Is he the realest rapper out there?

Just over a week ago, Falz released the viral video, 'This is Nigeria', which has led to many asking if he is the realest rapper in the country today.

This is not the first time that the rapper, Folarin Falana also known as Falz is 'shaking tables' with his comments or songs.

The lawyer turned rapper who made his entry with his debut album, Wazup Guy in 2014 and has followed it up with Stories that touch in 2015 and 27 last year has consistently made an attempt at having an opinion when it comes to societal issues.

Sometime in 2017, the rapper had in an interview expressed his views on musicians glorifying crime, which some felt was targeted at singer 9ice following the release of his hit single, Living Things.

Falz then extended the conversation on Confirm, a single off his last album, 27, when he rhymed;

“Internet gangster, this the first chapter, this brother just hammer, he collect from one maga/ Him steal person money, na him he wan dey form swagga... So you happy when you log into your online haven, and when you getting richer off another mans savings, stop explaining, that be lazy''.

His recent effort however took things to another level and the rapper with the funny attitude was clearly not joking this time.

Though faced with criticisms from certain quarters of people who choose to analyse it from a largely artistic and creative angle, Falz's This is Nigeria video is a state of the republic speech, reflecting happenings in the country at a time when it is most needed.

The Nigerian music scene of late has been one jolly good playground, especially with the spell that the Shaku Shaku sound has cast on majority of our artistes over the past few months, thus despite the realities facing the people and the environment, our music lives in a bubble of its own totally disconnected from life on the streets.

And for all that Falz's This is Nigeria video failed in achieving as regards proper artistic execution, he succeeded in seizing the narrative even if only for a moment and shifting the exchange on social media to vital situations as mirrored in our society.

So amidst suggestions that Falz is too comical to be taken seriously as Nigeria's finest rapper, his recent reminder of what he represents again begs the question, if he has done enough to be considered the realest rapper out there today.

This is not Falz's first time of speaking out with his music

Falz may not have a grass to grace story to tell or scars to show, but he has often gotten personal on his songs showing an understanding that as an artist, he is also a messenger of the people.

On his debut album Wazup guy, the track, 'How far' which featured Sir Dauda, Falz questions the state of living in the country, ''Someone explain to me cause I don't know how, to dey blow up town don dey in vogue now... we no progress, be like we dey for go slow, I for no talk like this If bomb no blow, if blood no flow''.

The Afrobeat inspired 'My People' off his sophomore album Stories that touch, takes a trip down the different states in the country highlighting menaces associated with each region, ''Olosho say na business, who dey check whether e pure, Yahoo boy gan pe ra e ni entrepreneur''. (Prostitutes say it is a business, even Internet fraudsters call themselves entrepreneurs).

On his latest album, 27, Falz ran a social commentary on parental neglect, sexual abuse and prostitution with the single, 'Child of the world.'

So is Falz the realest Nigerian rapper today?

The word, ''Real'' triggers a synonym with ''Street'' when it relates to hip-hop.

A rapper is usually regarded as being real when his lyrics revolves around getting shot, having sold or dealt in drugs, facing off with the police and spending sometime behind bars, but in the Nigerian context, it is associated more with the lingua, mean look and attitude rather than the message.

Hence, when Reminisce says he will bring boys to your hood with a 40 seater bus on his single, 3rd World thug or Olamide threatens someone not to come to the mainland, the little guy in his room on the Island gets the chill and tags that as being real.

But what is realness if there is no touch of realism in the lyrics or the stories you tell? In a world where kids are kidnapped, ethnic division rules and poverty hangs like a stench around a larger percentage of the population, what is realness if your music hardly ever touches on these subjects?

Like writer, Eromo Egbejule captured in his article on Falz's This is Nigeria video, ''Falz hasn’t made the perfect material but this is instructive socio-political commentary in a time where only a few bother with socially conscious music.''

Which the rapper himself admitted in a later interview, saying, ''As artistes, we are too distracted by the flashy lifestyle... but at-times, we need to pause and look at things happening around us'.

The rapper has stated he will be releasing a socio- conscious EP, titled Moral Instruction in the coming weeks.

Falz may not come off being bold as the likes of Eedris Abdulkareem or Alabai who called out the name of a sitting president in their songs. His voice might also not enforce authority or fear, but he triggers a call to action with his messages and on this path, this makes him the most visible rapper with a conscience in the industry at the moment.

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