VIBE REVIEW: Show Dem Camp continues to push the envelope with Clone Wars IV “These Buhari Times”

Pioneer Nigerian rap duo, Show Dem Camp is back with Clone Wars IV, a hotly anticipated addition to their Clone Wars series in which they tackle some of the pressing issues facing Nigerian youth in “These Buhari Times”. Following the huge success of Palm Wine Music 2 and their annual Palm Wine Festival, they decided to bless us with Clone Wars IV to ring in the New Year. They are joined, as usual, by a host of talented friends including Ladipoe, MI Abaga and Ozone.

With the Intro track Centre of Excellence the direction of the album is made clear. This is a table-shaking project that dares to articulate the everyday struggle of young Nigerians with excellent production and flow. One of the highlights of the project is the monologues that vary from hilarious to introspective. On the intro for Duade ft Cuba, Tek tackles toxic masculinity within Nigerian society in perhaps the most relatable soliloquy I have heard this year.  4th Republic featuring Vector and Dap the Contract addresses the struggle of the young, authentic Nigerian creator  while Hunger Cries takes daring (and much needed) shots at the ills of the spiritual and political leaders of the nation.

The duo remains uncompromising on their pure rap sound, in contrast with the equally impressive Palm Wine Music series. Songs like Savage and Respect Loyalty & Honour show us why they remain some of the most respected lyricist on the scene. The entire album was produced by the incomparable Spax who, along with Blueprint-esque Clone Wars sounds, took risks on songs like Packaging. Other shining stars include, my personal favourites, In the Vibe We Trust and Shadow of Doubt.

SDC always has me conflicted as to whether I wish they came out twenty years ago, musically, or twenty years from now politically. They have a timeless sound, uncompromising on quality and lyricism and a daring ability to illustrate the Nigerian dilemma that is far ahead of their time. From their undeniable musical compatibility with Ladipoe to the baddest vocalist of the new school Tems (I said what I said) Clone Wars IV gives us refreshing versatility without compromising on purpose and message. Once again, Show Dem Camp makes a valuable and eye-opening addition to the Clone Wars series. And while I would have lived for a Black Magic feature on Everything I Love, every single feature was refreshing and, in some cases, necessary. These Buhari Times captures the frustration of a generation in classic, evergreen SDC style.



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