Drake said sometimes ago that his dad told him Pac never tried to sing like Jackson, and MJ never tried to rap like Pac. Everyone did their thing, and in the long run, ain’t that just what preserves the culture?
There’s been a romance of hip-hop and Afrobeat, for quite a while, in the Nigerian music industry. And for what it’s worth, it’s been all good vibes. That is if we forget the times Olamide tried to be Wizkid, and Zanku tried to M.I Abaga, instead of just feature those guys and do a banging collabo.
Versatility is good, but what’s even better? Collaboration from two artists with different genres. In this Afro and hip-hop. Back in the day, guys like the legendary M.I Abaga looked up to singers from across different worlds, RnB, Afro, Soul, High life, all of it, for their hooks. And this has resulted in some really good collaborations.
When Olamide, Wizkid, and others came to limelight, they quickly took that energy to the next level. They were on each other’s debuts, doing stuff. Mostly for the culture, of course. It happened a number of times, and it was all good.
Two guys from the first generation Choc Boys, Ice Prince and Brymo did one of the hottest collaboration between a rapper and a singer, ever. “Oleku” was a big hit, Ice Prince classic bars, and Brymo’s electric evergreen hook. Then there was the Ice Prince collaboration with Wizkid, “No Time”, a viral hit back in ’14. Those hot collaborations are still some of the reasons people still think Icey lost it after quitting rap.
Warri rapper, Yung6ix, blew up with a cover of Ice Prince’s “Oleku” and started doing a mash-up afro and hip-hop. He even said the term “afro-hip” on one of his songs. He’s also collaborated with Davido on “Let Me Know.”
But then it seemed like a new era came when Falz arrived. You’ll never catch him trying to sing his chorus. For what? When there are a whole lot of guys (and ladies) who could do it? So, every song that wasn’t a solo usually came with a banging afrobeat and a badass singer to match. Right from “Celebrity Girlfriend” with Reekado Banks to “Marry Me” with Yemi Alade, down to “Soldier” featuring songstress, Simi. And so on.
Last year, though, Falz the Bahd Guy caught a bug. Obviously from American rapper, Childish Gambino. And he went all Fela Kuti on “This Is Nigeria”, a viral and controversial hit and then continued his campaign about societal issues, on subsequent songs. He started 2019 with “Talk”, and the Moral Instruction album, doing things that were mostly socio-political. It’s like Fela came back, as a rapper.
But all that will be over, right? Falz is an artist, after all, and he has to get back in the booth and do some good vibes everyone would love. He may be angry, but he can definitely be consoled. All he needed was a bang hit track.
Did “Alakori” do the magic? You tell me. Falz back in his element, with his charming ‘braggadocio’, rapping full bars about how lit he is and superb singer, Dice Ailes, dropping the chorus of the year. Well, it doesn’t get better than that, as far as collaborations go, these days.
The beat which is the basic new school afro-beat had some good kicks and fits Falz‘s bouncing bars perfectly. Dice Ailes did justice to it, too. Really nice. Given some standards, it is one of a kind, and a jam-like “Alakori” is definitely gold!