Bright Okpocha, known otherwise as Basketmouth has established himself as one of Nigeria’s most well-known comedians, performers, and actors – winning honors and critical praise for his observations on the junction of humanity’s growing terrain, Internet culture, and Nigerian histrionics throughout the course of his two-decade career.
All of these did not prepare anyone for Basketmouth‘s unexpected musical shift on 2020’s ‘Yabasi‘, a left-field collection that effervescently melded Basketmouth’s adolescent love for hip-hop with the frothing sound of highlife, a storied genre rooted in Basketmouth’s Eastern Nigerian heritage’s Igbo culture.
Basketmouth chose to continue his collaboration with producer Duktor Sett on his sophomore album, ‘Horoscopes‘, resulting in a body of work that is at times gloomy but never loses the artist’s trademark comedy.
The album “Horoscopes” finds ways to humanize universal emotions like love, struggle, betrayal, and wanderlust while giving life to new mediums of expression within Basketmouth’s musical world, with contributions from legendary wordsmith M.I Abaga, Oxlade, Falz rising star BNXN, and Ghanaian contemporary bards, Efya and Kwabena Kwabena and more.
In no particular order, we’ll go over some key tracks from Basketmouth’s ‘Horoscopes’ album. (The album serves as the soundtrack for Scorpio, a feature-length film due out in 2022)
This song, “Your Body” (feat. BNXN), is clearly a fan favorite from the Horoscopes album. This is a mid-tempo Afro-fusion track with a lot of jiggy bounce to it. Basketmouth reported that this track was recorded in April 2021, during which time BNXN(Buju) held the entire country in a chokehold with a slew of chart-topping hits. Prior to the release of Horoscopes, ‘Your Body‘ became a standout single as expected, which further geared up music listeners.
“Listen” by Basketmouth and Wande Coal is a stunning tune. This song is reminiscent of Wande Coal’s earlier works, it’s is one that definitely brings that nostalgia that was felt in the hearts of listeners as far back as 2007. Wande‘s voice is more like a spice to anything brewing or cooking, since he just provides a different emotion that no one else could bring but himself.
Having Peruzzi on a song is like utilizing a cheat code in a video game. Peruzzi is clearly one of Nigeria’s most talented and versatile songwriters, who creates music that you never grow tired of listening to. ‘Celowi,’ a typical Afrobeats song with spewing lingos and Africanized tunes, is an example of this type of music. A very essential additive to the album.
A collaboration between 2baba and Blaqbonez was totally unexpected, and this song, ‘Trouble,’ threw fans off in the best manner possible. It was as though the track was written in the stars, and the synchronization of the old and new school was flawless.
With an intensity like that being coupled with the youthful new school vibrations from Blaqbonez, ‘Trouble‘ came out as nothing less than a gem. 2baba brought in some of his arsenals from his days as “2face,” and we all know that was an amazing era.
Basketmouth is noted for his ability to bring together a group of musicians who are flawlessly in sync musically. On this slow tempo catchy rendition, his exceptional taste in music and artist selection played a crucial role in the birth of the song ‘Money,’ which featured soulful Ghanaian songstress Efya and Nigeria’s Afro-pop phenomenon Oxlade.
The song ‘Assemblies of God,’ a mix of traditional Nigerian highlife music, rap, and a pinch of comedy, is a standout on the album. An extremely unique mix of some of the country’s best wordsmiths (Falz, Magnito, Illbliss, Dremo) and the finest highlife music crooners ( Flavour and The Cavemen).
One can recognize a typical Basketmouth musical album from its fusion of several Afro genres into one to create an extremely unique record that incorporates aspects from various sounds and types of music.
Apparently, every single track on this super artistic body of work was brilliantly and painstakingly put together, from the writing to the recordings, to its production touches, and artist selection.
Basketmouth once again proved himself to be an outstanding Genius, not only on the comedic stage but also musically. In addition, Duktor Sett, the excellent producer who produced the ‘Horoscopes‘ project in its entirety, deserves a lot of praise. Sett has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, as seen by his previous album, ‘Yabasi,’ which he produced entirely on his own.
Stream “Horoscopes” On Spotify.