What is the one word you’d use to describe Mr Eazi’s debut album, The Evil Genius? For this writer, it’d have to be ‘fleetingly enjoyable’
The genius of an artist recently dropped his debut project, which in all sincerity, has been long anticipated by all and sundry, and for the likes of us, we’re still not so sure about the album’s potential.
Don’t get us wrong, the album is a beautiful piece, that bears beneath it, a certain plot to it; but yet, for lack of better word arrangement, the project is not what was expected by the artist after so many years of waiting.
Accra to Lagos, Lagos to London, when put together, could have sufficed as a better body of work than what Mr Eazi put out as his debut project. We can feel the anger brewing in you, as fans of the “Skin Tight” crooner, but there’s a point to be made with this very blatant bombshell dropped by an ardent lover of Mr Eazi’s work. Sit tight, we’re getting somewhere!
Deep down somewhere, there’s a good potentiality for Mr Eazi’s The Evil Genius— on first listen, there’s a wave of instability on the rhythmic alliance of the tracks; however, best believe a second listen is an attempt to give the artist’s project a chance. At that moment, you understand the concept of the debut project, as well as take time to digest the album.
To call a spade a spade, The Evil Genius isn’t as captivating as the concept of Mr Eazi’s debut project announcement was, particularly with the intro Olúwa Jò; it sends a clear message, and preps listeners for the following track, Advice, but there’s an abject failure at its ability to project enticement on first listen, for short-spanned listeners.
Not everyone has that patience to give an album a second chance, as for some it’s “if e didn’t Dey, e didn’t Dey”; an artist’s project either nails it on first listen, or it didn’t. In this aspect of rating, with swords and daggers clenched back into pockets of sworn Mr Eazi’s lovers, the album kicks off with quite a chaotic start.
The Evil Genius’s charm lies in its second listen, when in a fleeting second, you’re drowsing from Òròkórò featuring Angelique Kidjo, and serving deep into Fefe Na Fefe, mesmerized at how Mr Eazi saved the captivating tracks at the album’s middle barrel.
For what it’s worth, Mr Eazi still remains that brilliant artist we’ve always known him to be— it’s Eazi, the artist who swooped into the Nigerian music scene in less than a year, and bodied everyone with his distinct sound.
The Evil Genius comes with a projection of wavy feelings, it’s on a second listen and a patient timeframe that allows you finally understand the beauty of Mr Eazi’s debut project. Oluwa Jo comes first with a mixed aura, before finally getting a right balance with Advice.
The album comprising of sixteen tracks, with features from the likes of Angelique Kidjo, Ehya, Whoisakin, Tekno, Joeboy, amongst others, is a captivatingly fleeting project. How does one explain it? It has a certain elixir to it, where you would need to reconfirm it’s enjoyability, and it’s at this point, that there is the understanding of how alluring the project is.
We most definitely did not get a feel of the old Mr Eazi, from his reigning time of Skin Tight, to Hol’Up, rather, The Evil Genius bares a more evolved version of the artist, a part of him that shows reclusive growth, and a wispy allure.
What if, this project is a clear message to us by the artist on how his music is what he crafts it to be, and the expectancy of him isn’t what we should make an attempt to box him into — given how the artist has given us such a good time with his 2015/2016 reign period, to his 2021/2022 energy, given the likes of songs such as Patek. Truthfully, what Mr Eazi gives is what we’ll digest because there’s a certain ease to being able to finally grasp his music.
One impeccable thing about this work of art is how it’s immensely rich in instrumentals, from the playful art displayed in Chop Time, No Friend to the stringy nature in Notorious. The build up of intensive melody is perhaps, where Mr Eazi’s strength lies in. But we all know the truth, his strength is in how shortened his music is, a demand to comprehend the music, and he’s able to create an irreplaceable replay value.
Mr Eazi’s music isn’t like every conventional Nigerian artist’s music — it sways you; with how he displays his prowess in songwriting skills which can’t be undenied in Panadol, where he vividly portrays his play on words lyrics. Or the ease of flow with respective songs such as Fefe Ne Fefe.
In terms of collaborations, Mr Eazi and Tekno’s combination is a lethal mastery that should be considered gold — merging Mr Eazi’s lyrical logicality and Tekno’s lyrical shallowness, Jamboree proves to be a top notch collaboration on The Evil Genius album; which is closely followed by Orokoro; given how Angelique Kidjo’s African’ness can never falter, or flop.
There’s also the unarguable synergy existing between Whoisakin and Mr Eazi on Show Dem. Whoisakin artistically leads into the song, and there is the realization that the song is indeed, a bop and more, and perhaps, Mr Eazi struck a goldmine with this certain track.
Eventually, Mr Eazi did not make an actual flop of a debut album with this piece, as you might hastily conclude from initial impression. What he does and achieved with The Evil Genius is the practicality of his musical knowledge, drawing you in, not by the sheer captivating sound of his music, but by the urge to actually make sense of what his new music entails. Isn’t that smart?
The practicality of his musicality is vividly portrayed in his debut album, the resignation to never being able to understand how Mr Eazi works his way with his music to becoming an addictive sound, is what will stay beyond reasonable doubts— though, our best bet lies on how he makes his music a short-lived experience, luring you to listen yet again.
While Mr Eazi does not do well to take us memory lane of what he stood for during his prime days, he does well to blend that sound and a much more evolved approach in his debut album, he pushes out the narrative of pure vibes, certain message he passes across in the form of excellent lyricism as well as a formidable sense of establishment within the music industry.
Mr Eazi’s rhythmic allure, as well as his carriage on his music is immensely impressive, as he puts forward in The Evil Genius; there’s a new arousal of the senses, realizing the power of the tracks in the album, appreciating how songs such as Zuzulakate, Mandela, Exit, are well settled in the eardrums, as a song with potential resonance.
You’ll definitely acknowledge Mr Eazi’s music when the comprehension of how the artist’s music is in no way patterned to compete as a top dawg in the echelon of music in today’s Nigerian music— the artist just wants to assure his listeners of a good time with his sound, while strategically positioning himself at the fore front of digitalization of music. For Mr Eazi, he did not fall off, nor did his music style change much; it’s the same Eazi we’ve always known, only there’s a bit spice to his evolved sound, which too, is outstanding.