Words by Ehis “Combs” Ohunyon
Warri born MC and indigenous rapper, Erigga aka ‘Paperboi’, recently released his third studio album titled A Trip To The South. Prior to the delayed release of the album, Erigga had dropped a couple of appetite whetting freestyles of which, “Long Story (a Mask Off Freestyle)”, was a favorite amongst his teeming fans.
Anyone who has been following Erigga will know that he is in a lane of his own, his lyrics are raw, language is street and delivered in pidgin English with a touch of witty lines and creative storytelling, his energy is almost unmatched and majority of his subject matter hovers around weed, sex, guns and tales of survival on the streets of Warri, Delta State.
Erigga has been buzzing for a while and even got nominated for the Headies in the past but he has somehow always fallen short of hitting the mainstream despite adopting a style of rap that seemingly connects with his audience and with this project, the rapper seeks to prove yet again why he is the King of the South and invites all to take a trip into his world.
A Trip to the South is exactly what the title suggests, the 13-tracker album which parades two bonus tracks begins with the album-titled track where Erigga opens up detailing his gangsterish life, his dreams of getting an endorsement deal someday and a hint into what the album will offer in terms of message, boastful lyrics, pidgin proverbs and slangs. “na me dey run the streets, na just dey jog”
The album sees collaborations with some industry heavyweights, the first of these features come in the form of Duncan Mighty on Lagos who also produced the song, this is one joint where two talented artistes from the South have found a home in the Centre of Excellence. Duncan Mighty belts out a beautiful hook as Erigga laces one of his finest verses on the album, he educates us on how to survive on Lagos roads even without funds, ‘If na Okada we enter, na drop and sky, meaning we no dey pay, we come down, we fly’. If well promoted, this can grow to become a hit single.
“You dey Spit Sha”, which features Skales, has the dance floors at clubs in mind but surprisingly the lyrics offers an opposite to what the title suggests. ‘Bless Me’ with Orezi is easily Ghetto Prayers 2.0 as Erigga says a prayer for success. Lamar was quite impressive on the groovy and radio-friendly ‘Biggie Man’ throwing some shine on the project.
Arguably the highlight of the album is seen on “Industry Nite Refix”, the song which already has a video takes a deep and introspective view of the industry, detailing the process, expectations and travails of emerging from an upcoming act into a star. “The Industry for Nigeria be like campaign, share the money, PDP, if you wan reign”.
“Loyalty” is another one that combines raw hood lyrics with hustling tales, though the hook could have been much better. What is his obsession with Clarence Peters though? The project is as descriptive as they come, it parades some potential hits and also misses, whilst his story telling remains top notch and his infused proverbs and phrases stay hilarious, Erigga shows an artist that has grown but not really evolved too much, he stays safe in his comfort zone and uneager to stretch his creative limits.
All in all, this is a decent body of work but offers nothing totally different from what he delivered on Tha Erigma and Okorowanta, he however maintains his consistency and in a South where no one seems interested in taking the throne, he may just remain King for a longer while.
Ehis “Combs” Ohunyon is a Lagos-based realtor, asset valuer and writer