Born Qudus Damilare Fakoya, Qdot right from when he announced his talent on the music scene, had impressed music fans not as an out-and-out hip hop singer but as more of a blend of apala, fuji, rap and pop artist.
With singles such as ‘Ibadan’,‘Atewo’, ‘Alhaji, ’Origin’ and ‘Ijo gelede’, Qdot has established himself as a star over the years but without a concrete body of work. Before the release of his debut album, he had enough singles to make up an album and it was only a matter of time before an album emanated from his stable.
This makes the ‘Alagbe’ album a long awaited one and with it, Qdot takes us back to the time culture used to dictate music trends. Where Davido introduced his album with ‘FEM’ a gesture of silence, Wizkid with ‘Reckless’, Olamide with ‘Another level’ and Burna with ‘Level up’, Qdot disrupts with ‘Iba’ which means ‘homage’. A culturally conscious Yoruba singer doesn’t start performing without paying homage to God, those ahead of him and those who rule the society. It is believed that acknowledging principalities is crucial to having a successful ministration.
The second track, ‘Moriamo’, is a tribute to his grandma who raised him through hardship.It is a sample of 9ice’s ‘Anytime’. Qdot opens a window into his background and upbringing at Abule Ado, near Sagamu in Ogun State. Qudus’ parents were never married, thus emphasising the importance of having a stable home. He depicts his late grandmother as the epitome of motherhood and sacrifice.
Across the remaining tracks on the album, Qdot features T-Classic, Jaywon, Niniola, 9ice, Patoranking, Pasuma, Zlatan to spice up his 17-song project. Patoranking particularly impresses by delivering his lines in Yoruba. It will be interesting to see more of such from the Abule crooner.
His choice of features underpins that his album is not usual Afropop style. He is cut from a different cloth. He projects himself as one capable of singing across genres, whether secular or spiritual. Even though he explores church music, fuji, juju, rap, among other styles, his forte remains rap freestyle. His pun and witty lines are best delivered in such mode with his distinct voice, and on his day, few would rival him.
It has been characteristic of Qdot to hail certain set of people at the end of his songs and the tradition continued on ‘Alagbe’ – fitting for the album title.
However the glorififation of internet fraud otherwise known as ‘yahoo yahoo’, hard drugs and similar excesses is antithetical to the culture he’s steeped in. ‘Ewe’ track typifies this.
Apart from the opening tracks which portray chronology, the album appears much of a compilation of freestyles. Lumping too many styles and religious undertones on an album is a brave attempt to underscore versatility but eventually becomes a downside for the album.
‘Alagbe’ is not typical 2020 album. From style to delivery, it is a project which belongs to the era when culture has not been affixed with pop but mixed with raw pleasure.