By Emmanuel Daraloye
The Christians referred to Jesus Christ as the son of God but an artiste is about to borrow that title.
He goes by the name Barry Jhay.
Two years after his debut extended play ‘Barryback’, the scion of Alhaji Ayinde Barrister returns with another EP, ‘Son of God‘.
This time around, it leans towards trap and gospel with a formidable exploration of Fuji and Afrobeats.
Hip hop and Fuji have always been the heart of Barry Jhay’s art.
His formative years were enamored in Fuji sounds.
As a Gen Z youth, the hip-hop culture filtered in from radios and friends.
Barry Jhay always looks like an artist who might not realize his full potential.
He leapfrogged the likes of Crayon, BNXN, Oxlade to snap up the Rookie of the Year award at the 2019 Headies.
A year after the victory, he was nowhere to be found in the Next Rated category.
Consistency has always been Barry Jhay’s Achilles heel. The music doesn’t sound like a problem.
He rakes in bangers. His tunes are a constant reference point on the street.
He lost his backbone Babatunde Oyerinde Abiodun (Cashy) to the cold hand of death (suicide) in 2021; almost got framed up for the suicide until he got cleared by Ghanian police.
The vacuum left by Kashy is noticeable in Barry’s music.
Rather than shooting a pristine video like his colleague, the ‘Kabieyesi’ crooner has resorted to the low-budget and poorly edited video which they call viral video while he dwells in infrequent music release.
With a span of 23 minutes, ‘Son Of God’ sounds like a gratitude letter to the most high with backstories on the struggle to stardom.
The first track ‘Level Up’ and the last song ‘Bless Me’ are words and opposites.
The latter co-opt ‘Level Up’ and ‘Want It All’ — both by Burna Boy for inspiration. The lines are relatable.
The production is a peep into the new Barry Jhay or simply state the evolution of his genre’s cross-breeding exploit.
‘Story’ alludes to the menacing and vain talk which started on ‘Level Up’ with his edge-creasing vocals.
‘Agege’ is a funky and hilarious exploration of a dishonest society.
‘Right by You’ is a sledgehammer production with upbeat guitar strings, Ghanaian highlife leading the charge.
The featured act, Kuami Eugene, delivered a bright and emotive verse to compliment Barry Jhay’s sweet, emphatic and sunny lyrics.
Zlatan Ibile delivered his usual cliche lines on ‘Ayewada’ over a bright horn and banging beat, beyond the streaming figures, this feature added less to the project.
Barry Jhay’s is renowned for his gratitude-like music and innate ability to motivate everyone. He does it and doesn’t seem like stopping soon.
The last track might have served as something we Yoruba call Idupe. Idupe for conquering all the tribulations in the world.
‘Son of God’ might not be the most ideal follow-up to ‘Barryback’ but, for the ardent fans, it’s a way to quench the thirst of the fans who have been waiting for a Barry Jhay’s sequel.
It’s a song dump masquerading as a project. With the right marketing strategy, one or two tracks might crack the market.
Barry Jhay is stuck in his forte and none of the imitators seem close to his kingship.
For now, he doesn’t sound like switching things up that much. He is that comfortable.
Emmanuel Daraloye is a music critic.
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