Bahd Man Niko has an identity to build on and carve a niche for himself.
Street music excels for its originality and reliance on home-driven influences. While Pop acts attempt to domesticate foreign genres, Street acts attempt to modernize indigenous ones.
Perhaps the most striking quality of street acts is their insistence on delivering their music in a raw form both through their guttural vocals and an honesty that drives their unabashed showmanship and the gaudy representation of their state of mind.
Bahd Man Niko is a variant of Street acts whose music leans almost entirely toward the street. His EP ‘Off the Planet (OTP)’, displays his quality as a Street act as he makes no attempts to infuse the refined elements in language, style, production that take Street music beyond the inner cities to the urban listeners.
Like other Street acts, he’s influenced by his Islamic background and he displays this on the white garment sonic arrangement on ‘Eyes on the Bag’ as he recites his supplications in a manner that shows the close sonic relationship between While Garment and Yoruba Islamic music. The Afro-Adura (A social media word created to describe Street acts constant supplications to achieve life-changing success) record showcases Niko’s faith like that of other street acts who maintain a curious relationship with their faith even while admitting to delving into undesirables.
Street acts are unabashed in their showmanship and they leave little to the imagination when narrating their desires. Bahd Man Niko has these qualities in abundance and he displays this in ‘BMN’ and ‘OTP’ where he talks about his sexual adventures in the vulgarest way. His graphic description and obvious lack of concern for society’s standards of a gentleman are traits that capture the reality of life in the inner city where formalities and long talk aren’t favoured. It’s an underlying theme for most of the hit records that have emerged from that side of the city.
Fuji and Hip Hop are some of the major influences of Street and Niko shows these influences in ‘OTP’ & ‘Bad Boyan’ where he displays his Fuji cadences while he lays Pop rap on a Konto bounce sprinkled with log drums.
The Konto bounce is increasingly becoming more popular with Street acts with his popularization in the music of Street stars like Balloranking and Bella Shmurda. Perhaps the best song on the project from an urban listener perspective is ‘Yard’ where Niko smoothly molds melody on the Konto Bounce as he graphically shares his desires.
Bahd Man Niko packs the quintessential qualities of a Street act and this identity informs the clarity of purpose with which he makes the EP.
The major snag the EP suffers is a disconnect between the music and the people for whom it’s crafted. While the thematic preoccupation and Niko’s guttural and vulgar approach lean towards the inner city (read trenches), the production has some refined touch to appeal to listeners albeit not enough for the gruffness of the content to be overlooked.
Bahd Man Niko would have to find a balance by going for more catchy melodies and party-starting production if he wants to get the attention of the urban listeners that make up the largest chunk of Nigeria’s music subscribers. With an infectious melody and danceable production, some urban listeners would overlook the vulgarity while others would scorn the song while not being able to escape the music.
Alternatively, he can cut back on the refined elements and favour more street-leaning raw productions that send a direct message to whom the music is made.
However, what’s more important is that Bahd Man Niko has an identity to build on and carve a niche for himself.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Album Sequencing: 1.4/2
Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.3/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.3/2
TOTAL – 6.7 – Victory