On 'Moral Instruction', Falz is angry, daring and hard-hitting as he delivers his most politically charged project yet

Falz Moral Instruction art cover [Instagram Falz]

Falz creates an album fueled by his environment and motivated by the fearless spirit of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

While a majority of established Nigerian rappers continue to earn appeal by becoming singers or saying next to nothing in their songs, Falz has chipped in as the odd one out with his fairly consistent strings of socio-conscious messages right from when he started his career in 2009.

Nigerian rap has been at its most 'commercial' point in recent years.

A lot of them who start as purists of the genre stopped identifying with its essence as their celebrity status ballooned, hence very few are able to hold any form of sustained musical relevance. 

But some have left legacies with how vocal they have been with their messages with the likes of the more known Eedris Abdulkareem and the lesser recognized, Kahli Abdu.

While Eedris's 'Jagajaga' is a classic, Kahli Abdu is the name that however comes close to mind when you unfold Falz's direction on this album, especially with the samples on three of the songs. 

In 2010, Kahli released his ''Ministry of Corruption'' mixtape, the conscious themed project was inspired by the Abami Eda with every song carrying a sample from his classic records, sadly there were never properly cleared and have largely been yanked offline. 

Luckily, that is not the same case with Falz, who revealed how he had to go through the troubles of meeting his Estate in Nigeria, France and US where a company still has rights to his Masters.

The nation has been at its most downcast in recent years with the absurd pace of political developments, chillingly rampant killings that have resurfaced across the states, a beaten economy and the people fast losing hope, a situation that truly provokes anger from everyone. 

All these adds up to why Falz is more authoritative in recent times, he has something serious to say and he further paved the way for his music to be considered weighty with the 2018 released 'This is Nigeria.'

Now he teams up yet again with producer/friend SESS who worked on a majority of the songs and taps into the spirit of Nigeria's most rebellious and politically vocal performer to express his vexations on a truckload of societal issues with 'Moral Instructions'

On 'E No Finish', Falz conveys anger as he explains the theme behind the song which also works like that of the entire album when he rhymes, 

''This no be club song, I no come to shout, na real strong matter, I wan talk about''

Three songs prominently bear the Fela influence. On the opening track, 'Johnny', produced by TMXO, it contains samples of 'Johnny Just Drop' [JJD] as Falz tackles the insecurity and reckless killings in the country.

''Johnny just drop, na person shoot am town, Johnny wey dey innocent, Johnny wey dey new in town, dem kill am for Jos, for no just cause''

He also paints a vivid story inspired by that of the youth corps member that was shot by a police officer in Abuja, a day to her passing out in July 2018.

''Johnny come, Johnny go, Johnny just complete him youth service/ passing out tomorrow, so the guys dem do party, for the place wey the boys dem dey meet usually, one or two drinks to relax, no be say dem too shack''

He is irritated, uncharacteristically cursing, spurting words like ''Motherf**ker, Madman, Waka, Bloody bastard'' and the release of emotions create a powerful energy that reverberates with his listeners and he continues on 'Follow Follow', arguably the tape's best record, where Fela's 'Zombie' is the canvass upon which Sess creates his magic.

The song talks about finding one's identity amidst the distraction of social media and all its components in peer pressure, trending topics, followers and number of likes. 'Amen' completes the Fela sampled trilogy as 'Coffin For Head of State' was used to tell his story.

Another standout track is 'Hypocrites' with the Flyboi Inc affiliated singer, Demmie Vee who delivers a telling hook as they address the pretentious lifestyle of Nigerians, not sparing religious leaders.

''People too complain but they fear to speak up, you don't want to die but nothing to live for/ Christian and corrupt no suppose be mixture, real Musulimi (Muslim) no suppose dey thief joo''

On his last album, 27, Falz got tangled in a full-fledged social media controversy for the lyrics to one of his singles, 'Child of the world' and on the only pre-released song, 'Talk' which kicked off conversations leading to the eventual release of the body of work, Falz talked on failed leadership, recycling of political parties and a number of topics but sadly the song is again largely discussed because of a part of his lyrics that supposedly 'slut-shames' women.

The album closes with songs like 'Brother's Keeper', where he preaches love and looking out for one another, 'Paper' featuring Chillz touches on the ills that comes with the obsession to acquire wealth, while 'After All Said And Done' sees him admit to his own imperfections.

Falz's inspiration goes deeper as his usually comical lyrics this time are hard-hitting, political and socially conscious throughout the near 30 minutes project.

From the creatively inspired cover-art designed by the legendary Lemi Ghariokwu, same man notable for 26 art covers by the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti to the fine details in the album roll-out and composition, Falz is intentional about what he set out to create and it is hard to argue that he fully achieved it.

The producers also play a crucial role in making this a compact album, especially with the insane and finely chopped sampling on display.

'Moral Instruction's biggest criticism is that it peaks with the opening three tracks, which sets a standard almost impossible to surpass and while the remaining songs are good in their own right, they are unable to keep that spark and edge that comes with concept albums with the topics coming off monotonous and unvaried as it progressed.

For some, this album will hold a conflicting and polarized place based on the lines that have been fully analyzed and blown on social media, but in a generation that is without doubt morally deprived, it will be unfair to cast an eye on the good intentions of the album based on that and cynically dismiss the quite important conversations that it holds.

At a very important time in the pulse of the country, especially as the next general election beckons, Falz is writing a timeless story that many at his mainstream crest would rather not bother telling and that is the basis by which this album will be judged many years from now.

Rating: 4/5





3-Worth Checking Out


4-Smoking Hot




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