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Odolaye Aremu: Pasuma’s influence on the New Nigerian Jack Swing is understated




One thing about Alabi Pasuma, asides his agelessness is his Fuji.

His combination of unpretentious razzness and melodic impunity right from his Ọ̀rọ̀bọ̀kibọ̀ days is still it! What many Nigerian music writers are afraid to affirm – for any reasons – is that right from the inception of the Nigerian Hiphop now re-christened Afrobeat – Pasuma’s voice is atimes transient, subtle, yet prominent (for those with good ears) in Dagrin’s, 9ice’s, Badoo’s, Marley and in Pocolee’s weird narrative on his psychedelic sojourn to the enumerative Osuland – where the obviously high indigenes do nothing but peel cards.

Something razzy and cool about the fifty-something-looking-like-a-thirty-something-year-old mummy’s boy. One cannot be wrong to think of Paso as a Mushin vampire, who drinks that legendary bloody-red elixir to stay young and fresh – forever! He may as well be the ghetto Peter Pan of Fuji.

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Where life itself can be as razz as Ajegunle and can be as uppity as Buckingham. It’s all in the division of moments. It is in the predictable bipolarity of everything. But there’s something graceful about a razz that wouldn’t quit for anything. That’s quintessentially Wasiu Alabi, baba Wasila. He has been the same dude from 1993 till now. Perhaps older, wiser and certainly richer! From that old raspy voice, to the baby face that smiles with ease, to the rhyme and reasons in Wasila and Baraka – as in the names of two of his kids and it’s there in his kaftans and them baseball hats too. There is a peculiar reason Mc Oluọmọ is tailgating him bumper to bumper.

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Fatai Ilori may be dead, but Pasuma took that beautiful baton from him and ran with it. He is still running. He is not slowing down. In a land where one or two bona-fide hustlers reside in every family; and where we are naturally great at pimpin’ our fake rides – where we hope and hype at the same time. I think some of these new kids on the block owe Pasuma a lot for the flow of rhythm, lyrics and dancesteps. His influence on the New Nigerian Jack Swing is understated, yet persistent.

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