Paper Anthems are a huge part of the pop music canon, especially in Nigeria where the need to ‘blow’ seems to supersede all other preoccupations. Our popstars fantasize about it, and almost every popular artist who makes it to the mainstream seems to release an ode of some kind to their struggle and the triumph of finally getting their paper. While it has predominantly been a genre trope that only male artists really get to indulge, the tide might be finally changing. Especially now that alt-soul singer Maka is taking it out for a spin on her new single “I Just Got A Cheque”.
2017 was an important year for Maka, especially for her profile as a performing artist. She stepped out of the booth and onto the stage, sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the alternative music scene (she was one the headlining acts at Bez’s end of year concert) while asserting herself as more than just a niche artist. She even caught our attention with her Christmas ditty “Before Christmas”, that subverted the tropes of the classic christmas song. Her new single “I Just Got A Cheque” sees Maka truly test the boundaries of her sound, incorporating a more contemporary electronic sound. While the song’s composition plays to Maka’s vocal strengths and her preference for unconventional song structure, the lyrics are more aspirational. She sings about the artist’s struggle and the validation that comes from hard earned success, without any of the aggressive braggacadio that seems to follow the trope.
It also helps that she manages to drag reclusive rapper, Munachi Abii out of her self imposed hiatus to her first feature of 2018. Muna evokes the slacker rap sound of Naija’s mid 2000’s rap scene and that little vocal skit at the end of the song is everything. “I Just Got A Cheque” is guaranteed to get a bump into chillwave playlists everywhere. Don’t sleep on it.
Watch the new video for “I Just Got A Cheque” here.