The EP is a compilation of catchy, hood and clever sounding tracks that highlights his diversity as an artist. One of the first things that strikes you before listening to the EP itself is the title, which i guess is Milli’s own way of telling us not to bother him with “childish” questions of his alleged fall out with Chocolate City. While the EP title catches the eye in a nosey kind of way, there’s nothing actually controversial about the project. So, If you were hoping to get some M.I Abaga or CC bashing on it you would be dissappointed.
He made sure all the attention was fully on the project and not on unnecessary bitterness that would’ve ended up taking away the spotlight from the EP.
The new EP is a lot different from what the Nigerian audience is used to which is what makes it a lot more endearing. Instead of sticking with a sound/style that is tried and trusted in Nigeria (juju, afrobeat, local raps and a mixture of everything else) Milli went on to express himself fully on the project, ignoring the opinion of his “haters.” While the idea is something to be applauded you have to wonder if the Nigerian audience is ready to accept “change” despite voting for it last year.
Too many rappers/artists have tried to be creative and different but have all fallen flat – some are nowhere to be seen while others are now members of the “if you can’t beat them, join them club.” An advantage milli has, that a lot of the rest don’t or didn’t, is a loyal fanbase and a label that shares his visions and is not shy to invest financially in it.
This could be a good/winning combination or a recipe for disaster.
The opening track, We Up introduces us to the EP in proper: “Don’t ask me what happened dawg the deal is complicated,” Milli reiterates my earlier hunch, “I know y’all been waiting for the verse/hoping that I’d say something” he continues before switching up his flow. The EP comes off as boastful and one of the tracks that best represents that narrative is “Jealous” featuring his Animals After Dark collaborator Patrickxx Lee, who comes through with a killer verse by the way.
All through the 7-track EP, he treats us to a display of perfect hooks and rapping, while also showcasing his ability to sing. The project is Trap influenced but you also have tracks like “Made For This” that leans somewhat towards the RnB sound. One thing you find consistent with the EP when you listen to it, is his endearing attachment for “Surulere” with him not missing a chance to shout out the region on every opportunity. “Wave” is a prime example and I’m sure the Surulere boys would love it.
There’s no trying to sound super lyrical or claims of being rap’s Messiah on the project, but he never fails to big up himself as “the leader of the new school” at every slight chance. Every song on the EP comes with a different story and vibe to it, which makes it more alluring.
Milli isn’t blind to the support he’s been getting from his label, family and fans and he acknowledges it on The Hood, which may actually be my favorite track on the entire EP: “This one for the hood/for the fans/ the people that got my back” he sings on the mid-tempo track. The rapping at the end of the song was uncalled for as it almost ruined the tempo and feel of the song. I was already in a deep trance then the rapping came up and brought me back to reality.
In most cases the lead single always ends up being the best song on a project but that’s not entirely the case on DAMWH. While Unlooking Uncensored is a great song and the one a lot of fans might lean towards more because of the artistic video that accompanied it, songs like the cocky “Jealous,” the EP’s opener “We Up,” The very introspective “The Hood” and “Animals” After Dark” which has him trying his hands on some Yoruba (but doesn’t quite come off fluent) are equally as good.
On first listen it sounded like the EP had fallen short of my high expectations but after my second listen I honestly believe this would actually do really well and would be embraced by the public. For one, the hooks are catchy and the beats are trappy which makes it danceable and we know how the Nigerian audience loves to dance. The sound is not also restricted to a particular genre – meaning, it got a bit of something for everybody and can be marketable in countries outside Nigeria.
The last song may actually be the most personal of all the tracks on Don’t Ask Me What Happened: “Someone tell my mama that I love her/I don’t know if I’ll ever make it” Milli admits before promising to “always be himself.” Which is all we ask. While the EP may seem a bit short, it’s a classic case of leaving the people wanting more. Milli went into uncharted territory with this EP and he conquered whether or not the sound is embraced by Nigerians.
This is the first official EP being released on Up Next Universe
Overall rating: 8.9
My review of this EP was in no way, form or manner swayed by any outside forces. By @PapermanCH follow me on Twitter. I’m awesome!!!