March 24, 2001
Album: The very best of 1990-1997 Artist: Dr. Alban Label: BMG Music Released: 1997 Producer: various
1. Hello Afrika feat. Leila K: Released in 1990 this was Dr. Alban's first smash hit. A politically charged track that can rock the joint anyday. "Move the sadist off my back/ and stop the burning in my motherland/Hello Afrika tell me how you're doing".
2. Stop the Pollution: Released 1991. The lyrics here are pretty much self-explanatory. The cut is backed by a wicked Euro dance rhythm.
3. U & Mi: Released 1991. Here Alban deals with racial issues and preaches equality. "U & Mi/ We are one family/"
4. No Coke: Released 1990. Like Alban says this cut is hip-hop reggae inna dancehall style. This is one of his best tracks where he's dealing with the issue of drug abuse. "Cocaine will blow your brain/And ecstasy will mash your life". Take precaution!
5. One Love: Released 1992. This is one of my favorites. Alban switches up his style and laces this track with low-key vocals. He also comes correct on the hook with an enticing chorus by male and female vocalists. A dope track by all standards. "No more wicked people/What is left?/One love".
6. Sing Hallelujah: Released 1993. A powerful gospel influenced track with a lot of energy.
7. It's my Life: Released 1992. This is Alban's biggest single of all time. An international anthem that's appropriately used to keep those haters in check. "Stop bugging me/Stop bothering me/Stop forcing me/Stop fighting me/Stop killing me/It's my life!"
8. Look Who's Talking: Released 1994. This track is seriously too Euro for me but it's still a nice track. This is for all you know-it-all talkative cats out there. Ok! What's up! Shut Up!
9. Let the beat go On: Released 1994. Another heavy dance music that keeps the party jumpin' jumpin'.
10. Away from Home: Released 1994. You can't help but reminisce with Alban on this song. He weaves a story about a girl who leaves home and encounters all sorts of adventures in the big city. Another personal favorite.
11. This time I'm Free: Released 1995. This is a song that preaches self-empowerment. A highly charged track that can easily go to your head if you get in the groove. "I wanna feel so free/This time I'm free to do what I want".
12. Hallelujah Day: Released 1996. Alban switches up his style a little bit on this one. Another gospel influenced cut that will definitely stir up your soul. "Jah Jah will come hey/If you know say today is hallelujah day/And all around the world shall get their reward/The heaven is closed to the evil doers".
13. Born in Africa: Released 1996. Alban sounds inspired and vexed on this cut as he rides the track over a smooth out beat and he fires some lyrical shots. "I'm a true born African/ Me come from Nigerian the land of oil/The land of diamond, gold and sugar cane/Yam, cassava, and sweet potatoes/We have a lot of things but no discipline/That's what we get from colonialism/All this was Babylon business/Going back to my roots/ Born in Africa!"
14. It's my Life: Sash! '97 remix. I can't keep up with this remix, it's too fast and it's heavily soaked in that dance club groove. Skip to the next track.
15. Sing Hallelujah: DJ Stevie Steve's Pizzi Edit '97 remix. Another heavy dance remix of the original.
16. Hello Afrika: '97 remix. This remix is quite different from the original as the lyrics are chopped up plus the speed is turned up. It's still funky though.
17. No coke: Klanghouse remix '97. Still keeping it heavily Euro.
Over the course of his career the good Dentist has churned out hits upon hits from his laboratory that still remain a mainstay in pop music history both in Nigeria and internationally especially in Europe where he has millions of fans. The man has sold millions of records across the globe and has shown no signs of stopping.
At the age of 23 Alban Nwapa went to Sweden to study and become a dentist but he also turned out to be an international superstar. One unique thing about Alban's music is that he has never put out a meaningless song as his songs always deal with reality and he often talks about the many things wrong with the planet such as war, hunger and racism. Despite the content he has managed to amass quite a large following. Dr. Alban and his producer the late Denniz PoP successfully mixed African rhythm, reggae, hip-hop and pop music to create a radical type of music that is impossible to categorized.
For those who don't have Alban's previous albums, this is a good place to start because "The very best of 1990-1997" contains all the hits that you need.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Roasted Corns smeared with butter and a side dish of coconut.