Nigerian hip-hop artist Pryse has, four years later, finally called it quits with Chocolate City (CC). Four years ago even though it was uncool to say so, I said this music marriage should never have happened in the first place. No disrespect to Pryse but I simply did not believe she was a fit for the CC brand or that they knew what to do with her. I also felt she needed a lot of work with her vocals, lyrical content, flow and delivery. Despite her bragging, I believed she could not match up with some of the emerging and hot acts in the game, at the time.
Now that CC and Pryse have parted ways and Pryse is setting up her own label, I wish her the best and hope to see her go past basic rhymes and punch harder lyrically, deliver true grit with her flow, and leave her heart on the floor with her music so it connects with the Nigerian and African masses.
For CC, I can’t help but wonder what they did all this while with Pryse? We never really saw Pryse marketed and promoted heavily. We certainly didn’t see an EP or LP from her this past four years or did I miss it? As for artist development, her visual brand identity is stronger than when she started, but there is minimal showing of an improvement on her artistry. I think it is fair to say, after all these years, within and outside the music business, most of us still don’t know who Pryse is.
I believe what has lacked with Pryse might be a clear brand identity and her unique point of view. What’s her story? All these years and we still don’t hear it in any of her songs. Her songs seem to always be about how she is better than other female rappers (the less than a handful) and nothing else. Who is Pryse and why should we care? Pryse needs to find her voice and occupy that space that is uniquely hers. It is only then that she will turn heads and be untouchable.
Until then, it’s the same old with her. Again, my view four years ago was unpopular and I don’t expect it to be popular now.
I also highly recommend Pryse works with a vocal coach to improve her vocals. Listen to Jan Smith, coach to Usher, Justin Bieber, Drake etc. explain the importance of vocal coaches in my interview with her.
Pryse performing in March 2016
A cover by Pryse, probably the best flow so far I’ve heard of all of her songs. Warning: expletives used.
Pryse in 2013
Photocredit: Pryse promo pic/CC
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