Essentials: Detailmadeit realigns with his vision on ‘O.T The Mixtape, Vol. 1’
Essentials: Detailmadeit realigns with his vision on ‘O.T The Mixtape, Vol. 1’

Essentials: Detailmadeit realigns with his vision on ‘O.T The Mixtape, Vol. 1’

A focused, brief and punchy set from the Abuja-based rap artist

Detailmadeit belongs to a community of Abuja-based rappers, but he’s also a businessman. Never forget that. When we last spoke with him, a single with Baby Fresh and DJ Neptune was newly released, a colourful exploration of Afropop melodies. He also made clear his goals for art, which doesn’t revolve solely around the craft, but angles for broader reach across cultural platforms. 

That spirit has followed his vivacious raps atop thumping basslines, elevating Detail’s name among his home audience. Still, with sights on the world, the 26-year-old who fronts Galaxy Records has to make moves. On his just-released ‘O. T The Mixtape, Vol. 1, you get the sense of a man creating his path in the world, expressing himself through an art-form that shaped his core values. 

Understanding the saturated state of today’s charts, every song courts brevity in a way that makes the lyrics more urgent. His beats hammer into the brain, with sonic elements that range from vocoders to whistles, often carried by a menacing bass. “CHECKMATE” opens the mixtape, a blend of dark and groove which finds Detailmadeit cutting into the flaws of his opponents with the skill of a professional chess player. His values are reiterated as he addresses the Abuja rap scene, doubters of his pen game, and other relative subjects. “Been putting in work since 2010,” he raps, later on acclaiming he’s been “throwing these jabs like Tyson”.

He’s similarly focused on the other songs, sketching the trajectory of his journey at every turn. Of course, considering ‘OT’ is a slang which hints at being streetwise, Detailmadeit packs ounces of game into his bars, making their otherwise simple framing to become more poignant and relatable. “ROAD TO RICHES” takes what sounds like the twang of a Mexican guitar, adding bouncy drums and a wailing effect to its beat. “It’s a real shame if you not on my side,” raps Detail with Migos-esque bounce, his confidence hot and flaming. Tinged with a confrontational hue, he comes off as someone sure of his success and could do with less groupies. The depth of the percussion is thinned on “BEAST MODE”, allowing Detail to cover more details with his lyricism. “All of my niggas they bullies/pull up on you and get busy”, he raps with the menacing tone you’d expect from such a bar.

The last pair of songs on the tape are “GLIDE” and “STEPPINGS”, both distinct takes on the established template of Detail’s drums here. Last year the latter was released as a single, a song inspired by the popular urban phrase ‘Oluwa, protect my steppings’. I like “GLIDE” better, which is perhaps the highlight of the mixtape. Matching the record’s title, Detailmadeit reaches pure form with his flow, touching unexpected pockets with effortless mastery. After flexing his way through the song, his verse ends with, “never seen a ABJ rapper this real, military with the drills”, on the other side a robot-voiced film sequence rolling.

With the NATIVE recently publishing an in-depth feature on the Abuja Drill scene, ‘OT The Mixtape, Vol. 1’ further showcases the breakthrough qualities of its larger communities: heavy focus on craft and a work rate everyone could emulate. At this point, it’s just a matter of time before more stars from that universe emerge to illuminate the mainstream soundscape with their blistering light.

Listen to ‘OT The Mixtape, Vol. 1’ here.