Review: Zinoleesky’s Grit & Lust is energy-driven

For time so long, a lot of fans have shown their disdain for Zinoleesky’s affiliation with Naira Marley’s Marlian Music. Naira Marley is known to be very monotonous both in delivery and instrumentals-wise. Many believe this continues to reflect in his protege’s artistic signature. There are talks that continue to revolve around Naira Marley’s management of Zinoleesky; here, folks hold the belief that Zinoleesky would have gone farther than the height he currently occupies if he was managed by Olamide. Interestingly, BNXN whom Zinoleesky lost the Headies’ Next Rated to is the measurement in this sentiment.

The thought that Zinoleesky is stuck under Naira Marley because of his affairs with his sister, Subomi, is in the debate too. Zinoleesky has shared some of the label’s controversies, by the way. The singer, alongside Mohbad, was swept off their apartment in Lekki by some members of the NDLEA on February 24th, 2022. Mohbad, who would later fight his way out of the label after Naira Marley manhandled him in October, went live on Instagram in an attempt to call the public’s attention to the threat Naira Marley was becoming to his life. Zinoleesky remained calm till Naira Marley flew into the country to grant their bail from the custody of the NDLEA.

Zinoleesky’s Grit & Lust reads as the confidence a man needs to be explicit in his dealings with a woman. Shoving the suggestion of the title aside, the album Zinoleesky named an EP is not as gritty as the title suggests. Notwithstanding, the moments of lustful desires are ever alive on the project.

Personal airs a Zinoleesky moaning about his loss to BNXN at the Headies; the resort he uses to get by the record is the notion that “only God fit award me”. Odinaka, Yan Yan Yan, Call of Duty and Rocking are the highlights of lust on the project. They accentuate the title with a clear portrayal of the streaming platforms’ E-marked contents.


Personal again collects Zino’s ideas of life and Run It Up is there to push you to functioning: both songs came from the need to be motivated. The best moments of the collection of 8 songs are sequentially juxtaposed such that when the motivation on Run It Up grinds to a halt at the final second, Ayra Starr’s flaky vocals on Many Roads and the upbeat Dancehall sound will lead you on, you are either nodding or acting the stimuli with a dance; then you have to deal with Last Time and Omah Lay’s two verses or how the song mirrors going incommunicado as a deliberate antic to dwindle a feeling of love because of the hurts in a relationship.

Grit & Lust will not be accepted as an extended playlist as Zinoleesky and his label named it. An EP should not be more than 4-6 songs. But hey! This is a project with 8 tracks, and therefore, more “album” than it’s an EP. The practice of naming a project with many songs an EP happens for many reasons. The first is the artiste’s nescience. Peruzzi was guilty of this on his first album, Heartwork. This is a project of 11 tracks Peruzzi blindly named an EP. Secondly, most of the times, artistes realize a particular project they are about to put out is not their best work, so they name it an EP because they know critics do not take EPs as serious as they would take an album. The third will be artistes using an EP to buy time for the albums they are working on. The strategy is to give the fans something to talk about so as to buy time to finish the albums they are working on. Olamide’s 999 EP is a case study. Lastly, more artistes release an EP of more than 6 tracks just to offload some songs they no longer want to keep.

Zinoleesky’s Grit & Lust is another shot the singer had to erase the perception of the audience of him as a monotonous singer. He took the chance well, though not so convincingly. You would realize he is conscious of his monotony when you discover that Niphkeys, his usual producer, only contributed to 25% of the project. Zinoleesky tried more new producers in order to sound different from the singer the listeners were already accustomed to. It paid off, but not totally.

Ratings: 6.5/10

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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