Lyrical Wanzam ft Bebelino & Looney – What The Fcuk Is Hiplife
Lyrical Wanzam returns to the music scene after a break with a new single destined to ruffle a few feathers. The bold, audacious title ‘What The Fcuk Is Hiplife?’ doesn’t only question why hip life is a separate genre from hip-hop, but takes shots at those who named it such. In the view of Lyrical Wanzam, along with his pals, the term ‘hip life’ is a ‘fraud’ description since it borrows heavily from hip hop. ‘You rap like hip hop, your beats like hip-hop, you dress like hip-hop, your video’s like hip hop’, Lyrical Wanzam pokes. Over hard hitting, head nodding hip-hop beats from Fii AnsV (I’ve known Fii for almost a decade now), Lyrical Wanzam called out Reggie Rockstone, the christener of the genre, for taking ‘from Promzy’s table’ (Reggie is accused for masterminding exit of Promzy from rap group VIP), adding ‘I don’t need a blessing from a nigga unholy’. But, it was Beblino who contextualized the whole argument in his unmistakable laid back flow: ‘Is it the sound? / It is the language? / Is it the calibre? / Rapping in vernacular? / I don’t really get it bro’.
What Looney did was to emphasize the points alluded to by Wanzam and Bebelino in his verse. He crowns his verse by pointing out the anomaly in the term ‘hip life’ since its hip-hop by all its form. ‘’What The Fcuk Is Hip life’’ is definitely going to stoke the old argument about the name and whether it’s a fitting description. There’s been a raging debate over who birthed ‘hip life’ amongst old heads who saw the genre’s birth and emergence. Is there a point of agreement between apologists of hip life and hip-hop? I don’t know. What is clear is that, this song is hard.
RJZ & Nxwrth – VVS
There’s the synths, which flickers around the beat. And there’s the deliberate lowering of the sound at certain intersections on the song. And we have RJZ coming in with his flow: the British accent, the ‘I’m-talking-my-shit-right-now’ attitude (cannot be called a fluke/ all dem boys be crooks/ all of them selling looks/small boys dey talk the talk/ but them boys can’t walk the walk’). What the peroxide hair spotting act (also part of the La Meme Gang collective) is telling others –both fellow acts and fans- that he’s a jewel in the music scene. Titling his single ‘‘VVS’’ also advances this point of view. ‘’VVS’’ (Very Very Slightly) is a highly graded diamond per clarity. In this respect, RJZ is comparing himself to that grade of this precious, pricey stone and drawing a wedge between himself and others as the opening monologue makes clear: I know you’re leaving and I’m absolutely not interested in getting involved. But just so you know, things in my life are a little bit complicated’. Nxwrth, as usual, dropped his ‘verse’ after RJZ with those glitzy, strip-down synths and drums works that has become a recognizable signature.
John Hill –Intro
John Hill took it back to circa 90 courtesy the frame-like and static aesthetics of his video. The close up and mid-close up shots used by Willkings (Golden Flicks Pictures) leaves John hill appearing like he’s rapping in front of a mirror. As expected of an album opener, the hip hop crafted ‘’Intro’’ has John Hill rapping about his credentials: becoming a rapper isn’t for the ‘dollar or the pounds’ but ‘I do it from the heart’, he declares on the Jenkins produced, Supa Gaeta mastered track. Intro is the first single from his yet to be released album, ‘’Caterpillar To Butterfly’’.
The Forest – Southern Suns
Flutes. Bar Chimes. Sharp keyboard notes. Piano chimes. Wispy sounds. Breezy and jazzy. These elements are the foundation on which ‘’Southern Sun’’, a beat song by The Forest is constructed. This is the type of music you listen to on an evening when you want to kick it on the low. Produced by Oshomah Native, ‘’Southern Suns’’ is a mood brightener and a relaxing piece of music. Described as ‘alternative rock’, ‘Southern Suns’ is the kind of music you’d wish to have a 23 man orchestra play live, just to get lost in the thrill. Despite the many moving instrumentations or parts, the song doesn’t feel overdone. The instruments don’t fall over each other. This is a fine piece of music comparable to a smooth linen.
Dr. Drilla – Emerge
‘I no dey bed/ I no dey sleep’, Dr. Drilla confesses on his track Emerge; a song reflective of his story and that of upcoming artists who have to put in many hours of work to get noticed. The message applies to made artists too. Over bubbling trap beats and a repetitive hook, Dr. Drilla paints a picture of his situation- losing weight all because of his desire to satisfy the calls of fans for music- and the frustrations that comes with it- giving your best but not getting noticed. The song title doubles as the name of his recently released ten (10) mixtape.
Kwame Dabie- Opeimu
The rawness and the simplicity of the video is what’s interesting about this video. The open field, crates background scene, the clothing of Kwame Dabie and his friends. It is reminiscent of an amateur video you make with your hood friends on a fun night. The song, found on his ‘Small Time EP’, rides on a bouncy trap beat with Kwame Dabie swinging from the subjects of money and having fun, rhetorically asking ‘shebi you feelin’ the vibe?’ on the hook.
Benjamin The Kid – I’m Lit
”I’m Lit” is basically Benjamin The Kid recounting his beginnings to his present spot as a rapper with an EP under his belt. Over a minimal and trappy beat burrowed by piano chords, ”I’m Lit” is mellow in tone with Benjamin exhibiting his set of rap styles. His Six (6) track EP ‘’Audentes Fortuna Luvat’’, a Latin phrase that means ‘Fortune favors the bold’’, a saying attributed to Pliny the Elder, is the guiding principle of Benjamin The Kid. His EP is his first step towards his greatness. But all started with self-belief which has culminated in his present output.