Mr Eazi’s latest single Leg Over, was programmed by E – Kelly, but it might as well have been done by Ghanaian UK-based DJ Juls, with whom he has almost always collaborated since 2013.
Juls’ role in Mr Eazi’s acceptance as Africa’s new sound cannot be overemphasized: Skin Tight, Hol Up, Bankulize, Anointing, Dance For Me, Sample You, Teef Teef … In that same vein, one might argue that essentially, Eazi brought much-needed spotlight to DJ Juls…something like Da’Hammer/ Obrafour story, and more recently, Beatz Dakay/ Stonebwoy.
Leg Over is archetypal Mr Eazi/ DJ Juls: gentle, minimalistic, freshened by delicate string and percussion placements reminiscent of highlife of several decades ago. This observation in no way sets out to undermine the genius of E-Kelly. The feats he has chalked in his home country of Nigeria especially, are momentous, conjuring numerous chart- toppers with Wizkid, M.I Abaga, Waje, YCee, DJ Spinall, Lynxxx, among several others.
I’m driving at something though: Mr Eazi (born Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade) has distinguished his sound. It is a specific ambiance of ease and freedom. The music is rendered in a contented voice, and while he ventures high notes, there’s hardly indication of stress on his chords.
But Eazi has mastered the art of steering sensitive sentiment. Four out of every five girls in this town are singing along to him on social media portal SnapChat this very moment. Their screams at his gigs (an exhaustive lineup of tour destinations mainly across Africa, Europe, and the UK), are testament of a candid internal connection with his melody. Simply put: songs about girls, once they’re preceded by “it’s your boy Eaazi” or “zagadat” achieve fairytale charm.
Lyrically (especially with the chorus), Leg Over, like Anointing, or Skin Tight, or Bankulize, is elegant in how it’s stripped of the “weight” of rigorous poetry. “Leg over”, “hangover”, and “game over” are your tools. And the chorus comes around just in time too. Mr. Eazi’s verses sound extempore, and for him in particular, it drips honesty. Sometimes, an excessive devotion to constructing spotless intelligences in the music ends up ridding it of all human elements, and that’s not a good thing, for how can we interact with the song if it doesn’t feel human.
In summary, the narrator in Leg Over is enslaved by love (the greatest of all oppressions), and appeals to be treated with compassion. There’s an Akan proverb which suggests that love is he who loses themselves in a union. The narrator is sinking in a pit of seemingly unrequited love, and that is frightening. There’s a part of the pre-hook that specifically captures the plea:
“baby make you no dey rush me/ abeg make you treat me with caution”.
Will our love interest, possessing a stupefying bumbum and a sponsor from London be considerate enough?
Leg Over comes off his widely anticipated Accra to Lagos mixtape, which pays homage to the locations of his identity; Nigeria the land of his birth, and Ghana, which has nurtured him since he was 14. The project, scheduled for release in January 2017, consists eight songs, and features contribution from top Ghanaian and international acts including Olamide, Phyno, Medikal and DJ Cuppy, with production from Del B, Yung Jon, Guiltybeats, Masterkraft and Adey.