Erigga says that Family Time is him having a conversation with his demons, but we know that his demons are real and walking about by day. His latest project sees him become better as a performer and features a growing cast of upcoming musicians from his hometown in Warri.
Erigga is one of the few rappers that give younger rappers a leg up.
The strongest parts of Family Time are the messages. Erigga has always seen reality for what it is and has continuously sought to inform and correct perceptions.
The subject matters he explores are as real as the skin on the back of his listeners, and this is probably why he has one of the most total fanbases in the Nigerian Hip-hop scene.
The production of this album is also top-notch and befits the themes Erigga explores. The instrumentals sit at the back of the sound, allowing his voice to soar so you can hear everything that he is saying.
Erigga sets out by telling us about his place in the industry on Broken in Two. It is easy to see that he is anti-establishment. From the language and tone he spits in, he has positioned himself as a different beast, very often not included in the GOAT conversations in Nigerian Hip Hop. But this jam is good.
Erigga wants you to hear what he has to say because he has a lot to say. He describes what the current culture looks like, speaks on the economic situations, and deals with themes of fake news, propaganda and misinformation; “too many lies” is a refrain. He speaks on broke-shaming and how teenagers are pressed to make money before they are old.
It is an education about the times. As always, he carries a powerful, selfless message that fits his brand.
Family Time is a prayer. We see where Erigga comes from—his origins. We hear about what drives him. This is the song that draws the listener into his personal story. It is a theme that every young man and woman, in Nigeria, will find relatable. It may not play in clubs, but it will get a lot of plays in private listening sessions as it speaks about the wishes in the hearts of many.
Wide Awake speaks to the hustlers.
“Reciever dey sleep, but giver dey wide awake,” perhaps this line summarizes what the song says. You have to stay awake to make money. That is how the business goes far. Collaborating with rappers from his hometown, we explore various perspectives of the central idea. There are so many quotes from this song on the subject.
After the Pot of Stew interlude, where Erigga talks about the dangerous times that we are in, we move into El Classico, which expands on the same topic.
Too Fresh is possibly a party track for the ages. It is mostly just bass and cymbals, but boy, does it make you move your body. Erigga’s flow is unmatched here.
Good Girl No Dey Pay explores the consequences of ‘situationships’ and casual sex in a way that feels more real than many other songs out there. He congratulates himself on Glasses in the Air.
You can consider the next three tracks a trilogy of stories about how ungrateful receivers treat givers.
Bad Person takes on the concept of disagreements and how people vilify others when things do not go their way. He thinks our relationships are missing something, asking for our mindsets to change so we can have inner peace and a better society.
The next couple of tracks tackles entitlement. My Entitled Brother is an interlude that bleeds into Area and Entitlements. Area plays out a situation where a person acts entitled to the rewards of another person’s work, and the second part justifies Erigga’s reaction to the act
The track titled God asks us to be patient as we try to ‘make it in life’. No dream is too big or too scary to achieve as long as you believe. And God hears you.
Family Time is a joyride that will live long in the hearts of listeners. Its themes are inspiring and immortal, and Erigga is perhaps one of the best storytelling rappers we have.
His album may lack influences from older music, but that is not the only thing that makes a great album. If you have a powerful message and a strong production team, you might actually make the most culturally relevant album of the year.
Stream Family Time on Spotify here.