When Nigerian writer and critic Oris Aigbokhaevbolo wrote in his scathing yet candid piece that “Falz’s ‘This Is Nigeria’ video is itself an example of his country’s mediocrity,” he wasn’t lying. For all its good intentions, that video managed to be everything in the Nigerian society it aimed a headshot at: hurried and thoughtless in its approach. That bemusing scene of a supposedly beheaded man with intact neck readily comes to mind.
Thankfully, Falz has laid to rest those inconsistencies in the video of his latest offering, ‘Talk’.
‘Talk’ finds Falz dusting off and donning the (controversial?) toga of Voice of Conscience, which he kept aside after ‘Child of the World’ video before going ahead to preside over the ‘Sweet Boys Association’.
This is how ‘Talk’ differs from ‘This Is Nigeria’: where the latter was unoriginal and, no thanks to poor directing, pranced about with no clear destination, this new video breathes originality for air and is surefooted in its artistry and biting satire.
As regards originality, where Childish Gambino, Falz’s inspiration for ‘This Is Nigeria’ video, settled for graphic shock—the point blank headshot, the spray of bullets at the choir—Falz, in line with his personae opts for humour: a gaming interface reminiscent of the Super Mario days. The ploy is efficient as a backdrop for the caricature that the Nigerian society has become.
The call-and-response approach interspersed in the verses of the song bears a striking semblance to the age-old nursery rhyme, Old Roger is dead and gone to his grave. The back-and-forth of the lyrics, Na you talk am o, No be me talk am o reeks of the dangerous hostility that we as a people have towards taking full responsibility for our actions,
Interestingly, in ending the song, Falz makes a U-turn by beating his chest and mouthing a ballsy Na me talk am o. Those words, even on face value, seem like a declaration of intent: Falz has taken it upon himself to speak against unruly authority.
And for that, he wins points.