Art: 16 wives album review; why 17 women?


When I first thought of doing 16 wives album review, I had to talk to a couple of close friends to know their take on this album. One of the reactions I received was definitely so intriguing and I want to share with you.

I contacted my friend Teddy on text message to find out what he thought about the 16 wives album. When I asked him if he had listened, he said yes of course I listen to it every day. So I went on with the texting, “can you give me your take on the album?” and he was like “bro what do you want me to say because I don’t think I can really say anything for real”. I was like just say anything; I don’t want you to be all formal. While I said this, I stepped away from my phone to make me some coffee, when I got back to my phone a few minutes later, Teddy had written almost two pages of some of the things I will make mention of on this review. I came back to my phone and amazed at what he wrote I asked him, “bro were you actually just trying to pull my legs with the fact that you could not say anything?” and guess what his response was. He said, “That is exactly what Jovi can do to your brains sometimes mennn!!”That was like the most ridiculous but funniest thing I heard that week.

Guardian pop critic Alexis Petridis said, Today, it’s been battered by both the rise of illegal downloading, which some would argue has negated the need for reviews at all. If you want to know what an album is like before release you can probably find out for yourself by illegally downloading.The fear caused by declining circulation of music too. But at least one major music magazine or two  is fairly obviously engaged not in necessarily reviewing albums, but in trying to second-guess what their readers are going to think about them, terrified of causing offence, which seems to be spectacularly missing the point.

I think that’s a shame, partly because writing album reviews is my job as a writer, but mostly because I think music is important: it deserves to be discussed and evaluated properly. The rise of the internet may mean there’s no such thing as a definitive album review any more, but that doesn’t matter: frankly, the more people are discussing and evaluating, the better.

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Courtesy of Moly Town

16 wives is the album title for Jovi LeMonstre’s 3rd album. You may be thinking that this album review has been posted late but read between the lines you could get something new.  Karawa Diary is going to be looking at some insights concerning this album.

When I first listened to this Album, I mean the very first time I listened to it, it sounded all so cliché especially some songs that finally turned out to be my favorite. I had to listen to the album over and over again to actually ascertain how deep it was both lyrically and production wise.

First of all, let us go down memory lane for a bit. In 2012 Jovi released his Album HIV (Humanity Is Vanishing) and on the 12/12/12 (the dude just like mystery numbers.lolhe hosted a killer concert in the town of Buea with the then Red Eye Entertainment to perform this album songs.  On 20 of May 2015 he released yet another Album Mboko god. In Mboko god he said “ever since I dropped HIV man no dey wey wan f$#k with me” (it took me a whole year to finally understood what that line meant).  It is a pidgin line translated to English as “As soon as I dropped HIV, no one has been ready to f$#k with me” ( the dude is also so fascinated by coded lines.)

I took you down memory lane to let you know that Jovi’s musical art has so many codes embedded in it that can only be demystified when you give attention to that art. The 16 wives had a lot more of the codes. We are not going to talk about every track in this album but we are going to talk about everything surrounding the Album.  First I want you to note that the album was released on February 16(Birthday of his younger brother), it has in it 16 tracks and it is titled 16 wives. I had to listen to this album 16 times over before I started this write up hoping that I will get a magical sense of judgment, Lol (am kidding, I actually listened to it more times than that). Jovi had all the 16s going on around and in this album, but one thing did not actually tie and that thing was the album cover art. Did you notice that the cover art actually has 17 women instead of 16? Well I will demystify that for you at the end of this article.

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Jovi’s 16 wives album treats Love (track 01, track 16), dance (track 11), tributes (track o4 and track 13), Obscenity (track 10, track 05), promotes hard work, Power, Self-glorification, the huddles of going over sees, abortion and lots and lots of several things in one album. Let’s talk a little about some of my favorite tracks in the Album.  . By the way, we all know Jovi’s punch lines are in Pidgin English so don’t blame me if you find me reviewing it in English Language, it is deliberate.

Man Pass man part 3 is track 02 in the album. In Jovi’s previous album’s he has had Man Pass man, Man pass man part 2, then the part 3 in 16 wives album. Sounds like a series movie to me. Man pass man 2 was simply dope. In the very first Man Pass Man in the HIV album, Jovi said he will wish for someone to show him anybody better than him because he has not been able to see such a person yet. Am I supposed to say this dude is just so full of himself or just corky?  When I listened to the part 3 in this album the story swept me off my feet immediately. I mean Jovi had a lot to say on this track. He paints himself like a super man on it. Come to think of it, Karawa Diary once wrote an article about Jovi being a god and here he confirms on this track that “if Mboko be na religion then na me I write the bible”

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True enough, his Mboko style is unique and its art that cannot go unnoticed.He uses Mboko language to say simple things in complex ways. Jovi says no one helped him to where he is, he is self-made.  More so, this track has mad lines. I will not want to say too much but Jovi are you serious that you got to the top by yourself? (am just curious)

Tchana Piere is track 04. Two songs on Jovi’s 16 wives album are actually tributes to one of the legendary voices of Cameroon.  The other track which I did not review is Tom Yoms on track 13. Did I just enjoy the fact that Jovi pays homage to a legend in music that lived before him? No, that was not the only thing that caught my attention. The instrumentals used for this song at the background was another song played in a reversible mode to give it an amazing twist that added so much weight to the song. Jovi’s punch lines cannot be over emphasized. The song is almost chilled yet not entirely chilled. If you got your earphones on like me, then you will probably be nodding your heard involuntarily to this song.

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Tchana Piere was a composer, performer, musician Born February 2, 1945 and retired in 1995. He was Author-composer and interpreter of renowned write ups and music, his musical works were acclaimed worldwide and I guess it is same reason Jovi will want to be identified to the likes of Legends as him. He died on 24 November 1998 in Douala. So if you had listened to the song before reading this, go listen again, it will make more sense because right now your new name could be Tchana Piere too.

⁠⁠⁠⁠ Sux is track 05 on the album.On this song Jovi is actually trying to emphasize on the need to wear condoms when you are getting sexually involved with someone you don’t know. The song has explicit language and lines of obscenity. But there is a line on this song that got me laughing. Jovi says people want different things just like some people are actually waiting for this album to drop so that they can copy. Haha, sadly someone is reading this article right now when he/she actually just copied this album without buying.  Sux has already earned widespread confirmation and approvals not just from individuals but also from renowned producers in the industry. Instrumentals from this song in particle are being remade and sampled by other producers. I mean, it’s just beautiful to see such a piece of art getting so much recognition. But hold on for a minute, I Just want to let you know that Jovi’s album cannot be understood by everybody. Yes that is true. By the way by sux Jovi means socks and this sock is now worn on your feet. It is worn for particular occasions and reasons.

Slave ships is track 10: Slave ships is actually my favorite song on the album. The choral like sound on the hook is everything. Jovi sounded like the choir master; the dude was screaming the pre hook so much that you could feel the energy in his rough vocals. Yes, his rough vocals. This is another song in which I don’t understand why Jovi had to go all obscene again( I don’t know if you heard that, well if you did not get it then you have to keep listening till you do)  I have the feeling that if Jovi does not have obscenity in any of his albums he won’t feel fulfilled. He had the ability to keep this track clean and void of the vulgar but what can I say? Slave ship is talking about the heated desire people have to go over sees. They will do anything to stay abroad even if the life there is hard. No Doubt Jovi says “slave for dey hollam pass chief for here” translated into English as a slave abroad is richer than a chief here in Mboa his country. This song has a lot going on. But I don’t understand why Jovi kept mentioning the fact that “I move my rod and chap halla emballe god”. Mr Jovi, what on earth has that hook even got to do with all you are talking about in this song?

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By the way, have you listened to Jovi’s EP titled Bad Music before? In at that EP, there is this song titled bad influence he says “I’m a bad influence to the children don’t play ma songs on the radio, imma put naked hoes in ma videos, fuck being a modafucken role model,  be a bitch,I better get rich…” Am sorry for all those cuss words but come to think about it for a second. The only reason Jovi’s art gets criticized negatively is with respect to the way he hypes obscenity.  This album could not be void of it.

On this album, Jovi did not only rap but he sang in several places. In fact track 09, No Man has Jovi singing the whole time. He featured just two artists on his Album and they are all New Bell Artists; Pascal and Reniss. If you want to dance then you can also get 16 wives album and listen to 50-50 and ou meme.

Before we got here I made mention of the twist on his cover art that many reading this article did not take note of. On Jovi’s Album Cover Art, he talked of 16 wives yet put 17 women. Go on and count and see for yourself. But why that cover art and the whole 16 wives album title in the first place? It was rumored that King Rudolf Duala Manga Bell got married to 16 wives hence Jovi’s album title. Remember the name New Bell Music?I guess you do, if you don’t then I will remind you. It is the name of Jovi’s record label.

READ MORE: Jovi is a god…4 Reasons you never thought of

I don’t want to think that Jovi putting 17 women instead of 16 wives on his cover art was a graphic design error. Jovi is trying to communicate the fact that even though King Bell had 16 wives, he, Jovi always wants a little more. Yes of course, there is always space for one more right? If the great King had 16 wives then he will add all to his to make it 17 for himself. Don’t ask me any question after this though.

By the way before I end on the cover art just like that, some think that the extra woman on the cover art is actually Jovi’s mother. For some reason I have been thinking to myself like I could actually demystify the reason why Jovi will want to add the mother on the 16 women and Yet I cannot get a clear cut thought. However, the 17 women on that cover art was definitely not an error made, it was all intentional and before you think that there are 16 women because the album title said 16 wives, just think about recounting.

Being producer and artist is not easy at all. Yet Jovi does it all. 16 Wives is a master piece, 100% Cameroon. That’s what I enjoy most.  I can safely say Jovi’s 16 Wives is an original Cameroonian piece and I am so proud of this. Jovi is one of the best lyricists Cameroon will ever live to know. His production, text, delivery & lyrical prowess is unmatched when it comes to making music for those who know music though.

You can Download the album here


What do you think?