Whoever thought a post-modern minstrel like Mr Eazi was going to rest on his oars after his Lagos arrival may be pleasantly surprised that his raft has left for London.
Lagos to London sounds like the destination of many Nigerians if Nigerian doctors are anything to go by. This corporeal osmosis definitely has nothing to do with political moves like Brexit and may have everything to do with colonial hang-ups—but whatever the case may be, one year after arriving in Lagos with his Banku music, Mr Eazi has left again, for Pound Sterling.
Sterling move you may say, judging by a ready fanbase that fills up venues like 02 on a regular, but then again, you hardly need physical presence to either stream music or lift styles. Mr Eazi seems to have goals of both transmitting and translocating musical styles. It is some kind of ethnomusicology, even though that phrase is bogus and not deserving enough for Millennials.
This second volume of his mixtapes, although lasting ten minutes less than the former, has a clearer vision in terms of sounds and stylistics. It is better mastered and Eazi seems to be bereft of anxieties that most first albums portend.
His charge is to reflect on the sounds of Lagos and to move gloriously, by way of his vocal cords and easy music, to try out the acoustics of London Town. Hence the album is so divided into Lagos and London parts by the strategic skit by Brodda Shaggi. One wonders about the influence of Falz’s ‘Midflight Announcement’ from his sophomore, Stories That Touch, on ‘In Molue to London’.
Whatever the case may be, Shaggi seems handicapped without visuals of his acrobatic moves and deadpan ignorance.
The Lagos part begins with Lagos Gyration which is too short an ear candy to leave an impression.
Next up is the Simi-assisted Pheelz-produced Surrender, which sounds nothing like the earlier Adekunle Gold same titled song on his sophomore album.
The issue with the Lagos part is that, save for ‘Dabebi’, ‘Suffer Head’ and ‘Open & Close’, other songs like ‘Property’, ‘Pour Me Water’ and like have been enjoying decent radio rotation, stripping the album a bit of novelty.
The London part seems to carry a bit more heft. It sounds less iterative and better curated for dance. Take for instance ‘Miss You Bad’ where Burna Boy and Eazi spar on a duet about love, Eazi brings an assertive song-writing that is different from his usual lacklustre song-writing which relies totally on the repetitive if not hypnotic basal rhythm of the beat.
At this point, the album lapses into a dancehall cum grime attitude, while retaining its boy-meets-girl thematic concerns. The over-arching tendency is reggae, so that one can predict with some modicum of confidence that the next Life is Eazi project will be heading to Kingston, Jamaica.
Life is Eazi, Vol. 2: Lagos to London is a competent sophomore and worthy follow-up to Accra to Lagos, still charting migration as a method of invasion.
The sound and songs of Mr Eazi is in a good place.