It seems short conceptual driven projects are the new wave now. Nigerian soul singer Maka just followed this path with the release of a 5 track SZA inspired EP she calls “CTRL + M”. The title is a portmanteau of SZA’s debut album and the letter M but let us not get it twisted as this project is not filled with SZA cover songs but rather it’s just the idea that propelled Maka to write these songs.
The mostly acoustic styled EP was mainly produced by Just Acoustic, Big Foot (who puts his hands on all the beats) and Whonickt who shows up on one song only. The EP opens up with the guitar-lulling “Love and Games” immediately pelting with an outpour of emotions as Maka pines away about an old flame. On the second track “Go Baby”, she dives into the love/hate relationship dichotomy where she knows the situation is not good for her but she does it otherwise. This track moves slightly away from acoustic guitars and exudes a smooth hip-hop bounce laced with introspective vibes about it which works well with Maka’s expressive vocals.
“Hula Hooping” returns to guitar riffs and Maka is forced to face the reality of the situation as she confronts her lover about cutting shows with other women. She also taps a talented rapper Alpha who plays the guy in question. The follow up “Bad Enough” is Maka taking control and walking out of the broken relationship with her head up high. She states “You should get used to the news that the shy girl is gone…” and out comes the no-more-ms-nice-gal persona. We hear her step out from the shadows with a new flair and glow as she gracefully takes the track to lofty heights with her commanding vocals. The final track “No Be Me” has a self-empowerment vibe and Maka displays her true self on this one as she proudly sings “…I just want to be happy…“. Far from playing the victim, she treats the situation as an experience that made her a better person and owns her position but she also wants the guy to own up to his sheisty ways as well.
Overall CTRL+M works well as a short piece of art that captures the singer’s experiences while being in a tumultuous relationship. Some other areas could have been explored but that doesn’t take anything away from the EP besides sometimes half short can be twice strong.
Favorite picks: “Go baby”, “No Be Me” and “Hula Hooping”
Donnie Skillz likes oatmeal and good music. let’s argue about rap music @donnieskillz