This is the 20th week of 2022, and the Afrobeats scene was served with enough beautiful song going into this weekend. On the Fantastic Five Singles this week, below are the five best songs released in Nigerian Afrobeats:
1. Monalisa Remix by Lojay & Sarz feat. Chris Brown
Lojay returns with the remix of Monalisa almost a year after the release of the original version, off his debut EP titled LV N ATTN, and a handful of features from few industry mates.
The release of Monalisa Remix was greeted with fevered excitements from fans because of the involvement of Chris Brown. This fever is further pitched at the discovery of Chris Brown’s reference to Hushpuppi on the second verse of the song.
Monalisa Remix retains the first verse and chorus of the original version. However, Chris Brown’s contribution brings balance to Lojay’s lavishness about the female body. Chris Brown solidifies the celebration of love with an appeal that cannot be overlooked by the female.
Who would not like to live a high-standard life described as ‘chop like Hushpuppi’? The subject of Chris Brown’s reference was known for his extravagance, and Brown’s referencing that lifestyle is an attempt to tempt the female into considering him as all-sufficient. It’s an offer many African female will not turn down.
2. Maria by Silly Walks Discotheque feat. CKay
CKay’s silence regarding new music releases is one which is very loud. His fans share some of this silence too — overtime, rival fans have alleged the singer’s fans of not knowing ‘how to brag with their fave’.
The release of Maria was a surprise on its own. No one saw it coming, with the previous release, Emiliana, from the singer coming over five months ago. Maria, reportedly recorded in 2019, is CKay’s contribution to the Silly Walks Discotheque.
The Silly Walks Discotheque is a European Reggae Soundsystem and Label. That explains why CKay employed Reggae-Dancehall for the delivery of his lyrics on Maria. Maria is an assortment of CKay’s hallmark emo-Afrobeats sounds in a Dancehall atmosphere made possible by the instrumentals.
CKay’s usual love professions got a return, with vocals stimulating rival fans to falsefully claim CKay’s vocals is a ‘rip-off’ of Rema’s sounds, one which is noticeably traceable to influences from Wizkid. A glass of wine shared with one’s lover while Maria plays on on a rainy night is a better way to live the experience CKay paints on this song.
3. 2000 by Laycon feat. Toby Shang
Laycon’s 2000 could be simply described as a satire mocking the follies of the generation of the Nigerians born in the 2000s. Hence, another term for 2000 is ‘Gen Z’. These are young adults and adults born between the year 2000 and 2006, with ages ranging from 22 to 16.
One thing is general about the Gen Z in Nigeria, as identified by Laycon on the song 2000 — it’s their obsession with extravagance and material wealth. Many of these young people do not care about other aspects of life like leadership, politics, economics, science, technology, art, commerce and others.
While Laycon’s 2000 is a club banger because of its Amapiano elements, it is a song recorded to strike awareness in the heart of the youth in a period when Nigeria is approaching another election to decide her next president. In spite of this reality, the youth seem to be nonchalant about how this election will be a determining factor of whether or not the suffering in the country will increase or decrease.
Toby Shang’s inclusion on the song is limited to his usual hypemanship. He is employed to give the song more club-jam feel, and he plays the role well with hypemanic utterances. Laycon’s address goes to the numerous Nigerian ladies whose only aim is to pursue men with money, and Nigerian young guys whose employment is Yahoo. Ironically, these are the people who will dance to this song more, myopically failing to discern the messages being passed.
4. Waist Drop by LAX
Zaza of Rasaking Music tweets about his woman’s qualities on Waist Drop. These qualities fall between behavioral ones and physical ones. With a subtle use of drumrolls on this Amapiano, LAX pleads with the woman not to ‘let it stop’ — he is not ready to see the end of everything lovely she does.
The piano is put to a minimal use too, it aids the guitar to play freely to the addiction of the listener at the closure of the song. At a point, LAX is demanding not to see ‘your back’ drop, at another point, he is talking about the lady’s fame. One cannot take away the impact of sexual lusts from this song, notwithstanding. The concentration is 90% on the female body
5. Vanilla Bottega by Lil Kesh feat. Joeboy
Lil Kesh whose last single, featuring Zinoleesky met with wide acceptance, returns with Vanilla Bottega, over six months after. And this time, he features Joeboy, whose last hit is about three songs ago — Alcohol.
Lil Kesh lyrically flaunts his conversance with fashion brands as he boasts with Italian shoemaker line, Bottega. By genre, this is a continuation of his previous single. Both are Amapiano sounds. Joeboy’s contribution is an echo of Lil Kesh’s prioritization of pleasure and enjoyment.
Vanilla Bottega is that go-to song for disc jockeys, a song that easily induces dance, sweats and a lifting capable of making long hairs sway in the floods of club lights.