November 30, 2023

ExposAfrica Magazine

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What happened to Rema

Since he was revealed to the public by his record label in 2018, Rema’s musical abilities have been apparent as day. His vocal texture, range, and renditions have been one of the driving forces propelling his career ahead. He is gradually emerging as a leader among Nigeria’s current crop of young Afro-pop musicians, with the potential to become a global megastar.

Rema is also fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible team led by Don Jazzy (Mavin Records) and his brother, D’Prince (Jonzing World). He is no longer the dreadlocked teen attempting to draw attention to his trap-freestyles on Instagram. He has slowly morphed into a young man.

Rema, however, continues to demonstrate that he still has a lot of improvement to show. Given that he is only 21 years old, this is understandable. His career has several peaks, ranging from his debut self-titled EP to the moment he laid claim to the “AfroRave” subgenre and to the anticipated release of his first full-length album, Rave & Roses. Let’s have a look at what he’s achieved and what he’s lost on his journey through the spotlight up to this point.

The Three EPs

Dumebi might have been the hit banger on the four-track debut Rema EP, but songs like Why and Corny will most certainly evoke nostalgia in the minds of his fans in the future. Dumebi will also be the first of many tracks to bear Rema’s trademark; Another banger. The self-titled EP earned a fair amount of positive acclaim as well. The highest being Iron man appearing on Obama’s 2019 Summer Playlist. However, due to the short track lengths, and lack of a cohesive concept, it might be difficult for any listener to latch on to anything concrete.

The Three EPs on neon pink vinyl

Rema’s sophomore Freestyle EP was superior to the first in many respects. It was more conceptual, the rhymes were far better, and the musical experience was more balanced. Being a more precise body of work, listeners can know what to expect: four great trap tunes. Tracks like Boulevard and Spiderman will likely be hailed as masterpieces in years to come.

With Bad Commando, Rema completed the Three EPs trifecta. The project also showcased a blending of Afrobeats and trap music. Rewind stands out among the EP’s four tracks for its lovely melodies and politically charged lyrics. Since then, it has become a feat that is rarely heard in his music nowadays.

AfroRave Declaration

In mid-2021, Rema started calling his sound Afrorave, describing it as a subgenre to Afrobeats. The crooner claimed that it was in a bid to globalize his sound and turn negative criticism to an advantage. Be that as it may, it is not far-fetched. His contemporaries have also done the same. Fireboy has called his sound Afro-life, CKay called his, Emo Afrobeats. Therefore, it is only fair to give Rema the freedom to call his sound what he likes. However, only time will tell what Afrorave will become. Being a pioneer and laying claim to a subgenre requires more than the flimsiness of word of mouth. Is Rema willing to put in the work? Upon the release of this article, Rema is still yet to release the eponymous “Afrorave” album, Rave and Roses.

Rave and Roses (What can we expect?)

Every day, the world continues to pay attention to Afrobeats. And since Rema’s Afrobeats ability is undisputed, it will be fascinating to see what Rema can input to the movement with the Rave and Roses project. It will be a breath of fresh air to see Rema make a trap record again. Somehow along the way, Rema seems to have lost interest. His last true trap sound was with Alien in 2020, a below-par record compared to his past work. Nevertheless, we expect to hear another banger of an album when the album is released.

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