First things first, listen to the EP here.
I got to hear of BadboyTimz from my good friend Duke Ekezie, who couldn’t stop raving about him and since I highly rate his musical taste I decided to give his tracks a listen. The truth is I am a bit traditional in how I perceive music, I see the newcomers as not just healthy competitors against the older and more accomplished artists like Wizkid and Davido I have come to love, but as challengers of the orthodoxy I have become comfortable with, so instead of appreciating their music for what it is, I often unconsciously adopt a critical outlook.
Afrobeats as a genre has grown in leaps and bounds on the global musical stage, it is now essentially mainstream. This is good and bad, good because of the recognition and global acceptance but bad because Afrobeats is no longer the exclusive preserve of African artistes, Beyonce made an Afrobeats album and featured several West African musical giants and that is something we can all be blithe about but she was probably scared of the backlash she would have gotten if she didn’t give the pioneers of the musical genre a platform. Soon foreign artistes with mega platforms will make Afrobeats records and Africans won’t be needed.
The point I am trying to make is that the reception Afrobeats has received has raised the bar for our local artistes, there is not much room for ‘poetic license’. No one can make mediocre records and call it Afrobeats any longer and this is the reality for the upcoming artistes. It is on that note I will confidently say that what Timz did on his latest EP is bonkers. I will not evaluate the man as an upcoming artiste with vast room for improvement but as an artiste who has released art. The EP is one of the best works I have heard from a West African act. African musicians generally thrive when they release their music in bits, we are the masters of singles but when we have to release Extended Plays and Albums and sustain a theme or explore themes we struggle. Timz unlike regular African artistes finds musical consistency. His EP is not lyrically revolutionary or socially conscious. Even though he calls himself the Young Fela, his music doesn’t try to be the societal gospel and he doesn’t try to be a moral entrepreneur. This is just a guy who wants to be heard, who wants to show he is good at what he does and who wants the listeners to be his fans and this is a consistent way to analyze his record, it is his premier artistic work, and is a bold way to show what he’s got, he refuses to hide behind a good single every 2 months like his counterparts and gives a large chunk of himself to the listeners saying “look, you will like me after a 4 minutes single? Here’s a 15 minutes long EP, I bet you’ll still like me”.
The EP is mostly about love. Sometimes Timz takes the vista of a hypnotized lover, gushing about his woman, other times he is a man drunk in love with a woman out of his league and who he stands no chance with, the album isn’t necessarily a thematically consistent one, although in the second track ‘Hustle’ he does try to urge and prop up the listeners to work hard and get rich, the album is more imaginative and fictional than it is realistic and of course that is totally legitimate in art. Musically it is consistently an Afrobeats classic with bits of dancehall sounds here and there with some funky vibes. Here is my review of this body of work and I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed putting it together for you.
Number One is a superb track, the production is impressive and blends with the style of Timz perfectly. In the track he hypes up a girl who he calls his number one lover, who is his ride or die lover, uninterested in money and other pecuniary gains which seems to be the sole focus of other girls he has encountered. He sings about her transformational abilities, ” turning a gangster to a singer”. This is a really great way to start off the album, great enough to goad further listening but not completely revealing of Timz
Hustle. Ft Zlatan
In the second track Timz features the hottest indigenous rapper currently Zlatan Ibile. Timz is most serious and insightful in this track as he tries to inspire his listeners to hard work and achievement, he speaks briefly about his own trajectory and how he had been blessed by God. Zlatan is his ever ebullient, and jumpy self and flows excellently in yoruba also contrasting his present with his immodest past and thanking God for elevating him.
This track is streetwise, poignant and also danceable and is one that has received impressive reception so far.
‘Don’t Go’ is dazzling, Timz shows his flair, style and class, the beat is really pulsating and the production is immaculate exemplified by how the back up singing was made to pleasingly interject with Timz’ choruses, providing the perfect ambience for the listener to enjoy this song. Again there is a tame repetition of the phrase “Is this the end of Solomon Grundy” which is beautifully pointless, pointless because the track will go on well without it, beautiful because I keep enjoying hearing it for whatever weird reason and many people enjoy it too.
Timz decides to show a bit of dynamism here with ‘Available’, the intro of the track has Jamican dancehall vibes and in the second minute of the song he goes on a Patoranking-esque flow which he does really perfectly.
In this track he mirrors a lover who is repaying his woman for being an ever constant friend and helper, who was with him from his days of humble beginnings and who he pledges undying attention and love to. This is my favourite song on the album.
Everyone I have discussed this album with has ‘Folashade’ as their favourite song and it is not hard to see why. He starts the track really chirpily and drifts into a lyrical quagmire, singing through the vista of a charmed man struggling for a woman who is leagues higher than him and who he has gone broke for. The production is mature and the sounds Timz create here are soothing and exquisite.
The final track does not disappoint. It leaves us in the state Timz wants his listeners to be in, as full-fledged fans already, fully baptized into his fandom and longing for more of him. He teams up with Barry Jhay on this track and combines melancholy with gusto brilliantly through his verses. There are sparks of light and there is darkness and this is the beauty of art. This is a great denouement.
Rating – 8/10
In summation I’ll say, Timz made a huge statement with this EP, there is definitely more to come and he seems like a guy who knows exactly what he’s doing. Of course, being signed to the well-run record label – Anonymous Music – means he is in safe hands and we can expect many more classic albums and EPs.
Authored by P.C. Anonymous, Africa’s most underrated debater.
Edited by Ozioma Egemasi, some guy.