Named after one of the biggest stars in the universe, UY Scuti sees advancement in the evolution of Olamide’s career that was set into motion with his last album Carpe Diem. The entire album explores the fusion of Afrobeats with different genres switching from R&B to pop, dancehall, and reggae.
In his ever relentless bid to retain his legendary status, he combines all the beautiful music he has heard from around the world to make this pop album which he says is the biggest move in his career. The album is themed on love, womanhood, and sex, featuring mid and slow-tempo songs with Olamide maintaining a calm demeanor in his delivery, a deviation from his usual frisky style of music.
As is his legacy to put underground artists on, Olamide introduces us to new talented artists on UY Scuti, Phyno being the only popular musician featured on the project. Olamide seals his legend status by making a big statement with the style of music on the project, breaking away from the local rapper stereotype and delivering most of his lyrics in English. The album opener ‘Need for Speed’ is a smooth, laid-back track featuring subtle backup vocals by Fireboy on which he touches the experiences of a hustler trying to survive on the streets of Lagos while reminiscing on how the rich oppress the poor. He experiences an existential crisis of some sort on this song, realizing that he had become like the oppressors he used to resent in the course of his hustle. On this track, Olamide flexes his storytelling skills and delivers his lyrics in a calm, fluid manner that keeps the listener hooked and expectant of the next line. What a way to start a project!
Over a bouncy highlife inspired beat, Jaywillz delivers an effortlessly catchy hook on Jailer as Olamide weaves a beautiful story about being held captive by his lover. Layydoe truly shines on Rough Up, another track heavily influenced by the explicit Caribbean style of music, her siren voice single-handedly carrying the whole song. Olamide breezes through Want and Pon Pon with fast rising singer Fave, but despite delivering her usual feel-good music, her presence on the project is not as dominant as expected. The Phyno-assisted Somebody is a soulful expression of a burning desire for love and companionship. Despite the efforts of the featured artistes, some of the songs do not entirely have a cohesive effect, sometimes Olamide’s causal tone doesn’t match the energetic pace set by the featured artiste and other times, both artistes do not have the required energy to push the songs above average. Overall, the songs are good and some of them possess the potential to be singles.
Although he had introduced us to bits of his loverboy persona on previous songs like Melo Melo, he fully explores his romantic side and expresses his vulnerability with Julie and Rock. On Rock, he wants to lean back and have fun with his muse, sharing one or two pieces of advice for the women with lines like “ma lo fe broke nigga, fight for your life”, a quick-witted line that has gotten women fired up for financially liberated relationships. So Much More is a combination of Rap and Reggaeton, with flows that sound similar to the style of the late Majek Fajek. Olamide, despite leaning towards a bourgeois persona on the entire album, manages to retain his effortlessly witty and playful sexual innuendos delivered in Yoruba and Pidgin like “sho loni sho sho” on Cup of Tea and “make I put shakabula kum in ya cozer” on Jailer. His aberrant storytelling, flow techniques and infusion of beautiful melodies paired with the superb production, choice of beats and chord progressions give UY Scuti an inherent factor that will help it materialize into timeless music over the years.
It is safe to say that Olamide is set to attract a larger audience from the foreign market, as he stretches beyond his usual themes centered around hustle and partying. A huge part of that audience being women who are now drawn to his gruff, laid-back loverboy persona. Although he has never needed this strategy switch to stay up, Olamide has yet again proven that he is a legend, staying true to himself and having fun while at it, pushing boundaries and metamorphosing into a citizen of the world, projecting himself as the biggest star in the universe, UY Scuti, and rightfully so. He is making music that he finds desirable and truly enjoyable now. You can feel it.