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The Pick: Loti's "Mainland" is the perfect hustler's anthem.

Our Song Of The Week!

Loti is a smooth talker, a self-proclaimed R&B Boy. If you didn’t know any better, you could easily mistake him for a budding Canadian R&B singer with Nigerian roots. His 2021 EP Violent Times is a straightforward R&B offering that combines heartache and schmaltz with resonant, melodic crooning. Songs like the slushy opener “Dying Inside” sound like something you could pick out of a Drake (the singing version) songbook while the other tracks all sound like records you could easily come across on various DSPs Chilled R&B playlists. Even his earlier collaborative work with KD Sins & Scenes heavily leans into R&B. They’re however a little less polished, embellishing the songs with a number of other styles and influences.

While his music is firmly centered around R&B and its accompanying themes, he’s had a couple of flirtations with Afropop in the past (“Idi Nla”, “Time Of Our Lives”) but on his latest single “Mainland”, a paean to the city’s less glamourous side and a hustler’s anthem, he firmly embraces the genre. Lagos’ famous divide: the island and the mainland is arguably the most accurate depiction of the country’s state of affairs. An 11.8km stretch of land above water (the Third Mainland Bridge) ー which somewhat symbolizes the Israelites storied journey to the promised land ー separates the glitz and opulence from the underprivileged. Loti ー whose earlier works could be said to be more relatable to the former ー firmly embraces the latter belting “I’m from the Mainland / Me i Just dey hustle for my paper” and shedding any misconceptions about him. While the hook is the soul of the song, his first verse, delivered with poise, is arguably the realest thing you’ll hear all year long: “I been get like 12 bay / I wan buy loud, get some odds I wan play / Go still buy chow haven’t eaten all day / If i no soft tell me wetin i gain

With things getting significantly worse and harder for the average Joe, Gorimpa Gangster has managed to craft the perfect hustler’s anthem, a song that reflects the realities of many and one that can serve as extra motivation or push even if it's for a minute and 55 seconds.

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