In the weeks following 2face’s brand re-direction to 2Baba, fans of the African Queen hit maker have closely observed his music and style for any indication of brand distinction his new name may hold. While conclusions are still a stretch, it only takes a couple of repeated plays of 2Baba’s latest single, 50/50 to know something has obviously gone wrong.
Featuring vocals from songstress Waje and Chocolate City’s Ice Prince, 50/50 opines as a conscious song about gender roles and equality. Hear Waje croon “Abi shey na because I be woman wey mean say I no fit talk?” The rest of her verse tackles deep mind boggling issues along the realms of patriarchy, misogyny and undermining of the female voice in African society. Sadly this is the only notable highlight of the song.
For 2Baba whose lyrical depth and versatility have always been the first contact with his music, he settles for a mediocre verse and chorus with petty narratives that sharply contrast the gravity of a the song’s subject matter.
Ice Prince’ verse drags the song into the point of no return. The rapper’s handling of song’s theme is so poor, the subject matter of gender equality is flayed down to the mundanities of badly written, love song cliché(s), a total deviation from the issue being discussed. Clearly the rapper shouldn’t have been invited to the recording sessions.
We have to admit, 2Baba does get cool points for trying. Gender equality is an unending battle political organisations and corporations all over the world still face squarely. Placing himself as a male voice in an African society and to tackle such a delicate issue is definitely commendable. However, the song readily fails with its highlife instrumentation.
2Baba seems to be caught in the Nigerian music conundrum where artistes constantly attempt to make everything groove-able and party-able The result, in this case, is a song that fails to shine musically or properly shoulder its message with a voice strong enough to deserve an audience. An absolutely cloy derivative of what would have otherwise been both a socially relevant and musically picturesque song.
At best 50/50 is a poorly executed great idea. Besides, how convenient is it that a song publicly marketed with a “gender equality” tagline features two men and one woman? Someone in his camp should have done more homework before the microphones were turned on.