Essentials: HeadBridge’s ‘At The Moment’ Debut EP is a new classic

Most 90's hip-hop you've heard in a while; complete with dj scratches and flutes

Ever since the failings of 90’s hip-hop crew, REMEDIES, we’ve grown to look at reincarnations of rap groups with skepticism. The startling number of failed Nigerian rap duos/groups mean that when one emerges we engage with equal parts skepticism and hope.

However the HeadBridge music collective has us stoked with their debut project, At The Moment. HeadBridge consists of Realtalk, Soto Nwobi and his cousin, Chuba. All three have been into music for a while but despite the obvious talent and drive to succeed, their music, individually and collectively have remained underground, until now.

Soto’s music group in university, ‘GSC’ split-up and left him to pursue a solo career in music but the solo gig didn’t work for him after singles like “Hustle” got little recognition. Soto and the rest of the team formed The HeadBridge music group in 2015 and with Reflex Soundz, Kay X and Jabz production, their debut project, At The Moment could turn out to be the springboard that launches these rappers to public acclaim status.

At The Moment is a mixture of 90’s hip-hop, trap and a bit of urban Afropop. They pull this off masterfully with since their rap draws inspiration from legends like Nas, Jadakiss and 50 Cent and their producers have worked on Afropop songs. The EP plays like a literal first time introduction of the artists first to each other then to the listeners. The have a lot of recorded conversations spread across the 11 track EP.

The first song “Ride Round Music” was the first song the trio ever recorded together but you could never tell with the coordinated and almost conversational flow they display on the track. Kay X takes production credits for the song spiced up with disc scratching noises that takes listeners back to the Nas and Jay Z days of hip-pop. The synth guitar and piano baselines are also straight out of Dr. Dre’s handbook and Realtalk, Chuba and Soto give hard bars that reminds us of the TDE rap group from Compton. “Ride Round Music” embodies the current aesthetic of the group as Soto raps “You don suppose to blow. I hear it everywhere that I go” “I’ve been on this gig forever” “2016, We ride this year. We put a bullet in a dream”.

“Konsono” is the 4th track on the EP and it starts off like your regular jollof-rap song that the YBNL crew have made commercial. The up-tempo beat and designed by producer, Reflex Soundz to get people dancing was used by The HeadBridge to pass a politically conscious message. Rappers like Joey Badass have used beats that sound like they belong in the dance clubs to deliver lyrically conscious verses on songs like “Devastated” and that’s what Soto, Realtalk and Chuba do on the urban-Afropop beat that switches from Afropop to Trap without missing a beat. They rap about the backward economic position of the country and blame corrupt politicians.

Jabz produced “Abeg”, the 6th song on the EP and he gives the group their most somber track using the flute instrument that has gotten very popular lately thanks to D.R.A.M’s “Broccoli” and Future Hendrik’s “Mask Off”. The slow tune works for The HeadBridge’s emotional verses written to address moms, ex lovers and “new friends”.

Despite the Afropop hip-hop mash-up attempt in At The Moment, the EP is still plays like a niche 90’s hip-hop playlist that only rap-heads would enjoy. Also, the EP is limited by it’s lack of visual representations for the three voices who are relatively new to a lot of listeners. All that being said, the talent in The HeadBridge group is tremendous and with proper management, could become take Chocolate City’s place as Nigeria’s TDE.

Listen to HeadBridge’s At The Moment EP below.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram:@soto_eon

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