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On “Somebody,” Efe Goes For Mass Appeal
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On “Somebody,” Efe Goes For Mass Appeal

Bernard Dayo

It came as no surprise when Efe released Based On Logistics, a single ripped off from his signature catchphrase with the same string of words and used in the return of Big Brother Naija, for which he won. Based on Logistics swirled and swirled on the reality competition, and then leaked into civilisation and became a new entry into the vocabulary for the poppy and young-spirited. It was useful, though, in the sense that it was already a brand-shaping tool for Efe, a readily-made personality buffer.

The song itself wasn’t great, if we are honest. Roping in a mournful, brooding atmosphere and elementary rap flows mildly steeped in a pastiche of late ‘90’s Nigerian rap, (The Remedies, hello), Based On Logistics came off as sparse and skeletal and lacking the high-wire luminosity of modern rap productions. Even more, there’s the time-worn, repetitive theme of money and cringey, dream-fuelled prosperity that shapes the lyrics: I had a dream, like Martin Luther King / Say one day I go make am mehn, based on logistics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ_YUV-mhz4

Stripping the song of its obvious failings, you are left with a dulled aspiration. And there’s Efe—more determined to prove he has got what it takes, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his fame-washed peers. Somebody, his recent effort on this front, puts him close to that orbit. While Based On Logistics is tentative and minimal on sound, Somebody is grandiose and ripples with a spacious, sonic maximalism. Steady percussions, strident high hat, and a party-ready chorus, Somebody embraces all the trappings of drippy, radio-dominating bangers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq4J2nG2m3M

The lyrics captures a near-romantic zeitgeist, plushed with Efe’s straight-jacket, soliloquised rap. Many guys can relate to Somebody—it speaks to the unfortunate conundrum of liking a girl, only to discover she’s got someone. Na you I must to date / I go sleep for your gate baby. I go wash all your plate / Omo tell me my fate.

At the end, Efe sounds slightly unbothered, slapping his predicament with a languid dismissiveness. Somebody, at its core, is a remainder of the things we are embarrassingly capable of doing for our woo-worthy love. Even if it happens just once.