Shavey & Slice – Bayuda

Convex Media; 2013

Dir. Young Wallace

As an atrist, the main problem about blowing up right on the release of your first track is trying to replicate that success in future. This is the sort of jinx that has befallen local dancehall super-group Shavey & Slice. Why lie, nobody has come up with anything as phenomenal as their first hit Gyal. Everything about it was a masterpiece, from Ulopa’s keen production touch to the very entertaining music video. Damn it, even the Jamaicans took notes! Right up to this day, no other local dancehall artist has come close to the perfection of Gyal (the closest contender I can think of is Bambika by Tyrical, Lyrical Erico and Shanky Radics).

The result is obvious – the pressure on Shavey and Slice to replicate their success with Gyal is always constant. They tried to turn it into a posse cut when they released Gyal (Remix) which received a lukewarm reception. After couple of rough patch years, they are now back with Bayuda,  a sort-of-dancehall sort-of-Ugandan-style track. It is hard to establish what direction they are trying to take with it, but it is not hard to tell that they have completely switched their style. Now is that a good thing or a bad thing? Unfortunately, Bayuda sounds like four minutes of bad decisions. The sound of this track clashes so sharply with the musical identity of the duo that it is shocking at first. The most cringe-worthy moment is when Slice starts to sing in falsetto – what was that about? If this track was released in 2009 right after Gyal, everyone would have suspected  that they had been held at gunpoint in the studio and forced to produce this! Why in the world would they want to sound like this? Why? For a duo that revolutionized local dancehall music, this is a disappointing effort.

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The only saving grace of this track is the crisp clean music video directed by Young Wallace that is at least good to look at. Everything else is simply not acceptable, given the immense talent Shavey & Slice have.

The Bottom Line

Coming up with a track that equals or even betters Gyal is almost a losing battle for anyone. However, when it comes to the ones who actually came up with something that phenomenal, the aim must always be to get close to the standards they set even if it means putting out a second remix of GyalBayuda was a step in the opposite direction, unfortunately.