Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Olurotimi Akinosh, otherwise known as Rotimi, is feeling himself this summer! With a #1 debut EP to his credit and now flexing as a bona fide sex symbol, the Nigerian born actor who is best known for his recurring role on the hit Starz series Power, continues his charming persona on his highly touted and lustfully charged debut EP titled Walk With Me.
Rotimi pays homage to his African roots throughout Walk With Me with a good amount of the production borrowing melodies and traditional Caribbean rhythms from his native homeland of Nigeria. Bolstered by the flavorful lead single “Love Riddim”, which amassed a staggering 4 million streams on the first week of its release, the sexy single is by far the best of the seven songs on the EP. Complete with a star-studded music video with Jamaican women sashaying in colorful miniskirts and multiple shots of Rotimi’s chiseled six-pack abs to go with it, the provocative track has a natural island feel to it, and sizzling lyrics. As Rotimi croons: “Where do you go every time I touch you there? // Whispering love, ain’t nobody gotta hear. // He lost control, does he even know you here?” “Decisions” is another feel good treat. Behind the smooth instrumental and his outstanding vocals, he sings freely to light bongos and flowy Jamaica sounds.
As the EP rolls on, it is clear that some main themes were in mind throughout: party, sex, and fun. Even though hardcore Rotimi fans won’t want to hear this, other than a few standout dance club bangers, Walk With Me is for the most part very one dimensional, with a little bit of sentiment here and there. At times the album lacks depth and originality, which are two of the most important aspects for a debut artist to be taken seriously in the industry. For example, “Sip Slow” is a good listen but it is a very typical R&B song. Followed by the basic humdrums of “Summertime” which again exhibits nothing distinctive nor different as he drones on about shallow sex with unoriginal party-filled lyrics.
However, we will give credit where it’s due. For instance, you do see a softer side on the solid sounds of “Legend” as he showers a current lover with sentiment and sweet innuendos confessing his admiration for her on the tuneful mid-tempo single. The sweet sounding, “I Can’t Blame You” makes you want to sing along as Rotimi flows along in a soft soprano, reflecting on a tumultuous relationship from the past. Lastly, the final track of the EP comes via “Push Button Start” featuring Jamaican songstress Vanessa Bling (who makes the only cameo on the EP by the way) sampling Kevin Lyttle’s 2004 hit song “Turn Me On”. The duo let’s sparks fly as they seductively bounce back and forth with Rotimi cooly singing: “Let me hold you // ‘Cause on you got the tightest grip, when I’m close to you // Only you make me feel like this, now I want you // Want you more than I ever did, caress my body, when I hold you.”
Overall, Walk With Me shows much promise. On one side Rotimi successfully manages to separate himself from your everyday R&B artist his first time around. By creating a cool combination of island flavor that blends throughout the project with much ease. However other times, though an applauded effort by the popular multi-entertainer, you still get the sense that the anticipation may have gotten bigger than the project itself.
In conclusion, Walk With Me is a simple, smooth, lighthearted treat for the summer! For the fun vacation nights where you party and dance on hot island beaches until the wee hours of the morning with good looking strangers. With that in mind, Rotimi is as talented, successful, and charismatic as they come and there is no doubt that if he did in fact decide to eventually take his music career more seriously he could have a decent one. Until then, Walk With Me will get listeners through the summer just fine for now.
Written By: DeShonna Watson