Skeleton Blazer – Blesser [EP]
Title: Blesser [EP]
Artist: Skeleton Blazer aka Emperor Blazer
Genre: Reggae and Dancehall
The last studio offering we heard from Skeleton Blazer was in 2013 with his impressive album ‘Blaze Fire Blaze’. He closed off the year in 2016 with another stirring offering in the form of an EP titled BLESSER. Blesser, being the latest buzzword in the streets of South Africa where young girls have made a career out of finding rich, older men [Blesser] to take care of them financially. MoveMag describes the term thus: “It has nothing to do with your religion and everything to do with what you’re prepared to do for money, especially in black urban circles where ‘blessers’ are all the rage.” Skeleton Blazer, the Rasta youth who does not mince his words, expresses his views on this phenomena through his chosen weapon, music.
Although the title track ‘BLESSER’ eloquently describes how he feels about Blesser and the Blessee – of which a lyric video would greatly enhance this dancehall tune – it is track number 3 on the EP that goes in hard on the Blessee. Here the lyrics are cringe worthy, delivered in ghetto slang for maximum effect. The track is titled Iziqhi Zamadoda, which can be liberally translated to ‘A playground for men.’
The lyrics are reminiscent of that classic from I Wayne – Can’t Satisfy Her. Both songs are observing ‘that girl who needs more wood for her fire’. In Can’t Satisfy Her, you can sense pity from the observer and you can actually dance away to the song without flinching. In Iziqhi Zamadoda the observer goes in hard, with no mercy or pity, accompanied by the instrumentals which seem to be in total agreement with Skeleton, or the lyrics rather. It’s a dancehall track worthy of club banger status, considering the theme of the EP and the topical issue it touches on.
The 7 track EP is well arranged and balanced with both Reggae and Dancehall tracks. It opens up with Dem Nah Know, a one drop tune that has the golden touch of Jah Muzik Productions, who produces Black Dillinger’s top notch works. It is driven by a heavy bassline which Skeleton complements with his high pitch vocalisation. A witty introduction to the EP, as if to say: “You think you know me, but you don’t cos I am about to spit and hit you hard with potent lyrics. I-man have been crowned Emperor Blazer!”
He follows that with Top Ras flexing his status as the newly crowned Emperor, as bequeathed to him by Sizzla Kalonji on his last visit to South Africa. Another dancehall banger that declares him a bona fide social commentator.
Then he drops Iziqhi Zamadoda.
Hayi A ka lali unondidwa / ebusuku u ya phapha kuze kuse / sometimes nangu se ghetto/ izolo ngiqhibele e club zero / she take her life from shero to zero /aka hloniphe impilo yabo gambiro/o tla ho momona jwale ka moro /nje nga le ntwana e bizwa ngu Tira
The Bobo Ashanti youth then tones it down with a ganja tune in Poor Man Feel It and I Can Do, the only track that enlists the services of a backing vocalist. He then rounds it off with Girl dem Hot – title speaks for itself – a collaboration with a Malawian Producer. BLESSER, finally shuts down the EP.
This is the type of quality work that we have come to expect from Emperor Blazer, the artist formerly known as Skeleton Blazer. The Entire EP is laced with quality mastered tracks and formidable lyrics. The range is impressive. You will be hard pressed to decide on your favorite tune and also understand how it made it to the MzansiReggae’s Top Ten Album/EP; Top Dancehall and Reggae Singles for 2016 respectively.
The only downer is the presentation of the entire project. It seems like it was released in a haste, on the Emperor’s FB profile page, and not properly packaged and presented. The artwork is not pleasant and the credits are not listed and matched to each track. He just gives a shout out to ‘2cee’ as the backing vocalist; Black Dillinger, Alcapone JJ, DJ Kenzo [Malawi] and Liberty General.
Do not be deterred by all of this. Go on, take a listen from his SoundCloud or ReverbNation page, you are most likely to get hooked.
1. Dem na Know
2. Top Ras
3. Iziqhi Zamadoda
4. Poor Man Feel It
5. I can Do
6. Girl dem Hot