Album Review: Falz – Moral Instruction.
Falz dropped this album titled “Moral Instruction” on the 15th of January, 2019.
At first glance, the album artwork closely resembles the artworks of late afrobeats legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and gives you an idea of what to expect, but I promise you, you would still be awed no matter what your expectations are.
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#MoralInstructionTheAlbum out January 15, 2019. ——————— Artwork by legendary artist Lemi Ghariokwu, @lemighariokwu , most notable for his works on Fela’s records. ————— Grateful to @ugomaadegoke for the linking me up with Mr Lemi. ————— I’m so excited about the art we have created together on this project. More importantly because I had the chance to work with someone equally passionate about this theme! #StayTuned #MoralInstructionTheAlbum #January15
Let’s dive in.
Track 1: Johnny.
This is the first track on the album and I think it started in the best way possible for a Nigerian musical moral instruction class. He took us to his Yoruba roots.
The first verse speaks on the violent clashes that the nation has been battling in the Jos part of the country.
Verse two talks about police brutality and the problems the average Nigerian male goes through in the hands of the police.
I personally like the fusion of Jazz elements and Afrobeat into this song. I also enjoy the sampling of the late afrobeat legend Fela’s “Johnny Just Drop” song.
Track 2: Follow Follow.
This track starts with a beautifully trumpeted rendition of the Nigerian national anthem. A call to attention for all Nigerians.
The first verse talks about the diseases of public approval that plagues the youth of this country. The craze to be accepted even if you have to lie and pretend to be what you aren’t.
The second verse hits on how much a lotta people base their standards and life goals on the things they see on social media. And how people so much love to ride trends.
I personally like the sample of Fela’s “Zombie” that was stretched over a pure blend of upbeat Hip-Hop and Afrobeats
Track 3: Hypocrite.
The songs start with very a chilled tempo, but it’s the hook by Demmie Vee that sets you in the mood for the afrobeat drop.
The first verse speaks on how much Nigerians love to complain about the situation of the country, but fail to put in efforts to instill change. He also hammers on religious hypocrisy among people with power in the country.
The second verse starts off by addressing pastors with holier than thou attitude, and politicians that pretend to care about the welfare of the people. He then moves on to address the common practice of only voting two political parties, whilst neglecting the others by a large number of voters. He also talks about the hypocrisy of religious leaders who perform homosexual acts with minors and the system that allows them do it lawfully. The system that placed the age limit of consent at 18.
I personally think this is a good song, because it touches on a lot of sensitive issues. You definitely should listen to it.
Track 4: Talk.
This song was first released as a single and it gave us a glimpse into the album that was about to drop. It caused quite a stir on social media and kept us waiting on our toes.
The first verse starts with him taking shots at MURIC and at Lagos big boys.
The second verse starts with him taking shots at the ridiculousness of the work periods /hours of our politicians and the nonsensical habit of fighting in the nation’s House of Assembly.
The third verse starts with him talking about the lack of payment of salaries to civil workers by the government. Afterwards, he talks about the meagre amount paid to the members of our national youth corp. He also took shots at “runs girls”. In fact, this part of the song has caused the most debates on social media.
The fourth verse has him rapping about pastors who own multiple private jets, and also, about how the Nigerian society would worship a political thief, but would lynch and burn a market thief. He ends it talking about how much his people suffer, but keep quiet about their pain.
I personally think this song is genius. I think he was able to perfectly blend his message and a melodious tune together.
Track 5: Amen.
This song starts with a beautiful sample of a Fela song and samples from a mosque and church program, respectively.
The first verse has him rapping in the voice of a Nigerian religious leader who has a fictional bakery in his home, but instead chooses to feed 5000 people with only one loaf of bread, while his only interest lies in the offerings and tithes of his congregation.
The second verse has him talking about the things that are being preached by most religious leaders. He also talks about how ordinary everyday churchgoers can’t afford to send their children to the universities owned by their own churches.
On the third verse, he shares his feelings unapologetically about the religious practices encouraged by religious leaders. He called religion a drug and insinuated that most people were overdosing on it. Also, he condemned religious leaders who amass millions of naira.
The fourth verse has Falz announcing his readiness for backlash and criticisms. He talks about how much more churches we have than schools. The track then samples a clip of a woman detailing a church revolt against its pastor.
I personally think this song has touched on a very sensitive topic for most Nigerians. As we all know, Nigerians are some of the most religious people on the planet and they do not take kindly to things they percieve as attacks against their faith. I hope people get the true message in this song as I have.
Also, I love the sampling of Fela’s hit “Coffin For Head Of State”. This album just keeps getting better.
Track 6: Brother’s Keeper (ft. Sess)
This track starts out with a soulful piano tune. It draws you in right before Falz comes in to kill the beat.
On the first verse, he raps about selfishness amongst friends and the lack of support that plague a lot of friendships. He goes on talking about tanker drivers who come onto roads despite knowing that the roads are locked with traffic, the people who witness accidents but would rather stop to take pictures and make videos than to help save lives. And the hospitals that ask for police reports before treating patients of gunshot related injuries, which causes many people to die.
On the second verse, he raps about a conspiracy between the government and private corporations to keep the average Nigerian hemorrhaging money on fuel. He raps about leaders who steal the nation’s funds to buy private jets and don’t care about the terrible happenings in the country because it doesn’t directly affect them. He also talks about the sale fake drugs and sex trafficking.
I personally like this song because of what Sess did on the chorus. It was amazing.
Track 7: Paper (ft. Chillz)
The song starts with Chillz’ cool vocals over a smooth instrumental with the eastern Nigerian vibe.
The first verse sees Falz rapping about the recent increase in money rituals in the country, drug trafficking, child trafficking and bribery. It talks and paints a dark picture of the horrible choices most of these people make, to do what they do, and why most decide to do it.
The second verse talks about the issue of child marriage, election rigging, vote buying, and other electoral malpractices.
I personally love the kind of chill vibe Chillz brought to the song. Ironically, he’s as chilled as his name implies. Also, the beautiful blend of eastern Nigerian sound with Hip-Hop was beautiful.
Track 8: E No Finish.
The first verse sees Falz tackling the core issues of the Nigerian government. The issues of corruption and insensitivity to the plight of the average Nigerian.
The second verse sees Falz talk about unemployment, nepotism, failing of the education sector, the bad economy and the continuous decline of the mental health of the average Nigerian. He finally pays homage to the words of the late afrobeats legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, hailing him as having preached against the things currently happening in our society.
I personally loved the sampling of Jazz elements, Afrobeats and Fela’s vocals. He interpolates the song “Army Arrangement” by Fela, on this track.
Track 9: After All Said And Done.
This is the last track on the album and it is indeed one hell of an outro.
This track was a spoken word poetry and Falz delivered it perfectly. He criticized a lot of things in the album, and in this poem, he tells us that he is just human and that he makes mistakes, too. I think that was a humble thing to do. He ended the album by leaving us with wise words of wisdom. It reminds me of African storytelling and the advices that come after each story.
I personally love the creativity behind this track. I love the way he bridged between Yoruba and English, and also the way he delivered his poem over the instrumental of African talking drums. It was genius.
In conclusion, I believe this album is one of the great classics of the 2010’s. You should give this album a listen, or several listens. The sampling of Fela’s songs and preaching of similar messages, buttresses my point about the album artwork. This was a Fela inspired project.
Can Falz be called the new Fela?
Let us know what you think in the comments section.