Can you guess what drew me to “Definition: Real One” by Frank White? Of course, I’ve known Frank White is one of the Notorious BIG’s nicknames. So, I wanted to understand the extent he inspires Kenya’s own Frank White. Does the album measure up to BIG’s “Ready to Die” or “Life After Death?” Let’s get to the music.

The 18-track album begins with Connor McGregor’s cocky remark, “Sorry I’m late I just don’t give a fuck!.”

“Definition: Real One” by Frank White Track Listing

Connor made this statement after showing up late to a pre-match press conference amid cheers from the crowd. What a way to start an album!

“4 am in KWest

“4 am in KWest” opens with the Notorious BIG’s interview excerpt from a 1995 MTV interview. From the track’s title, one would expect Frank White to paint a vivid picture of Kahawa West (KW). Yet I think he’s fallen short in achieving that and that’s not to take anything away from his dope wordplay. He expresses his inner thoughts quite well. He pays homage to his late brother, and  repeatedly spits, “I’m on top of the world can’t tell me nothing.”

“One2Three”

The next track, “One2Three” sets the tone for a proper rap album intended by “Definition: Real One” by Frank White. He rhymes his ass off on this track. However, I don’t think it’s anything mind-blowing beyond the raunchiest assembly of words he uses throughout the song.

“Commercial” ft Ajay Buruklyn Boyz

When “Commercial” plays and Ajay’s raps “Skia, yoh, kwani ni Kesho,” it prompts why new artists compromise their debut with unnecessary input from Buruklyn Boyz. In this track, Frank White has everything under control lyrically until he does the ‘upcoming obvious.’ If he’s truly the Notorious BIG’s disciple, he should’ve gone mostly solo as BIG did on “Ready to Die.” That’s how you make a name for yourself. But if it’s to justify the song’s title,  Ajay is undoubtedly the way to get commercial.

“My Family” ft Saybar

Listening to “Definition: Real One” by Frank White, “My Family” is one of the illest tracks of the album. It’s a banger, from production to the verses and emotional beat. Before this track, I felt like Frank was timid with a ‘Davaji-like,’ weak approach but now his voice carries power.

The hook goes, “Na do it for my family na do it for my fam, Na do it for my momma, me na do it for my mum, Na do for na do it for my bro.”

I’m impressed by Saybar’s verse because of the wordplay and the realness. He raps, “haijaikua rahisi ukinitrace niko busy, ka ni story ya doo tunaeza schedule ka meeting.”

It shows his street mentality.

“Again” ft Alive Rythm

“Again” features singer Alive Rythm whose raw voice ‘squeezes your balls’ and gives unimaginable pleasure. I wish she had a serious catalog. She could be the queen of Kenyan alternative RnB. But she’s lazy with nothing on Spotify and a single video on YouTube. I hope she does more. She does her job perfectly on this track giving it a perfect vibe. Believe it or not, I didn’t even care for Frank White’s verse on this love joint.

“Greatness is Coming” ft BigMan

“Greatness is Coming” is nowhere near iconic, but those not deep into Kenya Drill music would call it a favorite. The track features another Kahawa West rapper, BigMan. He doesn’t do any good to this track with his weak flow which makes each line he spits unbelievable. The song’s production is dope as fuck. Frank White’s braggadocious lyrics are something to watch for on this one. One of the best lines is, “hawa manigga wana STDs wanalack standards.”

“Hands in the Air” ft MRRIGHT Buruklyn Boyz, Younglouie58

Debut albums filled with high-profile collaboration tend to swallow the newer acts. The problem is obvious in “Hands in the Air” that It’s even hard to locate Frank White on the song. The track features MRRIGHT and Younglouie58. The moment that the “MRR…” intro comes, your mind ignores anything else in the song. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like MRRIGHT smoked everyone else on the track. His voice is more intriguing and his charisma and the adlibs on the hook take the song to another level. Also, when he raps about baggy jeans and black Dickies, he paints an exact image of his rare dressing code. BigMan makes a second impactless appearance.

“High Fashion” ft Ajay, Lil Maina

The next track is “High Fashion,” one of the best tracks on “Definition: Real One” by Frank White. His verse stands out even as Ajay makes a second appearance. The only shortcoming of this song is the inclusion of the most useless rapper after Stivo Simple Boy. I’m talking about Lil Maina (I’m tired of pussyfooting around this issue). His fashion sense is something to recognize but not his rhyme skills. It’s easy to notice that he’s reading from a phone while recording. MRRIGHT has all it takes fashionwise to make the all-star list in this track.

“Lemme Cook” ft Leons Ye

“Lemme Cook” is the dopest track of the album. The G funk elements on the beat are perfectly made and it’s a song to listen to on repeat. It features rapper Leons Ye who’s always boasted his music is always complemented with quality 4k videos.

“Smile” ft Venna

If there’s something I got to give to Frank White, he can scout unestablished cover singers to make good tracks. Look how Venna fits perfectly on “Smile.” This track has credentials to become a favorite of Frank White’s die-hard fans.

“Test Me”

“Test Me” is outstanding shit in this album and fulfills all the necessary ingredients for a quality hip-hop track. Also, it brings that relief from unnecessary collaborations that soil this album from the beginning. The best line is, “Wanashinda wamahate me najua wanaskia, me ni chosen one na overtake all my peers.”

“Toy” ft BigMan

I’m still not feeling BigMan on this “Toy” single. I’m questioning why Frank White seeks assistance on so many tracks (more than half the album). While I find the production quite nice and the flute consistently perfect, that’s the only aspect of the track I appreciate. The subject matter of the song is neither here nor there. There’s no room for softness and off-topic content when competing with Wakadinali in the ‘bloody’ arena and rapping about blicky.

“Sorry Not Sorry” ft Alive Rythm

In her second appearance on “Defifination: Real One” by Frank White, Alive Rythm delivers an arousing performance. With the track “Sorry Not Sorry,” she evokes vibes reminiscent of Dej Loaf’s“Be Real.The producer’s skill elevates it as a top contender for the album’s best track.

If you’ve been reading this review you understand that I appreciate Frank White’s solo singles. “Searching For You” samples “If You Had My Love” by Jennifer Lopez from her 1999 album, “On the 6.”

The production is perfect, unlike the cringy samples by most Kenyan producers. He tells his love story the gritty gangsta way. The best line is, “ka ni fashion nina sense unicheki jo in 4k unaeza dhani Hisence.”

“Lawrence Tribute”

The next track is titled, “Lawrence Tribute” which has Frank White rapping about his brother who died. This is sad. The beat is fucking emotional and takes you to a whole new realm. If Kenya were serious, this track would be a radio hit, resonating with many. The hook says everything,“Bro jo I miss you Bro jo I miss you always jo on my mind but forever in my heart.”

“Zero Mistakes” ft BigMan

“Zero Mistakes” is a drill rap song sampling “World-A-Reggae” by Ini Kamoze. It features BigMan but I think Frank White would’ve gone it alone. He’d have killed the hardcore beat leaving fans yearning for more after the album closes.

Connor McGregor comes back for the album’s outro. He disdainfully says, “Look, with all due respect to everyone, fuck everyone!”

Verdict

I don’t consider “Definition: Real One” by Frank White outstanding overall, but as a debut, it’s a commendable effort. I hope he gets rid of too many collaborations and improves in his next album “Mziza Wa Dimanga.”

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