Sinzu was Sauce Kid. In 2011/2012, he was Nigeria's hottest rapper. Blessed with pristine technique and an impressive flow scheme, Sinzu is still one of Nigeria's most talented rappers. His last project was his sophomore album, Better Late Than Never. It was appreciate by thirst fans whose craving finally got quenched.
But on the face of it, Better Late Than Never was a severely mixed project with a few fillers. Nonetheless, the high points of the project were really high - it's Sinzu after all. These days, he's Big Homie Zu and he's battling with growth and the new realities confronting him.
He's ambitious enough to be aware of his responsibilities. His latest EP, No Promo Vol. 1 is a mixed bag of compelling, beautiful substance and rhetorics that lack the substance and vain content. We know 'Big Homie Zu' is premium on these streets. We know he can afford to buy things for his favourites and speak his 'Truth.'
We know he gets the women and he hates pretenders while trying to prove his haters wrong. However, these are things we've heard before from Sinzu. As much as critics create a conflict when they tell artists what to make because the artist has what he wants to express, there is the part of the critic's opinion on how a body of work could have been better.
'No Sleep' is built on a good beat. Maybe the hook could have been better, but Sinzu's talent shines through like an asteroid field crashing into the Mets Stadium. To his credit, he speaks some of the real things that might connect him to people - he raps about doing his time like a man.
The problems on this song relates to the bland expression of vanity which Sinzu sometimes drifts onto. We didn't need the chatter about his b***ches and their sexcapades. More of that substance comes through 'On My Momma,' as Sinzu speaks straight from the heart.
He gives kudos to his Aunt, Elizabeth before criticizing her disloyalty. He bares his soul as he speaks about detraction from friends and trusted allies. This song is the truth and it's totally amazing! If this EP had been filled with more substantial songs like this, it would have been better. Verse aced that verse too.
'Wave Check' is a commendable experimentation in drill - a genre slowly bubbling in the Nigerian underground. The problem is that the message lacks substance. 'Money Come, Money Go' is a factual reality of life. The song is on its way to selling itself, but Sinzu then raps about obsession with money.
A song titled, 'Money Come, Money Go' might have been better served with a discussion about the fleeting, fickle nature of vanity. No Promo is closed out to a fitting ode to, 'Hip-Hop' as Sinzu goes back to his roots, documents his journey and delivers a beautiful ode to, 'Hip-Hop.' When Sinzu is in this bag, he's peerless. What a song!
After everything he's been through, it's commendable that Sinzu still wants to make music and this writer is desperate to see his sheer force of will get rewarded. It's amazing that he understands the place of substance, but he needs to cut the excesses of his vanity and control their impact on his music.
He might not have the hits now, but the door is never closed - all an artist needs is one hit. But then, the mentality required for hits is different from that required for bodies of work. As much as human beings can like anything, we also appreciate evolution. Sinzu is showing that, but he needs to totally embrace his status as an elder statesman.
What that means is that, he needs to de-congest the music. Vanity should complement the music, it shouldn't lead it. Nonetheless, in line with that Jay Z sample from, 'The Game Needs Me' off his debut album, African-American goes, "Can't leave rap alone..." On the same song, he raps, "Imma be here for a while..."
It's good to see him here.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Tracklist and Sequencing: 1.0/2
Content, Delivery and Themes: 1.1/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.2/2
6.0 - Victory