Even before the video was released, the message in Orezi’s Cooking Pot was plain and clear—a post-digital, on-the-nose admonishing of elegantly wasted youth culture and all the disturbing vices that have wrought nothing more than damage. With Cooking Pot, Orezi has fashioned himself as a conveyor of the things we know but would rather not be reminded of. Soaked in afrobeat rhythms and arrangements, the track refreshingly casts off the trappings of materialism and swagger-void bling.
In the video, a portrait of cookie-cutter aesthetics and atmosphere, resurrects the memory of afrobeat icon Fela Kuti and his knack for offering socio-political critique. As the track opens, there’s a solo siren-like riff that pulses through mildly thumping beat. “Alcohol is sweet but if you drink am too much na problem,” Orezi sings, showing off Fela-esque gestures. The track’s treatment of alcoholism is gendered though, asserting that men alone indulge in alcohol and abuse it. “Waka waka baby,” Orezi sings on a loop, admonishing unbridled feminine sexuality and promiscuity. But the tone isn’t barbed or judgmental. If anything, it is positively instructive, pushing for the use of contraceptives and creating awareness on HIV/AIDS. Perhaps the strongest visual message in Cooking Pot is consensual sex, as shown in a scene where Orezi whips a would-be rapist with a cane as he forces himself on a woman in a room and then hands him a sealed condom, following the woman’s consent to have sex.
There’s a moment towards the end where the track sparkles with Orezi’s lone singing voice, a sublime shift in the sonic texture that winds out in quiet, peaceful glory. On the whole, Orezi delivers Cooking Pot as a metaphor for our numbing, anesthetized self-indulgence and excesses, packed with as much valuable wisdom as though coming from Fela himself.