In February, Ladipoe became an exciting new addition to the Don Jazzy-owned Mavin Records imprint, not just because he could rap, but because the label didn’t have a rapper to boast of. Quite unexpectedly, Poe’s first single Man Already delved into grime-trap and syncopated breakbeats that lightly winked at UK electronic music. But he swaps that for a more recognizable template on Are You Down, his second single featuring label mate Tiwa Savage.
Are You Down luxuriates in lively, fluting sax sounds that finds Poe playfully shuffling between singing and rapping. Savage’s vocals, when she comes on, nestles neatly on a comfortable low register. It’s lean and sex-soaked: “When I want it, I can get it/When I need it, he is ready.” As the song progresses, Poe raps in a self-aware hedonism, but the song’s final moments isn’t textured enough to propel it into an immersive bliss, largely due to Savage’s undaring, flat effort. Luckily, its party-ready chorus makes up for it.