By Emmanuel Daraloye
Two artists from the same city—Port Harcourt made an invasion into the Nigerian music industry in 2020.
They came in each half of the year. First was Omah Lay with his sex-centered “Get Layd” extended play. The last quarter of the year was for the music group, Ajebo Hustler, they are made up of rapper George Dandeson (aka Knowledge), and singer Isaiah Precious (aka Piego).
“Barawo”, their August 2020 single got a verse from pop star, Davido. The remix was released in the middle of the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria.
The remix was in tandem with the tempo of the country, this collaboration led to more exposure and an increase in streaming figures.
In February 2021, Ajebo Hustler teamed up with Omah Lay for a Valentine gift to their fans. The track was named “Pronto” accompanied by a Clarence Peter-directed and colourful video—with 3.2 million views on Youtube, this is their highest view on Youtube so far. Pronto cemented their entrance into the Lagos market, crowning the new status with an album was just a matter of time.
The Avante Entertainment signed artists released their debut album last month. Five songs off their previously released “Idea from my note” made a return on this project—with their new fans base, they felt there is a need to listen to their old records—age wine tastes better, they say.
Smithereens of Portharcourt lingo, name dropping of popular streets, wordplay filled this album. The opening track—Bus Stop welcomes the listeners to the laid-back Ajebo Hustlers. A vulnerable tale about love and indecision. Bus Stop shows the versatility of the group.
Ajebo Hustler successfully blurred the line between love and lust: Bus Stop, Yafun Yafun, Solace, Symbiosis, etc, they were not mouthing when they called themselves bad boy.
Burna Boy’s sister, Nissi, lends her airy vocals to the mild tempo track “Symbiosis”. She prompts the female perspective on sex turned love squabbles.
“Oh Home” and “Barawo” catered for the social advocacy crusade of the group. The former interpolates lines from a popular childhood song. Both tracks encapsulate the perilous state of the nation.
In less than 30 minutes, Ajebo Hustler succinctly tells a story —a bittersweet take on the state of the nation with dollops of love talks enshrined in copulation. Their Katakata sound is here to stay, for how long? I leave that to time.
Emmanuel Daraloye is a music journalist. Check him out @Emmanuel Daraloye on all platforms.