With Emo-Trap, Lil O’self Is On To Something
Sometime around 2020, Tunde Ednut’s feed breezed something my way on Instagram.
Within four seconds, I was already hooked. I struggled to understand it, at first; the deeper I listened, the more complex it felt. Behind that marriage of confusion and satiety was one young artiste somewhere in the crannies of Nigeria.
Draped in casual outfits, Lil Oself @lil.oself was there freestyling a song dubbed, 66 Clout , and it stunned one to imagine that there is hardly any emo-trap artiste in Africa that could achieve that mastery.
Emo-trap is a form of trap music that fuses the emotiveness of Rock Music with the rhythmic patterns of Trap. Imagine Juce World, XXXTentation, but in an African context. Afro Emo-trap could actually become the game changer in Naija’s rap musicdom. And it is exciting to see Lil Oself spotlight it.
Other artistes such as Superboy Cheque have been in the game for a while, with some experimentation around the genre. However, Oself’s RnB fusion stretches the limits of emo-trap as it infuses an alternative vibe to it.
In a chat with Guardian Music who had to seek the artiste out, Oself reported that he draws inspiration from the emotiveness of life around him. For him, absorbing the world around him and pouring it into his music is a formula for happiness.
From 66 Worth to all other freestyles on his social media, it is glaring that this blooming voice is already wide-eyed for innovation, and is hard working towards it. For his roses, his vocal cadence and sound experimentation help to trump a tongue clip problem that has frustrated his diction for many years. And while he flusters with enough confidence to skydive without parachutes, the singer seems less strategic with his content, lacking a depth of storytelling that is as indigenous as his sound experimentation efforts.
Like many other alternative acts, Oself’s artistic motif of starting every song with the number 66 shows how intentional he is with his image and craft. And this is a recipe for growth.
While he listed his native inspirations to be Mr Eazi, Davido, Burna, Wizkid, among others, it is clear that the young singer/rapper needs to take a lot of time to spotlight his own voice, for all the gems it carries. Collaborations might help to strengthen its finesse, just as everyone is collaborating with the Cavemen., and it is helping to give their sound more mainstream appeal. For Oself, it continues to remain a struggle of “trying to bend the sound to suit what I am trying to push.”
With a soothing persona to match, it is clear that Oself is cut out for stardom, with a little tweaking needed here and there. And if there is anything to admire mostly about his persona, it is his confidence driven humility: “I am just a young boy creating music. No special power to it.”