I certainly do not endorse shoplifting in Lidl, ASDA or elsewhere, but I think I am quite feeling this track (and broke-ass homemade video) by Afrikan Boy.
Afrikan Boy is the youf who featured on the song "Hussel" off of M.I.A.'s Kala; I think the kid's got a future.
It's refreshing to hear a UK-based Nigerian rapper repping in something of an authentic Naija voice--Yeah, yeah... I should probably know better than anyone that the phrase "authentic Naija voice" is pretty nebulous, and a slope we don't want to go slipping down. But I guess what I'm saying is that unlike a lot of Nigerian rappers in Jand (and even many back home in Nigeria) Afrikan Boy does not seem to draw too heavily upon the vocal approach of American hip-hop or even Jamaican dancehall and ragga. Likewise, he doesn't "ovah-Naijarize" the thing too much like a few MCs in the Diaspora who crank up their Nigerian accents to the point of parody.
His flow is rudimentary and occasionally awkward, and sometimes his rhyme sense misses the mark by miles, but I hear the seed of something original there. The cadence and repetitive end-rhymes create an inbuilt call-and-response that brings to mind Nigerian nursery rhymes and children's songs like
Bas-sey, Bas-sey (YES-YES!)
You are dan-cing (YES-YES!)
When I told you (YES-YES!)
To learn your spel-lings (YES-YES)
But you are dan-cing (YES-YES!)
I can-not stand it (YES-YES!)
I bet-ter fol-low (YES-YES!)
And then there's his style of humor, the subject matter and references he makes, even in his tossed-off metaphors ("out there we are grinding like pepper")... I hear him laying down building blocks with which to build an authentic, original Naija rap style that doesn't ape international trends.
(Mind you, I am by no means suggesting that Afrikan Boy is the only Nigerian rapper doing this, but for whatever reason I find myself especially appreciative of his efforts.)
Here's his Myspace.