Production is more daring, bars are heavier and risks got taken. More importantly, everything worked out.
It’s 12:12 am in the morning. This writer had just returned from Reminisce’s Trace Live! and a second Uber driver had just declined a card trip. An unintentional click on his laptop showed that a video got uploaded 12 minutes prior.
The video is for ‘Ronaldo,’ the single by Falz, Ajebutter22 and BOJ. The opening was promising, but not as catchy. But like every great song, it is defined by a climactic hook – a combination of atypical BOJ madness, piano staccato and well-used bass legato. From there, it was a musical ‘UP NEPA!’
Then, it dawned on this writer that a project eagerly anticipated was finally here. It is the unlikely, yet unsurprising collaborative project, Make E No Cause Fight 2 EP by Falz, Ajebutter22 and BOJ. Oh, an Uberdriver finally accepted a card trip – the journey begins. This writer mailed one of his OGs a song from the EP.
His response was simple, “When I call you next, we will discuss why Falz, Ajebutter and BOJ is a project sent from the heavens.” He was right. From the outside looking in, Ajebutter, Falz and BOJ always had an interwoven path. First, they sort of came into musical consciousness around the same time.
BOJ was the cool, braided, avant-garde member of DRB Lasgidi – a shift from DRB. Ajebutter and Falz were professionals who could rap. All three of them studied in the UK, but Ajebutter22 and Falz always had complicated heat from people. In the early days, they were produced by the same person – Studio Magik. They also dropped their debut albums around the same time.
Then, despite the marked difference in style, vocal texture and stylistic delivery, people understandably compared their styles. They both make music with a very Nigerian essence – language, enunciation, idiosyncrasy, symbolism and hilarious, yet brilliant bars. But then, Falz was more ferociously glossy with tough act to follow.
On his own, Ajebutter makes the hardest things seem like eating meishayi noodles. They might be cut off the same cloth, but Falz and Ajebutter are worlds apart. As time changed, both rappers began to collaborate to incredible excellence – the chemistry became evident. In their solo careers, they had some sounds that could only be used by Falz and Ajebutter22.
But there was another guy who could also croon on that vibe, BOJ. After his madness on Show Dem Camp’s ‘Feel Alright,’ the mainstream took notice. Then, alongside Ajebutter, they carved sticky asylum out of Naeto C’s ‘What You Want.’ The final one minute of that song was not just multiple sonic orgasms, the melodious humming probably made Kid Cudi jealous.
By that time, Falz had made strides. Ajebutter had a 9-5 in tech and BOJ was making wonderful music. Then came 2017, Ajebutter and BOJ finally decided to crown that ‘What We Want’ moment with an EP. It was titled, Make E No Cause Fight. Well, contrary to their intention, it actually caused blood wars in which the weapons of war were guitar-guns a la Antonio Banderas‘Desperado.’
The project was a madness, but it was too short. That same year, Falz dropped, 27, his third project in three years. But before then, Falz and Ajebutter had released the cultural moment, ‘Bad Gang.’ By 2018, Falz had carved his anglo-Yoruba niche or crisp rap with an organic hue and dynamic rules of engagement.
Ajebutter was another ruler of his own kingdom. In it, he delivered anglo-Yoruba rap with a unique style that is parts sung-rap and parts intentional savagery of calmness. For his part, BOJ became a walking manifestation of ‘midas touch.’
With the unspoken, yet apparent synergy and existent relationship between the parties, this project was always of theoretical excellence that only God could oblige. Well, God finally gave them the initiative to record it and my people, it is the most beautiful thing since that maiden teenage kiss.