It only seems like yesterday when Nadia Nakai’s Nadia Naked album was released. But, that was three years ago today. The album was released under her previous label, Family Tree. A music label owned by Cassper Nyovest, a friend and ex-label boss to Nadia Nakai.
Let’s Catch Up On The Past Three Years
Nadia used her breakthrough for her own good. She quickly became a renowned name across South Africa and Africa as a whole. She simultaneously became a female rapper turned mogul by partnering with big alcohol brands such as her Hunter’s Red collaboration, a Reebok partnership, and being her own boss with a label, Bragga Records.
Nadia Naked Album Broken Down
1. Yass Bitch
Building up hype for the release of her debut album, Nadia Naked. She released Yass Bitch as her lead single. Yass Bitch is a typical lead single of any female rapper out there. Something catchy, playful, and colorful. The song starts off with playfully Nadia saying,
Yo, I’m just trynna get my paper honey
I’d rather be crying in a Ferrari
Than dealing with a broke nigga, you know
Like I just want my nails did
This is a clear representation of the theme of the song. A memorable and upbeat single. Nadia Nakai embodies anything and everything memorable. She is unforgettable, and this song is a rendition of that point.
2. Imma Boss
Nadia Nakai then released a follow-up single, Imma Boss, together with the music video. Imma Boss is the complete opposite of Yass Bitch, and that is a smart business move, especially right before an album release. It creates hype, expectation, and wonder about the sound of the album.
Nadia Nakai jumps right into the song with exceptional bars and flow.
Top ten I’m not ten, I’m top one
Look at my score and I told my niggas we got one
I see the shade they throwing but you can block son
I shine so bright that I even glow in the dark son
3. More Drugs
Moving on to the next song, More Drugs featuring Tshego. These two artists were previous label mates at Family Tree before Nadia’s departure. But have formed a beautiful bond as friends and collaborators.
Whenever they partner on a song, magic booms. The song briefly expresses their lives as musicians on the road. How fame infiltrated their personal lives by creating unnecessary drama, loneliness, and the urge to get more drugs to dim out everything.
Tshego begins the song with his clean vocals:
All I ever wanted was some more love
Everything I did, I did it for us
I been feeling lonely on my tour us
Got me thinking, ‘bout to get some more drugs’
As a man, you were meant to protect me
Why you let these bi*** disrespect me?
Knowing damn well that would affect me
Now, all that is said in the song might not be exactly what they’re going through, but the idea and level of relatability complete it.
Next up is one song I never thought would become iconic. When Nadia released visuals to Amai, it trended for weeks. To this day, I would use it as one of my top 20 videos from female rappers ever.
Amai is an ode to Nadia Nakai’s mother. She has always shared that her mother has been by her side on her journey to success. But, in this song particularly, she praises her mother using ‘Queen’ in her verse. Nadia’s pen game continues to impress as she says:
Still my Queen I have been the crown
And my Queen has always been around
The Machine I cannot live without
She further serenades her family by using her home language.
Amai Vangu Vochema
Mwanangu, Mwanangu, Mwanangu
Amai Vangu Vochema
Lastly of my favorites from the album is Kreatures. This track is a masterpiece, excellently crafted, consists of the perfect trio, and is relatable. Nadia knew what she was trying to achieve with this record. She managed to create art using her words, recruiting talented artists, and a creative visual that pushes the song’s scale to a ten.
Sio, a South African songstress, opens up the song with her powerful vocal pipes.
I’ll be your victim
Inside my head anyway
I’ll be your crimson
Let me breathe then take it away eh eh eh
You’ll be my prison
Glass walls that never break
Lights off begin the chase
Mask off they show their face kreatures
These lyrics could just be an excerpt from a well-known poet out there. However, they are Nadia Nakai’s song lyrics. Nadia’s masterfully produced art. Similarly, her first verse is even better. She says:
This industry shit got the homies and I always faking a smile
Been in the club with the squad and I think we been drinking a lot
Reflecting on life in the times that I know we’ve been thinking a lot
Look at myself in the mirror to see if I’m different or not
Patients of voices that’s been saying I need to get to the clock
If ever there was a chance or opportunity to nominate a female rapper from Africa to represent the continent I wouldn’t blink twice if she is chosen. She has proven herself by laying the foundation for years and finally made a breakthrough. Happy three years Nadia Naked.