Rated - EP
Integrating influences from soul, R&B, and hip-hop, Ceeza Milli’s sophomore project, Rated, contends with all the ways the singer’s life has unfolded since his memorable cameo on 2018’s “Soco” introduced him as a frontline talent. Gently scrutinizing the parameters of stardom, family ties, and love across five tracks, this apparition of Ceeza Milli comes off as a grittier, wiser version of the fresh-faced singer we met all those years ago, and all the songs here bear the fruit of the insights Ceeza has taken from operating at the cutting edge of Afropop. “I can see a hater hating from a distance,” he deadpans on “Lessons.” Sammie Ca$h joins him on “Paper” for an ode to the utility of money, while “Big Talk,” built around muted drums and subtle piano melodies, is the perfect synthesis of Ceeza’s world-weariness and zest for luxurious living. But whether he is exploring staying paid up or the depth of his affection for his mother, Ceeza does it with a range and ingenuity that not many people in Afropop can tap into.