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Review: Terry Tha Rapman – Year of B.A.N.S [ALBUM]

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On Year of B.A.N.S, his eighth solo commercial body of work, he is morose, reminiscent, dismissive and introspective. ‘B.A.N.S’ is a trend that he coined with his critically-acclaimed 2010 album, Boyz Are Not Smiling.

In the first half of this album, he rarely smiles, neither is he bubbly. His mood is usually indifferent, as he seemingly seeks to clarify certain positions and reaffirm the terms of his greatness.

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On ‘Jan Wuya (Sani Abacha),’ he raps that even his rivals pray for his downfall as he speaks of his intention for wealth into the universe. The Stormatique-produced beat has a lot of influences from Northern Nigeria, complete with its folksy percussion.

The record also houses his best verse per technique. Between 1:40 and 1:50 Terry then sounds like MI, with elements of Ghost.

‘No Love’ is where he replies to his critics and those who underrate him. ‘Lagos (City of Dreamz) follows, as Terry flaunts the depth of his journey and hustle phase, as a Kaduna boy, looking for success in 2000s Lagos. He also flaunts his radio success despite having “no roll-out plans” and without social media.

Terry’s message is simple, “If you don’t get the f*ck…”

He did find success as a part of Swatroots, as a signee of Payback Tyme and then with his aforementioned 2010 body of work. He also won a Headies Award for ‘Best Rap Single’ with the smash, ‘Sample.’

On ‘Lagos,’ Terry’s comrade and rapper-producer, Pherowshuz also backs up Terry’s boisterous demeanour on the record. Pherowshuz, who released two projects in 2020 discusses how they used to have huge radio rotation, deals with Alaba and how they had to prove the streets wrong, despite being told to ‘bounce.’

Terry is usually calmer, but not this time. On ‘Lagos,’ he also stands tall to defend the integrity of Nigerian rappers in the face of claims like “SA rappers are tighter than Nigerian rappers” before giving a shout-out to AQ’s God’s Engineering.

‘Bans Is The Motto’ continues Terry’s bullish tendencies. He discusses his hustle and days of negotiations with Alaba pirates. Although he did give a shout-out to the late great big Homie, B-Elect.

It’s not all direct attacks though. On ‘Legend of Bayajiddah,’ Terry rolls back the years into ‘Rapman Beginz Terry,’ and delivers incredible verses, laced with bars and mostly defined by his impressive technique and flow scheme.

That part where he raps that, “They say I should act my age not my shoe size, so I got myself a colt .45. Wait, did you get that; CULT! 45? Paybac’s a mother so everybody must die…” is super-impressive.

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It’s nice to see that Terry’s rage doesn’t blind him from giving props to AQ and Paybac, for their respective critically-acclaimed 2020 albums and that’s incredibly gracious.

In a lot of ways, ‘Lagos’ and ‘Feel Good’ form the topical nucleus for the duality of Year of B.A.N.S. One half is heavy and aggressive, while the other half is softer with good topics.

‘Danny Shittu’ is a Trap record with Kendrick Lamar influences, but on the aggressive record, Terry’s cadences heavily borrows from ‘Vice’ by Jay Rock. However, he fails to properly pull it off. ‘Feel Good’ is themed around attraction, sex and love. It would be nice to hear a full Marvis project.

‘Ginger’ is a commercial record, once again crafted around a woman’s beauty. ‘G.O.A.T Pepper Soup’ takes us back to the Hip-Hop records, but Terry is more playful. He did fire shots at a certain best rapper’s list – possibly Pulse Nigeria’s – before poking lighthearted fun at Rema and Alpha P though.

‘Summer Hijack (BANS Remix)’ is a quality Hip-Hop record which sees Overdose deliver a classic verse. ‘Dan Maraya In A New Bugatti’ ends the album. The original version of ‘Dan Maraya’ was released in 2020 and it pays homage to legendary Northern artist, Dan Maraya.

But despite his filthy mood, Terry realizes that he can’t be fighting like a 19-year-old anymore. Towards the end of his first verse of ‘Jan Wuya,’ he raps that, “For 20 years I no sleep, I paid all my dues and now it’s my turn to eat…”

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And that my friends, is what they call grace. It was incredibly nice to see Terry roll between his Hausa language, lingo he learned from Lagos, Pidgin and pure English.

His skill might be testament to his journey, but so is his language of delivery.

On the negative side, some of the songs on this album are too long and some of its beats sound old. More importantly, some titles on the album are too clunky for this streaming era.

Ratings: /10

• 0-1.9: Flop

• 2.0-3.9: Near fall

• 4.0-5.9: Average

• 6.0-7.9: Victory

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• 8.0-10: Champion

Pulse Rating: /10

7.0 – Victory