‘Eeeyyysss, hold it!
Before some o’ y’all begin to talk your dirty trash back at me, lemme be clear that not all the photos represented have a thing to do with this piece. I just loved particular copies too much that I couldn’t but stitch them up in a grid. Then again, they must have slept or stank at some point before the second coming of the messiah. So really, mas que nada!
I watched the African remake version of “We Are The World” and everytime I saw a Nigerian, with Tiwa Savage, Praiz and Yemi Alade being the exceptions… oh Emma Nyra too, I had to ask myself ‘but why?’
But why, Sean Tizzle why?
But why, Banky W… and why the bazinga, Kcee why?
Even to the assemblage of what I’ve chosen to term the M.U.M.U pack – not excluding D’Prince, Patoranking, Mosa, Iceberg, Di’Ja and Reekado of course (by the way congrats on your convocation!) I asked why, why, why? While these one were probably too excited to have featured in one of the world’s most classic tunes, the other Africans usurped the privilege and showed off their impressive music skill. It pained me so badly that out of the mighty army of Nigerians that stormed the recording, we had to be properly schooled by the South Africans who clearly possess better vocal skill and musical appreciation than we do.
Our faith and strength now lies in the ingenuity of the producer to mask our vocals with computer-aided assists and studio edits. These guys can’t sound nearly as nice and melodious as they do in their studio records and they find it difficult replicating the stunts they managed to pull off in it. As if it isn’t shameful enough that we pride ourselves on empty nothings, we brag loud about things that might only happen should we wake up one beautiful morning to purple skies. Has anyone wondered why our international features are restricted to rappers alone? Do we think we can stand compete with well-bred, seasoned vocalists? That’s even reaching for the stars. Let me come down to our level. Can our vocalists stand a healthy compete with themselves not to now talk of the Grammy winning kind? Is it by singing applaudise and sampulu that we think we’re going to nail a spot on the Grammy’s list? Each and every one of us shares blame in this menace that has become our industry – from the dictating folk at the top, to the players and right down to the fans. Let’s face it, our industry may have grown in terms of technology and software, but it’s people haven’t evolved. We’ve only succeeded in shifting base from one level of low to a new level in low.
It’s become common place for our artistes to claim certain levels of versatility because they thought well to revamp a stale craft. Take Banky W for example, since he started this his I’m not even a rapper something, he has eroded the true essence of his powerful tenor and scampers now for the lower octaves like Mariah Carey (the great) sometime did. At least he can actually sing unlike Sean Tizzle who I’d always been scared to hear what his raw vocals would sound like when D’Tunes isn’t saving it’s ugliness with all the power in auto-tune. So you can imagine my villainous excitement when I learned that he too can croak like a dirty frog after I saw him in that video. Very scathing stuff. Worse off, these are the things that our generation up-comers center their beliefs on. That if it isn’t done this way or like this, then one wouldn’t make it. I wouldn’t hesitate to point accusing fingers at talent scouting platforms; those who have swallowed their vision for birthing new actual stars and short-changed that for admission of a bunch of wannabes and conformists. Talent hunts should be on a mission to seek out the misfits, the rebels, the radicals who are then groomed vigorously through a becoming process but instead, they’re after pretty faces, guys with nicely curled or frisked hair and girls that look good even in cheap makeup.
Can we be liberal enough to draw the line between hate and honesty? If we can, then we’d have begun the first step to solving one of our people’s greatest problems – that is heralding and patronizing mediocrity! So when I say Kcee needs to pump all that money into a men’s bespoke tailoring label instead of music, nobody would say I’m hating. And when I address issues like Burna Boy, Lil Kesh, Iyanya, D’Banj, Ice Prince and Wande Coal, people would reason first rather than cast pebble stones that date far back as my ancestral heritage and all the way back to my generation unborn. We need to open the eyes of our minds and see that we’re a people full of nothing but stinking shxt. The men who talk a big game have been neck deep in this dung for long and the women have been sleeping on top of it. We’ve slumbered too long and it’s time to wake up. Emma Nyra needs to wake up and move past Ubi Franklin in his role play of ‘the victim’ because those millions still won’t bear him (or her) the desired fruits. Same thing for Eva, it mortifies me that I haven’t got her totally figured out but she needs to stop sleeping and get her shxt in check. Times are changing fast. We have the likes of Yemi Alade already taking lead while some Simi chic is lowkey scheming for a takeover. It’s in the same vein that the Mya K’s, the Kolly Dee’s and Barry Mayne’s have strongly opposed to back benching or playing second fiddle because they came to an early realization that they are to make the industry, not the other way round.
Nigeria is supposedly the bedrock of promotional music in Africa, so how is it that we’re the ones doing the major undertaking when it comes to actual music affairs? Is chuking me bad bad, iNo teh yhu lie! You shudda seen that video, how those other guys (I mean the South Africans) washed our hands clean and wiped them dry the way and manner they displayed their talents. This our commercial style of music does nothing to advancing the creativity of our music intellect – either by prowess or skill. It’s like getting trapped in a prolonged holocaust and for us, success is measured by who attains a newer feat in defining the peak of mediocrity. The pioneers of this new music movement sought to dodge a curve ball but ended up taking a wrong turn and have remained on a steady miss thence on. The nature of our die hard spirit and hustler ambition has managed to put the name of a few on the map but let us not forget that the world is like a jukebox, the music never stops. Although it may seem everyone is singing along, the hard questions being what exactly is playing and who is singing to what?
Written by Jim Donnett
The thoughts expressed in this article are solely the author’s. They are not in any way connected with, or a representation of tooXclusive.com