What To Expect From Reminisce's Baba Hafusa Album
When all is said and done, one has to agree that “Baba Hafusa” is not your conventional rap/hip hop album. But then again Alhaji Remilekun Khalid Safaru is not your regular run-of-the-mill artist. The 16-track album reveals the various influences of Reminisce’s artistry that come to form a holistic body of work that places his versatility in full glare – the rapper, the father, the singer and the fuji musician. Reminisce obstinately refuses to pander to the desires of hip hop heads but delivers what will be known as a well-rounded musical repertoire.
The team and I listened to the entire album on Sunday over drinks and banter, and tried not to troll Remi too much over the 3-0 annihilation of his favourite football club Manchester United by Everton FC earlier. We listened for the production, the lyrical content, and if it tells the story of this self-made man in a way that his audience would connect with. I speak for the whole team here; it was stellar.
Whenever I listen to an album, I ask myself: “What was the writer thinking? What was his authorial intention? Within what context is the artist speaking?” Clearly, Baba Hafusa is the final coronation of Reminisce as the King of the Streets, and his royalty comes with the prerequisite wit, connection with the subjects, intelligence and loyalty to customs and traditions. With themes of hustle, struggle, sex and battles, the Baba Hafusa album encapsulates the world from the lens of a street king.
Indeed his ability to churn out groovy songs replete with street speak is what will make this album worth having. While Reminisce makes no effort to mask his street credibility, he makes it clear in no uncertain terms that he can slay any hip hop cat alive in songs like Local Rappers, Nothing, Let It Be Known and Baba Hafusa. Busayo featuring Ice Prince is particularly delightful – the exchange is bliss and the mutual respect from both artists is pure joy to the ears. Certainly, the collaborations on the album are few, but the synergy between the “Alaga Ibile” and his invited guests is quite enjoyable. Again, Sean Tizzle delivers on a collaboration, and justifies his Pop Album Award at the Headies in December. My God I love that guy!
Certainly, a Reminisce album is not complete without the songs for and about the ladies. In songs like “I Need A Girl”, he manages to be introspective and amoral at the same time. ‘Olomoge’ is vintage Reminisce: funny and brutally lascivious. All this contributes to his appeal – the street king painting pictures of the streets without altering its stark reality.
Regardless of the subject of his songs, the production is right on the money and features the works of SARZ, Chopstix, Jospo, DTunes, Sossick among others. The beats, the mixing and the mastering leaves no one in doubt as to the amount of work put in.
The discovery of the album is Sojay. I daresay that this young man can be the next The Weeknd of the Nigerian music industry if he hones his talent well and takes his art seriously. The album begins and ends with features of him, and both times you can tell that the man’s talent is different; his voice is distinct and rich in a way that gladdens the soul. If you are searching for a great voice for a hook on a classic hip-hop joint, Sojay should be on speed dial.
At the end of the day, the Baba Hafusa project is a holistic body of work that draws from different genres to create a unique hip hop feel.
We just might have the hip hop album of the year. But I will let you be the judge of that.
Uche Briggs is a brand manager and music critic. He tweets from @UcheBriggs.
Baba Hafusa drops on Thursday, April 30, 2015.