Depending on who you ask, Summer 2019 is the Summer of Afrobeats. Songs like Koffee’s ”Toast”, Skepta’s ”Energy”, and the popular ”Ye” by Burna Boy have run up plays at all of our day parties. Shoutout the DJs committing a full set to this magnificent genre. You all matter. Songs like these are immediate positive energy boosts. Perfectly fitting for social environments. But what about the moments after the party? When you’ve slammed one too many Long Island Iced Teas and any text you sent out stays on delivered? Well, here we have ”Number Two” by Nigerian talents FiNesi and Senseipds.
The Houston-made sons have linked up yet again for another dance-inducing jam after debuting “African Bad Girl” a few months back. If that was the party, then “Number Two” fits perfectly into the post-function scenario above. Their second single together being numbered and somewhat aligning with the presented narrative only serves to amplify it.
Upon first listening, I immediately hit the Shaku Shaku I’ve been practicing all summer. Only once FiNesi comes in with his melodic baritone, it’s no cause for celebration. “Running back cause that nigga fucked you over/Ruined it before now you crying on my shoulder/Aw tough times, baby girl it’s just a closer/Can’t believe she made her standards lower.”
Heavy. FiNesi is lamenting over her mistakes. She left him for someone who didn’t have her best intentions at heart. When you’re also hurt, it isn’t easy to be sympathetic. Even when her loss brings her back to you. He reflects on the hopes he had for them and how he can’t seem to figure her out. “How I feel about you can’t be explained/Love you enough to hope you find better/Close my heart yet you find a way to enter.”
Even in his anger toward her, she’s got a hold on him. It’s a proper lead-in to the simple yet emotive hook that I can’t get out of my head. “I can never be your number two/Girl I refuse/To be your number two.” Energy. FiNesi admits she played him for a fool when the hook comes around a second time.
What I love most about the hook isn’t the singing, though they can hold a note. I love when music makes me feel, and it’s very clear this wasn’t just some contrived hook. Some Habesha woman really hurt this guy’s heart, it’s an evil world we live in.
Later on, Senseipds steps in to tell his side of love and war. It’s been two years since he’d seen his previous lover, but he rolls with his boys now and is doing quite fine. “I really don’t think you are different[…] Say you my chargie but you dodge commitment/Got me looking crazy like a fucking infant.”
Even with time passing, the bitter taste is in Senseipds’s mouth. Only he’s not just falling back into that toxic cycle. Rather he’s asserting himself and telling her the truth about herself. “Tired of making all the wrong decisions/Should’ve left you when I had the chance/Thought we could have one last dance.”
Like many men don’t like to admit, the boss-up shifted into some reminiscing. It’s cool though, he’s not hiding it. Often the worst part of heartbreak isn’t what the person did to cause it, but the thoughts about everything you both could have become as a couple. This the type of song to have you crying in the club if you listen hard enough. Shaku Shaku the tears away fellas.
There’s an interesting part later on that is also quite relatable. “I should’ve listened to my niggas, oh well/But I found out they were jealous/But really man I was just careless.” Wow. It really do be your own niggas (not mine) advocating for you to make a choice not because it’s best for you, but it makes them feel better. Senseipds acknowledges those underlying meanings, and relies only on his own discernment.
This song is special. There’s room for improvement on the technical side, but the feelings I get when listening are undeniable. It’s catchy enough to flourish in a social setting, but deep enough to have your mind racing when listening alone under headphones. Duality. My eyes and ears will stay open for these two. No pun intended. Tap in.