This is Swiss’ third offering in a discography that’s gradually boasting a lot of content. His debut, Music in Session EP with Nonso Amadi showed the duo’s hunger and they were truly focused on been heard. He made an introductory statement on his debut solo tape, This Is Me, one which showed he wasn’t afraid to rely on his talents and strengths as a rapper amidst all the pressure that comes with appealing to a wider audience. Based on True Events is aptly titled and it’s a collection of songs about the rapper’s experiences and his reality.
‘Stupid’ pilots the journey into his world and it features Davina; it’s the hard guy’s attempt at a love song as he raps hastily over the up-tempo beat “I never had no other stop my heart/ or another who could make me write a whole song. It’s a show of the rapper’s vulnerability, packed with emotions which heightens by the time Davina comes in with the chorus.
He constantly displays self-consciousness with an effort to stay grounded and true to himself on this project, on “High” he raps “Always stay high, never go low/keep it real even when you know you make dough/build a fanbase/ don’t forget about your own/cos your family tree can stop how you grow. On “Selfish” he is unapologetically honest and it’s the tape’s most morally compelling moment. The record is his most imaginative, one which strives to reimagine the essence of storytelling in rap music. In the context of the tape, “Lover in Zion” is quite one-of-a-kind, its highlife beat coupled with Swiss’ laidback and patient delivery of the chorus and verses makes it a personal favorite. Its a song which differentiates someone who just raps from another who knows how to actually make music.
Surprisingly for such a personal tape, the guest appearances are spot on. “TTHB” and “Yeah 4x” stand out, the former features singer Buwa and rapper HD dropping a bizarre but great verse using a blend of English and his native Ibibio while the latter features JD.
On the production front; Willow C, KJ, Encore, IBK, Da Boss and 3rty bring the heat and Swiss sounds at home rapping over their beats. Swiss isn’t looking to wow listeners with wit; he keeps it simple and says it how it is. His strength lies in his ability to paint pictures using stellar hip-hop beats as his canvas and he consistently plays to his strength. He proves that he isn’t just a rapper but an artiste focused on self-discovery; not just in the sense of his artistic qualities but also as a person, he crafts sounds that contains stories of a recurring theme in his music – his reality. If you have ears for good hip-hop, Based on True Events is a goldmine worth exploring.
Listen to the EP here