falz

Vector, Falz, Boj, Ajebutter 22 discuss individual projects on PGM Radio

On this edition of The PGM Show, we sit down to review two awesome bodies of work. First, we have the sensational Falz The Bahd Guy, the sonorous vocal geniuses that is Ajebutter 22 and BOJ break down their Album MAKE E NO CAUSE FIGHT II. They also leaked some major news; apparently they are going to release a mobile game version of the album over the weekend.
We also sat down to analyze Vector tha Viper’s newest body of work. An album titled VIBES BEFORE TESLIM. He shared some remarkable insights on the events that led to the album and some recent controversies in his career.
Listen and share your thoughts.

 

Ajebutter 22, Falz & BOJ Are Big Ballers In The Video For ‘Ronaldo’

Ajebutter 22, Falz and BOJ have released the first visuals off their joint 5-track EP, “Make E No Cause Fight 2.” The unveiled video is for ‘Ronaldo‘, which was initially slated to be the lead single off the just-released project.

Directed by The Alien, the comical video presents a day in the life of the biggest ballers in a fictional town called Oko.

The video opens with Falz, a barber, working at his shop and quite entertaining his customers. We also get a glimpse of Ajebutter 22 and BOJ going about the day’s work at their mechanic workshop. At an appointed time, they all freshen up and step into their outfit. They then pepper the whole neighbourhood with their hysterical drip. Fully unlocking their baller mode, they have fun with friends at the hood party, entertained by stuntmen and jesters. Enjoy the video below.

Listen To Ajebutter 22, BOJ & Falz’s New “Make E No Cause Fight 2” EP

As promised, Ajebutter 22, BOJ and Falz have released their joint EP, “Make E No Cause Fight 2,” after a full week of teasers.

Earlier this week, BOJ and Ajebutter 22 took to their social media pages to announce the release of the sequel to their stellar 2018 5-track EP “Make E No Cause Fight.” But this time, they are also taking on a new member, the Headies Rap Album of the Year winner, Falz. He has also confirmed the news that he is now the third wheel in the coming EP scheduled for release on Friday, November 29.

Like it’s prequel, this new EP contains just five tracks, featuring only one guest apperance from the alaga himself, Reminisce. Listen to the project here.

Blaqbonez Releases Second 2019 EP, “Mr. Boombastic”

100 Crowns‘ flagship artist, Blaqbonez has released his long-promised EP, “Mr. Boombastic.” Just yesterday, the belligerent rapper dropped a comical 4-minute freestyle directed at Kanye West and Davolee who had taken shots at him a while back. This new project comes about eight months after “Bad Boy Blaq Re-Up” which was released to good reviews in February.

With this EP, Blaqbonez fully unveils his Mr Boombastic persona, a more pop-leaning, patios-speaking, and ragga-loving alter-ego. However, there are still flashes of lyrically-shrewd Blaqbonez throughout this tape. The EP contains just 7 tracks, including its pre-released lead single, ‘Shut Up‘ in which he had a few choice words for his detractors and naysayers. The project also features stellar appearances from Falz and the much-missed Blackmagic.

Listen to the tape above and tell us what you think.

Teni Is The Star Of The Night At The 2019 Headies

After a night full of surprises, impressive live performances and disappointing rounds of no-shows, Teni emerged the biggest winner at the 2019 Headies. The singer who recently released her “Billionaire” EP walked home with four awards out of her six nominations including Best Pop Single for her 2018 monster hit, ‘Case‘. She was closely followed by Falz who bagged three awards including Best Album for the critics’ darling “Moral Instruction“. The biggest surprise of the night was Burna Boy who secured only two awards out of his eight nominations as well as Adekunle Gold who didn’t win any awards of his five nominations.

For the coveted Next Rated Award, Rema edged over Victor AD, Lyta, Zlatan and Joe Boy to secure the category that traditionally comes with a car. The Mavin Records‘ superstar, therefore, joins the ranks of Wizkid, Davido, Wande Coal, Asa, Reekado Banks who have won that award.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Revelation Of The Year: Mayorkun

Producer Of The Year: KillerTunes

Best Performer Award: Yemi Alade

Best Collaboration: Burna Boy x Zlatan -Killin Dem

Best Rap Album: Falz -Moral Instruction

Lyricist On The Roll: A-Q

Best Alternative Song: Johnny Drille

Best Rap Single: Falz -Talk

Best Street Hop Artiste: Chiko Ekun – Able God

Best Vocal Performance (Male): WurlD

Best Vocal Performance (Female): Teni

Rookie Of The Year: Barry Jhay

Best R&B Single: Seyi Shay – Give Me Love

Best Pop Single: Teni – Case

Best R&B Album: Mayorkun – Mayor Of Lagos

Best Music Video: Clarence Peters – Dangote

Next Rated: Rema

Artiste Of The Year: Burna Boy

Best Recording Of The Year: Teni

Song Of The Year: Burna Boy – Ye

Headies’ Viewer’s Choice: Teni

Best Rapper In Africa Or Nah: What’s Next For Nigerian Hip-hop?

Immediately Blaqbonez crowned himself the best rapper in Africa, all hell broke loose on Nigerian hip-hop. The  100 Crowns rapper first made this audacious claim in the maiden edition of the AKtivated Sessions titled ‘Best Rapper In Africa and the reaction was volcanic.  The hip-hop community quickly spiralled into long polarising debates over the validity of Blaq’s claims. While some admired his confidence and assertiveness, others dismissed him as a nuisance and an attention seeker who had nothing to back such daring claim. 

If attention was the goal, Blaqbonez definitely got it.

The debates further diffused into claims and counterclaims, diss tracks flying around with not-so-subliminal shots, directed at the rapper and his associates. After a couple of weeks, the pink-haired rapper reaffirmed his claim in his latest release ‘Best Rapper In Africa’ where he took aim at rappers like TenTik, Holyfield and also called out some of his colleagues for being craven. This, in turn, generated swift responses from Payper Corleone, VaderDavid Meli and many others. Even the OGs aren’t left out of the frenzy as a video surfaced of AQ, Loose Kaynon and SDC’s Ghost in a heated debate on who was a better rapper. 

And all this just mean one thing to the fans, excitement. 

The last time Nigerian hip-hop got its fans this elated was in February when the scorching LAMB-Martell Cypher dropped. The culture has always thrived on competition and with projector missiles flying all around,  fans are ravishing in euphoria right now. It’s a common saying that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. But in hip hop, when rappers square against each other, the only true winners are the fans.  But sadly, the euphoria is going to wear off soon. People are bound to move on. And when they do, what is left?

Nigerian hip-hop has been in a sorry state for years now and despite the several efforts being made for its rejuvenation, the future isn’t looking too bright yet. And this is not for a lack of talent – after all, we can boast of some of the best rappers on the continent – or creativity. Regardless,  it seems Nigerians have just moved on to drown their pain and realities in afrobeats. Enough has been said on what hip-hop needs to get itself on its feet again. Multiple articles have been written, plans drafted, discussions had and more. 

If not optimized, this excitement and attention Nigerian rap and rappers are getting at the moment will fizzle out back to where we started. But some things can be done to sustain some of the eyes and ears that have been captured in this whole episode for the good of the culture. 

To start with, Nigerian rappers simply need to put out good music. That’s where it all starts from, the music. The problem is that many are still stuck in the ‘golden days’ and as such have refused to evolve with the times. Each age has its demands. Some are stuck on 90s-type boom-bap beats all in the name of keeping it real, and then turn around to guilt-trip the fans and media for lack of support when the record simply doesn’t pop. This was what Blaq had in mind when he rapped “If the music ain’t good it ain’t moving/ Your aesthetics will not replace the music.

Snap out of your obsession with the past. Listen, research and understand the sonic demands of the times and let that influence how you make music. The music world today is big on bending and fusing/melding genres. The lines between genres are so blurry today that they might as well be nonexistent. Experiment with other sounds that appeals to new audiences. Approach other genres from a rap perspective. 

Show Dem Camp did this with Palm Wine Music to positive results. The move has been commercially rewarding as they have registered new fans who might have not even heard of their Clone Wars series. They’ve also held two Palmwine music festivals -which recorded impressive numbers – and are even about to take the festival to the UK.  Other rappers like Blaqbonez, Ladipoe, as well as the Lost And Found on their last tape have been fusing rap with other genres and it has been rewarding. Falz’s seminal album, “Moral Instruction” was heavily inspired sonically and thematically by Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

This is also one of the major reasons why the so-called indigenous or local rappers are more commercially successful. These guys can make music in a way that resonates with a wide scope of audience. They rap in their local dialects laced with street lingo thereby making their lyrics more relatable and easy to understand, as well as meddling rap with dance music and even introducing dance steps to go along with it. Zlatan is the poster boy for the wide-ranging Zanku dance and its accompanying sound and he is undeniably Naija’s hottest rapper at the moment. 

Rappers also have to learn to step out of their shell and work with others. While friendly competition is healthy, there is so much more that can be gained from working together. 

Nigerian rappers should be always ready to join forces with one another and synergize over records, projects and even concerts. Collaborations shouldn’t also be limited within the hip-hop circle. Rappers can reach out to acts from other genres like the alte community, soul singers and afrobeat and even Afropop. Step into their space and see their world. This would help to create much more dynamic sounds and also help to share the fanbase with their collaborators. 

Over the years, there has been a downturn of collaborations between Nigerian rappers and their pop counterparts. In fact, these pop stars tend to feature foreign rappers on their tapes much more often these days. There should also be much more joint efforts between the English rappers and the indigenous ones. 

Visuals also have to be taken seriously too. Yes, hip-hop is a word-oriented genre but videos are very much especially in the visually-driven world we live in today. And maybe as a result of a shortage in funding or whatever reason, hip-hop acts don’t seem to place much emphasis on their releasing music videos. You don’t believe me?  Take some of the best hip-hop projects in the past year as examples. “Crown”, “Yung Denzl”, “Bad Boy Blaq”, “These Buhari Times” and the Lost and Found’s “Alternate Ending” have only about two videos released at the moment. Projects with over 50 songs and only three videos out.

Even if proper music videos can’t be done due to financial constraints, rappers and their teams can take advantage of lyric videos and visualizers which can be promoted on social media. 

Now the spotlight is on Nigerian hip-hop and no one knows how long the excitement is going to last. Mere buzz or an abundance of talent isn’t enough to sustain the genre.  The best that can be done is to ensure that this rare opportunity should be optimized as much as it can. The community has to come together to create and promote premium quality content that can restore hip-hop and rap to the mainstream.

For all the dust rappers have raised in the past few weeks, it would be beautiful to see it all transcend to something bigger and not just fade out to another false start.

M.I Abaga Finally Shares Music Video For ‘Playlist’ With Nonso Amadi

Admits the deafning noise as surrounding the trending Best Rapper In Africa conversation, Chocolate City boss, M.I Abaga has finally unveiled the visuals for ‘Playlist‘, one of the standouts off his “Rendevous” project. Coming over a year after its initial release, this video comes to the delight of fans that have been demanding the visuals for their favourite songs off the tape. This makes the Nonso Amadi-assisted ‘Playlist‘ the second video off the highly collaborative project following the visuals of ‘Lekki‘ with Falz and Ajebutter 22 released in October last year.

The UA-directed visuals finds a romantic M.I and his woman cruising around the city of Lagos. The video opens her visibly lonely and bored, trying to listen to the sultry record on TV and radio. She immediately brightens up as the rapper texts her to rendezvous, losing herself to the music as she readies herself for their outing. They eventually link up and have a good time.

Enjoy the video above.

Listen to Chillz’s Debut Album “Good Vibes, Vol. 1”

Ever since coming to the attention of many following his contributions to M.I‘s 2018 “Rendevouz” project, multi-talented singer and producer, Chillz hasn’t wasted any opportunity to leave an impression. Either on his own records, like the Mayourkun-assisted ‘Grateful’, or his appearance on Falz‘s seminal album, “Moral Instruction“, Chillz takes every chance to prove himself as one of the most talented singers rising through the ranks. And now, he has put out a project that will put away any persisting doubt.

Late last month (June), Chillz released his debut album, “Good Vibes, Vol.1“, a 9-track project including the pre-released ‘Grateful’ and ‘Chop Life‘. And on the project, he brings along Falz, Mayourkun and Sir Dauda who helped to add new flavours on the tracks in which they appear.

Production-wise, the “Good Vibes, Vol.1” is an entirely solo effort, save for the title track, ‘Good Vibes‘ which was produced by TMXO. Generally, the album is filled mostly with mid-tempo, soft, and melodic songs which are so easy to sink to, filling you up with positive energy.

Tracklist For Good Vibes, Vol.1

Tracklist For “Good Vibes, Vol.1” (Twitter/ChillzHimself)

Most of the songs are crafted from personal experiences, particularly ‘Grateful’, which was borne from a thankful heart after Chillz survived a ghastly motor accident in 2018. With brilliant songwriting deployed on every track that gives a soulful realness to his lyrics, punctuated with nuanced but ever soothing vocals, the tape has a vibey and personal touch that makes every track relatable and sure to give you a feel-good listening experience.

This tape comes highly recommended from us at the PGM Club. Enjoy!

BOJ Enlists Falz, YCee & Fresh L For ‘Awolowo’ Naija Remix

Ever since ‘Awolowo‘ dropped a few weeks ago, it has been one of the hottest releases in 2019, steady dominating the airwaves and generating frenzy both on and offline. For the record, the acclaimed hook-killer, BOJ recruited a Ghanian all-star rap team of Kewsi Arthur, Darkovibes & Joey B who delivered such impressive performances that still has fans debating who had the best verse yet.

Well, BOJ has finally yielded to the call for a Naija version of the Alte-meets-hip-hop record. Fielding some of the biggest names in the Niaja rap scene, BOJ enlists a team of Falz, Ycee and Fresh L for the ‘Awolowo‘ Naija Remix. And as you know, Naija no dey carry last. The rappers came through with remarkable verses and polished flows that breathes a new life to the dazzling production from GMK. This ‘Awolowo‘ remix also features additional vocals from Zamir and Joey B.

Listen and let us know which version you prefer.

The Nigerian Music Landscape: Survival or Immortality?

“Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” – Jimmy Smith (Drake’s ‘Pound Cake’ Intro)

 

Today, we have a defiant breed of young creatives in Nigeria and across Africa challenging the status quo. Despite industry pressures, these acts seem focused on crafting their stories, ideas, feelings and experiences into melodies that a lot of their peers can relate with.  Not the extravagant wealth splashes and materialist bluster that characterises the majority of our pop records today, but baring their soul, fears, aspirations, concerns, insecurities on records. Even when they make ‘feel-good’ or dance music, it is creatively packaged and executed that it sounds so lively and fresh. When they sing about love, they view the banal theme from varying lenses, expressing it in such a way that it doesn’t feel bland and bloated.

It’s quite amazing that most of these guys are unsigned and independent yet they still put out so much music. Labels understandably care more about the financial returns than the purity of the art because these labels are businesses, with aims to make profits. And many have not found viable ways to market and monetize these sounds so they simply focus on the pop cash-cows.

In comparison to their colleagues and counterparts in the pop world, many view this breed of artistes as fools. Why make good or healthy music when you can just give the people what they want. People want to escape their present realities and just have a good time.

Some might even say, “Why spend so much time and energy creating songs that might not even sell in this market, when you can easily hop on the latest dance trend, get a banging beat and just spill out whatever comes to your mind. It’s not like these people listen anyway. They just want to dance and have a good time, that’s all.”

A sad truth about this set of artists is that they might not record mainstream commercial success throughout their careers. They might remain opening acts for the bigger pop stars and scramble for the feeds that fall off the table of these stars.

The quest for survival has made some dabble into pop music for relevance; seeking ways to create pop records that people can easily dance to all while still staying through to their art. Another survival tactic for some is to collaborate with the pop stars and meet them halfway sonically so they can tap into each other’s audiences. However, some want to make pop records but they just can’t. They are simply not just wired that way.

A number have also managed to successfully shuffle between day jobs and their music careers, thereby making enough to survive and fund their passion while doing what they love on the side.

But one thing is certain: good music never truly dies. They are often re-lived even generations after through samples, interpolations, and mixes. Sometimes, young artists turn to the sounds of the past for inspiration. For instance, Odunsi‘s beautiful “rare.” was hugely inspired by 80’s music. Falz‘s critically acclaimed “Moral Instruction” was also heavily influenced by Fela‘s music. Many other Nigerians from Wizkid to Burna Boy have constantly talked about how much Fela helped to shape their music.

Even the African pop sound is named after Fela’s Afrobeat. News and videos have also surfaced of American artists such as Diddy, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Common, Joe Budden vibing to Fela’s music. His music has also been sampled by  Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, two of the biggest rappers in the game at the moment.

But Fela wasn’t always seen as the hero he is today. While he was alive, many brushed his music asides as grating and unmelodious with his lyrics poor in poetry. Others felt he was too preachy and saw him as a noisemaker with utopian ideals. Some were also displeased with the length of his songs and their extended solos. Many just couldn’t comprehend what Fela was building.

This was a new sound with radical energy powering it and maybe the people just weren’t ready for such. Regardless, Fela stayed true to his art, continued to experiment and explore new musical complexities. With his music, he fearlessly stood as the voice of the people against the military governments at the time. He also used his art to teach the people of his Afrocentric ideals.

No, Fela was not perfect in any way but his energy, as well as his music, was raw and genuine. And lifetimes after, we are still feeding on Fela’s music. Occasionally going back to it for inspiration and references.

These young guys today are trying to create something different. They are steady pushing the limits and experimenting with new sounds. In fact, and are now redefining what we refer to as Nigerian or African music. These guys have been persecuted and mocked because they are aesthetically different. But we can’t deny their genuine energy and efforts.

These artists need support. And the least we can do as listeners and consumers of the art is to consume their music through appropriate channels, purchase their projects, attend their shows, engage with them, provide positive feedback, and let them do what artists do best – create.

 

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