This album has solid production and brilliant features, but it’s let down by execution.
When you talk about Hip-Hop, there’s lower appreciation for spitters of local lect and creole. Yet, spitters in local language or creole almost always have a bigger market share than spitters in English.
Nonetheless, they always cop cynicism from the elite which prefers English-speaking rappers and sprinkle of ebonics. These elite class also puts a premium on enunciation. To be honest, we won’t all play for te same team. Ruggedman proved it. Well, turns out he was a hero.
Since Ruggedman and Ruff, Rugged and Raw, Nigerian Hip-Hop has seen many ‘indigenous’ rappers become mainstream successes.
Ruff Rugged & Raw – Wetin Dey
Like Ruggedman, when he began making impressions in 2010, he copped cynicism, but he never stopped working. Then, people took notice because he told stories about inner-city Nigeria and crafted bars off regular words and in pidgin.
If you would compare the shock value and impressive regularity of his bars to anybody’s, it will be Lil Wayne. Erigga is the Nigerian version of peculiar raps about realities from Compton, Bronx, Harlem, Long Beach or Atlanta.
Erigga NewMoney – Mo Street Gan (Official Video)
2012 was a moment for him. He received a Headies nomination for Lyricist on the Roll. The song was titled, ‘Mo Street Gan.’ In February of the same year, he started building for a mixtape, it was titled, Erigma. For the build-up, he released ‘Real Matters,’ ‘Second Bus-Stop’ and ‘Kala’ in February, March and April respectively.
Since then, he has released three projects, Revolution, A Trip To The South and Okorowanta. It’s been a long road, but if there was ever a definition of regional stardom, it is Erigga. He is so big in the South-South that his music gets used to calm nervous crowds at concerts. Now that he is a star, he releases the sequel to that 2012 project, The Erigma II.
The album sees Erigga tell first-hand stories of inner-city Nigeria – in this case, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria – and the perils/pressures of success. His reality is the relatable tales of life at the lower rungs of the food chain where crime is seen as a legitimate hustle. On previous albums, he has rapped about trying armed robbery and various forms of crime.
On this album, Erigga tells more personal stories from coffers that never seem to dry up. Erigma II is like a diary on poverty, crime, drugs, family, pain, struggle, love, sex, celebration and power.
Here is its review;
Erigga – Welcome to Warri (Official Audio)
The album opens with a powerful social commentary that the meaning of ‘respect’ in the lower rungs of inner-cities. It seems funny, but nobody should be smiling. This is gruesome. The track is titled, ‘Welcome To Warri.’
On it, Erigga documents his mother, ‘Area Mama,’ who sold drugs. Imagine watching your mother getting arrested while you kick soccer – that was Erigga’s reality. The beat is banging with a wonderful choral sample and a typical lo-fi 2000s Hip-Hop beat.
Erigga ft. Victor AD – Area To The World
‘Area To The World’ features Victor AD. This is a typical radio-worthy sound. On it, Erigga speaks about his popularity and his journey from the bottom to being sought-after. Victor AD kills the hook. However, both topically and sonically, ‘Area To The World’ shouldn’t have followed ‘Welcome To Warri.’
This one is hilariously titled, ‘Next Track.’ It is built on an infectious beat that heavily borrows from Duncan Mighty or Wizboyy-esque. This description is aided by a beautiful hook by Oga Network. This track is quite bland with Erigga flossing. The substance is missing, but it’s something you can vibe to.
Erigga – Two Criminals ft. Zlatan (Official Audio)
‘Cold Weather’ is an adulation of a faceless woman. It details romance to raunchy talk of sex in ratchet details – Erigga talks about ejaculation and destroying female genital organs, kidneys and livers with what?
Oh, these bars are ridiculous – Erigga is insane. The beat is afro-synth pop/vibes. However, it furthers the scatterbrained approach to this project so far. Track listing has been dire – it almost makes this album unravel.
‘Homebreaker,’ features Magnito and Sipi. For the first time, The Erigma II has some semblance of segues – the transition from ‘Cold Weather’ to ‘Homebreaker’ is beautiful.
‘Cold Weather’ is the lowkey song about the finer parts of love, romance and sex while ‘Homebreaker’ is still on the topic of relationships. But this time, it’s about heartache of a one-sided love.
Interestingly, the most impressive part of this track represents the perils of cheating and unsafe sex. Equally, it also passively underlines the insecurity of settling for less. The girl is comfortable with aborting her child as long as the guy posts her on his Instagram.
Erigga – Home Breaker ft. Magnito & Sipi
The beat is so good – oh, so good. The guitar chords and piano borrows heavily from early-2000s OJB Jezreel production while its percussion has the more western R&B feel. By the way, production has been peerless on this album. On ‘Oyo,’ topically, Erigga talks from the eyes of a successful man with the weight of his family and demands of friends on his shoulders.
They all want something without thinking about the needs of the guy they are asking. Vector matches and elevates Erigga – he speaks from the angle of those family members/friends who constantly demand. But then, he shows sympathy for these people who demand. On the track list, this song should have followed, ‘Welcome To Warri.’
‘Ayeme,’ features Yung Zee Onos. It’s a good song, but it is inconsequential. It is filled with impressive bars like, “Pikin wey him mama carry put for back nor know say road far,” and talks about police arrest, smoking and other issues, but it’s off. The same thing goes for ‘Head Pan.’ Prinx Emmanuel kills the hook, but it’s a regurgitation of tracks we’ve heard already.
Erigga – The Erigma ft. M.I Abaga x Sami
The title-track, ‘The Erigma 2’ is a good one. It’s another top-notch hook – this time by Sami. Erigga is again mad with the bars, “Who wahala naked follow nor dey use English pray…” and “F*** the world even though na me pr*** go pain…” are wild.
Again, Erigga talks about the pressures of success. He also criticizes pastors and says that he watches PornHub in Church – mad! M.I. Abaga does the business as usual and in pidgin, nonetheless.
‘Body Bags’ features Ice Prince. With a beautiful trap beat, Erigga raps about random issues. Only God knows his problem with Instablog9ja – this is his fourth reference to the blog. As its hook suggests, ‘Hookups Only’ is about sex – albeit vain and drug-infused in Lagos. Sami’s hook warns on the perils of living this fast life.
Erigga – Victims | | AKtivated Sessions
‘Victims’ is one of the cornerstones of this album. Erigga reminisces about his friends who are serving time.
He thinks they are victims – first, of the circumstances of their birth which makes money more of a necessity to them than others and second, of the unfairness of law enforcement. The sample is so good with a core T-Minus-esque Hip-Hop beat. Funkcleff kills the hook.
‘My Love Song’ is a filler track about love. It’s simply unnecessary. ‘Bang Bang’ is another beautiful beat that borrows from latin pop. This is gbedu for days about making money. ‘Street Motivation’ is a beautiful song – Dr. Barz kills its hook about life in Warri churches, hoods and relationships. This is Erigga before the money.
‘Area People,’ is a Hip-Hop track about Warri. ‘Goodbye From Warri’ is Erigga’s reassurance of how Warri remains a part of his DNA. The track is about his senior brother who is a thief, a rapist, dealer and other unsavoury things of life. To close the album, Erigga says this is the last time he will rap about his past.
Erigga – Goodbye from Warri (1999)
This is a good album with great production, storytelling and impressive bars. It’s also rare to see features excel this consistently – Ordinarily, one would have thought the features were excessive.
The album has potential, but that potential was not fulfilled. First, it’s too long with about four to six filler tracks. Some of those tracks regurgitate one another topically and sonically. If Erigga wanted to tell a story about Warri, it would have been better as a concept album.
If you don’t listen carefully, you might get too carried away with the beats than the attractive stories Erigga tell. This is because Erigga seemed to lump up a bunch of songs together and paid to attention to tracklisting.
It stunted the enjoyment of this album for listeners and under-serves Erigga. Four to six tracks shorter and better track list – this would have been a masterpiece.
Nonetheless, Erigga is still very dope.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Content and Themes: 1.6/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.3/2
This album has solid production and brilliant features, but it’s let down by execution.