Album review: Iso by Lagum the Rapper

November 04, 2020

Lagum is a blessed musician. The man, who is in his mid-20s, is gifted with the elusive trifecta. He raps, he sings and he is a producer. He has been hailed as one of the brightest prospects, and potentially a potent export, from Uganda. 

Each of the projects he has released in the past has pushed the envelope, reflecting the latest flows while also portraying tremendous musical growth, in the aspects of songwriting, production as well as his vocal abilities.

Iso was a highly anticipated tape. For over a year, impatient listeners waited for the project that Lagum first announced last year. In between he dropped gems, including a memorable feature on Blixxack’s and Tucker HD’s joint EP, entitled Monster, and a melodic banger named Una, on which he featured Tai Dai.

On Iso, which has already topped Applemusic charts in Uganda (including the “all genres” one), Lagum goes all out. It’s an embodiment of refinement. If there were any tough times during the process (and there must have been) one can’t tell. It’s a smooth listen all through, each bar layered carefully on an even more carefully layered beat, with careful attention to detail in the mastering.

The features are carefully selected too, and each one comes through for their boy. On Frisky, he features angel voiced Samantha Amari, and together they gel as they admit to each other how they make each other feel. The chemistry is undeniable.

On Catching Flights he features Bangi, who has had a notable year herself. He sings about a sophisticated lady, “a real one”, who is flying around the world, and he adds, “She knows how to roll one”. Bangi is the icing on the cake and she showcases her ability to ride the high notes, as she helps to paint the picture, even though her part is short.

Other features include Nyara, Jinmi, T Swerve, KC and MistralBoy, Vee, Esse Vdm and Josh Forehead.

All in all, it is a complete tape. Every song is a hit, no miss. Each featured artist ensures that they bring out their A game. It is, quite honestly, one of the most progressive, and most mature, tapes to come out of East Africa, and maybe Africa, this year.