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The Pick: Victony reaffirms his Outlaw status on pensive opener.

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Victony wasn’t meant to be here. The rapper-turned-singer first popped up in 2017, releasing The Outlaw King, his debut project and a handful of other hip-hop-influenced singles before opting for a different path, rejigging his style and reannouncing himself with 2020’s Saturn, his slightly expansive, saccharine take on Afropop. The 6-tracker ー laced with sticky hooks and sugar-coated vocals ー elevated him to decent heights, earmarking him as something refreshing in an increasingly threadbare soundscape and ultimately garnered the attention of many, fans and celebrities included. He had a growing catalogue and fanbase and his career was clearly on the right track. Then everything came to a halt. In April of 2021, the singer was involved in a nasty accident threatening to claim his life. For weeks, he was relegated to the four walls of a hospital ward and later, a wheelchair.

His agonizing and partly public recovery eventually took the back burner after his breathtaking performance on Mayorkun’s “Holy Father”, one of last year’s biggest tunes. The hit single coupled with the after-effects of his accident would further elevate him to incredible new heights and set him up nicely for what seems like the most defining moment of his career so far: Outlaw.

The highly-anticipated project proves what most already know about Victony: he has an impeccable ear for beats, he’s equipped with sweet-sounding and sometimes otherworldly melodies and when you factor in his early rap sensibilities, his pen game largely standouts out in the mainstream pop zeitgeist. While the project is packed top to bottom with bangers, the standout is arguably the schmaltzy titular opener. Here, one of the tape’s rare opportunities to catch your breath, over pensive chords and slow percussion he recounts some of his challenges, credits his family and higher power for his success and reaffirms his status as an outlaw king. His vocals, sweet and soft, often camouflages his mettle and resilience. Many might not have recovered from what he did or in the fashion that he did. “Say I no dey fear fire / Champion boy go first tire” he sings confidently, reminding everyone that he’s here to stay and he’s here to stay on his own rules.

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