It’s the 14th of May, and Erigga releases his fifth project and first EP, Before the Chaos. The 6-track EP features only 3 acts, Meph, Jay Teaser, and Oga Network, and it’s more or less a John the Baptist for his yet-to-be-announced LP, later this year (or next).
Here’s my review of Paper Boy‘s new project;
The EP opens with this Lo-Fi of a sample of Burna Boy‘s Ye or a similar song. The tune is soft and eases you into a chair before Jay Teaser‘s calm sonorous voice kicks in. Many Nites is simply about what it takes for him (Erigga) to earn his daily bread. This includes being on the road performing, being in the studio, and sleepless nights.
Yet, the mouths to feed or problems faced by himself, relatives, and friends that concern money, won’t stop coming in. Despite the pandemic measures that didn’t allow artistes to headline concerts, tour, and perform in front of large crowds. He raps “If nor be God you for don see me dey act skit. But family no wan no, their own be say I don blow!“
Many Nites is his own version of the popular “Mo’ money, Mo’ problem” phrase.
This song talks about money and the evil it breeds on both the receiver and the givers end. On the giver’s end, theirs being ungrateful, entitled, and spiteful. On the receiver’s end, greed and the need to compare yourself with someone else. All the Ol’G is saying is for you to face your journey instead.
The song also touches the music business and how the hype & clout clouds and distracts you from your real objective, getting paid for making good music. Paper Boy advises young cats to stay focused and that in this industry, does who’ve made money in the industry know each other, and its not all about the media’s Top 10 and charts.
Dick Appointment is definitely a song about the only activity Nigerians (male and female) participate it. The song talks about a random dick appointment situation. He talks about the experience and the euphoria that comes with it; the call at the intro of the song, shows the excitement in his voice as he confirms the appointment. This is somewhat another lo-fi song with Jay Teaser on the hook.
The song also shows the reality of infidelity at the different stages of relationships. Single, in a relationship, married, separated or divorced all participate in one form of casual sex or fling with one or more in one (or more) forms of relationships. He points it out as in the outro when he advised her to come with her bedsheet and nightgown in case her boyfriend Facetime her.
Although the song still points out the benefits of these types of relationship as he explains away how he will take her to bed, and Jay Teaser‘s hook also marinating in this experience. It definitely triggers a level of raunchiness on listeners. A hit for Sex playlists out there.
A satire about the situation in a country where the corruption of our leaders has created a hostile environment as well as an unsustainable economy. Graduates are no longer on career paths, rather, they are hustling; crypto, Yahoo, runs girl, makeup artist, the vendor for goods, etc. The passion they put in to study a course, get a degree, and begin a career in the profession is gone due to the need to adapt to other things in order to just survive.
The song has a funky beat that gives a hint of sarcasm the moment it drops. The topic of corruption, its by-products, and the normalisation of corrupt practices in the country have been the core topic of every music genre in Nigeria as far back as the 1960s.
I No Wear Pant
I No Wear Pant is a tale of a hustle that is having a run of bad luck. Once in a while, we experience a long run of bad luck. Writers get brain block, athletes have losing streaks, etc. Only Erigga picks the weirdest and most random situations (which isn’t really far-fetched, based on Nigeria and as e dey go) his protagonist experiences on his quest to chase his dreams.
The choice of beat is mellow and uses a Mexican or Spanish guitar tune as the sample/baseline.
Don’t Die Alive
Paper Boy drops an appreciation track for his fans and an acknowledgement of the hustle and effort everyone is putting in, in order to make their daily 2K at their respective sites. He touches on the situation of the country, the poverty, the struggle of the average Nigerian, and how we are all hustling towards leaving the country for a better life in another man’s country.
Staying in Nigeria and being poor is the equivalent to dying alive.
The entire EP is soft and mellow, despite that, Erigga maintained his hardcore attributes, thus giving a mellow hardcore blend that can be played in any mood or situation. Paper Boy never seems to run out of interesting lines and phrases that get listeners either chuckling or wowed.
The Old Warri emcee has the gift of using the right phrases in the right context, which also gets the right reaction from the listeners. The EP, Before the Chaos, is a fine piece of art, and it surely has me anticipating the LP that comes next.