Newly formed duo, Rick Jade have released their debut album under their new moniker. The album follows the release of a two-pack and two other singles in the lead-up to the official drop. Many were anxiously waiting to hear what a full-length body of work from the two would sound like… and now it’s here.
Rick Jade is a duo made up of choreographer Bontle Modiselle and rapper Priddy Ugly, who are also a couple. They are no strangers to the music/entertainment scene. Their announcement of forming a music duo put them on the back foot, however. It seemed like an unlikely paring for a music duo, they would have to prove themselves. It could’ve been too easy to be skeptical. Their content could easily be steered toward being for and about each other a bit too much for the listener’s liking, making it sound like you’re a third wheel. It also brought concerns that room for creativity will be limited, which would further compromise content.
In Feb the duo dropped Sumting New and Want It to give the public a feel of what to expect from the wanted to do. It’s somewhat of a misrepresentation as the two songs have a similar style, dance hall. These tracks made it to the album at tracks 8 and 9, respectively. Still has a light touch of dance hall and doesn’t feel forced as is usually the case when musicians that aren’t originally raga make a go at it.
The project, titled DNA (Da New Africa), is more of a musical offering than rap. It starts off with Shandi, which features The Global African Sound family, collectively credited as Frsh Citizen – which has about ten members. They kept the joint concise at 4:28. Four verses, neat and short over a Neosoul beat. If the song makes you feel like you’re on a trip, listen to chorus and you’ll know you’re not alone. Great start to the project.
They’ve worked in a range of sounds encompassing different styles, including kwaito and some elements of Amapiano on Moenie Worry. Ding Dong is another joint on here with a kwaito feel. The lyrics on these two are playful and a bit silly.
They score points for being creative with the direction they took, they’ve worked in a few surprises. One of note being the song Bonita. Coming in at track number 3, the solo effort by Priddy Ugly dropped a week ahead of the album release. Priddy Ugly serenades his love in Spanish over acoustic strings. Catch the video below.
The acoustic guitar strings transition beautifully into the next track, I Pray. A poetic ballad. Producers aren’t credited on Spotify but the finishing screams Wichi 1080 influence for the most part.
Bontle comes out of her shell on Lerato to give us her musical side. The song is done in Sesotho and has a good poetic influence to it. It’s dedicated to their unborn child. In it she sings about her appreciation for the man she’s with and the excitement they feel for the sun that’s shining from within her. They end it off with Service where we get to hear Bontle doing some raps – Priddy Ugly style (make of that what you will). Priddy Ugly taps a bit into his rap bag as they close off the project. He is still scratching the surface of what he is known to do. That’s something for another type of project.
As an album, DNA doesn’t narrow its listener base to a niche few. The range caters for different appetites and preferences. Points for solid body of work. The lack of explicit content (only two out of ten) makes it suitable for airplay. While you might feel like a third wheel here and there when listening, it isn’t all about getting cosy and sweet nothings. DNA is a journey of love, good energy in general and spirituality.
Give the album a listen right here: