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Album in Focus: Blunts & Roses EP By Lord Edward And Boy Nino



Blunts & Roses was released a while back as the collaborative EP of Lord Edward and Boy Nino, two artists who call Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) home. The artists have been making waves in their own right individually, over the past few years. Edward Bera who goes by the moniker Lord Edward has been making a name for himself with smooth vocals and tracks generally in the RnB genre while Nigel Bhebhe known as Boy Nino has established himself in the Hip-hop space. The latter has had highly publicized international collaborations with artists like Emtee and Saudi.


So, from the looks of things, collaborating on a project was a no brainier for the artists. Also, RnB and Hip-Hop coming together is an age old recipe that has given us countless classics. The Blunts & Roses EP was preceded by a single titled "Ndiwe Wega" from the duo and the track was initially touted as a single off the project but it didn't make the final cut. And after listening to the EP I totally get why. 


Ndiwe Wega just wouldn't have been the right fit for this project. Blunts & Roses brings to mind Bryson Tiller and Nasty C, a collaboration that hasn't yet happened but I imagine that's how they would sound if they came together to make music.




The sound on the EP stands out and sets it apart from the typical Zimhiphop sound. It's actually more international HipHop in nature and I greatly applaud that. The project features 7 tracks and it's just a tag team of Edward and Nino on most of them except 2 where other artists are featured. It's a greatly balanced body of sound without either the RnB or HipHop elements dominating the project's identity.


 

All in kicks off the project with a vibrant energy and the subjects of passion & dedication among other things. It raises the question how can I prove I'm all in? The song features a sample of bit by Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell from the show Martin where the two played a couple and it's an excellent bit of production work from how it fits into the track. How it feels is mellow and the kind of music that sinks right into you and attaches itself to past or present memory. It talks about the feeling when you know something is real and it's definitely one for the lovers.


The title track Blunts & Roses ft Obi Davids has the feel of deep contemplation. The easy sounding instrumental punctuated by the strum of guitar strings coupled with the vocals and the lyrics all just blend together perfectly. It sort of sums the struggle for a better life for the modern youth. The lyrics also bring out how today our minds have been captured by the dream of achieving this pinnacle of success and wealth.


Long days and long nights

Long walks and long flights 

Until I get that long money 

It's gonna be a long life

Buckle up because it's gonn' be a long ride

Blunts and roses, still in the process


Change ft Murphy Cubic & Tyrone Jones switches up the tempo and it has a faster paced sound from the average track on the project. The lyrics talk about making a change, the artists shine a light on what was imparted on them by their parents and what they hope to impart on their kids and the dreams they still hope to achieve. It's again contemplative and rich in subject matter but all around it's a great listen.


Usandityire which in Shona translates to "don't worry about me" channels a bit more of the vernacular language in lyricism but still maintains that same international HipHop sound. It's about the reassuring of a lover and the promise of always being there. The song carries slight jazz influences to it's instrumental and Edward excels on the vocals for the chorus.


The Outro features a slow tempo instrumental that brings out the wordplay from Edward and Nino. They're both donning  their rap hats on this one and it's track filled with what we call, "sweet nothings". Blunts & Roses as the title of a project gives the impression of a mellow sound with what happens in love as the subject matter and this project delivers exactly that. It's amazing work from Murphy Cubic on not only the production but the mixing and mastering of the music which is a big part of how good it sounds.


Greedysouth rating: 7.3/10


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