There are a number of written pieces in the Internet’s archives preserving and documenting Tekno’s cassava, from 4 Times Tekno Showcased His Big Cassava to 5 Reasons Why Tekno’s Cassava Wasn’t So Disappointing. It’s just funny, and ridiculous, that people cared enough to expend energy in glamourising a man’s penis. But Tekno needs to be commended though: for self-glorifying his sexuality and seamlessly slipping it into his songs. He would go out as an icon, a trailblazer, the one who gave the singing of the male genitalia an African pop makeover. However, in a society where every person must comply to heterosexual norms, Tekno’s cassava-slanged songs points to the everyday realness and oppressive mechanisms of heteronormativity.
Without a doubt, Tekno sings for women. They are the inspiring source for most of his songs and they come with names like “Folake” on his monstrous 2016 hit single Pana, whose video is soaked in poppy Asian aesthetics; the titular “Diana,” which is simply from Diana; and there is “Genevieve” from Be. But there have been rare deviations—Rara, the politically conscious track, feels like something African China would have sang.
On his newly-released Samantha which is cassava-free but propped, as ever before, on flimsy, thready romance, Tekno lyrically evokes Akon’s Locked Up at the beginning and at the end. There is a precisely timed flute play, almost Indian, and when Tekno croons “Give me ginger” over zig-zaggy electronic riffs, it washes over the mood of the song with a kind of psychedelic effect. Sandwiched between verses is a rusty, beat-caked dancehall vibe—here, Tekno turns Samantha into a club-winning monster, his voice appropriately adjusted. Samantha o, Samantha / Baby take it easy. Samantha is summery but not too brisk. It’s typical Tekno and, if you haven’t noticed, he is singing about another girl called Samantha.