The name Lynxxx has a certain effect on most Nigerian music lovers. This effect is almost indescribable, but critics, even in the New Year, must grapple with meaning. A good-looking fellow with an imposing stature, Lynxxx – real name Chukie Edozien, hails from Asaba and he is the last child and only son of his father, a former governor of the old Bendel state. He is also a graduate of University of Hull, and a scorer of some hits.
His claim to fame came about six years ago when he released his fast-paced single, ‘Change Your Parade’ with an accompanying crisp video. This song was a mild hit which he followed up with an album, ‘This is Lynxxx’, which stayed off the critical radar. No matter, Lynxxx has continued to service his musical career with a coterie of songs, released at deliberate distance from each other, growing a brand of music which he describes as Jollof Musik. The coinage Jollof Musik deserves full marks for apt descriptions. Lynxxx’s type of music, a loose fusion of hip-hop and afrobeats, is typically tempered for dance.
To titles, his latest album is called “The Album before the Album”. First impression: tongue-in-cheek. Second impression: seriously? Third impression: fantastic PR stunt for his next album. As a futuristic music-lover scanning through his discography, I, for sure, will skip this album for the sake of this title. I presume this is part of Lynxxx’s brand of insouciance that would make him call his type of music after some West African dish.
With 19 tracks lasting nine minutes over one hour, TABTB is your typical Nigerian LP issue with the unusual situation of four featured acts on just four songs. Spax almost has monotony of production with 14 tracks to his name; Masterkraft assists on two songs, ‘Characha’ and ‘Feelings’ while Bantey, Triple E and Teckno produced ‘Wayo’, ‘Fall My Hand’ and ‘Pray for you’ respectively.
The album begins with the autobiographical ‘My story’ and every lover of gossip might have his/her ear cocked. Not too long ago, it was news item that Lynxxx once perceived as a ‘bad boy’—because he parties hard and is popular with the ladies—declared that he had become born again. Not too long afterwards, the release of this album was beclouded with rumours that he had done a gospel album.
TABTB is no gospel, especially not in the sense of ecumenical faith. It is Lynxxx’s gospel and speaks to his moniker with an interesting triple xxx and, of course, his pleasures. Early on in the album, one realizes his love for women which he intentionally projects to Ghanaian women in his biggest hit in recent times, ‘Ghana Girls’. The song works around the idea that Ghana girls like Lagos boys and he addresses, with panache, the Nigerian persona and how it endears women, especially not of Nigerian origin, to them. The love for Ghana also plays out in ‘E de be’ on which he features EL. That Ghanaian influence also trickles down to the Mr Eazi assisted ‘Temperature’.
Songs like ‘Characha’, ‘Oya’ and ‘Pray for me’ are textbook Nigerian music with percussive rhythms that can be easily garnished with shoki. On ‘Confident’ he describes the independent upwardly mobile woman, a hesitant nod to female emancipation. He would rather have his woman in the kitchen like he says on ‘Love am well’ and ‘Dribble me’, because Lynxxx, if taken seriously on account of his rhymes, dearly loves his food, perhaps even more than his women.
On ‘Blow’, he seeks help from the perennially underrated rapper Poe in a feel-good song reminiscent of the languid hip-hop of the early 2000s, the song’s rhythm brings to mind Ja rule’s tepid hit, ‘Down-ass bitch’. At this point, the album pirouettes into a different mode, that of confession. Lynxxx begins to remember God and by the time, he sings ‘Serve you’, there are no pretensions that he is sold to his faith.
Alas, old things haven’t passed away. Old things must be made into a tracklist and called ‘The Album Before the Album’ because his next album might be a game changer.
This album is an easy listen at the risk of an inevitable monotony that is not helped by the sheer number of productions accrued to Spax. Also, Lynxxx’s style of clear and boastful rap is often punctuated by the word ‘utunu’, an Igbo word for emphasis, but used in his own context for easy rhyming. If one word recurs in an appraisal of Lynxxx, that word would be Easy, perhaps because there is certain level of insouciance (not effortlessness) that he brings to the table, utunu!
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