Monday, 31 October 2016

Review of Simi and Falz Chemistry EP by Ebuka Njoku

Eight pre-wedding pictures released within eight days. The social media was lit up. Tobbie Maguire's shots got the internet quaking with questions -  'Are they dating?' 'Wait - na marry dem wan marry?' Wow! They look great together oo... Oh! It's an EP! Wait! This gotta be more than just an EP. Before you know it, you tell yourself - 'What the hell! Fuck the MB, if it finish, make we go subscribe. But before then, let's hear these couple who gave us Soldier, Jamb Question, Soft Work and many more. Well, that was my story. I don't know about you but I can't remember the Nigerian album with this level of panache in promotion. Na class and pishure we get chop ni? Let's get to the music...

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
Babe, come with Okada
Me no mind if you buy me jeans from yaba
You set my heart on fire
Babe, who care about gucci and gabanna... Simi

Enough was the first song I heard off the EP. Simi hopped on the beat with the pride that could only be motivated by love. The song gives us the story of two people who don't have everything but feel having each other is more than everything. 

This you case of strong-head, 
I go leave am for God
But thank you for your stubbornness
Now, I dey fit see
Say na only when I dey with you
I dey feel free
... Oya rub me for chest make the thing dey sweet me... Falz

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
Falz the bad guy stepped on with a blend of confidence and charm. He's not here to tell us he's the best rapper but he sure wants to prove to us he's got a girl he values more than the award. We could feel the two's imperfections and how being together makes them feel perfect... 
Melody-wise, Simi is a Nigerian version of Jhene Aiko. Unlike Jhene, Simi's got enough humor to make us laugh. 'Want To' starts up as the expression of the feeling one gets when one gets enough stares from the opposite gender. Once Falz hops onto the beat, it turns to the story of two people feeling each other's desire for one another. Jeez! Can you believe Simi dropped some bars? Can you believe she did not just not fuck it up, she made us want more? 

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
A love story is not complete without conflicts. 'Show You Pepper' presents the conflict in an average boy/girl relationship. The song takes us to that moment when after haven tried everything to make a relationship work, you just can't wait to punish your lover for messing up. Maybe its not as violent as Drake and Rihanna's 'I love the way you lie' but it fits perfectly into the Nigerian story world. We could hear the lovers threaten each other. In between the lines you'd wonder if it's just a call for attention; something lovers always do or the beginning of a temporal break-up which happens in between relationships.  I'm beginning to wonder - how far these two don go with each other? Shhh... They say it's just music. So, let's talk more music eh... 

If you ever thought two musicians with Falz and Simi's chemistry and bad mouth would ever give you an album without satire, think again. In 'Foreign', the couple ridicules those vacation brags Nigerians like making. Each time I listen to the song, I find myself imagining some shots in the music video. I hope they make that video. I hope it ends up funnier than Soldier or Marry Me. God! Falz and Simi no well...

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
Cinderella sugar, sugar... 
Isabella sunmi mi ohh...

The chorus is a respect to Juju. It is a feel good song about lovers feeling themselves as much as they feel each other. I get a feel that the song has more potential than the rendition. But the chorus is lovely and the beat makes me wanna dance. Oya! Mr. Lover sugar sugar...

Everybody seems to think that we'll be good together
Everybody don dey talk say make you be my love o
But they don't even know if I'm your spec
I don't even know if I take your breathe away... Simi

That's the way Simi started the song. Walahi, at a moment, I wished I was the one she was singing that for. And when I thought she was done killing me, she gets to the chorus and I lost my breathe. Then, the bad guy enters...

You dey draw me 
You be fine artist
We don preach
Maybe we should try practice
We could go slow
Like say we jam traffick
If them wan talk shit
Make we buy harpic... Falz

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
I wish I could fill this space with the remaining lines. That song is dope. Chemistry is the perfect love song about two people who love each other but are held apart by their fears. But the fear only seem to deepen the feeling.
The song's crafted it in a way that makes you wonder if this is just a show or what the artists are feeling. This could either be a show of their genie or what they really feel for each other. The only thing unquestionable though, is the two's great chemistry.

Oya! Make love park one side. Let's go have some fun. Lemme take you to a corner by the street. Like Simi raps 'No dey form joor, no be prom joor'. Let's shake our body and dream of Dangote spraying some cool Naira on us. 'Shake Your Body's beat doesn't take you back to the eighties, it brings the eighties to your ears. Another great thing about the song is Simi's rap experiment. Shake your body would surely make it to clubs, street parties, owambe, and wedding receptions. 

Falz and Simi's EP is a prefect blend of afro-beat, rmb and rap. Its the first to achieve that feet in music history. Simi sings like Simi. She's a fully formed artist. Falz raps like a fresh prince. He's not here to prove anything to you but you end up assured he's a proof of creative versatility. Together, nothing can stop them from taking over the world.

Falz and Simi Chemistry EP
I actually wish every Nigerian film-maker would listen to the album. Its another proof that one doesn't have to speak fonne or form tush to make great art. Every song in the album is so simple - a five year old could understand it, teenagers could relate to the stories, my mid-twenties mates would get the jokes and the oldies would not resist the temptation to nod in appreciation. The beat is purely African. Sess, baba, tuale - you nailed the production. The lyrics are words we use daily, craftily penned and magnificently rendered. Walahi! Falz and Simi killed it! Walahi! I wish they should start dating publicly already. Well, we know say that one sef no dey easy sha...

Funny, deep, romantic, universal and classic, Chemistry is not just the best Nigerian EP since god-knows when, it's one of the best African albums of the year. The piece is not just the best collaborative album since EME's 'Empire State of Mind', Chemistry is also the most touching Nigerian love story on air right now. You no dey feel am? Oya, tell me what you think of it...

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