Reminisce borrows from Yoruba Nollywood on Ajigijaga

YBNL head honcho and LRR label boss  both have some similarities between them as the both rap predominantly in Yoruba; they infuse Fuji tune into their music (with Reminisce being more consistent and successful in this aspect); both have garnered commercial and critical success as evidenced by endorsement deals and Best Rap Album awards at the Headies. Both now have a song heavily referencing 1990s’ Yoruba Nollywood.

Olamide’s first attempt at this was on ‘Yemi My Lover’ on Baddest Guy Ever Liveth, but it was on The Glory’s ‘Owo Blow’ that he made some form of magic.

Reminisce, competing but not competing, has released his ‘Owo Blow’ equivalent ‘Ajigijaga’, a song with a chorus that namechecks 1990s’ Yoruba Nollywood’s fearsome characters—Ajigijaga aka Broken Bottle, Abija (a potent juju priest) and Spark the Killer—as Olamide’s song had done.

These references probably reflect a childhood devoid of stories about the likes of Jack the Ripper that, say, MI Abaga, would have used. The song, however, has reached its target audience if videos of fans providing their versions are anything to go by.

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Reminisce may not be as technically marvelous as Olamide at double time flow with most of his songs delivered at mid-tempo, a technique that has worked well from the early days of ‘Kako bii Chicken’ through ‘2mussh’ and now ‘Ajigijaga’. He’s a rapper who is never in a hurry to deliver his verses—the fastest he’s ever being was the song ‘Hustle Loyalty Respect’, incidentally an Olamide song. But ‘Ajigijaga’ has all the features of a Reminisce song, except there are no concupiscent lines, save for a mention of his balls.

Because the idea of indigenous rap doesn’t excite many, it is difficult to understand the almost genius that is Reminisce just as it is difficult to understand his relevance in today’s hip-hop culture, but this hasn’t held him back as he continues to do things the only way he knows how to. ‘Ajigijaga’ is not one of Reminisce’s best rap song, but he is not trying to attract new converts. He’s paid his dues long and well enough to either be accepted or be left to luxuriate in his insularity.

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The song, as with his output since ‘Local Rapper’, isn’t concerned with punchlines or wordplay as it is with lyricism and rhyme. It is a song as light as it is mature, as outside-mainstream-success as it is not-experimental. It is a laid-back song with one-liners that blend smoothly into each other.

Reminisce no longer looks up to anyone in the rap industry. He has become a veteran and doesn’t hide this on the second verse of ‘Ajigijaga’ when he goes, “Young kids I let them learn.” Reminisce is now the one to be looked up to. He is, as he says, the bullet that dances gwara gwara, the firecracker that isn’t Bisco. ‘Ajigijaga’ is near-brilliant and its maker, as he self-proclaims, is a Mayana.

Download Reminisce Ajigijaga


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