They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but it certainly can roll a mile away. Think qualified barrister Folarin Falana ‘Falz’ son of legal luminary Femi Falana, who instead of putting on blonde wigs and living through files of complaints, prosecutions and court cases as his father, he is making music. An interestingly unique style at that, using his charismatic, funny and ironic lyrics to effortlessly confer a lot of snubbed attitudes and existences within his constituency. He almost inadvertently points to the obliviousness in everyone.
Early Falz releases like 2009’s Shakara the eponymous title of the mixtape carried the playful “Just fucking around, sorry!” vibe of a rap career started on a laugh but buckled under very local Yoruba accented English and a relatable theme. The most lovable qualities of Falz are his contemporary Faaji/Fuji nature and presence of more traditional Afrobeat sounds.
Going into the marvel of Falz’ rapping aptitude is like yet another rapper responding to Kendrick Lamar’s control verse, there’s nothing left to say. After the release of his free mixtape, titled ‘Shakara’ back in 2009, Falz The BAHD guy introduced his very lovable and infectious rap style fusing comical lyrics, mixing old school sounds and contemporary hip-hop. And now he has managed to put out “Wazup Guy” his debut album; a conscious and considerate outing that accounts for rivalries, troubles in the society, handling the ladies and dominance, all the while dealing with the newfound fame instigated by his recent success.
In the opening track ‘See Me’, the biographical theme is a vivid consciousness of the identity of his alter ego Falz The BAHD Guy. But within is teeming with a feeling of frustration at the fact there’s still sections oblivious to the character. Falz is generally in a good mood on most of the album: ‘Wazup Guy’ and ‘Jessica’ grind on up-tempo Afrobeat and hip-hop beats that establish the feel of the temperament of the project.
“Give it up for VIP’s/dem be our problem, Vagabonds in Power as Fela call them”. The tone goes on the introspective course with ‘How far’, it was since Oleku that I recall a chorus with as much genuineness and soul; Sir Dauda did all the heavy lifting. The cohesion of their efforts was a masterclass. On ‘Senator’, my personal favourite, traditional talking drums, 808’s, a lead guitar resurrect the Afrobeat style in a super groovy masterpiece and Falz buttresses it with so much conviction. The rhetoric calls out our leaders and the elite further and their ignorance of the dilapidating state of affairs.
The more mainstream and party-flavoured section of the record comes next with, ‘High Class’ and ‘Currency’ very giddy and bouncy tracks clearly intended for the dance-floor. Both have been very successful singles paving the way for the album. ‘Marry Me’ a farce of the institution of Marriage, once sacred is comically displayed in the stark reality of what it has become in the society today, a parity gauge. Overly promiscuous Johnny had a mob of concubines taking his mind off his main lady, Yemi Alade on her major hit-single ‘Johnny’, and yet again someone else is looking to leave her for Fola this time around. She just cant get it right with the boys but trust the songstress to have a perfect hook to express her irritation. ‘123’ and ‘Hold something’ are giddy with old-school traditional beats.
As a whole, “Wazup Guy” is a satirically poised grade-A debut record that sits well within Falz’ comfort zone and lessens the aspects of mainstream-accessibility ever so slightly, and heightens the use of classy Fuji and Afrobeat beats that owe credit to Fela, Sir Shina Peters, the early and late 80’s and the 90’s. Studio Magic aids the speakers for most of the record while Kid Konect lends his traditional hip-hop sound on the last track ‘Advice’ giving a tone of finality and all round completion.