The Evil Genius’ offers different insights into his status and state of mind.
Before transitioning into his role as a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Eazi made waves in the Nigerian music scene by introducing and popularizing Ghana’s melodic Mid-tempo style. This marked a departure from the percussion-heavy mainstream Pop scene in Nigeria.
From 2016-2017, the Ghana Bounce sound, championed by artists like Runtown and Tekno, dominated the music scene. Many widely acknowledge Mr. Eazi’s role in shifting Afrobeats towards a slower tempo.
The album boldly asserts Mr. Eazi’s business acumen, but sticks to familiar territory musically, without venturing into bold sonic experiments or showcasing his quintessential style.
Despite Mr. Eazi’s pride in the eccentricity and ingenuity that defines his genius, ‘The Evil Genius’ is primarily centered around exploring familiar territories.
Across the 16 tracks and 41-minute play time, Mr. Eazi maintains a mid-te2=mpo approach as he replicates similar melodies across Garage, Highlife, Pop leaning Afrobeats, and quintessential Ghana Bounce.
The album offers different insights into his status and state of mind.
A successful businessman, Eazi doesn’t hesitate to flaunt his success. A family man, he takes time to adulate his woman while committing to holding his family and community together. He displays his faith and shares his belief in a higher power. Furthermore, in the midst of all this, he confronts fake friends and detractors, displaying a level of paranoia and cynicism that extended even to his own family.
Like the quintessential music artist turned Business mogul, Mr. Eazi isn’t the type to be humble about his success. There’s a lot of ego in play in the way he chooses to narrate his feats. He’s not okay with people knowing that he’s rich. He’s the type of man who wants the public to know just how rich. The type to correct a random social media user who placed his network at 5 million dollars. In the opening record, he expresses his love for his family while turning to a higher power for strength.
In the song ‘Advice,’ Mr. Eazi calls out fake love and boasts about his wealth, originality, and fearlessness. He goes as far as likening himself to Ken Saro Wiwa, the Niger Delta activist martyred by Sani Abacha.
Mr. Eazi boasts but also reflects, with the standout moment in the album being ‘EXIT,’ where he acknowledges his humanity in response to criticism from friends and associates.*
In ‘Orokoro,’ Mr. Eazi expresses his faith in God and emphasizes the hollowness of material possessions, incorporating melodies from Angelique Kidjo’s ‘Wombo Lombo.’ The multi-Grammy winning legend collaborates, a testament to her support for African Popstars.
The album maintains a mid-tempo vibe, offering coherence. However, it lacks standout moments until the final track, making the listening experience less engaging. ‘Panadol’ revisits the Ghana Bounce and echoes melodies from 2016 hits like ‘Holl Up.’ Yet, it’s enveloped by similarly mid-tempo tracks that feel repetitive.
Between track 4 – 10, the melodies and delivery are repetitive and makes for a flat and monotonous listening experience. Although Mr. Eazi explores different genres like Reggae and Highlife in tracks like ‘Good Loving,’ ‘Lack of Communication,’ and ‘Fefe Ne Fe,’ he maintains a similar flow pattern that blurs the distinction between them. This sonic consistency and album arrangement also impact the impact of ‘Legalize,’ one of the standout tracks.
WhoisAkin brought diversity and excitement with ‘Show Dem’, and Joeboy’s vocals provided relief on ‘Zuzulakate’.
All through the album. Mr. Eazi sticks to his familiar style, rarely stepping out of his comfort zone, which he’s honed for nearly a decade. This makes ‘Exit,’ featuring the celestial vocals of the Soweto Gospel Choir, the standout track on the album.
Mr. Eazi’s business acumen and distinctive musical approach justify his claim to being a genius. However, it’s time for him to tap into that genius and evolve his sound to offer something refreshing.
• Flop; 0-1.9
• Near fall; 2.0-3.9
• Average; 4.0-5.9
• 8.0-10: Excellence
• Victory; 6.0-7.9
Pulse Rating: /10
Album Sequencing: 1.3/2
Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.3/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.4/2
TOTAL – 6.9 – Victory