Brymo’s ‘Esan’ album is an emotional style of music [Review]
The majority of the songs in Brymo’s ‘Esan’ are an emotional style of music Mp3bullet Review
He followed it up with the Libel EP, a conceptual response to allegations of sexual harassment brought against him by concerned women.
He released his ninth and tenth studio albums on September 9, 2021; a two-part record divided by language and unified by their 9-track theme once again.
9: Esan is presented in Yoruba, whereas 9: Harmattan and Winter are delivered in English, in accordance with the number of tracks on both albums. The Yoruba word for vengeance is ‘Esan.’
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It all started with the hashtag #EndSARS. Then, with their arrogance, narcissistic government forces created the “Nigerian daddy syndrome.”’
They aggravated the situation and annoyed the youth, who then took to Nigerian streets to express their anger through lawful protests.
When the situation became too much for the youth, they turned to the streets, destroying property and looting stores, leading to the infamous October 20, 2020 massacre, which the Nigerian government continues to deny.
On one hand, ‘Esan’ feels like allegorical satire, told from the perspective of Brymo, as a strong, narcissistic man with limitless ability on ‘Akoko’ – possibly, as a satirical representation of an aspiring politician. This theory is supported by the celebratory tendencies of ‘Meji Meji,’ a track about duality.
‘Meji Meji’ literally means ‘Double Double.’ While the track could have simply been the result of a giddy celebration of love, it also feels like an appraisal of duality; good or bad; love and hate; two, bound by love, becoming one; or even conscience.
In English, ‘Akoko’ means first, while ‘Okunrin Meta’ is a Yoruba colloquialism for a ‘strong man.’ Yoruba people usually sarcastically or genuinely use ‘Okunrin Meta’ as a colloquial panegyric to elevate a man’s masculinity. Literally, ‘Okunrin Meta’ means ‘Three men.’
Obviously, nobody can be three men in one. The completion is ‘Okunrin meta ati abo,’ which means ‘Three Men and a half.’ With this explanation, a listener can understand why it’s used to elevate a man’s masculinity. ‘Akoko’ is what Brymo used to declare himself as number one or the first or the leader.
The possible result of masculine exuberance and society’s expectations of the man.
But later on ‘Aleluya Meje,’ Brymo appears to critique masculinity by singing that, “Oko lo n mu aye okunrin le…”
In English, that means, “An erection is why man’s life is hard…”
It feels like Brymo is saying an erection places massive responsibilities and expectations on the man – even from himself.
‘Okunrin Meta’ then has a subtitle, ‘Edun Okan.’ In English, that means ‘pains from the heart’ or ‘angst.’ On the track, Brymo sings, “Ogo ta, ogo ota, Olopa gba riba kasa…”
In English, that means, “Whatever happens, the police will collect bribes…”
The record appears to be made from the perspective of the oppressed Nigerian youth, with angst against the government.
While ‘Okan Mi Ti Fo Wewe’ [which means my heart is shattered into pieces] and ‘Temi Ni Temi’ [which means what’s mine is mine] sound like love songs, ‘Temi Ni Temi’ has subtle socio-political takes, especially with the subtle empirical gaze of verse one.
“Awa lo, awa bo/Oun a ni, ni a n nani…” has subtle nationalist tendencies. The same thing goes for ‘Okunkun,’ which means ‘darkness’ in English.
The line, “Okunkun lati wa, okunkun la n lo,” means “We come from darkness, we are going back to darkness…”