Falz is currently riding the wave of his new album “27.”
After the success of his last album “Stories That Touch”. Bhad Guys Records act, Falz, has released his third studio album, “27”. No one truly saw this coming. This album “27”, features his singles and hit songs post-“Stories That Touch.” Hits such as ‘Something light’, ‘Bhad Baddo Baddest’ and ‘Weh Done Sir’ are housed in it.
Falz stopped by Pulse to have a conversation about his album, Hip-hop in Nigeria, and the state of the country’s music.
The interview has been edited and condensed below.
Naming The Album “27”
This album had a lot of different names. The journey to picking the songs, the journey to picking the right title for the album. It was tedious, and there was a lot of battle. The original title of the album was “The Polish Villager.” It sounded like a book, it sounded like a novel and a title for a play.
The reason why it was supposed to be called that is that this album showcased me in a polished light as well as my typical razz light. At the same time, I wanted to depict all these in a more personal way. Which is why we didn’t eventually go with that name.
On dropping a ‘surprise’ album
I wanted to have that ‘ghen ghen’ effect. I wanted people to ask questions about why I am dropping a new project on their head. Eventually, that’s what they did and it made me happy. It was well-orchestrated. You cannot literally wake up in the morning and drop an album in this our industry. At the end of the day, everything has to be planned, everything has to be scheduled in terms of releases and digital platforms. An outsider would feel like I did wake up and drop an album, but that isn’t what happened.
It worked because people right now are paying attention to me, so what I release, they would want to check out.
On “27” Direction
Initially, the album was supposed to show that perfect blend of my brand, that multi-directional nature of my music. But eventually, I started to do more things that were uncharacteristic of me. At this point, the album was supposed to be called “Unpredictable.”
I found out that on one song I could be very happy, and on another, I could be angry, deep or emotional. It was just a bunch of the best vibes.
“Child Of The World” and Sexual Assault
Child of the world’ is a very deep song. I had to be very careful when writing the song because it is such an emotional subject. A lot of people go through sexual violence in while growing up, but they can’t talk about it. They find it difficult to talk about it. It’s extremely understandable, especially when it leaves you very scarred.
This song is almost like an avenue to discuss what you go through because that is a step in the right direction. People think it is only women who experience sexual abuse, but a lot of men go through this. The upside of this is that we can always bounce back.
As a country, we could do more about this. Legally speaking, the law of rape is not very much in support of the victim. It is a bit strange. It sort of requires that the victim of rape corroborates evidence. This means that for the victim when presenting evidence, you have to find someone to corroborate your story. I find this weird. No rapist would call people to come witness their evil actions, so it’s very unlikely you would find yourself a witness as a victim. The government can do more to protect victims of rape.
On “Fix Up Your Lives”
It’s funny. I am happy that people don’t regard me as a core rapper. Because if I am to carry Hip-hop on my head, more than the person that invented Hip-hop, then where am I going to place myself. There are conversations about rappers needing to fix up their lives, and who are commercialising their style.
But who defined Hip-hop for us? Hip-hop as far as we are concerned in Africa is what flavour that we add to it. The original Hip-hop we imported is not the way we are doing it. It is very important as an artist not to tie yourself to any genre. You are just going to kill yourself. If you have to sit down every day and think about being straight hardcore stuff, it’s not really going to help you.
At the end of the day, we need to find that perfect balance. This isn’t a hobby, this is our lives. It’s what we do to make a living and pay bills. That commercial value is also very important just as well as not over-diluting the spirit of your music. And if you ask me, I think I am doing that, and doing well for myself.
Should artists be pressured to make music?
It is very unfair to pressure artists to make music a certain way. I have never ever been a fan of directing a creative on how to make their art. Art should be made the way it comes to you. You shouldn’t have to bend yourself to make a specific style of music. When I sign artists and nurture talent, I would never pressure anyone to make a certain style of music. Finding the right balance between dilution and commercialisation is still the most important thing here.
Is Nigerian Hip-hop in a state of emergency?
No. I think Nigeria is evolving, just like Hip-hop all over the world. What is Hip-hop now in the US where it originated? It’s Migos. Nobody is coming out to say they need to fix up their lives. Things are always going to change. In 10 years, nothing would stay the same. That’s the way things are, and they are always going to change.