This record is far from perfect, but it bangs, and marks time as the project that signifies the rise of a new power in Africa.
Mixtape – “Life Is Eazi, Volume 1 – Accra to Lagos”
Artiste – Mr Eazi
Guests – Tekno, Olamide, Phyno, Big Lean, Medikal, Phyno, Mugeez, DJ Cuppy, Falz,
Record Label: Banku Music (2017)
Duration: 63 minutes
“Leg over, my baby gimme leg over…” That’s how this project starts. It’s a romance-filled mixtape that captures the very inspiration that has made Mr Eazi a hit in Nigeria, Ghana and other countries.
Mr Eazi stumbled on his current superstardom. A student, tech head and entrepreneur, Tosin Ajibade, was an avid hobbyist who wore many hats and tried his hands at every that came his way. Music came as a result of his love for the art, and he found chemistry while working with Juls, and they’ve made good music together.
Nigeria caught on to his music in 2015, as ‘Skin tight’ featuring Efya, crossed the border and began the fast match to stardom. Eazi’s impressive work rate, and his insistence to capitalize on social media for a more organic push, spurred the momentum, and the Wizkid co-sign spread the word quickly.
In December 2016, Mr Eazi cemented his status, with a sold-out concert in Lagos, his hand in over 30 songs, and winning awards at the Headies and Soundcity MVP.
That momentum gathered and the wave that he has singlehandedly created in a very successful year cannot be expended without a project to capture that.
Enter “Life Is Eazi, Volume 1 – Accra to Lagos” (ATL) mixtape which contains all of influences, tells his current story, and captures him pivoting his art from the Hiplife sounds of Ghana, and into the melting pot of influences that the music in Lagos has become.
Thematically, the tape is one dimensional. Everything is about the dynamics of a relationship and more. From the intense exhibitionism on ‘Business’, and ‘Tilapia’, to the inevitable misunderstanding on ‘Fight’ (ft DJ Cuppy), the tape reads as one long relationship filled with heady highs and a few lows.
Exceptions to this are present of course. ‘Detty Yaself’ a strong contender for his next hit song, features Falz, and talks about peer pressure on today’s women to embrace vices. ‘Accra to Lagos’, with its majestic horns and House leanings tells the Eazi story, and how much support his family drummed up to make him successful. If you connect with this, it’s very fulfilling, with its meandering production and hollow spaces.
The inclusion of Olamide and Phyno on ‘Life is Eazi’, signifies his success in Nigeria. Eazi is rolling with the kings of the game, and they come through with a lesson in hard work and patience, backed by local Eastern drums and trumpets.
“When I no get dogh, when I no coth, everybody tell me no, everybody tell me n, but now baba God change am for me, Life is Eazi oh.”
With a few exceptions, Eazi stays in his comfort zone, and shines at the mid-tempo level, where he thrives. But his shortcomings as a vocalist are exposed when he breaks from tradition on ‘Feelings’ although he recovers it perfectly as he syncopates on ‘In the morning’. Tekno is disappointing on ‘Short skirt’, a song that promises much on paper, but fell flat in execution. Mr Eazi and Tekno should never collaborate on an album filler.
For sounds, Ghanaian Hiplife is the dominant on this tape, and it is fused with other genres on few songs. This is expected, as it’s still the dominant influence that formed the creator of this tape.
At the end of the tape, is a lingering satisfying feeling that comes from being engaged from start to finish. “Life Is Eazi, Volume 1 – Accra to Lagos” is far from perfect, but it bangs, and marks time as the project that signifies the rise of a new power in Africa.
3-Worth Checking Out