Lifesize Teddy has just been signed into Mavin Records by Don Jazzy, and for her first trick, we have an EP that is sonically rich, perfectly weighted, and introduces this rapper as one that is fully formed. The production is lush and speaks of a team that knows what it is doing. Every track is unique and earns its spot on the EP designed to market a lyrically deep artist to an audience overfed on afrobeats,
Starting with the first track, Air. Air does what a first track is supposed to do. Lifesize Teddy introduced herself on her own terms. The RnB influence here is unmistakable. It massages the brain. Her flow is smooth. This tells me that Lifesize Teddy will carve a niche of listeners for herself. Now, I am obviously one because I like rappers that can write, and she is one of them.
As long as she doesn’t lose her melodies, Lifesize Teddy is going to be okay. This song, Hypnotic, is proof that it would be difficult for her to lose herself in the maelstrom of an afrobeats dominated industry. If you hear anything Indian about this track, it is because there is a fluty undertone when she’s singing the hook. And, of course, like the lyricist she is, she immediately drops a hot verse, putting words out like cosmic when we are supposed to be dancing senselessly.
The last time anyone used cosmic in a Nigerian rap, Modenine was on the radio. But yes, the hook is hypnotic. This song should be in a Nigerian action movie, the hook, at least.
Butterflies is a love song made digestible to the Nigerian audience. There was a bit of restraint from her end on this song. But it takes very little away from the experience. Butterflies is the perfect balance between radio-friendly and introspective. It is a good thing it is smack in the middle of the EP. Coincidence, I think not! The best thing about this track is that there is a bridge where she shows her stuff. It is perhaps my favourite moment on the EP.
Say what you want about Lifesize Teddy taking on afrobeats, but she is super-talented at crafting catchy hooks. No matter how lyrically sparse the track is, she finds a few bars to remind us that she has the potential to be the sickest lyricist alive. This is the track you should put on repeat.
But of course, I can hear her struggle with John Wick. Now, her take on amapiano is not perfect. There is more she can do with this sound. It was probably just tacked on because amapiano is a vibe that you must key onto (perhaps her A&R demanded so). I did not particularly like this track because she seemed out of her league. It further strengthened my opinion that she is a deep lyrical rapper with more to say than vibe to. It is a welcome addition to the EP, nonetheless.
And, of course, Lifesize Teddy is more than life-sized when she is introspective. Prophecy is a song about her journey, her thoughts, and pieces from her journal about everything that has come here. A well-balanced song, the weight of the bass as it leads the rhythm. This song snaps us back to who and what Lifesize Teddy is truly about.
Lifesize Teddy is an artist who has been steeped in her own harmonies and her own stories. When she says, “I got many women underneath this skin,” it is a signal to everyone who expects her to fake her way through the market and abandon hope. As much as she may have to dance to the tunes of an industry that wants to vibe more than they want to listen, Lifesize Teddy is definitely going to be a unique voice, the lyrical giant with a message.
All of us at Rhyme & Reason® are going to be watching her closely as she works with Mavin Records.
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