Is Falz – Moral Instructions the most relevant album of our time After Fela?

Falz was born in Lagos State, Mushin, in South-Western Nigeria to renowned lawyers Femi and Funmi Falana. He is the son of Femi Falana, a Nigerian human rights activist and lawyer. He was called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigerian Law school . Falz started music as a hobby while in secondary school. He formed a music group with a friend called “The School Boys”. In 2009, while in high school, he released a compilation of some of his recordings as a mix-tape titled Shakara: The Mixtape

Going by his background and training as a lawyer , it is not difficult to understand why Falz uses his music to examine the Nigerian society . Music is a very important socio-political tool. However in Nigeria, it is used primarily for entertainment . Youths these days are so focused on entertaining people for a profit via music , that they forget music is also a tool to educate society . Many of us may have been little children when Fela Anikulapo Kuti was in his prime . Fela used his music to educate people, it served as a medium to pressure government; warn the masses about government excesses , and fight social injustice . To Fela music was a way to re-orientate the people on the need to preserve the African culture , religions and traditions and do away with colonial influences or western doctrines. Fela’s main agenda was to fight military dictatorship , he was against the military and any other form of the colonial government (including democracy) , he often referred to military personnel as zombies .

Femi Falana , Falz’s dad is very passionate about Fela , he refers to Fela as his most interesting client . He served as Fela’s lawyer for a period of time but little did he know that his son would one day use his music for social reconstruction just like his client Fela had done . The seed was planted in Falz.

falz moral instruction

Falz recently released his Album titled “ Moral instruction ”  to critical acclaim . There has been mixed feelings about the lyrics and content of the album . The songs touched on different issues plaguing the Nigerian society , ranging from corruption to Nepotism ; prostitution to political thuggery ; election violence ; lynching in public places ; human rights , law and order , police brutality , Sex with minors , early marriage , gay rights , hypocrisy , Internet fraud , Fake Pastors and Imams , and materialism to mention a few . Falz does a really good Job at highlighting all these issues in each of the songs . I felt like i was listening to a social worker while playing the album . Some of the songs even caused me to pause and ponder on it , something that is a rarity in today’s music. i cannot recall the last time a song made me ponder on a topic and research deeper .

The two stand out tracks for me on the album are Jonny Just come and Hypocrites . Jonny Just come was a story about many Nigerians who have been killed in tribal wars or by police brutality . It is a very sad tale and the type that Nigerians wake up to almost every day . Religion and tribe has shed a lot of blood in the country . Falz samples a lot of Fela’s vocals on the album with production primarily handled by Sess, with additional production from TMXO, Willis, and Chillz. Demmie Vee, Chillz and Sess were listed as features on the album. My personal favorite is Hypocrite . Every Single Nigerian is a Hypocrite . All you need to do is go on Facebook or any social media platform where you have majority Nigerians and see the level of hypocrisy and double standards.

People just dey do like say na dem be Jesus / People so wicked but they so religious
Who dey calculate/ E no dey show the figures
Who dey demonstrate wey dey run leave us / People too complain but dey fear to speak up/ You don’t want to die but nothing to live for /Christian and corrupt no suppose be mixture / Real musulumi e no suppose dey thief jor / Real talk no be fight rara
Everybody get fault for inside matter/ We dey talk human right
We no respect am / Who are we to crucify the homosexuals?

I love the fact that the album does not sound boring, especially with the fact that he was mostly stressing on similar issues , if care and creatively wasn’t at maximum levels , one could easily be bored to sleep by songs talking about the very same issues . Although i felt a little bit less interested as the album wore on, just a little less  . Another down side to the album is the fact that Falz mostly concentrated at pointing out the problems in Nigeria . I would have expected that he could have taken the time to find more solutions also. It is easy for anyone to point out everyday issues but it takes special people to find solutions . Solutions like exercise your rights to vote, more educated people should sit for police exams , inter tribal marriages should be have been more emphasized , place of origin should be done away with and place of residence be more recognized by law, a better education curriculum , a merit based system rather than quota based or faith based , constitutional amendments and reforms and the separation of church and mosque from state e.t.c .

One only reason why i would still consider Fela’s as the most relevant act of our time still is the fact that Fela was dare devil. He would directly attack powerful people, he made references to real events and wait would for the consequences . Fela went against presidents, Governors, Religious leaders, e.t.c . No corrupt person was spared. Falz on the contrary is playing very cautious , and i really understand why. The Nigerian political terrain can be really brutal , so people are very cautious of what they say so as not to be targeted . What Falz has said is very commendable already even though some of his references are more comic , metaphoric or ironic and only the more intelligent may get the real meanings. This also impacts how the music is received, people will tend to gravitate towards the more controversial record or artiste. With more time and work in this direction, Falz will definitely grow to become as influential as Fela , even though he may achieve this in his own style and fashion not necessarily the Fela way .

I really commend Falz for dropping this gem and i know for certain that it will stand the test of time . It would be interesting to see how this album grows or dies on Nigerians especially as youths are more inclined to dance songs and majority of us youths are the ones being criticized by Falz. People do not want to hear the truth and may avoid playing the album more than once . The songs that make the numbers are the ones that encourage greed and short cuts to wealth or the once that elevate religion . I would be following Falz projects and progress . Falz if you are reading this , i want to tell you that your music has spoken for the weak , the poor and the oppressed . There will be may blessings attached to this but also be safe and aware of your surroundings . I wish you all the best .

 “ Like the popular saying A prophet is not recognized in his own home ”

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