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There’s a popular ad of a well known alcoholic beverage: A driver takes off with his truck load of alcohol. He passes through a celebrant nation that has just attained independence. He passes the youths playing football. He passes elderly men seated and spectators, hunched over board games. He’s smiling, and nodding his head to one of the more popular song of the sixties playing from inside his vehicle.

The song is Joromi, Victor Uwaifo’s masterpiece: electric in its Afro qualities, the maestro’s voice energetic and purposeful. Where the music achieves its strength however, is in its instrumentation, which will be called highlife, a type of music meant to soundtrack happy moments.

Mr. Eazi has been a great music businessman. From his early days, his Fulani hat has been an integral branding decision. This hat, common among herdsmen and people who go about with their businesses, is almost the perfect metaphor for Mr. Eazi’s music. Quiet, stripped down afro melodies. Eazi has assumed the role “African Music ambassador” since his last project, “Accra to Lagos” and is almost established as he heralds the release of the second installment in his Life is Eazi series – Lagos To London.

His experience in both the Ghanaian and Nigerian music industry provides the multi national background few in the business have. Even more so, Mr. Eazi has wielded his mediator role with more carefulness and precision these days. His earlier remarks about his role in Naija music have been mis-interpreted by some Nigerian music fans and has managed to piss a couple of them off. 

With his latest release, Mr. Eazi mounts the bus from the get go – Lagos Gyration is a 1960’s  highlife sound, and features the mystical Lady Donli who, alongside others, chant over a live played beat, apparently not the full song was released. Property, Keys to the City and Pour Me Water, a trio of previous releases, all feature the rather simplistic song writing Mr. Eazi is known for. In one of these songs, he sings “me I no go do you wrong… like Lazarus.” The bus ride is easy with Eazi, his chosen sounds are bass and drums heavy, his voice is anything but light and his feel good approach to his songs bring out the best in 2baba – arguably the best feature of the project. Suffer Head seems titled for a Fela esque social commentary track but Mr Eazi steers away from expectations, delivering yet again, another song directed at a lady we already feel he isn’t going to get.

From Leg Over to Hollup, his songs have been littered with pieces of his heart; disregarded. His tales all involve him cast as the underdog (something most of his audience relate to) but his continuing success and smooth ride to London and the rest of the world makes him the victor, eventually. Dabebi, featuring Maleek Berry and the sonorously voiced King Promise is another bass heavy produced song.  “I suppose to be your man,” he sings, every note strong in its resolve before he breaks into a dirge like chorus.

The trip reaches halfway by way of a skit. Eight songs in West Africa and now it’s time for Mr. Eazi to take us international and London is his destination. Broda Shaggy owns his role, bringing forth final memories of crazy Lagos before he hops on the molue to London, a strategic choice – by using a molue as his preferred medium, he extols the ruggedness of Africanism and the locality of means, but the potential of dreams.

Burna Boy meets him on arrival: the collaboration works naturally; two people who seem comfortable in their skins in a foreign land. In the background, while Burna Boy and his recently arrived friend sing about longing, there’s a steady drum and riffs which add a slice of EDM to the mix. Attention, featuring Birmingham bred duo Lotto Boyzz is forgettable at worst; at best, a shuffled playlist could force a listen. The features give a good account of themselves, though. Yard and Chill is a new solo song in the project and its brilliance is in featuring an intricately produced sound which leans on the usual bass and drums, but also has a Calypso reggae vibe which no doubt, inspires Mr. Eazi’s Jamaican patois.

Jamaica’s prominent roots Reggae act Chronixx features in She Loves Me, an early contender for Mr. Eazi’s surest song. His love is finally reciprocated and the listener can’t help but observe that Dancehall/ Reggae’s trademark bounce would not make do with Mr. Eazi’s usual underdog tales hence, his victory. Chicken Curry is Grime infused with elements of Afrobeats and London Town expertly brings the bus to a stop.

Already regarded as one of the most deliberate creative and one of the finest businessman in African Music , considering how he has been navigating as an independent artiste, Eazi had everything going on this and Lagos To London is proof of its truism. A fifteen track mixtape divided into two parts,  Mr. Eazi gives a tipped hat to his Ghanaian and Nigerian influenced sound in eight songs; recognizing his influential run outside the shores of the continent in six songs.

“Lagos To London” delivers an easy ride, a decent listening experience.  As earlier noted, Mr Eazi is at the frontline of Afrobeats internationally, a lot of new afrobeats listeners , especially non-Africans will (most likely) first stumble on a Mr Eazi album when looking to listen to an African Music Project before any other thing.  While “Accra To Lagos’ gives a good account of itself and is a good reference for African music, “Lagos To London’ barely impresses, Every song seems like he is desperately chasing a sing-along, too minimalist, too stripped and simplistic. As African Music Ambassador , Eazi should be offering more in sonorous dexterity, melodies and lyricism. Some of the lyrics on this project were really awful considering the retinue of writers listed that worked on this.

One cannot say he got Sophomore jinxed, maybe the fact that some of the best works on the album has earlier been released as singles will affect the album listening experience. Overall,  The follow up is decent, but for his self-imposed role, Eazi should offer more.

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