Falz Moral Instruction Album Review

Falz Moral Instruction album amidst much controversy is released. Falz highly anticipated album was released on the 15th of January 2019 with the hashtag #moralinstruction rolling on social media.

One of the notable figures that greatly influenced Nigerian music is Fela Anikulapo Kuti, professionally known as Fela Kuti, or Fela.

Fela was a talented musician, composer, pioneer of afrobeat and he played multiple instruments.

He was known to be a staunch activist as he stood up for the people and resisted oppression back in his time.

There were multiple cases of him being persecuted for his beliefs and what he stood for.

In a particular instance, he was jailed for 20months but still, he pushed on and stood his ground.

Over time, the music industry in Nigeria has evolved and experienced tremendous progress and changes.

Different artists have contributed to the gallery of music and the number keeps increasing by the hundreds every day.

Many artists have been called Fela because they have tried to emulate Fela as regards his style of music and activism.

Artists like Wizkid, Burnaboy and a host of others have been labeled the new Fela.

So, Folarin Falana, popularly known as “Falz theBahdGuy”, a rapper, released a 9-track album titled Moral Instruction.

Falz extensively and outrightly expressed his dissatisfaction at the state of things in Nigeria.

Falz has always been vocal about the state of things in the country maybe because of the activist blood running in his veins.

Prior to the release of the Moral Instruction album, he released songs like Child of the world, which is a story of a moral upright girl that got corrupted when she got raped by an uncle and eventually, she became a sex worker and ultimately, she changed and became a new person.

Social media went agog when the song was released with different individuals voicing out their opinion.

Falz has always expressed his dislike for girls that place a value on sex and internet fraudsters popularly known as Yahoo-Yahoo boys.

Last year, Falz also released a controversial video, This is Nigeria.

The video depicted the current state of the nation including, the Fulani killings, the snake swallowing 36-million-naira scandal, the sorry state of Nigerian politics, the harassment of citizens by FSARS and a host of other issues in the country.

All these conveniently paved ways for the new album Moral Instruction.

The Review

Moral Instruction Album Review - Falz
Moral Instruction Album Review – Falz

Falz channeled the spirit of Fela’s activism and this was outrightly visible from the album art as designed by the talented designer, Lemi Ghariokwu who designed many of the cover images for the recordings of Fela.

He teamed up with producers like Sess, Chillz, Willis, and TMXO to create this beautiful body of work. It is important to also note that he sampled some of Fela’s songs in the album.

Each country in the world has an artist or group of artists considered to be the G.O.A.T (not the pepper soup type, G.O.A.T stands for Greatest Of All Time) for that country.

In America, most believe this is Tupac Shakur, while some think Michael Jackson or Elton John should have that title-depending on who you ask; Jamaica has Bob Marley, Ghana is fortunate enough to have a living G.O.A.T in the person of Sarkodie and so on.

In Nigeria however, the greatest artist of all time is without any doubt FELA KUTI.

In a country with divisions in tribe and religion and even subdivisions within the aforementioned groups, it is very surprising that FELA’S title of G.O.A.T goes unchallenged.

To many Nigerians, Fela is a physical embodiment of fearlessness.

He spoke the truth everybody knew but were too scared to speak, he fought for the weak, he challenged the oppressors of Nigeria at the risk of his own personal safety and the safety of his family.

This is why to say an artist is “like Fela” or “is the Fela of our generation” is the highest compliment that can be paid to a Nigerian musician.

Falz theBahdGuy is the latest artist in a long list of artists currently contending for that spot and many feels he has earned it with this new Moral Instruction album #moralinstruction.

ALBUM OUT NOW

His album talks about every single thing wrong with Nigeria.

He literally “dragged” the whole country-pastors, church members, politicians, citizens, sex workers, child abusers, everybody in Nigeria was dragged and this is the major reason why the album is on everybody’s lips.

Since everybody was mentioned on that album it means every single Nigerian relates to at least one song on the album with majority of Nigerians relating to all the songs.

Track by Track breakdown of the Falz Moral Instruction Album

Moral Instruction Album Review - Falz and Fela

Johnny

The first track on the album contains samples of Fela’s song “Johnny just drop”.

TMXO infused a hip hop beat into the afrobeat song. I think Falz used this track to start a chain reaction and set the pace for the remaining tracks.

This song transports the listener back to 1980 with the Fela type of instrumental.

Falz tackles the issue of police brutality by telling a short story about a Nigerian youth – Johnny, who just completed his youth service and was shot when he went out to celebrate with friends.

On the track, Falz talked about the alarming rate of insecurity in Nigeria.

He stated the different levels of insecurity in the country ranging from the cultural and religious killings in different parts of the country.

He questions the lack of punishment for the officers involved in the act and is baffled that the government thinks an apology is enough to sate the bereaved parents of the deceased.

It depicts the savagery and recklessness of the Nigerian police force as different reports of “trigger-happy cops” fill the headlines every day.

He ended the song with the Yoruba words, “if Johnny continues to drop, eyan melo lo maku, eyan melo lo maku” which means, how many people will die and how many people will be left.

Follow Follow

This track is based on Fela’s Zombie, and Sess smoothly blended it into a hip-hop groove. This immediately reminds the listener of the popular Fela song “zombie” and the message is very clear.

Fela sang the original song which talks about how soldiers are bound to follow orders.

Falz built on this with how he likened the enslavement of people by social media to people being zombies.

The song addresses people that are ready to do anything for validation, people who don’t have any goals of their own and people who jump on wagons simply because other people are doing it.

Different individuals try to be what they are not and imitate what they see on social media.

He talks about how people have lost their self-identity and caved into peer pressure.

The song emphasizes the craziness and the extent people go, to please other people and also get likes and followers on social media.

Hypocrite

This particular track is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song started with piano chords which transitioned into a groovy beat.

Falz teamed up with Demmie Vee who delivered a sonorous hook to the verses of the song.

The first verse started out with Falz singing a little bit before he went hardcore and the second verse, the same way.

The song addresses the hypocrisy in the society ranging from the government to the common man.

Falz theBahdGuy in his usual bar spitting nature dissected matters affecting Nigeria (fake pastors, overzealous Muslims, child marriage, pedophiles in the church and politicians that starve their fellow citizens to their purses).

He talked about how people have two faces; the face they put on the outside and the real one.

Talk

This track was released a few days before the album was released and it is also about all the ills in society.

The song slowly progressed in a call and response manner until Falz went on a spree of another marvelous spits of bars.

“Anything I talk make you talk am again”

Addressed the situation of MURIC suing him, stating that they didn’t show up at court.

Falz TheBahdGuy didn’t hold back in this particular track as he rapped about a wide range of things including transactional sex, late payment of salaries by the government and the bad situation of things in Nigeria.

The song ended by him taking responsibility of the words spoken and he said, “na me talk am o”.

Amen

This particular one was built on the track “Coffin for Head of state” by Fela.

Falz has made it clear over and over again that hypocrisy in religion upsets him.

Amen attacks religious leaders that have successfully commercialized religion, he laughs at the irony of religious leaders using the money of their followers to build a university that the followers cannot afford to go to.

This song is a plea to the listener to open his eyes, mind and to think for his/her self.

Moral Instruction - Album cover 1s
Falz Moral Instruction – Album cover

Brother’s keeper

The family is very precious to Nigerians; Fathers kill for their daughters, sons go to war for their Mothers.

If we thought of all our neighbors as brothers would there still be hate in the country?

Would we still be divided because of ethnic and religious differences? These are the question’s this song is trying to ask.

Falz talks about individuals at different levels not looking out for each other and emphasized what he has been saying on the previous tracks.

He believes love is the answer; if you love your neighbor like your brother you cannot cheat him, you cannot seek to do him harm.

Sess did justice to the track as both the producer and the singer of the hook.

I also love the fact that the backup vocals sound like a choir singing giving the track a very unique vibe.

The song has one message for its listener-be your brother’s keeper.

Paper

What’s money worth? The breaker of tables once again comes with his hammer to do an honest day’s work. 

He condemns parents giving out underage children because of money, he expresses disappointment at ritualists, drug smugglers and politicians who are ready to do anything to get money.

This particular track is an extension of the previous tracks.

In his own words, they commit all these crimes all because of “just paper”.

E no finish

Here he questions the purpose of speaking out about the injustice in the society when the issues that Fela talked about are still not resolved till today.

Fela talked, people applauded him and continued wallowing in their filth.

He tries to let the listener know just how bad the situation is in the country if we are still trying and failing to work out the same problems since independence.

It ended with Lemi Ghariokwu saying few words about the state of things in Nigeria.

After all said and done

In this short poem, Falz theBahdGuy admits that he knows he has no right to throw blame around, admitting his own faults and weaknesses, since he is also a human with flaws of his own.

The track is in form of a poetry rendition.

He believes everybody is guilty – through action or inaction and only by accepting our guilt and striving to be better can we move forward as a country, together.

He finally encouraged people to be conscious and not keep quiet about the happenings in our society.

In conclusion

Falz may have dropped what promises to be the most controversial album of the year but regardless of your opinion.

You have to admit that all he said in the album is nothing but the Gospel truth.

It’s great to see an artiste devote a whole album to talk about the state of affairs in Nigeria and taking the path of activism and walk in Fela’s footsteps.

Fela has become more than a person. Fela has become more of an ideology and a way of life.

I think anyone that decides to stand for what is right and stare into the face of adversity can be called “A Fela”.

It is safe to say Falz theBahdGuy is “A Fela”.

The greatest criticism of the album is that the lyrics became monotonous at some point but a good message cannot be overheard and we don’t even care about the critics and criticism.

With this Falz Moral instruction album, he took a stand and I hope he does not deviate from this path.

Written By Leon Chuks and Moyo Oluwatuyi

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