I remember the first time I heard Mo’Cheddah. She came across as an extremely talented girl next door type with slyly captivating charm, bringing a fresh new voice to the music scene. Plus it didn’t hurt at all that she was very easy to look at as well. Since then I’ve followed her movement in the music space, marvelling at her ability to almost effortlessly steal the show on features with more established artistes.
So I knew the Franchise Celebrity was going to be excellent when it dropped and I prepared myself to judge it as harshly as possible.
The album opener sets the tone for what to expect from the Franchise Celebrity. It’s a high energy intro aptly titled ‘Gbedu’ and it appears to be shaping up into a real banger of a track before it ends abruptly and you realise that it was just an appetizer, whetting your appetite for the main course. I happen to have heard the full length track and I thought it was pretty darned great. So how come it didn’t make it into the album as a full track?
The answer could only be that all the other songs on the album were better. You can download the full length track here and judge for yourselves.http://www.4shared.com/audio/v6k1zXxs/M ... Gbedu.html
But for me, I don’t think it deserved space in the album and here’s why:
Uncensored. (Track 2) Download: http://www.4shared.com/audio/XLD-mGg-/M ... sored.html
A high energy dance track that has Mo’Cheddah alternately singing and rapping in English and Yoruba. She pulls this one off with aplomb, establishing credibility as equal parts rapper and singer early on in the album. Great sequencing by Knighthouse here. And that electric guitar just tears it up. Highly entertaining song. 4.5/5
Follow-Follow (Track 3)
Here she drives a stake into the hearts of those soulless clubbers usually found in niteclubs in Victoria Island who spend the night chatting on their blackberrys and sipping champagne. Abi you think say you be butta, abi you come club drink water, abi you de form big boy, dey form big girl, abeg make you waka
she sings. Wonderful beat on the track; she totally tore up De Marquee with this track at the Album Listening Party. 4.5/5
Ko Ma Roll (Track 5) Download: http://www.4shared.com/audio/0t3OFxgZ/M ... _Roll.html
What can I say about this track that will do it justice? A crowd favourite for all the right reasons. The beat is on point, the lyrics are lighthearted and fun, and Mo’Cheddah’s vocals shine throughout the track. Plus there’s a hot brand new video as well. 4.5/5
What’s ur Fuuji? (Track 9)
This track is a risky experiment with Mo’Cheddah clearly going out of her comfort zone and pushing the envelope to discover what her limits are. This is a fuji/afro pop concoction that works really well because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. She affects the accents of the fuji genre’s exponents, pronouncing champion as shampion among other affectations throughout the track. Again, the beat totally rocks and is guaranteed to make a die hard fuujirian (as Mo’Cheddah’s fans are now known) out of you. 4.5/5
Free Worship (Track 13)
A most curious amalgam of popular worship songs with a delicious beat most probably inspired by the Terry G freestyle Free Madness. Mo’Cheddah is clearly in her element here, easily blending the different songs into a seamless experience that is bound to catch on fast. Expect to begin hearing this in some of the more adventurous churches pretty soon. 4.5/5
Those are the dance tracks on the Franchise Celebrity and they’re clearly a strongpoint of Mo’Cheddah’s. They’re pounding, pulsating dance romps with infectious hooks, and once you get one of these songs stuck in your head, well, forget it... it's gonna be there a while! Might as well settle in and JUST DANCE! No way Gbedu could have muscled out any of these tracks to find space on the album, so I guess it has to make do as an intro. Sorry dude. But you rock nonetheless.
The Franchise Celebrity seems to have been made to move you physically as well as emotionally and so there is a ballad on here as well as a couple of mid tempo tunes that round out the album for a balanced listening experience.
Maybe (Track 11)
This is a genuine ballad that sings about typical teen angst in the face of threatened love. At this point in the album, you have gotten the feeling that Mo’Cheddah is a gifted purveyor of the dance track art form. So this ballad surprises you with its heartfelt sincerity and heartstring-pulling sense of déjà-vu
for everyone who’s been in this position before. While this doesn’t necessarily confer irrevocable balladeer status on Mo’Cheddah, it certainly shows us what this talent is capable of. 4/5
She also shines quite brilliantly when operating in mid-tempo and her foray into reggae is from this section of the BPM spectrum.
Best Friend ft Willybang (Track 4)
On a vaguely familiar beat which I have not succeeded in placing she delivers a treacle-sweet reggae infused mid-tempo jewel that calls to mind the playful joie de vivre
that Sean Kingston and more recently Iyaz made popular. Willybang does a great job on this feature, but the track undeniably belongs to Mo’Cheddah as her light airy vocals are the perfect counterfoil to Willybang’s warm, heavier tones. A video for this track would do wonders for the album.4.5/5
If You Want Me ft Othello (Track 6) Download: http://www.4shared.com/audio/L1fvQJ31/M ... nt_Me.html
This is the song that has made that deep reverberating voice that says ‘Knighthouse’ into a promise of quality music. The track has been out for a bit but hearing it again on the album brought home to me again just how on point this song is. From the sentiments to the vocals to the production to Othello’s madt verse to the video (which won Most Gifted Female Video in Africa at the last Channel O Awards in South Africa) this song is simply perfect. I’d like to see anyone try to improve it. 5/5
No Be Money (Track 7)
On this track Mo’Cheddah gets all down to earth with us, singing about how love shouldn’t be mercenary. She sings about dating two kinds of guys: the face-me-i-face-you living, buka-eating guy and the Range Rover-driving, Dubai-tripping type. The song is endearing in its sentiment and Mo’Cheddah manages to inject enough sincerity to make it believable. The instrumentation is unusual, with flutes and other wind instruments providing a very identifiable tune. She delivers a laugh out loud twist at the end of the song that will guarantee you put the song on repeat for a while. 4.5/5
In The Morning - Ft Naeto C (Track 10)
On this R&B rap track with the only A-List artiste featuring on the album in the person of Naeto C, Mo’Cheddah holds her own, bar for bar, with one of Africa’s most visible MCs. However, the production here went slightly overboard with the comically overtuned voice providing a shrill and unnecessarily repetitive refrain that the song could totally have done with much less of. But the human performances from Mo’Cheddah and Naeto C more than save the song. 3.5/5
The other tracks on the album, ‘Wole Pelu Change’, all rap interlude which shows that this girl is a bona fide femcee, ‘United’ a thoroughly engaging conscious track and the massive outro (Thank You) featuring Dagrin’s outing on ‘Lime’ from the Street Scriptures album all serve to convince us that Mo’Cheddah’s talent is plain to see, her musical credibility is no longer in doubt and her success is all but assured.
Generally, one buys a CD and only likes to listen to three or four tracks. With Mo’Cheddah’s Franchise Celebrity every track is differently delicious and together provide a listening experience that will render your skip button redundant. There's a wide range of music and styles on here as she allows the music to vary and evolve for each track rather than fit into a specific sound and style for the entire album.
This is as near perfect a debut album as anyone is allowed to expect and massive kudos must go to the Knighthouse production team for this feat. We will not go so far as to declare this album 5 mic material only so they don’t get cocky and then complacent, but they and Mo’Cheddah have put together an astounding body of work that captures the many dimensions of youth: threatened love, self discovery and thanksgiving counterbalanced with swagger, ambition and partying, and in the process accomplished the rare task of creating an album where rap, reggae, pop, fuji, R&B and remarkable song writing all combine into something totally refreshing. But there is something extra this album is imbued with. It's a Mo’Cheddah-derived attitude, an even-keeled brand of cool that seeps into all 15 songs and gives them heft and substance.
Which part of the album you enjoy most will depend on your musical proclivities, but on the Franchise Celebrity there's surely enough diversity to satisfy the most demanding music aficionado.
I’ve had Mo’Cheddah’s ‘Franchise Celebrity’ for just over two weeks now, and I’m still floating on a high of pure unadulterated joy. I waited for the album with bated breath, fully expecting it to blow me away. Well, it’s blown me so far away that I might not be rejoining the rest of humanity for another month or so. Right now you'd need a very sturdy crowbar to pry the Cd out of my car's CD player.
Oh, what the hell! :roll: This is 5 mic material. Cop the album right away. It is available on iTunes and at notjustok.com.
Here's her videography as well.
Chuddy K ft Mo’Cheddah – Shampoo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlWnOwErlbo
Mode 9 ft Mo’Cheddah – Whut You Want http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb9sLhJjNTU
Knighthouse ft Sauce Kid, Mo Cheddah, Teeto - The Finest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrTIsSuTZ-Y
Mo’Cheddah – If You Want Me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFHmpuRpsUA
Mo’Cheddah – Ko Ma Roll http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynCbA3fEr0s
Knighthouse ft MI, Nyore & Mo’Cheddah – Purple http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tegy1ea1Wd8
Mo’Cheddah – No Be Money http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks7Fx56NutA