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Joey Akan

Three albums in four years. That’s the summary of Falz’s career so far. The comic and rapper, is quietly putting in the work, focusing on his music, churning out records.

Falz hit a new high with 2015’s “Stories That Touch.” That album and its singles moved him from talented outlier to pop star. And he has continued to raise the bar. A collaboration album with Simi added a new layer to his art, which he is pushing through with more music.

The interesting aspect of Falz’s artistry is its multi-faceted quality. The man can sing, rap, write, deliver deep social commentary, goof through records, wave through the clubs on a banger, worm his way into your heart with emotion, make you laugh, make you cry, and more.

“27” album is a symbolic statement. He is turning 27 years old, and this album is simply a collection of his thoughts at this age. While “Stories That Touch” mixed his humour perfectly to great effect and “Chemistry” pushed him into a romantic dynamic, “27” is all of that and more.

Another reason why this project is important is that it arrives at a time in Nigerian Hip-hop where the conversations have been about the best way for rappers to approach music for profitability. Falz, who is routinely disrespected by Hip-hop heads, leads the way with action and music. His formula works, the music contains rap, and most importantly, it sells.

Three albums in four years. That’s the summary of Falz’s career so far. The comic and rapper, is quietly putting in the work, focusing on his music, churning out records.

Falz hit a new high with 2015’s “Stories That Touch.” That album and its singles moved him from talented outlier to pop star. And he has continued to raise the bar. A collaboration album with Simi added a new layer to his art, which he is pushing through with more music.

The interesting aspect of Falz’s artistry is its multi-faceted quality. The man can sing, rap, write, deliver deep social commentary, goof through records, wave through the clubs on a banger, worm his way into your heart with emotion, make you laugh, make you cry, and more.

“27” album is a symbolic statement. He is turning 27 years old, and this album is simply a collection of his thoughts at this age. While “Stories That Touch” mixed his humour perfectly to great effect and “Chemistry” pushed him into a romantic dynamic, “27” is all of that and more.

Another reason why this project is important is that it arrives at a time in Nigerian Hip-hop where the conversations have been about the best way for rappers to approach music for profitability. Falz, who is routinely disrespected by Hip-hop heads, leads the way with action and music. His formula works, the music contains rap, and most importantly, it sells.

You could find Falz riding his joy on opener ‘Polished’, before turning in a formulaic banger on ‘La fete’. This his insistence to stay in the pop conversation is a key driver of his relevance, and ‘Jeje’, a fan-favourite is a chip off the ‘Pon Pon’ wavy block. The blustering ‘Bahd, Baddo, Baddest’ lurks at the end of this project, and Wande Coal pulls off a standard shift on the House syrup, ‘Way’.

Falz, a prolific talker, has built a reputation as something of a comedian, and ‘Something light’, a narrow track, doubles as a locker-room skit on which the easy-listening Ycee fires: “My Gs don’t know why I provide the funds, LAWMA, ‘cos she got the junk in the trunk.”

Most Nigerian rap albums get unstuck when they get sentimental or approach deep issues. But ‘Alright’, featuring a purring Burna Boy, proves reggae-fusion can get jiggy, while ‘Child of the world’ is a touching story, Falz tells the story of a good girl gone bad who became a victim of circumstance, essentially losing her way in life.

“27” isn’t a landmark in Nigerian music, but it does a lot of things right, and ends up as a project good enough to service the market, and move Falz a few inches in the process.

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