The last time Falz dropped an album, we hadn’t experienced a panini or the life-changing #EndSARS protests. It was 2019, Miss ‘Rona was still preparing for her tour, and all was relatively alright with the world. Back with a six-pack, Falz is ready to make a surprising statement with his new album, Bahd.
Considering 2019’s Moral Instruction and the significant role Falz played during the protests, you’d immediately think Bahd would be drenched in social justice anthems. Choosing the soft life instead, this album finds Falz in his most chill era yet, avoiding stress and being a baby boy. While we’re here for his obvious sonic growth and much-needed dive into escapism, we’re not sure everything slaps.
Bahd opens with the smooth and simple Another Me. Carried by a super seductive bass guitar, we’re also introduced to Falz doing his best Don Toliver impersonation (spoiler alert: it works). Another Me kicks things off early on, on a positive note, managing to blend both the nostalgia of 90s baby-making R&B and the mumble rap that kids on TikTok fuck with these days. Listening to the past and the future in one song is always welcome experience.
Falz does well to deploy some of the album’s best tracks to the front in a five-song stretch. Another me is followed by All Night, the album’s first potential radio hit and a romantic bop that needs its video like yesterday. Tiwa Savage lends her in-demand vocals to Beautiful Sunflower, the album’s third track and first collaboration. It’s a cute song, but there isn’t a lot of meat on the track, which is slightly disappointing considering what both stars are capable of.
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Parampe is the second standout track on the album and an obvious nod to the work of the Kutis, but without the gragra of a certain African Giant. It borrows from these icons without drowning out Falz’ identity in the process. Knee Down marks the first collaboration to make a statement, with Chike deep in his Nollywood “I will die for you” lover boy bag on the track’s chorus.
These songs are unfortunately followed by the uninteresting Pull Up, which sounds like a 2017 Runtown or Mr. Eazi bonus track, and Gentleman, where Falz frustratingly does his best to make a song out of every rhyming word in the dictionary.
Highlife brothers, The Cavemen, help Falz find his groove again on Woman, before we’re introduced to Tender Love, which packs a tender punch. The last three songs are features, with Timaya and new Mavin signee Boy Spice making an appearance on the Duktor Sett-produced, Inside — a highlife “let’s groove” banger that works on it’s own, but fails to tie in with the overall production vibe of the album.
L.A.X and BNXN round up the album with Roger Milla and Ice Cream respectively. Roger Milla feels like an album filler, and for someone who’s last album had just nine tracks, this feels unnecessary. BNXN continues his winning streak with the infectious line, “I scream, you scream, we scream for ice cream.” What do you all know about being a lyricist?
Falz has built a reputation for making digestible rap with a pendulum that’s swung between conscious and overly playful. But with Bahd, we see the rapper leave both identities behind for something more laidback. He’s not out to make a major statement with this album, but we can’t complain. Not all the songs on Bahd are winners, but the ones that hit? They really hit.
Highs: Another Me, All Night, Parampe, Knee Down, Woman, Inside and Ice Cream
Lows: Pull Up, Gentleman and Roger Milla
We don’t know: Beautiful Sunflower and Tender Love