COLLECTOR’S ITEM is sonically refreshing, technically of high quality and lyrically impressive. Without a doubt would pass as one of the best projects ever done this year.
Last year, I mentioned him in my ‘Bankable Artistes’ to watch in 2014 tweet -‘Bankable’ as to mean one of the artistes to watch.
Now I can say without a doubt that I have been vindicated. On May 23rd, Fricky dropped his long awaited mixtape, COLLECTOR’S ITEM. This mixtape will pass as one of the best projects ever released and qualify as one of the best the Ghanaian music scene has ever heard.
The 18 track mixtape, which took 20 months to put together, saw a host of ‘unknown’ producers- who courtesy this mixtape, may move from the periphery to the centre of attention-engineer a tape which gives the listener his money’s worth (or rather your ears worth) and the appreciator of music a feel of reverie.
The mixtape witnesses a fusion of jazzy, soul and blues samples, and a bit of hip hop. Not only is Collector’s Item swarm with Fricky’s lyricism, it also incorporates, in flawless measure, samples of classics -from Sam Cook and Diana Ross, The Locket, Fela Kuti, Osibisa to Adele) and anecdotes which will make any good producer applaud.
Collector’s Item is centred on the life and musical journey of Fricky and his dreams for the future. He also addresses the haters/imposters and fake friends on HYPOCRITE ‘They goin’ smile up in your face, celebrate when you lose/When you fail they jubilate, put the brakes on your moves’. Fricky enlisted female MC, Felly who delivered a good verse over a John Foli made beat. The track carries a dirty south vibe. For a minute I thought I was listening to a young Fa-bo-lo-us (Loso).
DEDICATION, an up-tempo track opens the tape. As the title indicates, it is about keeping to the hustle till the end ‘Life can be hard and it beats you down but you must have hope/Hussle hard and never break down/ If you wanna have the dough/You must work hard so you can play hard when you have your own’. Ekay’s vocals sounded dope on this song.
One of the ‘hottest’ tunes on the tape is ADVENTURE. With assistance from Braids, Fricky delivers a patois-esque flow over this 3-Kube’s beat. Braids’ big voice gave the song the feel it needed to make it a favourite. Calypso lovers will also love SUNSHINE. Produced by ClasSick, the Osibisa sampled track was tough for Fricky. You could hear him shorting breath a bit. The song breaks at the end and the original song plays for a few seconds. Great!
There was a moment of solemnity where Fricky does a tribute to his friend Kevin on HOME TOWN who passed aged 11 ‘When Pac and Biggie Smalls died I was only seven/Just a week later another death of my hommie Kevi and he was only 11’. (You can guess the age of Fricky now). He teams up with producer T.J. Johnson, who sampled ‘Home Town Glory’ by Adele and fixed it together into a brilliant tune.
Fricky has dropped one of the best tapes thus far
TOMORROW is one of the beautifully crafted songs. Aside the futuristic wishes of the rapper ‘From the vision of the eagle to the seers of the land/I’m believing as at present that the future there is stunning/Let us time-travel back to the deserts and the sands /Cuz today is really why I like the person am becoming’, the placement of the horns (mostly from Fela Kuti) by the talented Nel Magnum is ridiculously amazing. But soulful beats kick in after Cyrus Beene’s (Scandal) famous ‘…Some men are not meant to be happy, they are meant to be great’ anecdote. There is also a Mohammed Ali skit (before he fought George Foreman) on A.S.A.P
Borrowing the vocals of Diana Ross off Sam Cook’s classic hit song ‘BRING IT HOME TO ME’, Fricky weaves a story about a young love affair nearly marred by an unplanned pregnancy. He’s heard assuring the lady ‘your heart is like a home to me/ baby I’m coming home’. Diana Ross is heard singing at the latter end of the song. Lovely!
Not only did Fricky lined up some good producers such as Nel Magnum, 3 Kube, ClasSick, Sticky, Junior, John Foli, Jump Off, D.E.M, Bink and Random, he also featured some of his friends like Shardey, Ekay, Felly, BvGGI, Flippa, Braids and Billy Banger who acquitted themselves creditably.
One of the guests who impressed me was Lyanna. She stole the spot from Fricky on PAST GLORY, a song about drugs, gun culture, sin and salvation. Lyanna sounded mesmeric. She was made for the song.
Collector’s Item ends with TRULY YOURS, a spoken word piece on which he is heard saying ‘I pray these critics will be less eager to peep deeper to find new flaws/And I pray y’all to perceive this tape as a piece of greatness/till I get some peace with haters… May not all our efforts never be in vain/fight tooth and nail to the crown of the game’. I don’t know how much of Common Fricky listened before recording this.
The over sampling did make Collector’s Item a bit monotonous and didn’t permit Fricky to explore his creativity on other genres or influences. That notwithstanding did not affect the end product.
What will make Collector’s Item stand out among other albums/mixtapes to be released this year is basically the concept, content and style and continuity of songs. The technical ability of Fricky and his team of producers exhibited in the execution of this mixtape, especially the samples can’t be slept on. Sonically, Collector’s Item is peerless and can contend for the best conceptually executed tape of the year.
Notable Tracks: Tomorrow, Adventure, Hypocrite, Home To Me, Past Glory, Sunshine, Legends
Follow Fricky @frickyc13 and cop a copy
Album Rating: 4/5