I secretly loved OBO’s “Son Of Mercy,” and I needlessly suffered for it

I loved it. I loved this data dump. I loved this mediocrity.

It is a ‘sweet’ song, contained off his doomed and bashed “Son Of Mercy” EP. But I like it, and I have suffered for it. I just don’t like one song, I liked the entire project. But the world does not share in the same love, and I feel guilty that I didn’t champion it enough.

I remember having endless conversations about the record, and how Davido didn’t live his best creative life after inking the Sony deal. I didn’t object when opinions were shared about how wack the project was. I sat in my chair, my phone showing me that it was the most-streamed project on my device, but I didn’t counter it. I didn’t push through with a different opinion and shout down the voices that were loudest.

One time, a very vocal colleague of mine, pulled me aside to lament.

“What did Davido do on the project? Why did he make such awful and bad music?” he asked.

“Maybe he is just exploring,” I responded.

Let’s be honest, “Son of Mercy” was not a dope project. It was a mediocre experimental data dump that should not have been released after an 8-month production period. Although it had a bright spot in ‘Coolest kid in Africa’, the rest of the music lacked enough punch and originality to make it special. In truth, it deserved what it got, how it was rated, picked apart, analysed and fed to the dogs.

But I loved it. I loved this data dump. I loved this mediocrity. It wasn’t the critic and Music Editor in me speaking; that part of me did its job like a professional and called it out for what it was. But when I am not a journalist, when the night comes, and all airs and honours have fallen away, I loved that project.

The fan in me listened to it like life itself. I slept to it, woke up to it, ate dinner to it, made love to it, and even took a shit to it. I took a shit while listening to shit. Input and output of shit.

But yes, I have struggled deeply with this knowledge. It feels like guilty joy, every time someone blasts the project, and all it does is remind me that I have to listen to ‘Return’, another Highlife track off the EP.

I have carried this like a burden, and secretly wished I could keep this to myself, but I can’t. With time, I have come to the acceptance that we are all genuine creatures, with specific demands, needs and peculiarities.

While I have come to embrace myself and understand that I am human, and ultimately biased and partial by nature, I am beginning to embrace both the person, and the professional. The sweet spot is to find the personal space in my head, where I can be both critic and fan, professional but human, rigid but flawed.

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