Mr Eazi — Leg Over

Artist: Mr Eazi
Song: Leg Over
Label, Year: Meister Music/ Starboy Worldwide, 2016

Art for Leg Over by Mr Eazi
Art for Leg Over by Mr Eazi

Mr Eazi’s latest single, 'Leg Over', was produced by E-Kelly, but it might as well have been done by Ghanaian UK-based DJ Juls, with whom he has almost always collaborated since 2013.

Juls’ role in Mr Eazi’s acceptance as Africa’s new sound cannot be overemphasized: 'Skintight', 'Hollup', 'Bankulize', 'Anointing', 'Dance For Me', 'Sample You', 'Teef Teef ' all were produced by Juls. In the same vein, one might argue that essentially, Eazi brought much-needed spotlight to DJ Juls—something like the Da Hammer/ Obrafour story, and more recently, Beatz Dakay/ Stonebwoy collaboration.

'Leg Over' is the archetypal Mr Eazi/ DJ Juls sound: gentle, minimalist, freshened by delicate string and percussion placements reminiscent of highlife from decades ago. This observation in no way sets out to undermine the genius of E-Kelly. The hits he has chalked in his home country of Nigeria especially, are momentous; he has made chart- toppers with Wizkid, M.I Abaga, Waje, YCee, DJ Spinall, Lynxxx, and several others.

I’m driving at something though: Mr Eazi (born Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade) has distinguished his sound, which creates an ambiance of ease and freedom. The music is rendered with a relaxed voice, and while he attempts high notes on occasion, there’s hardly an indication of stress on his chords.

But Eazi has mastered the art of steering sensitive sentiment. Four out of every five girls in this town are singing along to him on social media portal SnapChat this very moment. Their screams at his gigs (an exhaustive lineup of tour destinations mainly across Africa, Europe, and the UK), are testaments to their candid internal connection with his melody. Simply put: songs about girls, once they’re preceded by “it’s your boy Eazi” or “zagadat” achieve fairytale charm.

Lyrically (especially with the chorus), 'Leg Over', like 'Anointing', or 'Skintight', or 'Bankulize', is elegant in how it’s stripped of the “weight” of rigorous poetry: The words  “leg over”, “hangover”, and “game over” are your tools. And the chorus comes around just in time too. Mr. Eazi’s verses sound extempore, dripping honesty. Sometimes, an excessive devotion to displaying intelligence in the music ends up ridding it of human elements, and that’s not a good thing, for how can we interact with the song if it doesn’t feel human?

The song's narrator in 'Leg Over' is enslaved by love (the greatest of all oppressions), and appeals to be treated with compassion. There’s an Akan proverb which suggests that love is he who loses themselves in a union. The narrator is sinking in a pit of seeming unrequited love, and that is frightening. There’s a part of the pre-hook that specifically captures the plea:

“Baby make you no dey rush me/ abeg make you treat me with caution...”

It's quite the question: Will our love interest, possessing a stupefying bumbum and a sponsor from London, be considerate enough to take it easy on us?

'Leg Over' comes off his widely anticipated Accra to Lagos mixtape, which pays homage to the locations of his identity: Nigeria, the land of his birth; and Ghana, which has nurtured him since he was 14. The project, scheduled for release in January 2017, consists of eight songs, and features contribution from top Ghanaian and international acts including Olamide, Phyno, Medikal and DJ Cuppy, with production from Del B, Young Jon, Guiltybeats, Masterkraft and Adey.


 

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