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Album Reviews

Bella Shmurda’s “R2 Sept 12” Is An Ode To The Enduring Legacy of Friendship

Bella Shmurda

Bella Shmurda’s latest offering, “R2 Sept 12” isn’t just another EP; it’s a heartfelt tribute to his late friend, Mohbad, whose unexpected departure rocked the Nigerian music scene to its core in 2023.

Shmurda’s first project since 2023’s “DND”, “R2 Sept 12” serves as a reminder of Mohbad’s impact on the Afrobeats scene, honoring his legacy of soulful street-pop that resonated deeply with fans.

The duo’s bond wasn’t just about music; it was a genuine bromance that flourished both on and off the stage. Their journey began in the bustling streets of Lagos, where they navigated the underground music scene together, forming a close bond.

In a candid interview on the UK’s “In My Opinion” podcast, the “Philo” hitmaker revealed the organic nature of their first-ever encounter, rooted in mutual admiration and respect. He further revealed that the first day they met, they made a song titled, “Adura”, which quickly garnered millions of views on YouTube, solidifying their status as industry brothers.

The EP opens with “Feelings”, setting the tone for an introspective exploration of grief and mental health. Bella Shmurda’s moving lyrics offer a glimpse into his emotional journey, bravely confronting the challenges of coping with loss.

The album’s lead single, “Loner”, continues this theme, inviting listeners into a world of solitude and reflection. Bella Shmurda’s soulful vocals resonate deeply as he navigates the complexities of grief, offering a raw and unfiltered glimpse into his psyche.

The 5-track project sees rising songstress and producer Bloody Civilian make a guest appearance, delivering a hustle anthem on “1999”, while Jeriq and Zlatan join forces to provide the EP’s most vibrant moment on “Oghene,” where the trio fervently pray for divine blessings. These collaborative efforts infuse the project with renewed vigor, highlighting Bella Shmurda’s versatility as an artist.

Released less than a month after MohBad’s passing, “My Brother” ironically serves as the EP’s closing track. It encapsulates Bella Shmurda’s profound sorrow over losing his cherished friend and reflects on their deep bond. The song echoes the singer’s contemplations on the unpredictability of death, the bewildering shock of losing a loved one suddenly, and the struggle to reconcile fond memories with the enduring pain of loss.

In summary, the “R2 Sept 12” is impeccably crafted, delving into the profound theme of grief and its impact on mental health. Bella Shmurda’s soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics disprove any notion that Afrobeats lacks substance, offering listeners a profound and deeply personal journey through grief and resilience.

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