Rap Song of the Week: Phyno manifests his greatness with “Speak Life (On God)”

Employing a victor mentality that’s beyond fitting for an artist with far less to prove these days

Phyno spoke his greatness into existence. After the release of his classic debut album ‘No Guts, No Glory’, the rapper conferred the title of ‘Ezege 1’ on himself and didn’t wait to be inducted into the hall of fame. Some may call it faking it till you make it, but in Phyno’s mind, he was born made, what was left was just manifestations. It’s that combination of the law of attraction and a confidence that borders on arrogance that makes “Speak Life (On God)” such an inspiring record.

The latest single off Phyno’s latest album, ‘Deal With It’, “Speak Life” is somewhere between a victory lap that never really goes over the top and an appreciation song. Major Bangz creates the sonic backdrop for Phyno’s mostly-Igbo monologue, with a chipmunk soul sample and grand drum rolls adding an epic feel to the Enugu-bred MC’s reflection on his successes over the years. He gives God the glory but going by the title of his debut album, it should come as no surprise that Phyno keeps the change.

Now on his third solo project, there isn’t much that isn’t known about Phyno’s come-up story. From making music in the East, to making a killing off of it up North – as he puts it. From a street rapper with humble beginnings to an elite artist living out his dreams, as he puts it too. To his rap fans, Phyno’s dreams these days aren’t as clear as they once were and since he found success with highlife music, the MC has been getting criticism for hiding his bars.

On this song, though, Phyno shows his punchlines and metaphors to the world and thankfully, they haven’t lost their beauty. While most of his raps are delivered in his local language, his assertive candour is unmistakable, and his confidence is the magnetic factor that keeps things engaging, whether you understand every word or not. At times, “Speak Life” sounds like a continuation of “Best Rapper” off his sophomore album, ‘The Playmaker’. But where that song employed a siege mentality, “Speak Life” employs a victor mentality that’s beyond fitting for an artist with far less to prove these days.

On the hook, Phyno convincingly raps, “Look at all the levels I unlocked”, a sentiment that’s impossible to disagree with. Since storming the Nigerian mainstream with the riotous and evergreen “Ghost Mode”, Phyno has established himself as the biggest rapper from the Eastern part of Nigerian till date. Even with his singing detours, the one thing that’s certain is that Phyno is a transcendental figure in Nigerian hip-hop, and “Speak Life” is his live report from Mount Rushmore.

Watch the video for “Speak Life (On God)” here.

Featured Image Credits: YouTube/PhynoVEVO

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