The African Mind is a duolith – on one part, it’s Vector‘s perspective of self and on the other, a perception of society through self.
On June 11, 2020, veteran Nigerian rapper, Vector tha Viper released his four-track EP, ‘The African Mind.’ He tagged the four tracks as ‘voems,’ a portmanteau of ‘voice poems.’ With his third EP in just eight months, Vector has changed the narrative around his own discography – he seems to be creating with renewed energy.
Fresh off his pedagogic Instagram Live chat with another veteran, Reminisce, Vector gets introspective with socio-political themes and created something that could be a gamechanger in the Nigerian music industry.
A regular news article cannot serve this EP and neither will a random review, so this writer opted for a befitting hybrid article – an intersection between news, review and explainer.
With a background as a battle rapper, education as a Philosophy graduate from the University of Lagos and his vast mind, filled with mind-boggling theories on patterns of human behaviour, Vector is changing his own narrative and my my, it’s amazing to watch.
This time, it’s poetry delivered in spoken word format based on topics as it affects Nigerians individually, and collectively. Elements of this creative hue can be heard on Vibes Before T.E.S.L.I.M and Crossroads EP.
‘Rape Voem‘ comes at a sensitive in Nigerian music where women are being treated with disdain and when Nigerian men still fail to grasp the concept of consent. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen women raped to death at the hands of callous, entitled men in a country since engulfed in a mess of protests and demands for justice.
Vector creates a one-minute conversation around that. He goes, “Like the victims of rape should sit still, I rarely ever judge a person on hearsay, but when the hearsay is becoming a pattern and the image is not defeating the patter…” In one fell swoop, Vector decries rape literally, and then uses rape to figuratively decry the degradation of socio-political values in Nigeria while our society rots.
He says, “The rape I see happened before the forceful penetration, it happened when you betrayed the trust put in you to lead...” This is amazing. ‘Fail Yours‘ is a critique of the judgmental tendencies of humanity towards alluding success or failure to people – this voem feels personal.
If it is personal, it will likely be as it relates to how Vector has always been criticized about his career. But instead of firing shots back, he looks to bring perspective into the conversation – the entirety of which means that everybody fails and failure is relative. ‘I Saw Video Last Night‘ addresses civil unrest in Nigerian societies.
The theme beneath the voem is eerie and tense, like one suited to the ominous anticipation of a thriller. While Vector rarely subscribes to the concept of religion these days, the video he saw makes he say, “If there is a God, can he please save us?”
‘Protect The Church‘ is a religious satire about the decadence going on in Nigerian churches and the hypocrisy of the church members. Nonetheless, Vector‘s ‘critique’ of the members of congregation could also be an examination of reality – how religious perfection is a myth.
The African Mind is a duolith – on one part, it’s Vector‘s perspective of self and on the other, a perception of society through self. There is nothing to critique here – there is only profiling to be done. On that note, we say this is an amazing project and a potential trailblazer. Take a bow, Vector.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Content and Themes: 3.7/4
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 3.7/4
9.5/10 – Champion