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EP: Chemistry (2016)

Artistes: Falz & Simi 

It can be argued that Falz’s Soldier is what assisted Simi to the brink of the prominence, she enjoys today. Yes, she was known and folks had taken note of her amazing talent but she only broke the fourth wall after the music video for Soldier, which she featured on, was released.

And since the chemistry they exhibited on film, for Soldier, felt too real to just be a matter of fiction, it made perfect sense that they would collaborate to birth a love child-in the form of an EP- titled Chemistry.

It was released on Falz’s birthday and in her congratulatory wishes to him, Simi said the EP was her gift to him but it seems a selfish gift considering the fact that Simi put in a better performance, through-out the EP. And while Falz has proven his rap chops, many a time, Chemistry should not be the gauge of how well he can perform in a rap-cypher, as he’s done better.

Foreign (track 1) is the tongue-in-cheek and melodious starter that introduces the listener to the strongest points of the both artistes;  Simi’s amazing voice and Falz ‘s humorous/locally accented rap style. The premise of the song is the life of the Nigerian with international exposure and their access to some of the finer options of life. It could also pass off as a mockery of such individuals and the wanna-bes. Want to (track 2) features a momentary role switch; Falz sings a bit while Simi raps but it seems they missed an opportunity to showcase dexterity in other genres.

Show You Pepper (track 3) is amazing on many fronts- Simi and Falz become warring partners and the ferocity with which they use to verbally affront is compelling and palpable. The lyrics bite, strike and leave welts and is telling of how good the song is. The dark premise gives way for the Afrobeat influenced and lively, Cinderella (track 4).

On Chemistry (track 5), Simi rules with her vocal runs and pitch switches while Falz meets her halfway with a good rap delivery, both extolling the amazing feels that stems from an emotional connection and true love.

The talking drum that’s at the start of Shake Your Body (track 6) indicates that this is the ‘owambe-quota’ of Chemistry. Nigerian artistes prefer to include one or more ‘owambe-quota(s)’ to guarantee, for them, a spot at different owambe’s (engagement & wedding ceremonies), across town and this satisfies the requirement. It’s a delightful song and the cultural tone was executed, perfectly.

The love affair ends itself with Enough (track 7), which presents nothing that’s not present in the songs before it.

Simi and Falz recorded huge wins in 2015/2016 and it was only logical to eagerly anticipate this EP  and at the end of the day, they delivered a really good body of work. Maybe not as great as the hype, preceding it, but still a really good work.  It’s an easy listen and Simi, unsurprisingly, stole the show. Still doesn’t take away the fact that independently, these 2 are fire-crackers.

Side bar: Sess (Problem Child) is, lowkey, the MVP of this album. He produced all 7 songs and none rests at average.

Ade Tayo