A young South African rising star, Money Badoo, is looking to set new benchmarks with her newly released debut album ‘PORN$TAR’. The ten-track record embodies Money Badoo’s strengths as singer, rapper, stylist, and composer, bound by themes of affluence, sexual liberation, young love (the one Shakespeare deemed leads to self-destruction), self-discovery, and conflict. Money Badoo poses on the album’s cover art, amplifying her qualities—a strong personality, self-confidence, alluring, and provocative. Does the music live up to the packaging?
‘KREAM’ walks the listener into the project. A minute short introduction featuring a spoken word contribution by Maglera Doe Boy. There isn’t much to it but whistling (which I will break down at the end of this piece). ‘G2g’ with Lordkez follows. A mellow and laid-back track with a DNA of Cloud Rap and Trap Soul. Money Badoo’s sultry vocals are reminiscent of another rising South African singer, Don Calya. One of my favourites would be ‘Gone Girl’ produced by the PLXYGRND producer duo. Money Badoo’s cloudy vocal performance dangles above a stream of thinned out guitar strums. This PLXYGRND produced track also leans towards R&B creating a smooth transition into ‘47K$’ with Ricky Tyler.
‘H3ART OVERBOARD’ is one of the highlights of this project. It’s dreamy and bouncy, most importantly it’s consistent with the dreadful theme of shattered hopes and self-destructive love. It ends with a playful, relatable conversation between the star and her fans. ‘PI$TOL POP’ reveals Money Badoo’s strengths as a Cloud Rap rising maven. She comes across as more confident and blunt. ‘100 DAY$’, featuring contributions from Sliqe and Yanga Chief, is another banger on the record. Adequately trappy and, of course, coated with cloudy elements. Sliqe and Yanga Chief’s contributions adorn the composition, led by Money Badoo’s experimental and spicy delivery. Following an ambient but turbulent journey, the title track closes the curtains. It doesn’t divert much from the sound prevalent in the ten-track project, but it neatly ties all the compositions together.
Is it a subpar debut album? Absolutely not. ‘PORN$TAR’ will definitely do well with lovers of Cloud Rap, Trap Soul, and R&B. It’s consistent and holds no lousy tune. Money Badoo has cleverly left some oblique themes for devoted listeners to dig out throughout the project. Affluence is a recurring theme in her music. This repetition reminds the listener of who the artist is—Money Badoo. Clever titles like ‘KREAM’ and the use of dollar signs instead of “S” are great devices the rapper utilised. The introductory track also carries an ethnic significance with its whistling samples. Whistling in Southern African culture is used to express enjoyment, celebration, encouragement, confidence, and a call to woo women. Money Badoo draws us a map to her origins, South Africa, and then leads us through her journey as a modern African young adult. It’s a compelling piece!