For producer and rapper, Illgod sampling has always been a thing. His adherence to core and early hip-hop principles, especially in beatmaking set him apart from majority of his contemporaries: most of who lean towards more contemporary sounds. In his latest single, “Trapped” Illgod and rapper, Tulip lament the situation of Nigeria under the cloak of a neo soul instrumental.

“Trapped” extensively sampled Gil Scott-Heron’s “We’re Almost Lost In Detroit”. The elements of the song are so minimal that you almost can strip each aside and count them. Illgod, the producer did not deploy hard-hitting boom bap drums this time. He chose soft claps and stripped-down piano chords instead.  

The simple approach to the production ensures that listeners are not distracted by sonic elements in the music. This of course makes sure that the real message in the two-verse song is not lost in the race to aesthetics. However, simplicity is not often the case at all times.

In “Trapped” the lines are not simple. But they are couched in terse verses which has the potentials to stick at times. Lines like: “On my block, Its my will to always scribble em new ways, ‘fore peops living their dooms-days/ For keeps? Fit you the whole kit ” in Illgod’s verse could prove hard nuts to crack.

For youths, the police theme keep recurring. It shows in Tulip’s lines, too a few moments after the opening lines of his verse: “And barely we sleep, be ducking police / The whole nation is a joke man.”

The direction of “Trapped” is deeply influenced by their locations. The rappers both reside in Port Harcourt, a city dangerously enveloped by black soot and gory, mindless crimes.

Sometimes the oomph stops/
So I – notice the rooftops/
Chill then, for the children I’m –
Hoping the soots stops

— Illgod, “Trapped”.

If u’re listening to this / one day we’re gonna win / We’re trapped in the same cell, they won’t let us be

— Tulip, “Trapped”.

On “Trapped” Illgod and Tulip focus on the problems. They wheel through the song casually the way bread cuts through knife. The let down is that neither Illgod nor Tulip managed to infuse proper emotion into the song, as it should be. They tell stories of gloom without their voices properly showing it.

Listen to Trapped (f. Tulip) by Illgod on SoundCloud

The lyrics here