“Achukwuleke make you give me kpalansi
Scatter your Baka oya I must to be your lover
Oya rikpata rikpata you too dey shakara!” I scream to my heart’s delight as another banger takes control of my mind soul and body.
But here comes the spoilsport neighbor on cue, “All Nigerians want is garb lyrics and mediocre music” he spits, not bothering to veil his alleged contempt for mainstream Nigerian music.
I imagine his sense of self worth blossoming in his elitist tummy after displaying his superior taste.
This is the same for majority of Nigerians. They would pause a ‘mediocre’ song to give a lecture about how we are all unappreciative of good music.
A look at the charts however confuses me to no end. How are a majority of Nigerians crying out for good music and ‘potopoto’ music is majorly dominant here? Something smells funny.
For the longest time I have prioritized clout over content with the faulty mindset that when one gets the crowd, only then can you proceed to deliver content. Perhaps this does work but I’ve come to understand that content is king and reigns supreme.
And Rema, Tekno, Wizkid et al are providing quality content with a direction and a purpose: To.make.you.move.your body.
I dare you to play J Cole in the clubs. I-
Sorry. I fell asleep there. Back to the matter, J Co-
Damn. Let’s just move on.
The problem is the unnecessary condescension that jumps out to signal to the intellectuals: “hey I don’t vibe to this low quality content, I’m smart like you”.
And it makes one wonder, can we really introspect 24/7? Is it indeed possible to be immersed in deep thoughts of the brain all the time or can we just want ‘gbedu’ that would proceed to burst them spectacularly?
It’s not a crime for intellectuals to dance you know? Also, we’re not all intellectuals. Truth will not kill you.
There’s a demand. There’s supply. Why is there a problem?
What’s more alarming is the silence when these deep introspective projects do drop. Where’s all the noise? Are we all too busy introspecting to praise them?
I found that I’m not cut out to be an entrepreneur after attending a business class recently but I did learn one thing.
“One of the best things a brand can do is get its customers to advertise for them without asking them to.”
A good way to do this is to satisfy your customer/listener/audience. A contented audience would tell your tales far and wide.
It’s speaks volumes that all ye consumers of ‘good music’ are silent as celebrity bodyguards.
I do more for the artiste with my unsolicited public performances of Rema’s ‘Lady’ than you do with your one-man dark room album listening of MI Abaga’s ‘Yung Dnzl: A study on self worth’, especially if you only comment on ‘mediocre’ music when in public.
It’s a given for desirable and enjoyable content to make the forefront of conversations, top charts, get air play and coverage. Don’t fight it.
Nigerian musicians like 2Baba and more recently Burna Boy, WurlD etc have shown that you can have both lyrics and an enjoyable time but this doesn’t take away from others who still supply the vibe regardless.
“If she give me her pororo, I go rub am for potopoto” says Tekno – which singer/rapper YCee goes on to explain means “If and only if consent is given, then shall we proceed to have dirty sex” – is an example of catchy lyrics that have you singing along and spreading the word whether you want to or not.
Tekno is yet to confirm YCee’s attempt at Genius annotations but that’s DEEP.
It’s these memorable lines and sounds that make you come alive. Perhaps there are those who genuinely believe mainstream music is garbage but they are probably fewer than Baba Segi’s wives.
If Nigerians just kept the same energy for the things they allegedly dislike and those they love immensely perhaps the gap wouldn’t be so far.
There are currently two Otedola daughters in the music industry but one is widely more famous than the other even though she’s not quite as good.
DJ Cuppy who occasionally hops on a song gets stick for how ‘trash’ her music is, then comes Tolani with great music -great enough for the purists to rate – yet when I jump on twitter to discuss my love for the singer, the silence is deafening.
But like I said, content is king, Tolani might eventually make it big but not quite as easily as Cuppy seems to have done.
Producers play a big role in the catchiness of these tunes.
“It’s nonsense they are saying o but that beat. I like it. It is good” an old man I once knew tells me while nodding along to Tekno’s ‘Jogodo’.
Naira Marley’s ‘soapy’, initially met with scorn and disgust turned out to be one of the biggest jams of the year and even though he gets the praise, the producer, Rexxie, should get a large chunk too. Those lyrics on a sub par beat would go nowhere.
I’ve noticed that people with the most growth are those who got over their “I don’t have Nigerian songs on my phone o” to listening to a wide spectrum of sounds and finding the joy in them.
Don’t feel bad for enjoying things. Your enemies are at work.
Next time you hear that song come on, grab a makeshift mic and sing along, move you body to the rhythm and blues. Those ARE the lyrics you want, you just don’t know it.
Life’s to short to hide your love of things. Live. love. laugh. dance. eat. And that’s word to Show dem camp.
I want to write? I put on that MI Abaga wokeness, that Brymo soul, that Asa serenade.
Spending time with the lover? Take me to that Johnny Drille room, that Ric Hassani parlor, that Adekunle Gold and Simi matrimony.
Now I’m headed to the club. I’m there now. Party popping like anti-pregnancy pills the morning after and it’s Rema’s banger holding it down, it’s Reekado’s gbedu on deck, what are those Marlians doing over there? Madness. Is Timaya really that ‘stoopid’ ? Who cares? The groove has got me and she’s not letting go. I don’t want her to.