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Business Suits & Dress Shoes Vol.1: C-Real Album Review

BUSINESS SUITS & DRESS SHOES VOL.1

Its hip hop season! Following the success of singles You Don’t Wanna Know and Boss, Ghana’s most underrated wordsmith [in my books] – C-real, follows it up with Business Suits & Dress Shoes Vol.1, a 5 track EP. The entire project was produced by his company, MixDown Studios, and was released on his birthday [July 16th] as a treat to his fans and all hip hop lovers.

The tape opens on a rather sombre note with Lifeline which is a reflective song. The narrative begins with C-real waking up on July 16th [his birthday], to yet another year down life’s line. Through intricate story telling over a classy beat, C-real takes us on a flashback ride through various life experiences giving us an insight into his persona.

The tape continues on a similar tone with Your Love, the second joint on the tape. ‘Being beautiful is not a look, it’s an attitude… You don’t need to change your wardrobe, you need to change your mind.’ Here we see C-real reassuring his ‘broken’ girl that she is all he needs regardless of her insecurities. A love song with a profound message of self-love; that it is a precondition in our effort at loving others. C-real proves here that even the hardest of rappers have soft interiors.

C-real switches it up on Make it Work, returning to the aggressive tongue wrangling style we all know him for. This joint is your daily dose of motivation, telling us to keep grinding till we make our hustle work, whatever it may be. The song is backed by some soothing vocals which I bet belongs to Kesse of ‘Project Fame’ fame [I may however be mistaken].

The tempo is pushed even a notch higher on Who Dem which features Stonebwoy, the only guest artiste on the tape. Stonebwoy is a problem! He combines so well with C-real to produce an explosive hip hop – dancehall fusion which promises to be a crowd favorite.

Yes, C-real is poetic in his rap delivery, but if you’ve been following him for a while now, you would know he is an accomplished out and out poet, having treated us to a number of spoken word pieces over the years. He continues this trend with Sound Mind, where he returns to the sombre reflective tone with which the tape opened. ‘All I have is time and rhymes to ascend through life’s climb, and I pray I do this with a sound mind.’ On this spoken word piece, he takes us through his creative process explaining how his works are tailored to address societal ills.

Business Suits & Dress Shoes Vol.1 is as classy as its title and cover artwork depict. The EP is equally entertaining as it is profound, exploring personal experiences and social issues. Its brevity is surprisingly more of a blessing than a curse. C-real articulates in just five songs what many rappers would take twice as long to say. With this in consideration, it will be interesting to hear what his second studio album, the much anticipated The Reality sounds like.

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