Essentials: Omagz makes a welcome return with ‘229 Friday, Vol. 2’

Five quality bops that lean into his vignette-based writing

The interesting thing about Omagz, is that never really went anywhere, but there’s always a feeling of yet-to-be-fulfilled potential whenever he pops up with new music these days.

Similar to his peers such as Odunsi and Santi, Omagz looked set to make his way to stardom after dropping his well-received debut project, ‘Young Magazine’, back in 2016. The following year, he dropped “What You Want”, a sultry banger that strengthened his position as a rising star, but things have yet to really click for him since.

To be fair, Omagz is still dropping music that deserves attention, as evidenced by his newly released EP, ‘229 Friday Vol II’, the latest drop of the series he began in early 2018. Mostly backed by aqueous piano chords and lightly swinging drums, ‘Vol II’ is a well-intentioned, strongly executed (re-)introduction to Omagz’ remarkable skillset, via five quality bops that lean into his vignette-based writing and his hoarse voice that makes his songs sound both casual and captivating.

Like a significant portion of Omagz’ catalogue, ‘Vol II’ mostly revolves romantic dealings, specifically the energy required to keep relationships going when things get rough. On “Gemini”, the opening track, he makes an impassioned appeal to a love interest, promising her a good time even though they may not last very long since they share the same star sign. While he relies on the same tropes as Bella Alubo’s “Don’t Trust Geminis”, Omagz revels in the messiness, laying emphasis on living in the moment and eventually facing the consequences when—or if—they arrive.

In the other scenarios he presents on ‘Vol II’, Omagz expertly flips the complexity of romantic entanglements into relatable songs, using optimism (“WIO”) or the nostalgia of the honeymoon phase (“Ako”) as tools for reconciliation. On the Fresh L-assisted “Ako”, Omagz reminds a sceptical partner of their compatibility before their recent disputes, even taking the sentimentality as far as interpolating “Sade” by late ‘90s afropop group, the Remedies, as the song’s hook.

Of the bunch, the Isah-assisted “Shades” is the only non-romantic cut, and even though its trap-infused production and sing-rap delivery sticks out, it gives insight into how Omagz views himself in relations to expectations about his career. “Niggas been looking for me since ‘016 but I’ve been light years away from all of these niggas”, he raps, hyping up his abilities and pegging himself as a somewhat underappreciated artist in the same breath. Amidst the confident brags, “Shades” also lends ‘Vol II’ its sense of purpose, presenting Omagz as an artist who has a lot to offer and ultimately decides what fulfilment means to him.

Listen to ‘229 Friday Vol II’ below.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/omagz229

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Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter