The wide range of parameterless genres that make up Nigerian music makes it difficult to draw up categories and classifications for artistes and the music they make.
Basically, music constantly swings between career defining sounds to the edges more commercially marketable alternatives. Hence, artistes constantly waver between finding a comfortable place for their artistry and making money from their music. Subsequently, there is very little space for experimentation – and even when it is done, results are unbearably gag-inducing or cringe-worthy, to say the least.
This makes a case for Lil Kesh and his noisy Cause Trouble series.
With his debut album Young And Getting It (YAGI) on the way, Lil Kesh, as expected is trying to build anticipation for the unreleased project.
A few replays of his two-part single Cause Trouble featuring YCEE and Wale respectively, however, hints that the rapper may be heading the wrong way. Not only is he sticking to the limited syllable one-liner formula that produced hits like Efejoku and Shoki, he is now experimenting with a new style of rap we have decided to tag as ‘Ariwo-rap’ which loosely translates as noisy-rap as this is the only way to describe the series of random yelling that make up the individual 3-minute runtime of both songs.
Produced by Olamide’s preferred producer Pheelz, Cause Trouble opens with just what the title intends; a preppy war anthem sung by youths, hunters and soldiers of the pre-colonial Yoruba kingdom. With fast paced gangan drums and rock guitars going off like time bombs in the background, Pheelz successfully highlights the thematic purpose of the song’s chaos inducing title.
But Lil Kesh takes things a little too literally when he begins to yell through his verses. Though his verses are as witty and humorous as always, as usual, you can hear Kesh gasping for breath as he strains his voice to keep up with the pace of the song. Coupled with a sub-par mixing and mastering, the result is a claustrophobic song that will have listeners too choked by all the screaming going on.
YCEE provides respite on the first part of the song with a rhythmic verse that doesn’t fall short of the song’s heavy handed feel. His verse inherently suffers from the poor mixing, Lil Kesh could not get past.
The second part of the song featuring Wale, sees the Grammy nominated rapper, try to keep up with Lil Kesh’s brash intent for the song but inadvertently fails to thematically make any actual sense. No surprise. This would defeat anybody.
We don’t deny the possibility that this song will get major airplay, thanks to Lil Kesh sticking to his one-liner formular, but we seriously hope for the sake of his debut album that he can identify and fix the many flaws of his experimentation with unnecessary loudness on his follow-up singles.