chunk of his discography. So for both it is just a day at the office doing what they know how to do best and for the listener it is a beautiful song you can play in any Yoruba speaking environment and get everyone dancing.

The song is an Owambe song, the ensemble of drums, Keyboard, Guitar and the trumpets that are in the song are the accoutrements of a live band, however it is the sound of the  gong that gives the song that distinct Yoruba flavour. Again the fact that 9ice keeps dropping extra bits  into Jaywon’s parts gives the song the familiar Yinka Ayefele ( the Yoruba gospel musician who made the practice popular) gospel song feel. Which adds more to its audience suitability.

However if there is something Jolly Muke proves, it is that while Jaywon is no slouch in terms of voice and lyrics, he is not on Alapomeji’s level in terms of lyrical ability. At some point the perceptive listener to the song, is tempted to wonder if Jaywon is not starstruck by his more illustrious featured artist, You do not simply allow 9ice that sort of freedom when you feature him, he will “kill” you and take over the song from you. That is precisely what happens, with Jolly Muke. An uninitiated listener might be tempted to think it is 9ice song, rather than Jaywon’s. Perhaps it is for the best as well given that 9ice has more credibility with the Owambe crowd than Jaywon does so allowing 9ice to take the lead might actually be a tatic to push the song beyond the normal hip hop crowd, and push it to the Owambe crowd, but it still feels like Jaywon did just enough to earn credit for the song, and made 9ice do the bulk of the work.

Jolly Muke is no doubt an exciting jam that will surely be on Owambe playlists for a while yet. If the Oba Orin album which the song is a part of is half as exciting as this tasty preview we already have, then we might just have a classic on our hands.

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