Rap Song of the Week: Prettyboy D-O is an unstoppable force on “Jungle Justice”

Prettyboy D-O is a magnetic force, and for anyone who has been paying attention to his career-defining run, this can either be deduced from his characteristic sound which is unique to only him or from his larger-than-life personality which is generally what keeps fans and onlookers endeared to him.

From the moment Prettyboy D-O stepped into the scene, he’s used his platform to speak about society’s ills. One of his first official singles, “Chop Elbow” was a socio-political number, calling for everyone from politicians to the police, and all his haters to do as the title says (i.e, do one). The song served as a marker that his music would never shy away from passing commentary on society’s penchant to subjugate the underdog and take advantage where there’s an opportunity to, and it’s with this same energy that he brings to his debut performance on A Colors Show, to give fans a taste of his new single “Jungle Justice”.

 

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Maintaining his proclivity for high-energy performances and bruising raps, “Jungle Justice” could sit comfortably on his recently released EP, ‘Wildfire’, towing a similar line to the brand of self-assured anarchy that punctuated much of the project’s premise. Opening up with distinct keys that quickly build into a more menacing beat, Prettyboy D-O floats on the up-tempo number produced by DOZ and Hvrry, which gives the message enough room to stand out, as he runs through his feelings about the broken Nigerian system. He’s self-assured as usual, starting off with a clear caveat, “You better warn them/try to take me money, I go hurt them” he sings, explaining his battle with the Nigerian police, whose disturbing actions he’s been very vocal about on different occasions in the past.

In a recent interview with Okay Africa, D-O was quoted to have said, “I do not like bullies, I do not like things that are not equal, I don’t like intimidation, I don’t like oppression” and this certainly translates to his music. “Jungle Justice”, as the name suggests is about taking matters into your own hands, controlling your fate, and fighting for what’s right. But unlike the gruesome act that’s come to encompass public mob justice in this country, D-O isn’t physically drawing fists with his oppressors and haters, he’s simply doing the work and letting it speak for himself. When he sings I say my brother this na jungle justice/Cos where Mi from dey no give you no nothing/No recognition but we always working”, you can imagine his words as unequivocal truths. 

D-O is telling his haters to keep sleeping on him because their recognition of him in the industry has no bearing on the heights that he will go in his career. This is brought to a peak when he interpolates 50 cent & The Game’s monster hit “Hate It or Love It” singing, Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top and I’m gonna shine only until my heart stop”. Taking a leaf from 50 cent’s book, his bars are marked with evocative details of his come up, counting the people closest to him as his brothers and detailing years of slumming it together in his earlier days. Each line is memorable, oscillating somewhere between singing and rapping, as he delivers it passionately with an audible smirk to the opposition.

With the premise of this song, D-O is saying he’s a rapper rapper and his compelling catalogue of music is proof enough of this status which he doesn’t feel like he needs to prove anymore. He’s easily become one of the most intriguing characters in the Nigerian hip-hop scene, with a ubiquitous presence in the new vanguard of hip-hop/rap, which now inspires newer hitmakers such as Fresh Meat Alum, JELEEL!. Throughout “Jungle Justice”, he affirms himself as one of the GOATS despite being counted out and this shines the most on the song’s anthemic hook.

Back in June when I last caught up with D-O as he quarantined in Los Angeles, he told me about witnessing the groundbreaking anti-racist movement that swept the US during the summer following the death of George Floyd. He said about the protests, “I just wanted to see how these people can just wake up and start fighting their governments and actually get results”, and inspired by the energy of people, he was insistent on learning how this could translate to his country, Nigeria. No one could have foreshadowed that only a few months later, the #EndSARS protests would break out across the nation and young Nigerians would come out in droves to demand better from their government and law enforcement. D-O who joined the protests at the height of it all was very vocal about the ineptitude of the Nigerian government, and on “Jungle Justice”, which was recorded two months before this historic moment, his vision shone clearer than ever. He’s telling us to be patient, because the underdog will rise and get everything they are owed.

Featured image credits/Youtube


.@tamimak_ Is a Staff Writer at The NATIVE. Send me memes.


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