Essentials: Bils’ reps Africa on debut project ‘PAY YOUR BILS: Eviction notice’

Using the negative African stereotypes to show our strengths

The first time anyone heard of Bils, it was as a guest feature on a Sauce Kid’s “Fashi” . Little else is known, but a quick survey through Bils’ Soundcloud may lead listeners to conclude he’s a rapper that belongs in class of wordsmiths famed for story telling and ‘real hip-hop’. But his debut project, Pay Your Bils works on a more inclusive concept.

Designed for the explicit purpose of cracking music charts or at least some commercial acclaim, the 9 tracked ‘PAY YOUR BILS: Eviction notice’ EP is diverse in a way only artists trying to flex their audience reach can risk. It’s tricky to mess with a flow after growing accomplished with it and sacrificing that for other genres where he’ll have to compete with already established artists. While the idea might not be the brightest, Bils pulls it off quite remarkable on the first track, “PAY YOUR BILS”. The opening track is a delicate fusion of hip-hop and Afrobeat thanks to Fela samples and thumbing drums on the instrumentals. Bils gives a loud and confident performance defending his street cred but mostly, it served as an intro to a tape showing just how versatile hip-hop can be in the hands of a desperate rapper and a good producer.

“Benzo” is the most conventional hip-hop track on the PAY YOUR BILS. Though it isn’t his most cohesive song (and while it’s far fetched, it could be a metaphor for his career) because it’s hard to tell if he’s satisfied with where he is or still trying to reach his peak. Either ways, he employs a flow pattern paced like Desiigner’s “Panda” to deliver hard hitting gangster bars. But “Change” sees Bils get into his elements thanking his fans as he addresses his loneliness, trust issues and depression. He also impresses on “Lagos Boy Tin” bringing a bear-bone thug narrative that earns him some points for not botching it with exaggerated violence as he often does.

Bils ventures into Afropop territories on “Bae”, electronic Caribbean dancehall on “Vibe City” and his Daramola assisted “Transitions” has a funk beat. But he manages to represent the African sound and culture in a pleasant manner through most of the tracks to make wading through the murk a worthwhile task. “Transition” in particular showcases African stereotypes but instead of blurring out the negatives, he uses them to explain our strengths for the love themed song.

Stream Bils’ PAY YOUR BILS: Eviction notice below.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/officialbils

You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

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