A rundown of the guests on Cruel Santino’s ‘Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN’

Featuring Gus Dapperton, EbEE, 1Takenandos, and more Subaru collaborators

Earlier this month, Cruel Santino released his sophomore album ‘Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN,’ a kaleidoscopic snapshot of futuristic sounds and genres, helmed almost exclusively by his close-knit circle Monster Boys, which played out as a cohesive movie sequence to the world he had built.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by santi (@cruelsantino)

Taking cues from a range of genres such as R&B, Rock, Dancehall, Pop and more, Cruel Santino places listeners firmly into an underwater world, where the Subaru Boys rescue the day and make it just in time for the party. Most of the album plays out in this way, setting up stories with an accompaniment of sounds and glittery chimes, while casually retooling familiar sounds to create new vibrations—and memorialise feelings—within Santino’s world.

Termed as “scaping,” a word used to describe the creation of a sonic environment, Cruel Santino makes a bolshy one-eighty from the atmospheric and melodic sound that defines his stellar 2019 debut album ‘Mandy and the Jungle.’  “Scaping songs is very key because your brain is taking in so many things subconsciously that kind of let you travel,” Cruel Santino shared in an interview with RollingStone, following the album’s release.

While journeying through the immersive soundscape is one of the album’s strong suits, one of the most enjoyable parts of the album are the collaborators Cruel Santino brings into his world. While Cruel Santino is a credited writer on every song, penning some of them on his own, a significant portion of the 21-song album features and benefits from outside assists, some of them being unknown names to music listeners on the continent.

So to fully appreciate the communal brilliance of ‘Subaru World: FINAL HEAVEN,’ here are some of the collaborators (songwriters, producers and engineers) that helped bring Santino’s world to life.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by brazy (@brazyybih)

Newcomer Brazy first caught the attention of many early last year with the hit single, “Siren”. Since stepping into the rap scene, Brazy has delivered entertaining bars, which listeners and fans can relate to heavily, alongside guest verses from her equally fierce rapper friends. In short of a year, Brazy has carved out a name for herself with her quippy beats and rambunctious raps, going on to deliver a slew of singles including “Girls”, “Night Light”, and her most recent offering “Selecta”.

So what is it about Brazy that’s got us slowly hooked on her? On Cruel Santino’s album opener “MATILDA”, she delivered a clutch performance, gliding and sliding over the heavy baseline of the track very casually, while still maintaining a firm and expressive tone, structuring the track into the pointed tone-setter it is. Her contribution on the album encapsulates her rapid-fire abilities, as she bursts on any beat with colourful puns and glitchy saccharine-sweet melodies.

Wonu Osikoya



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by EbEE (@bolshevikbabe)

Of the five arcs that make up the conceptual narrative of Subaru Boys, ‘Subaru Girls Worldwide’ is the only arc that comprises one song. “OWN GAME” sees Cruel Santino setting up the scene with a numb chant, before ceding space to two verses from guest rappers. One of those verses is delivered by UK-based artist EbEE, whose deadpan flow forms an entrancing counterpoint with the twitchy, technicolour beat. Her 16 is a dazzling display in metronomic control and picturesque lyricism that lends itself to being quotable—“Can’t stretch my legs ‘cause you’re other side of the bed/ drown in my thoughts when you suck on my head.”

That contribution is a solid encapsulation of EbEE’s capacity as a malleable rap artist. Across her catalogue, which is currently limited to about half-a-dozen singles—mostly uploaded to her SoundCloud—and a handful of features, her music a positively dizzying experience, filled with sonic experiments that range from electro-rap to cloud rap to bedroom pop to whatever else she feels like. Armed with a helium-toned voice that contort to multiple shapes, EbEE is capable of walking the spectrum between rapping and singing from song to song. EbEE clearly makes music that centres on her own choices and idiosyncrasies, a trait that she shares with, and most likely endeared her to, Santi.


Dennis Ade-Peter


Seo, who also goes by Moonbather, is one of the luxuriating female voices on “OWN GAME”, the eight track on ‘Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN’ On there she bridges the rap showcases of Bratzbih and Ebee, layering soothing vocals which balances the zesty direction of the other contributors. A Fresh Meat alumni in 2020, Seo possesses an understated catalogue, delivering catchy projects during and after the proliferation of SoundCloud in the Nigerian music space. Her music sparkles of a relationship with bedroom pop and its known indulgence into concurrent streams of other niche sounds. Earlier this year Seo released Nightblood, an album of eleven songs inspired by soulful incisions into her deepest concerns and fears, all delivered through fine, quaint songwriting.

Emmanuel Esomnofu




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bratz inc (@bratzbih)

UK-based rapper Bratzbih was first discovered on producer singer and songwriter Tochi Bedford’s ‘After Eternity’ EP on the track “Wassup”, where she talked about being married to the money and focusing only on the bag. She’s seen again on Santino’s “OWN GAME”, alongside Seo and EBEE, where she naturally emerges as a fierce lyricist. On “OWN GAME,” the only arc under ‘Subaru Girls Unlimited,’ all three artists have charisma that permeates off the screen. Bratzbih seamlessly merges energies with all artists on the track, giving listeners a taster course to what she’s got to offer while setting a vast tone for where she’s able to go sonically.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @wifigawd

There are few rappers anywhere in the world who have rapped any more prolifically (or with precision) than WifiGAWD in the last two years. The DC native has risen to fame for creating exciting rap music that’s a product of teaming up with boundary-pushing producers who are blurring the divide between rap and other genres. On ‘Subaru Boys’: FINAL HEAVEN’ WifiGAWD’s jaunty flow slides in after a mad cap intro by Santi, putting a cap on the teasing message of “SWAGGER BACK.”

A true rasta, WifiGAWD’s music is influenced by a free-wheeling sense of wonder that has seen him take inspiration from sonics inspired by hip-hop’s golden age and the 2015-2017 SoundCloud trap laboratory. WifiGAWD’s most recent album, Chain Of Command,’ is a video game-inspired, anime-adjacent horrorcore hip-hop project that melds WifiGAWD’s knack for effusive lyricism with a sonic palette that borrows influences from soul, EDM, and shoegaze.

Wale Oloworekende

Chi Virgo


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chi Virgo (@chivirgo)

On “FALLIN”, the 17th track on ‘Subaru Boys’, the crystalline voices of Solis and Chi Virgo unite to provide a backbone to one of the most beguiling songs off sprawling project. The London-based, Nigerian-born singer Chi Virgo has built a reputation for herself for making feathery, soul-infused alt-pop songs that pack a punch.

Ecelectism and singularity is at the heart of Chi’s music and her music reflects those characteristics. A string of singles from 2019 and 2020 found her ruminating over emotions like angst, self-assuredness, and upheaval with inspirations from legends like Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Beyonce and Sade. In 2020, she released her debut project, Under The Moon,’ a collection of mooning R&B and neo-soul cuts that brought her distinctive attempt of songwriting to the fore over a mix of uptempo and mooning instrumentals. Her contribution on “FALLIN” taps into the vividness of her 2021 pack,Crybaby/Rain’ while fitting nicely into Santi’s hyper-vivid universe of sounds.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Steve Nyash (@1takennandos)

On “War In The Trenches”, a standout on Subaru Boys’, 1takenandos is the masked master pulling the strings behind the scenes on this track. 1takenandos takes ethereal piano melodies, brazen horn sounds, bouncy drum patterns and strings them together, end on end, creating a breezy otherworldly sound that reels listeners knee-deep into this project.

Born Nnamdi Eluwah, the artist is a 26-year-old Nigerian multi-hyphenate from Abuja. He moved to Dubai when he was 11 and has been there ever since, it was there he met Santi. Among his creative pursuits are music production and DJing. He also does radio mixes and hosts electrifying parties in hubs across Dubai. During his nascent days as a producer, he majored in crafting thumping House music beats, along the line, his career swivelled a new curve, these days he majors in producing punchy Hip-Hop/ Trap music.

Chibuzo Emmanuel

Tyler Turner


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tyler Turner (@tylertturner)

Tyler Turner is a 29-year-old Japanese -American producer and songwriter based in Los Angeles. He spent the greater part of his career as a producer crafting Hip-Hop records but he has since evolved into a sonically expansive producer, fashioning and blending a colourful assortment of sounds that cut across genres. Prominent cuts on which he has production credits include Juice Wurld’s “I Want It”, Sloan Evans’ “Honest”, Lil Keed’s Roddy-Ricch-assisted “Dragon”, amongst others.

Tyler’s work is one of the key elements that upholsters ‘Subaru Boys’. While he’s not a featured artist, he boasts of production credits and creative input on a smattering number of songs on the album. He produced “Mermaid Aqua”, “Final Champion” and “Falling”. He also has credits on seven other tracks— “Matilda”, “I Told Gus I’m Dreaming”, “War In The Trenches”, “Tapenga”, “Beautiful Nothing”, “Way of the Serpent” and “Dirty Eyes Evil Manners”.


Gus Dapperton


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by gus (@gusdapperton)

Gus Dapperton is the only artist featured on multiple songs on Subaru Boys, and even has a song, “I TOLD GUS I’M DREAMIN”, named after him. So who’s the man? Born in Warwick, New York, 24-year-old Dapperton released his debut single in 2016 and followed up with his debut EP, ‘Yellow and Such’, the next year. Since then he’s released another EP and two albums, the latest, ‘Orca,’ coming in 2020.

Dapperton’s sound is a fusion of indie pop and all its modern iterations, powered by his inventiveness which seeps into his fashion style and its resultant gender discourse. His contribution is immensely felt in “BEAUTIFUL NOTHING” where he bounces off Santi’s introspective crooning on the psychedelic production. Near the end of the song, his affecting vocals take the beat in stride, singing “I can’t live without you”. He emerges into the center stage on “WICKED CITY”, turning in a hook that’s both emotive and tightly controlled, setting Santi up for a more carefree approach.


Words by Chibuzo Emmanuel, Emmanuel Esomnofu, Dennis Ade-Peter, Tami Makinde, Wale Olowrekende and Wonu Osikoya.