Falz Moral Instruction Album Review
Falz the Bahd Guy has kicked off 2019 with the release of his 4th studio album, titled ‘Moral Instruction’ and this is arguably his best body of work yet, as it is thematic and wholesome with respect to the messages disseminated through the album.
It’s been only two weeks into the year, and two very conscious rap projects have been released by Nigerian rappers, the other being the album by show dem camp titled ‘clone wars IV – These Buhari Times ‘ . We love this energy, and it would be great to see our musicians in general, not just rappers, continuously put out projects or singles that speak on relevant issues affecting us a society.
By just looking at the moral instruction album cover, you would most likely have a feeling of nostalgia, if you were exposed to Fela’s cover arts back in the day. The album art was designed by the art legend Lemi Ghariokwu, who was known for working on the late Fela anikulapo’s album arts for his projects back in the day. Are you ready for some moral instruction? Let’s walk you through the album, track by track.
1. Johnny – The opening track johnny, starts off with sampled vocals off Fela’s ‘Johhny just Drop’ singing “ J.J.D J.J.D Johnny just drop” which leads to a mean beat drop with bells, light kicks and snares. This would have your head bopping to the rhythm, while setting the perfect underlay for Falz’s vocals to come in.
Falz does not disappoint as he hops right in, setting a captivating story line in motion, with the opening lines “Johhny just drop, na person shoot am down”, which should drive any curious listener to keep listening. The track speaks out against the indiscriminate shooting of civilians by the police, while telling the story of a recent graduate who just finished his national youth service, but got killed by the police on a night of celebration. The last few bars of the track has falz agitated as he lashes out, citing other scenarios where johnny (at this point he uses johnny in a ‘Jon doe’ manner) might be killed, in other different locations around the country, due to negligence and other factors. He ends the track asking these pertinent questions in Yoruba “if johnny continue to drop, eyan melo lo ma ku? Eyan melo lo ma ku?” which is a little play on words in yoruba and translates to “if johnny’s continue to drop, how many people would die? How many people would be left?
2. Follow Follow – The next track titled follow follow actually uplifts the mood, as the atmosphere on the track is not as serious as it was on the opening track. This track starts off with a bugle solo which ushers in sampled Fela vocals, leading to a rather heavy beat drop that would have you immediately feeling the energy and anticipating Falz’s raps. The song is a basic critique of the band wagon mentality which plagues our present society, where people do not have minds of their own and have to break their backs just to feel among or hop on the latest trends. A fun Jam right there.
3. Hypocrite Ft. Demmie Vee – Hypocrite, the third track off the album, brings down the tempo once again from the rather energetic ‘follow follow’, and features talented singer Demmie Vee, who delivers a very dope chorus, singing “every body is a mother f***ing* hypocrite”, on the soft instrumental setting the atmosphere for the subject matter which Falz raps about.
This track tackles quite a wide range of issues, basically calling out people who mask under the guise of religion to perpetrate evil and unlawful acts, bad politicians for taking the people for a ride, the people for recycling the bad politicians and coming back to say they hate the government they help put in power, the people for discriminating against the homosexuals, amongst other issues. Demmie Vee also ends the track with a bridge that doubles up as the outro. This is one track we all have to reflect upon.
4. Talk – Talk, the fourth track off the album, was released as a single a couple of days before the album was released and it sparked up some conversations across social media. This track jacks up the tempo once again, giving an energetic dancehall vibe as falz hops in on the instrumental with a call and response type hook, reminiscent of the old nursery rhyme “old roger is dead and gone to his grave” .
On talk, Falz takes shots at MURIC with the lyrics “brother Muri talk finish we no see am for court” , following the outrage he received from the muslim organization about his portrayal of the hijab wearing girls, after the release of his video to ‘This is Nigeria’ . He also takes shots at the present government with lines like “ we buy your story but you no give us change’ and “4 year tenure, 3 year holiday.”
Furthermore, he addresses other issues pertaining to religion, fraud and prostitution. The lines “Instead make you work you dey find alhaji, you come turn your body to cash and carry” coupled with his comments when accused of ‘ slut shaming ‘ at his album listening session, got him criticism from some women across social media. Nevertheless, ‘talk’ is an all round dope jam!
5. Amen – Amen, starts off with Fela’s vocals once a again, singing “through Jesus Christ our lord, amen amen amen” as well as “waka waka waka” which is sampled across the track, with a recurring bass guitar sound, leading to an impressive drum roll and a perfectly programmed interaction between drum sounds, to create an impeccable instrumental.
Falz graces this instrumental with his rap style, as he talks about the extravagance of the pastors at the expense of the congregation. He also speaks about the gullibility of the people, who allow themselves to be scammed. He raps “church plenty pass school inside my estate/ you sell hopes, you sell faith, you sell dreams to get paid/ Na congregation money but dem no go see percentage”.
6. Brother’s Keeper Ft Sess – The tempo of the album gets slower on this track, with a soft but compelling offering, which starts off with background hums from sess as well as soft pads , which form soulful chords under the vocals. This is followed by a reverbed percussion instrument then soft kicks to set the instrumental in full motion.
This track basically talks about the selfishness and the lack of compassion in our society, as falz uses different perspectives from different works of life to explore the subject matter. The track ends with an amazing choir rendition of the hook earlier sung by Sess as the vocals fade out.
7. Paper Ft Chillz – The seventh track on the album, titled paper, which features chillz, is a slow but groovy jam where chillz delivers a smooth baritone chorus on an instrumental with strong elements of the original afrobeat sound. The smooth chorus and soothing trumpets complement each other and put the listener in the mood for a slow dance. Falz rides this like equestrian while talking about the extremes people would go to just to make a lot of money. The chorus where chillz sings “no go lose your center, all because of paper”, pretty much sums up what this track is about.
8. E no Finish – This song is also a strong afrobeat rendition by falz. He starts out agitated, rapping about the corruption and greed Nigerians face from people in positions of power. He raps “corruption and indiscipline, with no regard for the life of a citizen, so sickening…hope you greedy mother****ers listening” he continues rapping through the verse and as the instrumental builds up to the chorus. On the chorus, Falz sings “Baba Fela talk am but e no finish, when e go finish?” driving home the point that, so much that has been said about these problems years ago is still very relevant in our society today and this needs to end.
9. After All said and Done – Falz closes up the album with this short spoken word offering, where he says that he is not in the position to point fingers as no one is perfect, but he wants us to realize that we all have a part to play to foster any societal progress. He says “if we can rediscover the meaning of love and humanity, then we can return the sanity” a good conclusion to the album.
The moral instruction album is a short but awesome 9 track body of work, packed with consciousness and has a massive replay value. Also the production and creativity from Sess, TMXO and Willis was totally top notch and remarkable. We need more thought provoking and reformatory albums like this.
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