Categories of Interest
- Album of the Year
Album of the Year (Technical Award)
- For My Brothers by Ko-Jo Cue
- Black Love by Sarkodie
- Kpanlogo by Darkovibes
- Anloga Junction by Stonebwoy
- Araba by Adina Thembi
- Son of Africa by Kuami Eugene
- The Experience by MOG Music
- Greater Than by Fameye
It makes sense to end the Road to the 3 Music Awards series with this last write-up on the album of the year. This category is quite integral to defining the future of albums in the scene simply because of how bad a job the VGMAs have done.
The lineup is quite competitive, and it’ll only make sense if we do this with a ranking to show who deserves to win it.
Number 8 – Son of Africa (Kuami Eugene)/The Experience (MOG Music)/Greater Than (Fameye)/Kpanlogo (Darkovibes)
These albums suffer from the same issue; a lack of direction, a lack of cohesiveness, and the general album feel. If you listen to the albums outside their singles, the albums did little for themselves.
They fall flat with the criteria for album making. People have to realize that a collection of records doesn’t equal an album. A mixtape is a body of work that doesn’t follow any overarching thematic or conceptual progression. You could talk about drugs in one record and inspiration in the next.
But what makes a mixtape appreciated is the fact that, even though the songs may not correlate on their own, the songs are excellent. That is not what we’re getting. Outside the singles, which take the pattern of being club bangers, the songs on the albums don’t stand out on their own.
Hence the idea of an album is lost, and the thought of it possibly being a mixtape also loses grounds. It’s a problem plaguing most artists here; we don’t know how to make albums or mixtapes well, since that’s what most of these albums are.
Number 4 – Black Love (Sarkodie)
Make no mistake. Black Love suffers from the mixtape syndrome as well. The only reason it’s here is that at least, outside the singles, the songs on this album are good and so are the features. From King Promise’s vocals on Anadwo to Maleek Berry on Feelings, Sarkodie pulled no punches on getting a wide range of phenomenal artists to deliver the romance vibe for these love inclined records.
It’s a pseudo-DJ Khaled style where he gets the best and the hottest artists on the records he makes. But in comparison with the rest of the nominated albums here, it can’t be the best.
Number 3 – Araba (Adina Thembi)
Adina’s Araba probably didn’t get the props it deserves, especially as a debut album. Because our homegirl came through with this one. Araba is thematically and performance-wise sound. Production was on point and the songs were absolutely enjoyable. It deserves to be number 3.
Number 2 – Anloga Junction (Stonebwoy)
Stonebwoy’s Anloga Junction was a problem. The only reason it isn’t taking number 1 is that this isn’t Stonebwoy’s first rodeo. He already gave us Epistles of Mama as a classic, and he’s never looked back. One of the few gems we have who can put an album together. There are no misses on this record as he has features ranging from Keri Hilson to Zlatan coming through to make magic.
There’s not much to say, honestly. Stonebwoy is a potential favorite to win it, even though it’s placed number 2 here.
Number 1 – For My Brothers (Ko-Jo Cue)
Debut albums are a way to announce yourself to the world. Although these days the responsibility has fallen on EPs to do that. But Ko-Jo Cue announced himself and cemented his position in the rap game if he already hadn’t.
The concept, from the cover art itself to the themes, tackled on each record. With the consistency with which Cue approached all the songs here and the talent he curated to make guest performances, there was no flaw from top to bottom.
For albums, it’s not just about having a theme and potentially running through all the songs with that theme. It’s about resonance and relatedness. How do the listeners feel when they listen to the songs on the album? How do they talk about it online? For My Brothers is an album for the 9 – 5 worker and the CEO of a startup. It is for the individual who overcomes life’s circumstances only to reach a point and feel survivor’s guilt.
It is for the kid whose dad was hard on him as a child and only had his mum’s comforting words of advice to hold unto. It is for Cue’s battles with losing loved ones and handling his career in the rap game. It is about love, responsibility, inspiration, and every other thing in life. That’s why it’s taking this award for me.
These are just thoughts. We’re welcome to hear what you think in the comments section. The 3 Music Awards come off on Saturday 27th March. Do well to vote and tune in!