The Problem With BNXN’s (Fka Buju) EP – Bad Since ’97 Review


BNXN Fka Buju has been one of the brightest spots in Afrobeats for the past 3 years, the Lenu hitmaker has grown to become an industry darling as well as a fan favorite and on his new EP, Bad since ’97 he attempts to live up to his promise, however, the project is beset by many problems.

Background

BNXN is at his musical best when his style is playful and simplistic. His uncanny ability to make the simplest of lines catchy and memorable and his ingenuity in doing less with more is the primary reason he shines on features.

BNXN’s exploits on features have led many listeners to wrongly opine that BNXN cannot hold his own on his personal songs, however, on tracks like For Days and So Lovely, BNXN has proved doubters wrong, and on this EP he actively seeks to quieten that narrative, but his performance falls short of his brilliance.

EP Review

The biggest strength of this EP is in its songwriting, the Title track, Bad Since 97 is probably one of the best-written songs you will hear this year, In My Mind also gives it a run for its money in this regard.

The EP also features smooth and accessible production but this is where the positives end for the EP.

When BNXN moves away from his simple approach and tries to become dense on the project, we see him lack the charisma to keep the listener interested. This was very evident in Bad Man Wicked and the Wizkid assisted Many Ways. On the latter track, although BNXN wasn’t exactly spectacular, Wizkid phones in his most unmemorable verse in recent times.

On Modupe we see a lack of chemistry between Olamide and BNXN, the YBNL head honcho delivers a solid verse but it does little to elevate the song.

Wande Coal and BNXN fare better on Kenkele, the lead single of the EP. As a standalone track, the song sounds a bit generic, but as part of the project, it outshines most of the songs on the EP.

The project closes with the Olamide co-written Loose Emotions, one of the better-executed songs on the EP, although by now the EP’s sequencing would have put the listener to sleep.

Verdict

The brilliant writing on Bad Since 97 was upstaged by poor sequencing, features that failed to elevate the project, and boring delivery.

This EP will not elevate BNXN or knock him down a perch, it will just find its place among the other underwhelming projects of 2022.

Score: 5.7/10

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