These days, my heart isn’t quite built to withstand disappointment. It’s kind of an irony when you realize that this country is currently dishing it out with ease. This year is halfway through and the amount of L’s this nation has accrued in this year alone is enough to make both Meek Mill and Arsenal laugh out loud at the state of our affairs in Nigeria.
The lowest of these embarrassing lows in my books was the
mistake bombing of the IDP camp back in January. Till date, no tangible explanation has been offered officially by the government. Knowing that the government of the country one lives in does not care whether you live or die, much less how you die is really disheartening. There were theories about the disastrous event initially but as usual we’ve moved on without getting to the crux of the matter. There’s still no respite for people in these camps, sadly. There have even been reports of alleged corruption stemming from the administrators of these camps. Isn’t it just tragic?
Nigerians are resilient, naturally. It is the reason why Fela’s ‘Shuffering & Smiling‘ will forever be relevant. We struggle, pray and hope for a brighter and better future. It’s all we have, it’s what we’ve been taught. So if you’ve been living in Nigeria for the past six months under this rickety and disenabling system, and you’ve managed to survive, thrive or do both during the first part of this year, congratulations. Stress toughens diamonds, pressure boils beans. Those are pretty good happy endings under discomforting conditions. I pray for better days for you and your family, based on happy endings (and better beginnings) under these conditions.
I’m not a pastor, neither am I the most religious. But I do know that good music has a spiritual effect. Ranging from crass to heady, anything that has rhythm is music. But music is only useful when it is of good quality and has the ability to affect or impact the soul and body in any capacity. Peep below for amazing songs that we came across last week and believe should make you feel good.
D-Truce x 3rty – Butterfly
Signed to the same label that houses singers, Simi and Praiz – X3M music, D-Truce is a really interesting rapper to look out for. ‘Butterfly‘ – which follows his 23 To Life EP released earlier this year on his birthday – is a midtempo feel good song, released early last month. It has aesthetics similar to songs on SDC’s Palmwine Music EP. The cut’s sonic backbone is chilled, with soft bouncing percussion, laid back horns and keys, arranged by 3rty who also drops an easy breezy verse. The lyrics on ‘Butterfly‘ exhibit the common ‘men are scum’ rhetoric with the ‘yoruba demon’ twist.
OluAndTheCoconut x Skipper x Remy Baggins x BlackseidTheDJ – Call Me
Producer, OluAndTheCoconut taps in a talented trio of artists for ‘Call Me‘. The song’s infectious bounce is bound to make you sway, with an accentual xylophone riff. The song’s lyrics ooze infatuation, with Skipper and Remy taking the lead with sweet, slow vocals. BlackseidTheDJ’s voice booms with the resonance of a Chinese gong to add a different edge to the song. It’s a whole vibe.
Zamir x Odunsi – Lights
Zamir has had a pretty good year so far in terms of his music releases, putting quality over quantity. ‘Lights’ follows his feel good first single of the year, ‘One More‘ which featured AYLØ. ‘Lights‘ is both Zamir’s second official single and the second time he’s linked up with Odunsi this year, following the release of their loosie, ‘Science’. Produced by Odunsi, the cut is a short but menacing trap song with lyrics ranging from self-motivation to cold brags. Bound to keep you hitting the replay button.
Bankyondbeatz x DJ Yin – Good Loving
Emerging super producer, Bankyondbeatz taps frequent collaborator, DJ Yin for this EDM heavy love song. DJ Yin’s lean voice breathes her usual charm over Banky’s robust soundscape. It’s a continual reminder of the magic in their chemistry. Bankyondbeatz seems like a very easy person to work with also. Fuego Senoras, his debut project features quite a handful of female artists who gel perfectly with his production. If you haven’t listened to the project, ‘Good Loving‘ will give you a taste of what you’re missing on. Get on the jazz.Loving
Boogey x Tay – Liquor Nights
There has been conversations about the state of hip-hop in Nigeria over the last couple of days on twitter. I’ve chipped in my own words on the argument but one thing I know is that there isn’t a shortage of skilled rappers in Nigeria. Boogey is a prime example, in both skill and consistency. ‘Liquor Nights‘ is the first single off his upcoming 6th project (5th in 3 years), Nouveau Niveau and it’s damn good. Boogey details his experiences with alcohol and alcoholism while showing off his storytelling skills with a psychedelic blood-pumping edge. The song is produced by Sencosonic, whose beat is probably the best instrumental arrangement Boogey’s rapped over. God, those horn stabs are worth 1million naira.
Arabic Man – Circle
Apparently, the cases of swindling people into buying fake iPhones isn’t just peculiar to computer village in Ikeja. Arabic man, a Ghanaian rapper, narrates the story of being swindled into swapping his phone and some money for a new iPhone on ‘circle‘. His wide-mouthed rhymes – set over the beat for Kendrick’s ‘Humble‘ – is humorous and very vivid. Imagine buying an iPhone with a pre-installed android OS and ‘nokia people shaking hands’ when the phone is switched on. Haha.
Adekunle Gold – Call On Me
Everyone’s favorite lover boy, Adekunle Gold follows the release of his brilliant Moelogo assisted single, ‘Only Girl‘ with this Pheelz produced jam, ‘Call On Me‘. The song intersects between EDM and his trademark urban highlife style of music, with happy piano keys reminiscent of D.R.A.M’s ‘Broccoli’. Simi’s unmistakable voice assists with background vocals and mixing (it’s a norm). It’s unclear if these singles will make it unto his next album slated for release next year, but Mr Gold is definitely on a roll.
Falana – Start Again
Rules are meant to be broken. I make the rules, I break the rules. This song is about two years old, but it feels new every time I’ve listened to it – which is like a gazzilion amount of times. Great music is like wine, sweeter as it gets older. Falana is a talented singer with leanings towards jazz and soul. She has just seven songs on her SoundCloud account, five on her majestic EP – Things Fall Together and two song covers. All songs ooze timeless quality. ‘Start Again‘ is a song I listen to every morning, its affirmative lyrics and Falana’s singing gives the feeling of a new beginning. The vibrant jazz swing will definitely have you swaying, with NOLA horn piercings like rays of sunshine coming through the dark clouds. Granted to warm you up on cold mornings. Have a great day, every day.
Words by Dennis, aka Scout, aka @ayo_dennis.