From rage to thankfulness, Flohio really does have flow
Phoebe Scott
15:26 26th November 2020

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Funmi Ohiosumah, better known by her moniker Flohio, is the 29-year-old Lagos born, South London MC who has consistently been keeping us on our toes. Her dark-edged hip hop mixtape No Panic No Pain is the follow up to her 2016 E.P. Nowhere Near, arriving via her record label AlphaTone tomorrow (27 November). 

The mixtape unpacks a confessional story of personal crisis, death, heartbreak and recovery. Her battle is intelligently woven into this punchy poetic project: “I was really upset you couldn’t talk to me for at least 5 minutes yesterday” a voice note sample starts ‘FLOFLO!’. Flohio laughs it off. “Nah I really was, because I was really upset and needed you to just be there for me, and I felt like you dismissed me.”

The initial statement of the 10-track mixtape reveals Flohio’s struggle to continue to support her close network while grieving her best friends’ death, something she has touched on in her work previously. Although the quick-fire lyrics are masked underneath the dirtiest of basslines, you get a glimpse of what she's been through.

Moving onto the lead single, ‘Unveiled’ is a perfect exhibition of how she can easily dip into a persona that is confident and gritty – “I’ve been on 10 times that, you ain’t been a threat that’s facts”. 

It seems all Flohio needs to focus on has been unveiled and apparently, it’s more life, cake, hype and rage. Flohio even commented to her Instagram: “I feel bionic with this one”. Not forgetting the intense, psychotic and almost asylum-style video that it accompanies. The whole thing absolutely slaps. 

A softer dream-like beat supervenes into ‘Active’ which would explain the lyrics “whole night I’ve been restless”.  When we hit ‘Flash’ we got a sudden craving to be in a small sweaty underground venue. Also, bravo to Flohio for throwing shade at the people who didn't believe in her, “they say I’m way too indie, I could never sell these CDs”. This entire tune is a flex.

‘With Ease’ is her second single and the only song with a feature in the project. Kasien’s chorus line “I’ve got the expertise, finesse the world with ease” is insanely smooth while we see Flohio quite literally ease into her style and use her accent to benefit her flow.  

We’re reflective of the continuous hard work Flohio has put in and how long she has been on the scene during ‘Roundtown’, then taken straight back to being gassed on ‘Booby Trap’ a song designed to make you feel like the baddest b. We can only imagine the re-loads when playing this live. 

‘Sweet Flaws’ is the third single from the mixtape, released only a few days ago. We’re taken on a story of love loss and how she's learnt to only rely on herself. This rolls throughout ‘Medicine’ too, where she’s feeling hurt and doesn’t know who to trust so she might “hit Mexico for a week”.

The final song ‘Stuck in a Dance’ brings us full circle with another voice note sample, but this time Flohio has reached out to a friend and they’ve been surprised to see a message from her. 

In this debut, Flohio's personal growth is already clear while also still leaving room for her to explore her craft. We're taken through every emotion from rage to thankfulness and that is because Flohio really does have flow.

No Panic No Pain arrives 27 November via AlphaTone.

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Photo: Press