Review: Baru x Pryce Teeba “IT IS WHAT IT IS – LIONS AND LAMBS”.
#BaruSeason is upon us and in the same familiar fashion, he is back with Pryce Teeba to deliver another producer featuring artist project. They gave us “African Stories” in 2019 and a couple of years later, it’s delightful when they announce a second coming. What’s interesting is that this time it’s not what you could have come to expect from this combination. It is less adventurous and more predictable than “African Stories.” And as any serious listener should, you’d need to have listened to African stories before embarking on “It is What It Is.” That way, your mind is in its best memory to appreciate the difference.
Plus, it is only a rite of passage. The same way all sane humans sat through all the 20+ movies before we watched Avengers Endgame. Iron man dies by the way, in case you’ve been saving it for the next pandemic.
A conversation that floats in the air is that Pryce Teeba is one of the forefathers of UG hip-hop Trap music which he refers to as “Omutego”. Something that he hints-on on this project and from that point onwards, the trap is overwhelmingly evident throughout the project. The listening experience of anything by Baru and an artist has always been to see what they were inventing or altering to purify. The puzzle is exciting.
After track 3 – “Maama Demo” where he hints on being “one of or the” forefather of UG Trap music, the next songs and eventual replays of the EP will be less alluring. The trap robs the curiosity of figuring out what they could have been trying to refine. This is not an entirely bad thing! The redemption is in delivering consistently nice and elevating songs on the EP.
Moonwalk (Kumwezi) the lead single on this EP is the lead even when you rank the songs. It’s popularly the (and my) best song and deservedly so. The beat is heavy and Pryce Teeba does an excellent job with a flow that neutralizes the entire song with a performance that makes it a smooth listen. He is playful with it, and the adlibs enhance the experience. They are placed right where you feel one should be and it’s always brilliant when that happens.
The other tracks that follow are good songs and some of your favorites might come off them.
“Maama Demo” and “Obulamu Mu’nsi” are particularly outstanding. Especially now that we are all trying to realign our hustles and make our dreams meet our finances, hopes and promises. Pryce Teeba is very relatable to a lot of people, although I’d not recommend keeping your money under the mattress, – thieves often check there first. Thinking hard about that, you’ll start suspiciously looking at anyone transporting a mattress on a bodaboda. They could be looting someone’s life’s savings. The atmosphere of the entire EP is Pryce Teeba reminding the game why he is held at the position the industry recognizes him at. His message is very motivational, but he uses several moments to caution you about who he is.
“Obulamu Mu’nsi” will have a place on that playlist you play when you need to be uplifted. It is a fitting final track on the 5 track EP. The production remains top notch. It’s Baru perfecting his craft and at a point where it’s obviously autopilot now. The standard is set and the standard is met. The antagonist to Baru’s consistency now remains our expectations. Listening to this, I tried to anticipate where he could be going next with his production but he gave me the same impressive production.
Overall, it is what it is, – good music from a phenomenal producer and a phenomenal artist. As a fan, I am happy with this project but I hope it’s paving a way for something more daring from their combination.