Meji Steps Up His Game With “The One” – Black Wolf
To be successful in Nigerian music, it appears a given that there is a certain music you have to make.. There was a time when hip-hop was that music. These days, it’s not even close.
Nigerian hip-hop has not only gone underground, even a couple artists that came up and were hot when hip-hop was the holy grail, are gone.
If you are hot in today’s industry, you’re either trying out new Afrobeat sounds, or you’re a rapper on some Afro swing eish. Because unless you’re a big shot before or you got a big budget (which nobody might give you in the first place), if you are dropping bars, your music is alternative and the hype is non-existent. As far as making it in music is concerned, the new rappers are the underdogs. They can’t even make a hit.
But for many artists, it’s the music first. Meji is one of those guys. I should think so. No label, no big budget, just vibes and ‘insha allah’. Honestly, not so many new rappers have got the balls to put out an EP, this year. Understandably. there’s a lot of music out there and it is easy for their works to be buried. Meji, on the other hand, shows that he has balls by pulling up a project.
“The One” clocks in at 16 minutes, and has six tracks, allowing Meji the space to showcase his cut-out flow, his flawless delivery and his knack for witty lyricism. For one, the music is not bad at all. And, I’m just being modest.
“Woah” is a perfect introduction. If you didn’t know Meji before, the opener is the best way to get acquainted. As he raps about the rap game, and how he’s come to save it, he makes sure to point out that he doesn’t rate himself by Nigerian standards.
“Who Am I?” is a biographical track with a catchy hook. “I’m the new school captain, who’s about to change the game…,” he sings.
While most tracks on the EP are raw and sharp, “The One” is by far the grittiest of the songs. On it, he flows effortlessly on a drill beat. You could mistake him for a UK rapper. He got the sound.
“Guap” is trap music, with unnecessary auto-tune, simple lyrics and a minimalistic production. The EP might not have needed this track, though it worked to show that Meji can be versatile. An afro sound would have done a better job. Maybe.
“Shine” has some of the wittiest lyrics on the EP and an essential hook. He closes the EP with his storytelling skills as he raps about his childhood and growing up in “95.”
Meji is very creative, and he sure knows his onions in the rap game. Although he sounds like a ‘sound boy’, there is no sign on the EP that he can’t switch sounds and do afro-fusion or some other sound. Also, no indication that he would even like to do that.
Asides that, “The One” is a fine introductory project. Short, concise, dope and smooth. You push play, listen, get out, smooth; hours later you’re singing one of the hooks without realizing it.
Worthy of note is, some very important people who have commended his work on the album, including veteran Nigerian rapper, M.I Abaga and veteran American rapper, The Game.