The rapper digs deep into his past, and simplifies it, enabling us to plough through his music and experience the various fibres and elements that formed him in Lafiaji.
Producer- Masterkraft, Jaey'O, Vector, Mekoyo, BJ, Liciouscrackitt, Masterkraft, DJ Embassey,
Record Label- GRAP Music (2016)
Duration- 80 minutes
“To understand the future, we must understand the past” Vector has maintained as he preached about the coming of the album “Lafiaji”. In his new album, the rapper seeks immortality for the cornerstone of his experiences growing up in Lafiaji (Lagos Island).
Vector grew up in the barracks on King George the 5 Road in Lafiaji, a place which serves as a microcosm of the world and the struggle to achieve on earth. During the growth of the young Vector, he experienced wholesome and stimulating events, which became parts of what created the zany rapper that has continued to polarise opinion; carnivals, riots, beef, love, worship, friendship, and most importantly, family, were the strongest points of these.
The rapper digs deep into that past, and simplifies it, enabling us to plough through his music and experience first-hand and personally, the various fibres and elements that made him. This is an invitation into Lafiaji, his first world, and cradle of his creativity. It is nostalgic, poignant and immersive.
Storytelling is the chief cornerstone of this project. The title track, an ‘anthemic’ ode to Lagos Island starts with eulogies, and a prayer for Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, before morphing into a shoutout to the various areas within Lagos Island: Isale Eko, Epetedo, Oke Popo, and Ita Faaji.
Vector first paints out the hustle and all the stories that come through. ‘All I know’ captures dilemma of a young man under pressure to bear family responsibilities. A familiar story, he embraces internet fraud, but constantly rues his decision, while battling his conscience and that of society. He is backed by the ding-dong of a plucky piano. ‘Fish Jaey’O’ tows similar line with inspiration from Prince Adekunle, a pioneer of Juju music. Minimalist and effective.
Vector has a knack for storytelling and it is that which carries the entire project. The story of weed is contained in ‘Spiritual’. A song where he remembers that his mother ‘Used to say this was grass, little did I know that this was weed’. Alcohol is king in ‘Beer parlor’ music, in a song that is witty and picturesque, the rapper dovetailing with J. Martins to bring rudimentary Highlife.
‘Condom’ has the rapper in debauched straits, trying to woo a girl who he hopes to bring him safe sex. ‘Omo to shan’, meanwhile, finds Vector touching down on subtle romance, holding on to the spectre of a lady who ‘handles the juice like she’s rocking with Ndani’. He relays ‘Amazing (Zion)’ over gently picked guitar and reggae-influenced bursts of mixed percussion and druming. ‘Here, with its soft rock instrumentation and gratitude is all of us appreciating the providence of God.
Vector ends on a sombre note, as does the listener too. But in-between this feels like a journey too long to fully command your attention and your investment. The skits are unnecessary, and serve to only prolong the listening process. But concept wise, there are very few projects that surpass this. Welcome to Lafiaji, welcome to Vector’s journey through his childhood and adolescence.
3-Worth Checking Out