Lil Kesh’s 'Efejoku' is Nigeria’s dance song of the year

Any tune can make you bop your head; it takes a special one to make you want to spin it again and again. Therein lies the uniqueness of Lil Kesh's 'Efejoku'. Translated the title means 'you will dance to death'. It's a kind of question that is as emphatic as a declaration. A report went out sometime ago about certain songs use for torture. Something similar is possible with 'Efejoku'. Imagine demanding one stays still upon hearing the song at pains of death. Hopefully this wasn't the plan…

Lil Kesh
Lil Kesh

As a lyricist, Kesh loves his rhymes; he also loves his lusts. Freed from hypocrisy (he's a pop act, what do you expect?) he's eager to point it out. So somewhere on the song he refers to seeing a pastor's daughter in the club. He'll be a snitch in other words. But when you have the snitching backed by this kinda of beat, you tolerate it.

Part of the success is Young John's. The young producer's beat channels a clearly Nigerian sound mediated by rhythmic percussion. The overall effect is one of expectation. It is because the primary impact is one of suspense that Young John can't take full credit for the song's power. The song could verily fall short of the atmosphere created for it by Young John. But Lil Kesh fills his duties admirably. He introduces the song by placing a hook in three sections.

The chorus is a repetitive single line, downfall of several songs. 'Efejoku' evades monotony because of the placing of that hook: it combats drudgery with melody. It's an immortal trick of the trade.

For a Nigerian audience there's the language of that last verse by Viktoh. Performed in Ishan, a minority language, it introduces listeners to a language they may not have known was in their country. Nigeria may have its splinters. In its music though there's unity. Thus 'Efejoku' becomes political in form if not content.

What do we have here? A dance song that is political? Yes. The world has heard worse.


 

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