For a man like Mr Eazi whose entire brand is built on a constant state of chill, the pressure to make a mark with Accra to Lagos, must’ve been unusually crushing. After all, this is a man that came from promoting events in uni, to selling out shows of his own in Lagos with only singles and a handful of features. Against this backdrop of roof-level anticipation for his debut body of work, Mr Eazi delivers a shimmering mixtape that hints at a potential worth supporting for the long haul.
Off Mr Eazi’s Accra to Lagos mixtape, check out 5 of the following album-defining cuts.
Business (feat. Mugeez)
Estranged R2Beez collaborator, Killbeatz is on the deck on “Business” and it’s evident that Eazi is merely tapping into a pre-existing sonic bond between Mugeez and his old producer. Still, Eazi holds his own by stretching his voice thin to hold longer less tired notes (a style similar to what we have heard from Mugeez in the past). Over the last year, Afropop has increasingly become a fusion of African vocals with fringe sounds like edm, dancehall and trap (see Wizkid, Davido, Korrede Bello respectively). But like many songs that truly embody the road-trip theme of Accra to Lagos, the acoustics come at unexpected places, the bounce is sustained and you can still hear that authentic African soul calling at you with a postcard from Mr Eazi.
From its simplistic lyrics and social media references, you already get the feel that Mr Eazi was just going for the lowest hanging radio hit with this one. But “Feelings” is not a bad song. YBNL collaborator Young John continues to impress the same magic fingers he used to craft steady hits for Lil Kesh and Olamide over the last two years. Plus, history will do well to remember that Mr Eazi created the Afro-wave vibe and he should be justified to ride it in any direction no matter how obscure to reason.
Accra to Lagos
If you have ever wondered if the deal Eazi inked with Wizkid’s Starboy Records would impact his sound in any way, you should listen to title track “Accra to Lagos”. Eazi builds a consistent flow, rumbling calmly along a baseline that plays like flowing water. He stays low even when the melody goes high and tells a familiar story almost similar to Wizkid’s “Ojuelegba” only faster-paced and stripped down for a more grounded acoustic sound.
Short Skirt (feat. Tekno)
Maleek Berry traced the same footpath he took to create sub-psychedlic Afropop dance hits, “Kontrol” and “Eko Miami” for “Short Skirt”. Tekno is along to keep things fresh and Eazi stays infinitely laid back. This seems to be Mr Eazi’s greatest strength, his deadpan voice has evolved into a style that matches his personality. The confidence allows him to sit vocals comfortably on a wide range of instrumentals no matter how simple or complex. On “Short Skirt”, the poesy is simple but poignant. Eazi asks his lover hold him down like she would hold down her skirt. It’s slight, but nothing on the LP rings quite as honest as asking a lover for protection like they would protect their own body. It takes the phrase ‘one plus one is one’ a little too literally and we could all use a bit of that in this season of love.
Right Now (Bonus Track)
“E get plenty, plenty things, wey I for talk o, you already know”
Many Afro-R&B songs over the next year are going to sound somewhat like Mr Eazi’s bonus track, “Right Now”. Like Tekno’s “Pana”, “Right Now” is tempered down, sleekly mellow and strangely emotive; only better written and stripped of a club bounce. On this love-story-in-reverse, Eazi comes to terms with the inability of his lover to have him as a main. Though he casually lists proof of all the times she has cheated on him, he offers to settle for a low-key side arrangement nonetheless. It not nearly as sexy as he wants it to be, but that’s only if you miss the point of his story.
Download Mr Eazi’s Accra To Lagos via iTunes here.