Barzini speaks to life on ‘Beloved Vol. 2 (The King’s Opening)’ [EP REVIEW]

Barzini speaks to life on ‘Beloved Vol. 2 (The King’s Opening)’ [EP REVIEW]

<p class=""><strong>Barzini </strong>should launch a record label and A&amp;R/Executive Produce albums for talented artists. That should be his long-term future – the man knows music. </p>

<h1>When Pulse Senior Editor, Steve Dede heard, ‘Rugged You’ by Barzini featuring Dr. Barz, he said, “Omo, this is moshpit music that you should rage to.” He was absolutely right. </h1>

<figure class="embedded_application" align="center"> <figcaption>Barzini – Rugged You [Official Music Video]</figcaption> </figure>

<p class="">Earlier in 2020, <strong>Barzini </strong>had released <a href="https://www.pulse.ng/entertainment/music/barzini-beloved-vol-1-ep-review-eclipse-and-kheengz-feature/rthw6mb" id="47d2924a-ff0e-467f-bcc1-03b0f052a4e5">Beloved Vol. 1</a><strong>, </strong>an Afro-pop/Afro&amp;B body of work that contained <em>‘Ulo Upam</em>,’ which is one of the best records Nigeria has seen in 2020. That was his first body of work since <a href="https://www.pulse.ng/entertainment/music/ep-review-mars-and-barzini-live-their-most-robust-lives-on-in-spirit/glytjey" id="cd14037a-0898-41b6-8108-c0db2d04d019">In Spirit</a><strong>, </strong>which he released with his former group mate, <strong>Mars </strong>- now known as <strong>Kinsolo. </strong></p>

<p class=""><em>‘In Spirit’</em> came after Barzini’s <strong>Aboriginal </strong>stint alongside rapper, <strong>Eclipse Nkasi. </strong>On ‘<em>Mr. Nwobodo</em>,’ Barzini discusses how he had to overcome self-doubt with words of encouragement from a friend before landing that record deal. This was after he released <em>‘Mumu Button</em>’ in 2011. </p>

<p class="">He also reminisces about the struggle days at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he underwent his tertiary education. Ambition kept him going and now he’s here. Born <strong>Nwobodo David, </strong>the song is a dedication to self. In third person he asks himself, <em>“Mr. Nwobody, how are you not fazed by anything…”</em></p>

<p class="">‘<em>Mr. Nwobod</em>o’ is the third track on<a href="https://www.pulse.ng/entertainment/music/stream-barzini-beloved-vol-2-the-kings-opening-new-ep/n0rc9kv" id="499ff17a-1c5a-45f1-90b3-e4b9d026d8b5"> Beloved Vol. 2 (The King’s Opening) EP</a><strong>, </strong>which Barzini released on November 20, 2020 as a follow-up to ‘<em>Beloved Vol. 1.’</em> The record documents a myriad of topics; Barzini’s journey to this point, street culture, love, sex, life and more. </p>

<p class="">The sound is expansive, but it’s most rooted in Hip-Hop with Reggae influences. The 8-track EP was led by the moshpit music, <a href="https://www.pulse.ng/entertainment/music/listen-barzini-featuring-dr-barz-rugged-you/334nt0s" id="80054156-bef0-472e-9d74-479cb3209698">‘Rugged You’ </a>featuring <strong>Dr. Barz.</strong></p>

<p class="">The record documents the Nigerian street culture and parts of the Nigerian fraternity lingo. Sandwiched between the song was a little monologue that saw Dr. Barz discuss the realities of growing up in Port Harcourt. The percussion that births the song is also similar to the one that birthed ‘<em>No Okada’</em> off <strong>Mars and Barzini</strong>’s EP, <em>‘In Spirit.’ </em></p>

<p class="">It is also marked by a powerful and catchy rapped hook, delivered in pidgin. As the opener to ‘<em>Beloved Vol. 1’</em> is ‘<em>God Not King’</em> features talented Emcee, <strong>Lucy Q. </strong></p>

<figure class="embedded_application" align="center"> <figcaption>God Not King</figcaption> </figure>

<p class="">On the hook, Barzini brazenly raps, <em>“I can’t settle for a king, when I know I’ll be a God…</em>” The album opens to gusto, bravado and hard-knocking Hip-Hop suited to a moshpit, before an intimate crowd. By ‘<em>Mr. Nwobodo</em>,’ the intensity drops as Barzini tells his come-up story. </p>

<p class="">After a few tracks, hard-knocking Hip-Hop and resonant hook returns on <em>‘Mean’ </em>production. But in between those hard tracks are softer records that speak more to life and love. </p>

<figure class="embedded_application" align="center"> <figcaption>Killing Goat</figcaption> </figure>

<p class=""><em>‘Killing Goat’</em> features <strong>Paybac </strong>in a chronicle of love and sex. They sing and rap attractively on a Trap percussion. The hook goes, “<em>Killing goat, looking nyash, open mouth…”</em> That seems to signify the power of shock value and appreciation in love. </p>

<p class="">If <strong>Bryson Tiller </strong>and <strong>6lack </strong>were Nigerian and they decided to make a very Nigerianized Trap record with strong Hip-Hop roots and a rebellious style about love, it would sound like ‘<em>Killing Goat.</em>’ Paybac raps, <em>"Babe you’re too sweet, I nor fit puff puff pass…" </em></p>

<p class=""><em>‘Jakpa</em>’ follows suit in ‘love town,’ but instead of the dreamy love on <em>‘Killing Goat,</em>’ Barzini is benevolent in his emotional unavailability. After a woman confesses her love to a man, he tells her to ‘<em>Jakpa’ </em>and not fall in love with him. </p>

<p class="">The Afro-swing record, ‘<em>King and Queen’</em> continues the trend of the more laidback music. Barzini says he’s balling like <strong>Sanchez, </strong>but that might not be a good analogy. Sanchez flopped at Manchester United. Delivered in mostly patois,<em> ‘King and Queen</em>’ is a lifestyle record. </p>

<p class="">In finality, Barzini creates a wedding-suited Highlife record on <em>‘Beautiful Ones</em>.’ His story seems true and organic – the honesty can be felt in his detail. He even raps that the quality of his life has improved since he met her. </p>

<p class="">While he admits the cliche saying, “<em>The beautiful ones are yet to be born,”</em> he declares that, “<em>But I have one here with me…</em>” The rare gem he’s discovered is whom he makes the record for. </p>

<h2>Final Thoughts</h2>

<p class="">While this EP is another great one from Barzini as he stakes a late claim for inclusion in year-end lists, the title ‘<em>Beloved Vol. 2 [The King’s Opening]</em>’ doesn’t appropriately reflect the music. In equal measure, the intensity of the opening two tracks was both a blessing and curse for this EP. </p>

<p class="">It still contains impressive music with rounded, well-executed topics, beautiful hooks and great stories, but it needed that intensity those tracks one or two more times. </p>

<p class="">The average music listener who clicks play on this EP is likely to subconsciously expect that the EP goes back to that hard-knocking Hip-Hop in the opening two tracks of the EP. That never quite happens and in a way, it speaks to an imbalance for the EP. <em>‘Mean</em>’ tries and it’s a good track, but it’s not quite on that level of electricity. </p>

<p class="">Possibly, that expectation might not have been a thing if Barzini had separated those two opening tracks over the course of the album instead of letting them launch the experience in back-to-back fashion. Equally, ‘<em>Mean</em>’ should have closed the EP out, not <em>‘Beautiful Ones</em>.’ </p>

<p class=""><strong>Barzini </strong>should launch a record label and A&amp;R/Executive Produce albums for talented artists. That should be his long-term future – the man knows music. </p>

<p class="">On his own song, ‘<em>Killing Goat</em>,’ he left the floor to <strong>Paybac </strong>and jumped on the hook. While that required deserved respect for Paybac, it also reflects a deeper understanding of what the music needs and what it doesn’t need. </p>

<p class=""><strong>Ratings: /10</strong></p>

<p class="">• 0-1.9: Flop</p>

<p class="">• 2.0-3.9: Near fall</p>

<p class="">• 4.0-5.9: Average</p>

<p class="">• 6.0-7.9: Victory</p>

<p class="">• 8.0-10: Champion</p>

<p class=""><strong>Pulse Rating: /10</strong></p>

<p class="">Album Sequencing: 1.5/2</p>

<p class="">Songwriting and Themes: 1.7/2</p>

<p class="">Production: 1.6/2</p>

<p class="">Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2</p>

<p class="">Execution: 1.2/2</p>

<p class=""><strong>Total:</strong></p>

<p class=""><strong>7.5 – Victory</strong></p>

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