Joeboy Contour Larry Gaga Monica: when good rhythm meets good lyrics
When some commentators say, ‘It is the rhythm for Naija,’ there are two errors they make:
- They neglect the fact that at least 90% of all danceable rhythms loved by Nigerians have been forgotten by Nigerians, and
- The songs that have stood the test of time are those sweet rhythms that are backed by good lyrics.
Why do we still play African Queen by Tu Face? Why do we still dance to Ada by Flavour? Why is Asa played as background music in establishments? But whatever happened to Doro, Wash, Alhaji, et cetera?
I have carefully watched the 2022 releases. Sure, we nodded our heads to Kiss Daniel’s Buga, Burna Boy’s Last Last, Asa’s IDG, and the newly inspired Davido’s Stand Strong. But nothing so far, for me, compares to:
Joeboy’s Contour began with some sort of city highlife vibe mixed with some traditional underpinnings exhumed by local piano, cracked guitar, and the konga drum – all romantically swallowed by modern-day sound mix. It has some 6/8 confused in 4/4 rhythm and from the beginning of the beat till the end, one cannot stop dancing. Its rhythm, by digging into the vibe of old and contemporary beats welcomes all generations before GenX, GenX, GenY and GenZs.
For Monica, the rhythm was no spectacular discovery or mix. It began with a regular beat and ended with the same. But the magic is in the melody and lyrics. It is a perfect blend and example of where a lyric of a song gives life to a rhythm. This, I call, the miracle of a good lyric. The rhyme in the lyrics further enhanced the musical pattern and sustained the rhythm beyond its ordinary making.
Joeboy in Contour no doubt, speaks from his heart and brings to bear the stories of many who have been crushed by the brutal and bitter-sweet sting of a serpentine lady. Yet, it is a feel-good heartbreak song because the heartbroken must dance. The lady’s ways are never straight, hence the name Contour. She would change in a blink of an eye and sleep with the next available man even if she knows nothing about him. It was ironic that the person she followed was a gangster, and the singer is also a gangster who had to bury the other gangster alive. Indeed, writing credits for the lyrics were given to Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, Michael Chigozie Alagwu, Ekene Nkemena.
For Monica, good lyrics were celebrated every step of the way. The voice texture and pitch made the song lovable. Performed by Ajebo Hustlers – a name many may yet to reckon with in the music space. But Larry Gaga is well known, especially after Egedege. But while Larry Gaga may be the lead name, the musical magic was performed by the Ajebo Hustlers. ‘Ajebo Hustlers is a Nigerian Afrobeat and Highlife couple comprising Knowledge (Isaiah Precious) who is a rapper and Piego (George Dandeson) who fills in as the artist…’ and the voice.
The Plot & Other:
Contour is a story of betrayal, of pain and anger, of injured pride, a careless shot, and a buried alive. The video and pictures are beautiful, set in a green environment to commemorate the season of going green. The plot was also given a cool animated contour visualisation.
Monica is also a story of betrayal, of realisation, and I dare say of liberation. It is the experience of every male and female lover out there. A story we know all too well. The video initially seems confusing, but it makes a whole lot of sense at the end. The suspense was properly laid. The music is exclusively licensed to Gaaga Muzik through Ziiki Media.
Watch the Music Video: