Love It/Hate It: Cruel Santino’s “Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN”

March 4, 2022

Alté hive, arise! Cruel Santino has rejoined the group chat. Three years after releasing Mandy & The Jungle, an album that cemented his position as a leading voice among a new group of Nigerian creatives pushing the musical thread, Cruel Santino — formerly Santi — has made a major comeback with his new 21-track album, Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN. For Love It/Hate It, we asked Nigerians what they think about the new album, and this is what they had to say. 

“Ajebo agberos, rise! Don’t waste this album” — Josh  

Cruel Santino is the only one that can unleash both the ajebutter and agbero side of Nigerians at the same time. You listen to him and you want to break bottles but you also want to talk to your girl about romance and anime. This album is peak culté. It’s insane because no one man should have all this power. Is this the best album I’ve listened to this year? Yes. People may say I’m capping, but my question is: and so fucking what? Is it your cap?

“I see we’re back with this pretentious shit. Alright.” — Khadijah 

Fake alté people will not allow us hear word for the next one week because of this very mid album. Their oga may have changed his name, but everything else is still faux-intellectual rave BS. I listened to it because, honestly, I want to like his music. I don’t know where the hype is coming from, but 21 songs where I couldn’t hear you properly on like 18? Oh wrong nau. Old Nollywood called, they need their aesthetic back. 

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“This is the type of album you release when rent is due. Inject it inna mi veins!” — Tobe

Subaru Boys for life mehn! I don’t know how he does it, but Cruel Santino is way ahead of his time. My brain cells can only comprehend like three of the songs on this album, but that’s what you get when you listen to an artist who’s experimenting with his sound. Now I want to listen over and over again until I actually get it. This is what good music is about and I’m soaking it in. The man did a madness abeg. 

“Werey will not touch me IJN (Amen)” — Lara 

Why does Cruel Santino like to play with demonic spirits? It doesn’t sit right with me and my heavenly race. His music reminds me of the evil Mount Zion films preached against, but my coconut head will still listen, and I will be jumping up and down to the songs. Please and please, this album is elite. But as much as I love vibing to it, I’ll never shout, “Werey touch me,” because na from clap, dance dey start.  

“Gorgeous gorgeous girls do usually listen to Cruel Santino” — Ashley

Instagram stories and TikTok will ban me from using songs from this album before next week, let’s bet. I can’t believe he made us wait three whole years! This album was totally worth the wait because it’s the most cohesive album I’ve heard in a long time. Everything just blends and no song feels out of place. It’s easy to get bored listening to an album with 21 tracks, but this man had me in a chokehold and I lowkey liked it. Hey daddy!

“Cruel Santino needs to push himself with collaborations” — Uchenna 

In my opinion, no one makes alté music like Cruel Santino. He knows what works for him and he has mastered it. But at what point do you actually reach outside the box? This album is golden, but the collaborations are predictable. The guy needs to work with people with different sounds. Can you imagine how much a Cruel Santino and Zinolesky track would bang? Santi’s collaborations need to come out for air once in a while. 

CONTINUE READING: The Year in Alté: 12 Songs That Got Us Through 2021

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