Fans who have been with Reminisce since his Kako Bi Chicken days, are the ones that can say the most about the magic the rapper can create with producer Sarz on the microphone controls. And with the Nigerian hip-hop scene already buzzing with noteworthy sonic statements from different rappers, there is no better time for any rapper worth his word-smithery to stake his claim.
On that note, Reminisce opens the year musically with Asalamalekun (Peace Be Onto You) and we’re already drawing up cards with thumbs up.
Electronic Nintendo-esque notes open Asalamalekun with evidence of Sarz signature dubstep Afro-EDM sound. Sonically the Sarz produced instrumentation is a beautiful collage of popping minuscule synths layered over a classic mid-tempo orchestra-ish violins.
Surprisingly, Sarz avoids his heavy bass drums for light kicks and occasional snare drum rolls. Even his preferred heavy base drops are replaced with a dubstep soft landing as the instrumental hook rolls in. But the complex light-weight touch of Asalamuelekun is not without purpose as Reminisce holds a somewhat solemn lyrical grounding for most of the song despite the hard-hitting shoulder high lyrics.
Basically, any unintended heaviness would have required a content re-direction.
Asalamuelekun is an Arabic word meaning ‘Peace be on to you’. But instead of rapping along the Kumbaya title of the song, Reminisce intentionally vocalises paradoxical lyrics aggrandizing his top-flight place in the industry. With bars rendered in English and Yoruba constantly interpolating throughout the song, Baba Hafusa rips everything apart. From his influence to his wealth and power. And for rappers who think they’re the best Reminisce simply scoffs by saying Ti m’ ba ever bo crown gan /It will not fit. A braggart statement highlighting just how much of a vacuum would be left in the industry even if he quit the rap game.
Though Reminisce stretches a friendly arm towards the people that love his music, It is hard to shake off the feel that all the shots on the song are more narrowly aimed than broad. Subliminal disses are thrown in every direction and Reminisce achieved just want he intended; to strike fear into the hearts of all.
Especially considering his haunting closing line Brand endorsements, nigga I got more than one/the only thing you get is the attention I don’t really want... While we wait for commentators to give further updates about whoever Reminisce intended this song for, one message is clear, Reminisce is not letting his enemies anywhere close to him, he would rather stick with real friends. Or at least, those who pretend to be – because they’re not stupid enough to risk squarely confronting him as rivals.