I came across P-Square’s Invasion album from a friend of mine who bought it to please the comparatively younger girls he usually carry in his car. I decided to carry the album to review it and post it on this blog. My attentions drifted to other things before I could play the album enough to enable me have a good grasp which is imperative for a good review. About seven months later, I heard another version of the song, Chop My Money featuring American’s superstar, Akon. At about the same time, I watched a video of Beautiful Onyinye,another joint from the same album, featuring the sturdy and heavily bearded American rapper, Rick Ross. Collaborating with the Americans called my attention to the fact that Nigerian artistes are, indeed, travelling. My interest in Invasion was again reawakened.
Invasion is a fourteen-track album that includes Beautiful Onyinye, Chop My Money, Asamkokoto, Do as I Do, Forever, Me and My Brother, Jeje, Buneha Enu, Ole Buruku, Player, She’s Hot, Fire, Anything and Shake it Down. Jeje is a Tecno song while Me and My Brother is Reggae.
The singing language is the traditional vernacular, pidgin and Standard English language mixes that is common to Nigerian artistes.
From Invasion, one could see that the twins from Busa Buji Street, Jos, have become remarkably professional in their mastery of music instrumentation.
The successes of P-Square over the years have, in part, been an outcome of their realization that the youths in Africa love danceable music more than anything else. It is however not new that the older one gets, the more his interest in party music diminishes. Invasion demonstrated that P-Square has found a way of defying the rule in order to remain in business. Going by the astronomical airplay the album has received and which is still receiving, one understands that the album like the others before it has sold as high. The popularity of P-Square’s songs is usually seen from the way school children mime the songs along the streets. Invasion is not different, revealing how wealthy the duo must be. The album has worked to, again, confirm the leading position of P-Square among contemporary African artistes and perhaps beyond, going by the prominence of the artistes with whom they collaborated.
The number of artistes featured in the original versions of the songs includes Naeto-C, Waje, Muna and Eva. Muna and Eva where featured in the song Shake it Down. The instrumentation of the song is reserved. I figure out that it was deliberately made so to enable fans to appreciate the lyrical wizardry of the two girls. Despite their lyrical elegance, Muna and Eva were previously unknown to me. The duo rapped in Jamaican Patois such that one is tempted to think they are Jamaicans until he listens to Nigerian vocabularies in between. The depth of poetry of the girls left me wondering which schools they attended. I could only compare them to M-I and Fresh Prince, as far as Nigeria is concerned. If I were Peter and Paul, I would not have featured the two girls as they only worked to play up the poetic diffidence of the twins despite many years in the industry. The message in P-Square’s music are, at times weak, just to enable rhymes to be made. Also there are times P-Square makes wide of the mark choices of words, making a song to appear unprofessional. For instance, referring to a woman that has stolen your heart as Ole buruku, meaning a thief sounds too harsh for a love song. A love song is supposed to be mellow and soothing. The contrary only makes the song funny, making everything to appear unserious. Some lines read thus: you are just like a thief in the middle of the night; you broke into my heart just like a dagger knife, etc.
Nigerian music has no doubt grown remarkably in the last decade. It is however not the best on the planet. There is thus room for more progress. As said above, the language is usually a mix of Nigerian languages, pidgin and conventional English. My opinion is that rather than use two or three languages in one verse, it is more professional to use a single language in the verses and use the second in the chorus. A verse conveys a particular message. If one starts a verse in English and ends it in Ibo, Yoruba or Hausa, the person listening will be lost if it happens that he lacks an understanding of any of the languages. One can also sing verses in English and perform the chorus in Pidgin English or vice versa.
By-and-large however, the album is marvelous and again confirms that P-Square is not just a big name but one of Nigeria’s biggest of all times. Peter and Paul have made a lot of Nigerians very proud but we in Jos consider ourselves the proudest.