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Lex Diba’s ascension is now! [EP REVIEW].

“We Go Up is a projection of love, self awareness and ultimate belief weaved into one body of work.”

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Lex Diba’s ‘We Go Up‘ cover art.

Lex Diba, a multi talented artist with the gifts of rapping and singing. Having burst onto the scene since the start of the decade, Lex Diba has served us with quality songs. Enough to show that he is ready to lead the next generation of artists in art and style. Lex Diba continues to carefully navigate his way through the ever saturated music scene in Lagos to public attention because of the stand-out quality of his art.

The all-round act who is fond of incorporating elements of Hip-Hop on the ever expansive Afrobeats palette of sounds does not deviate from his well oiled formula on his second project release this year highlighting how productive he has been so far this year. Lex Diba balances his life as an artist by recording his experiences through meaningful themes.

Lex Diba Introduces his second body of work ‘We Go Up‘ – a sequel to February’s ‘Plural‘. This is a mixtape that encapsulates his life experiences into a tale of love, self awareness and ultimate belief. The tape cuts across Afropop while fusing other elements of R&B, Amapiano and Hip-Hop.

Lex Diba’s ‘We Go Up‘ track listing and credits.

The project starts with a soft guitar solo on ‘Film Trick‘. This song feels like an alternative rap song. Lex Diba opens up on his journey and sends a message to his detractors saying “when I get to the top, e go do you like film trick“. This song says so much about how confident he is about his art and career. The perfect intro; short, relatable theme and an interesting track.

Lockdown‘ is a blend of Hip-Hop, alt pop and Dancehall. An upbeat love song where the artist professes his unending affections to his lover. The intentional switch of vocal textures on the verse and hook is commendable. It’s rare to see a rapper execute such chances in vocals in a song. Lockdown is that song for an afternoon ride around the city.

Alright‘ is one of the lead singles of the project. A fusion of Afrobeats and Trap (call it Afro-Trap or TrapFro). On this, he recounts his experience in a bid to motivate an unnamed entity who seems to be going through a lot at the moment. In the end of the heartfelt story narrated over two verses, he concludes that “Last last we go dey alright“.

One thing that has been common so far on this tape is Lex’s willingness to always add that touch of relatable soulfulness in every track. ‘1999‘ included. Carrying on from the similar theme of the previous track, Lex Diba continues to recount experiences of his past.

Wetin dey my mind plenty, I’ve been roughing it since I’ve been in my 20s“. This is Lex Diba feeding us from his soul.

We Go Up‘ is your pure rap song where he pours his heart out. The idea behind this song is fascinating. He narrates his experience with a kid who wanted to start the rap game but needed a mentor’s help to become perfect with some words of encouragement and also a conversation with a rapstar who has sacrificed his bars and lyrics for singing in order to earn more commercial success. When he said “Don’t you ever want to make a living with your gifts?” I felt that. This song is an accurate depiction of the Hip-Hop rap scene right now and the underground talents going through a stage of development and preparing for the right opportunity to become a superstar.

Enough of those soulful sad themed songs as Lex Diba changes the mood on ‘Here‘. Lex Diba offers range by creating a track laid on the foundations of Pop and Afrobeats. The production is subtle and the underlining chords make it better.

Streets‘ is a song about being independent and more reliant on one’s ability than other people. It fills in nicely in the transition of the project. Lex Diba continues to reveal the well polished Pop side of his artistry. It’s rare to see someone so versatile in singing and rapping alike. Lex Diba is one of the immense talents the country possesses. 

Step out a potential hit, Steps out ‘Funmilola‘. Although released as one of the lead singles and gaining massive attention since its release, it does not lose its essence on the project. Whenever a song has an Amapiano element, the aim is clear and this song is nothing short of that. Funmilola is a song for a night out party. It would be interesting to see how far this song goes.

Pyramid Schemes‘, just like the name implies, talks about how youths in recent times try to make a living via different sources. He also talks about an unsuccessful contest he competed in. The return to making proper Hip-Hop on the outro is not surprising. 

‘We Go Up’ is that project Lex Diba needed to further stamp his class in the music industry. It is a sonically pleasing tape that soothes a calming ambience. The cohesiveness and overall theme is gauged across each track and compliments Lex Diba’s artistry and range. This is a project that sends out warnings that he is a force to be reckoned with. Lex Diba showed growth and range on his new project relative to his debut. Although, this project yearns for features; it would have been a lot better with some few additions. Also, it would have been so satisfying to listen to more songs with impressive ideas like the project titled song. Regardless, this is an impressive project that sums up the growth of this talented artist and increases the probability of him hitting public eyes on all sides with his art. Lex Diba deems this project as the last piece before his ascension in the music industry – also evident in the project’s title, it is fitting to see how that statement ages.

Listen to Lex Diba’s ‘We Go Up’

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