by Bayo Omisore
EFA explains that the ‘waka’ in the Waka EP is taken from the northern Nigerian curse.
Sonically speaking, Nigerian rap music has not evolved to the point on the road where like Kanye West (on 808s & Heartbreaks) or Lil’ Wayne (The Rebirth), mainstream icons experiment with new genre and delivery styles.
New kid-on-the-block EFA has taken said role on himself in collaboration with Micworx resident producer Bigfoot.
From its first chord, Green Light, starts with retrospective undertones, which are quickly replaced by an urgency heard in the violins. A spliced version of a John Legend sample from his song of the same name sets the stage for EFA’s entrance.
Number One replaces introspection with lightheartedness, fist-pumping bravado with mischief that shows a less than serious side to the rapper. F U, redolent of Lift Off is EFA’s testament to the struggle. Ring On Your Finger opens with what sounds like a lover’s tiff between the rapper and his girlfriend who eventually storms off in a huff. The song takes on the storytelling-style that is touted as EFA’s forte.
Gamble With Your Life, the final track, winds down as a chest-thumper. It has strong Blues influences from the deep-south in the US – with the harmonica and bass guitar refrain and Zuriel’s spoken word interludes interspersed in the song. At the end of the song, EFA explains that the ‘waka’ in the Waka EP is taken from the northern Nigerian curse. He goes on to explain how it was flipped to mean an open palm for reaching out, and that each track corresponds to each finger on the open palm. Green Light for the thumb, Number One for the index finger, the middle finger for F U, the ring finger for Ring On Your Finger and the last – the pinkie – for Gamble With Your Life.