Review by: David Mawuli
Over the past few years, Phillip Yaw Atiemo aka Lil Shaker has received a lot of backlashes and mutinied for living his God’s given attitude – being that quiet, humble, calm and reserved dude. But he figures out that the only and best way an artiste can connect, interact, retaliate and make their intentions known is through records thus, he hooks up with the booth and cooks a delicious 16-track debut album dubbed “Captain Hook”.
To face the reality and prove to haters what he is made of, Shaker forms an experienced troop (E.L, Spiky, Joey B, Ko-Jo Cue, Pappy Kojo, Stargo, Medal and Sarkodie), employs dexterous engineers (E.L, Magnom, B2, Slimbo, Dream Jay, Spiky, Jbux and Kuvie) and captains them with mastery for glory.
After gaining a strong ground, Shaker calls and fires shots amid love making, setbacks, hustle, pains and religiously reiterates his dedication to worshipping and communicating to the Supreme Being through prayers at all times.
As the Ghanaian tradition demands, Shaker welcomes all and sundry especially his avid supporters who have been behind him through thick and thin on “Woezo” – the first track on the album. After that, Shaker promises his mum, Mrs Jasmine Ameko, that he will make her proud. “Woezo” is an Ewe phrase which translates as “Welcome”.
Then Shaker rises and faces those who cast aspersions on him and says to their face that he has turned deaf ears to their false rumours and hatred on track 2 (“Madakraa” featuring Joey & E.L). Last year, Lil Shaker told Pulse TV that he has been a victim of cyberbullying thus he decided to record “Madakraa” and it magically exploded.
Insert: Madakraa music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir5G886G_o8
After standing that adversity, Shaker obtains psychological resilience and uses his experience to motivate and preach to others going through similar adversity saying, “God No Bed” (God isn’t asleep). Other tracks that steers towards motivating listeners include “Naagodey” (track 5), and “Silver and Gold” (track 7).
Eventually, Shaker meets a girl on his journey and ‘tout de suite’ falls in love with her. He makes promises and expresses his love for this girl who hardly hears him so Shaker screams “Hello”! so that the girl can hear his cry. “Hello” (featuring Sarkodie) hooks easily grab listeners’ attention. Track 7 titled “E No Be Hype” featuring Ko-Jo Cue sees Shaker fall in deep love with his lover due to her good morals and qualities. “Yellow Sisi” featuring Pappy Kojo, “Dadaada”, “Lord Have Mercy” and “Kpolikpo” are other romantic tracks on the album.
Insert: Yellow Sisi music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWI4ddb60Ro
Producer Magnom then switches the Afrobeats streak and introduces Trap-laced Hip-hop instrumentation to test Shakers’ dexterity. Shaker steps up, drops ‘dreadful’ bars and introducers himself, Joey B and Pappy Kojo as the leaders of the ‘new skuul’ on “Aben Wo Ha” – one of the few humblebrags on the album.
Shaker takes a break to honour all mothers across the globe and charges them to “Pray” for their children. “Pray”, an Afro-pop track which features Shaker’s label mate, E.L, shows his belief in mama’s spiritual protection and why it’s necessary mums continue to “Pray” for their children.
Rounding up the album, Shaker provides scintillating hooks on a Reggae masterpiece “Do You” featuring Episode, spits fire on Hip-hop jam “Fire” featuring Medal, Stargo and Ko-Jo Cue, and closes with heart soothing traditional sound titled “So E Dey”.
At one point, Lil Shaker was one of a few voices who would earnestly toss himself into rarely charted lyrical waters without fear of sacrificing commercial appeal – a smart way to prove he is in no competition with anyone.
Topics on life experiences such as self-consciousness, social injustice, religion, commitment, backbite, sex, fame, love, affection, greed and envy is captured on “Captain Hook”. He was always innovative.
While sonically magnanimous, here, the Peki- VR born curator has little left to flex than artistry.
The album captures and hooks life experiences. Be it wedding or naming ceremony, church or funeral service, streets or ghetto, pubs or clubs, “Captain Hook” has got everything in life covered.
Over the years, some sections of Ghanaian music lovers have distracted from Shaker’s creative process – except, as he shows on “Captain Hook”, distraction is his creative process.
As it is said by legendary Bob Marley, “Who the cap fits, let them wear it”. Shaker has fought for the crown and worn it, please let him rule!
4.1 (out of 5)
Release date: 17 Dec., 2015
Type: Studio album (recorded)
No. of tracks: 16 (including intro)
No. of hit tracks (so far): 3 (“Madakraa” feat. E.L & Joey B, “Pray” feat. E.L, and “Yellow Sisi” feat. Pappy Kojo)
Album length: 56 Minutes
Featured artistes: E.L, Spiky, Joey B, Ko-Jo Cue, Pappy Kojo, Stargo, Medal and Sarkodie
Producers (sound engineers): Lil Shaker, E.L, Magnom, B2, Slimbo, Dream Jay, Spiky, Jbux and Kuvie.
Label: BBnZ Live
Album link: http://www.deezer.com/album/12349532