Music

Review: Patoranking’s solid 12-track album ‘Three’

On the 28th of August, 2020, Nigeria reggae singer, Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known by his stage name Patoranking, released his highly anticipated body of work, “Three” the album. The LP was released under his own Amari Musiq imprint and US-based indie powerhouse, EMPIRE.

As earlier announced, the Eclectic and wide-ranging ‘Three’ album was to house 12 tracks with collaborations from some of contemporary African music’s most essential acts such as Sauti Sol from Kenya (Whine IT), Flavour (‘Mon Bebe’) and Tiwa Savage from Nigeria (‘Matter’), Ghana’s King Promise (‘Odo Bra’) and more. On this one, the ‘Another Level’ singer also employed the service of super-skilled music producers: Nigeria’s fast-rising; – Telz, Ctea, Dera, and more.

Online music experts do feels like “Three” serves as the completion of the artistic experiment that Patoranking commenced on Wilmer, keeping in mind that that day the album was released was marking exactly one year after his sophomore album, ‘Wilmer’ dropped; both as a follow up to his debut album, ‘God Over Everything’ that was released in 2017.

On multiple interviews, the father of one has stated that all good things come in threes hence why he and his team named the upcoming album ‘THREE’.

He said; “I named it ‘Three’ the album because most of the good things in life come in Threes. Check out this year I turned 30, Forbes 30 under 30, and you know when you pray you say oh in the name of the father, the Son and Holy Spirit, that’s Trinity. ”But here we are talking about three major things which are life, love and happiness so that is what we did with the album three.”, he said.

Pato announced the availability of ‘Three’ on all digital streaming music platforms and a rather emotional message about his story. This also included the official track listing for the album.

A post shared by Patoranking (@patorankingfire) | Instagram

Three also contains some impressive – not pristine – pieces of songwriting that adequately serve their purpose. Patoranking was disciplined enough to stay creatively vibrant even now that he is becoming an elder statesman in Nigerian music. Well, let’s dive into the album already.

Patoranking’s THREE opens with ‘Mon Bebe. Mon Bebe is French for, ‘My baby.’ Aided by Flavour’s delivery of sweet lamba by way of onomatopoeic adlibs, Patoranking is affectionate towards the black woman and makes solemn promises of sweet love on this one. He sings ’To an Igbo man, affection doesn’t get higher than calling a woman your, “Morning dew…” and “Speedometer.”

The “Heal D’ World” singer bursts out of his shell and delivers a heavyweight slice of dancehall energy as he pours praises about the stature of a lady on ‘Yo Body’. He manages to get vain in appreciating a woman’s body without being misogynistic and merely politely saying, “I just want you to bring your body,” the way he bases his rhyme scheme on verse one of, ‘Yo Body’ on the ‘a’ assonance without ever boring his listener is amazing.

ABULE | Album artwork

He might be Nigerian; the sound of this album reflects the different pop sounds from different African countries. For example, on the Dera produced ‘Whine It’ on which Pato features Sauti Sol. It might have well been filled with vibes, but also commendably shows that he didn’t feel a need to make ‘serious’ music.

On Ghana-inspired Afro-pop production that is defined by Electro-pop vocal interpolation for hook, Patoranking crafts, ‘Nobody.’ As good as this song is, it should have ended at 2:30.

Most songs on Three are significantly inspired by the female gender. The height of it is the DJ Coublon-produced Disco/Funk track, ‘Black Girl Magic.’ On one side, Patoranking aims to praise the skin tone and curves of a black woman, but in its essence, the song actually elevates the beauty of blackness with women as one part of that. All in all ‘Black Girl Magic’ is a slinky funk anthem that lives up to its title. That perspective also continues Patoranking’s well-documented passion for altruism, activism and amplification. On Wilmer, the song ‘Black’ elevated blackness and now he’s here elevating black women from the male gaze as opposed to the calmer hue of Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl.’

Abule’, which serves as the album’s 6th single, with the theme of representing and protecting your hood.it also represented Patoranking’s solemn dedication to Lagos and his roots in Abule (Egba).

Having first collaborated with her on what we could call his breakthrough single ‘Girlie o’ (remix), Patoranking once again reunited with Tiwa Savage on ‘Matter’; track 7 on his new album.

Afrobeats Star Tiwa Savage Signs Global Recording Deal With Universal Music  | Billboard
Tiwa Savage | Billboard

Brrrr’ also appreciates femininity, on the Culan produced single. The “Breakfast in bed, but you’re the food” in the lyrics is also a really wild line.

Other stand outs from the album include: ‘Odo Bra’ and ‘Do Me’.

Nonetheless, Patoranking reserves the final two tracks on Three for his continued celebration of black pride and theories on love. 🔥 🥳

Lion In The Jungle’ is a Reggae song that discusses the peculiar struggles of a black man on his way to success while, ‘Love Is The Answer’ steps away from the plea for black responsibility on ‘Black’ off Wilmer into canvassing love as the only way humanity can thrive.

‘Love is the answer’ closes the album hence making THREE a 41minutes album worth of total playtime/ listen time.

Patoranking x Flavour – “Mon Bébé” - Ngsongs

Upon release, ‘Abule’ one of the tracks on the album; – THREE was the most played Afro-beats song on Audiomack reaching 1 million plays on that platform alone in under 5 days. Elsewhere, Patoranking’s music has generated more than 260 million views on YouTube and over 170 million streams across major DSPs (Digital streaming platforms). 🦁

In this very year, he appeared on the re-made version of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ alongside Stephen Marley, Skip Marley and other members of the international music community, with all proceeds going to support UNICEF’s COVID-19 relief efforts. He also recently created the ALU Patoranking Scholarship, offering 10 fully-paid scholarships for promising students from across Africa to attend the prestigious African Leadership University, and was featured in Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 class for 2020.

‘Three’ is available for streaming on all online platforms.

STREAM it Here. 🌝