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Lagbaja Speaks The Bitter Truth

April 2, 2013
Artiste- Lagbaja
Album- 200 Million Mumu (The Bitter Truth)
Label- Motherlan’ Music (2012)
Running Time- 45 minutes
 Lagbaja speaks the bitter truth
In the 90s and early 00s Lagbaja was as big as they came. His humorous and political songs made him a household name and his faceless persona made him an interesting mysterious artist. The burgeoning pop scene sinco the mid 00s might have slightly diminished Lagbaja’s influence in contemporary music, but the masked one still has the tricks to make everyone listen to his music.
His 9th studio album 200 Million Mumu (The Bitter Truth) is vintage Lagbaja. He mixes sarcasm and humour to sing about the ills of the Nigerian society. The main theme of this LP has to do with the docile and hypocritical nature of average Nigerians. On ‘200 Million Mumu (Part 1)’ Lagbaja says ‘you no different from them at all’. The ‘them’ he talks about are Nigerian leaders. According to Lagbaja the ordinary Nigerian is no different from a bad politician and Nigeria’s problem is mostly a case of bad followership.
In ‘200 Million Mumu (Part 3)’ Lagbaja turns former President Olusegun Obasanjo into a stuttering auto-tune robot talking about his failed third term bid. Lagbaja splices OBJ’s vocals to address the docile nature of Nigerians when faced with oppression.
Lagbaja has a fascination with OBJ as his vocals appear again on ‘Dust to Dust’. As the former president says that no one is as powerful as him even God, Lagbaja warns that God has the ultimate power and death will come to all. He also talks about the hypocrisy of Christians and how God is not deceived with their holier-than-thou attitude.
This album is filled with three hymns (‘Joy Cometh in the Morning’, Guide Me O Great Jehovah’ and Nipa Ife Olugbala’). The presence of these hymns on the album is puzzling at first but at the end of ‘Dust To Dust’ when Lagbaja sings ‘justice go come one day’ it all makes sense. The hymns are Lagbaja’s solution to the Nigerian problem- God. You would think Lagbaja would prefer a call to arms but he like most Nigerians looks up to God to solve the Nigerian dilemma.
Then there are some of the songs (‘Knock Knock’, ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘Omo Jayejaye’) that steer off the main theme.  ‘Omo Jayejaye’ is a combination of African drums and Electro pop. It’s a fun and celebratory song that uses the vocoder and chipmunk vocal effect.
There are a few songs that shouldn’t be covered or remixed because the original is basically flawless. Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ is one of them. Lagbaja’s attempt at re-working this evergreen song doesn’t yield stellar results. He doesn’t have the voice for it and the beat clutters his honest effort.
In truth Lagbaja isn’t a great singer but he is a great writer/arranger; a great narrator, a great producer and a rare performer. This makes 200 Million Mumu (The Bitter Truth) a pleasurable listening experience.
The album might not be long but it packs a punch that should leave you satisfied. Lagbaja is still a master craftsman whose new work of art is refreshing.Collapse this post
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