The Shuffle: That time Terry Tha Rapman gave us the exemplary pop-rap jam, “Na Beans”

“You think say na beans to bust 16?/oya bust 16!”

With a career spanning over two decades, Terry Tha Rapman is currently in his legacy act phase. Back in 2001, the veteran rapper, who celebrates his 44th birthday today, dropped his full-length debut, ‘Tha Rapmanifestation’, a project that mainly relied on his ability as a dead-eyed lyricist, sometimes to the overall detriment of the music. By his 2007 sophomore LP, ‘Tha Rapman Beginz’, he’d grown into a better song-maker, retooling his raps into memorable quips and selecting beats that slapped.

“Na Beans”, an early single off ‘Tha Rapman Beginz’, is a stunning call-back to that period in Terry’s career, where he was operating at full strength as an artist and his mainstream appeal was on a rapid rise. On the classic cut, Terry touts his lyrical ability and shadowboxes his competitors, two themes that are commonplace in hip-hop. However, three things elevate “Na Beans” beyond being a cliché brag track: a stomping beat that will compel your shoulders to shimmy till this day, the colourful references and pointed wordplay woven into Terry’s impressionable (and sometimes corny) raps, and an immortal hook—“you think say na beans to bust 16?/oya bust 16!”—that crystallises the song’s mix of conceited and catchy.

In the context of Nigerian rap music, “Na Beans” is an exemplary pop-rap song and a showcase of how lyric-driven rappers can adapt their abilities into becoming market-ready artists. In the context of Terry’s longstanding career, “Na Beans” kick-started a dominant commercial run that lasted into the early 2010s, a period during which he cemented himself as one of the greatest Nigerian rappers to hold a mic. Happy birthday, Terry Tha Rapman!

Stream “Na Beans” here.

Featured Image Credits: YouTube/Terry Tha Rapman

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Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter