Nigerian rapper Falz to release fourth album Moral Instruction

Nigerian rapper Falz has announced 15 January as the release date for his fourth album.

Titled Moral Instruction, the forthcoming work comes after last year’s 27, which followed 2014’s Wazup Guy and his breakout album, 2015’s Stories That Touch. In 2016, he released a collaborative EP with Simi titled Chemistry.

Last year was an eventful year for the rapper, primarily due to the attention he garnered for his non-album single ‘This Is Nigeria’, a localised version of the Childish Gambino song and video 'This Is America'. The song’s merit was debated as was its artistry.

It later became the source of several news stories when an Islamic group complained about the video’s use of an outfit associated with the religion. Asked to take down the video from YouTube, Falz declined. The song was later banned from receiving airplay on some radio stations in Nigeria for what the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation called “vulgar lyrics”.

“If they ban this song, then I do not understand them because that song is definitely not a vulgar song,” Falz said in response.

Asked about a possible connection between the Islamic group’s outrage and the ban, he said: “I do not know if the fact that some group wanted me to retract the song is linked with this new development but I know that there were a lot of messages in the song and it is hitting a lot of people in the wrong places and that is what is making them react in that manner.”

The ban notwithstanding, Falz has continued with political commentary, as his first single off Moral Instruction, ‘Talk’, released on 11 January, incorporates news items from Nigerian politics.

“It’s very important that we continue to #Talk,” the rapper tweeted. “We cannot attain the sanity that we seek by being quiet or nonchalant about our state of affairs. We need to react! We have become terribly accustomed to this chaotic lifestyle. We all know that it is only a few people that benefit from this. They have ensured it remains that way. Yet we are quiet.”

The single sparked a frenzy online when he was compared with Fela. Perhaps aware of the Afrobeat creator’s activism and seeking association, Falz shared a detail about Moral Instruction's album cover: “Artwork by legendary artist Lemi Ghariokwu, most notable for his works on Fela’s records.”

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