Vibe Review: Tiwa Savage – Sugarcane E.P.

Tiwa savage Sugarcane art
Tiwa Savage’s Sugarcane Art

Despite all the scandalous drama that 2016 hurled at her, Tiwa Savage somehow withstood the storm and has now successfully transitioned from her fiercely colorful R.E.D album to this studio edible that she refers to as Sugarcane.
Gagged with some of Nigeria’s finest music production experts (Spellz, P2J, Maleek Berry, Baby Fresh) the project carries 6 tracks while snobbishly accommodating only Wizkid as its feature act. Love wins it again as the overall message of this new body of work by Tiwa Savage and considering all the uneasiness that her relationship with TeeBillz has been through, she couldn’t have chosen a more perfect theme. And oh, did I mention that she got a shout out from Coldplay’s lead act- Chris Martin?

L-R: Teebillz, Chris Martin of Coldplay and Tiwa Savage vibing to ‘Malo’ off the Sugarcane EP 

The first track shares the Sugarcane title with the E.P and can easily pass as the project’s unifier. The similarity of this beat to Wande Coal’s Iskaba easily gives Spellz away as the producer even before his signature but Tiwa Savage gives the piece its own identity in a more subtle approach. On here, it is all talks of this bobo who lights up her world like the 4th of July, and how she wants him to give her something sweeter than Sugarcane. Hmm, Queen Tee Tee….something sweeter than sugarcane huh…??
Aaaanyway, we are swiftly transported into the second phase of this package that I strongly believe plays out in a 1:3:2 formation. This phase is made up of three tracks called Get it Now -produced by P2J, Me and You -produced by Maleek Berry and Hold Me Down-also Produced by P2J. Depending on who is listening, the replay value of these three might not reckon with tracks 1,5 and 6 but one thing that is worthy of note is how Tiwa works her ultra smooth r&B skills to the fullest. I’m of the opinion that there can be a much much better collaboration between Maleek and Tiwa than what they have here but until they hit the G-spot of their synergy, I’ll grudgingly accept this Me and You attempt. All in all, these 3 might not be my favourites but they all have their various high points which qualify them as fairly alright E.P fillers.

The last 2 tracks are the obvious moneymakers on the project. For some funny reason, I really wasn’t fond of All Over when I first watched her premiere it on one of ’em BBNaija eviction shows but guess what? It is now one of my favourites from her and I think it also grew quite slowly on many Nigerians. Everything about this song is very tactful: the really lovely beat from Baby Fresh, the use of repetition that subconsciously helps you learn the lyrics word for word and how Tiwa literally family-proofed this song that truly and really talks about actual s3x. Oh wait… What else did you think she meant with lines like ” We must to settle this thing tonight” “If you tell me make I bend low, I no go waste time but to do like so, fi ibadi mi jo disco”…? No friends… She meant much much more than dancing but as a Gee that she is, she found a way to make a clean radio edit of the song. Too remarkable??.
I still cannot get over the gangsta loop at the intro of Malo. Completely on some 50cent’s 21 Questions level. I think the title of this song should have been Robo-ske-ske instead but hey, it is Tiwa and we will accept whatever she decides to call her song. Many people on social media have pointed this Spellz produced jam featuring Wizkid as their favourite off the EP but If it comes to it, I think All Over will slightly lead this poll.

I stand to be corrected but this project comes off as a last minute backup for Tiwa Savage. Her fans have been spoiled with receiving an album every 2 years and in the absence of a finished one, herself and her team decided to plug this one in for 2017. As for why there is no album for 2017, it cannot be too far from these speculations. Her marriage controversy may have gotten in the way of creativity and work-time or like her internationally signed counterparts except Tekno, the E.P. is being made to come first as a water-tester before the main course.
Well, 2018 is around the corner and there is every possibility that it will come with a new Tiwa Savage album but until then, you can hold belle with some Sugarcane here.

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