I was listening to a music mix CD today and there were about four simultaneous jamming songs that made me very sad for the Nigerian music scene. Now when I say “jamming songs”, I mean the songs that rock our parties nowadays, y’know those songs that we refer to as club bangers. I’m sure that by now, you have certain songs in your mind.
Now, as to why these songs made me very sad, it’s pretty simple. The songs were pretty cool in terms of beat, maybe the tune, aaaand that was it. The songs lacked substance; all of them. The lyrics made no sense whatsoever and it made me wonder why these songs even topped charts in the first place. It’d be very pretentious of me to say that if these songs came on in the club or at a party; I wouldn’t dance because there is no substance, but for my listening pleasure or if I decided to be serious with my life for once, these songs just don’t cut it. Countless times, we hear about how what entertains us enters us and out of the abundance of the heart and all that. But that isn’t even why I’m here.
From an insiders’ point of view, I’d say the average Nigerian’s reaction to most of the music that we have is the reason why youths don’t want to do much. For the average youth in this country, there is only one career choice; the one that will bring money fast fast. Now if we celebrate a song in which almost the whole song is spent repeating four lewd or made-up words, of course other innovative, hungry, more creative youths will pick up the thread and come up with four lewder and faker words – with the predictable backdrop of an awesome beat that will rock your socks off. We will celebrate that even more and before long, we will have teenagers saying random stuff and making four times what their parents make and then it becomes a continuous cycle because more young people will work to reach the same level of fame and wealth that their superstar peers have.
This is the reason why we have bad music everywhere; this is the reason why we will continue to have bad music everywhere. Granted, not everyone can be a Bez or an Asa or a Cobhams or a Waje or an Omawunmi or a Praiz or a 2Face or an Olamide or a Phyno or a Banky W and so on, but could you at least sing real words and say things that people can maybe relate to or understand when they hear it? I realize this pseudo-rant is basically self-contradictory coming from one of the many youths who enjoy said jollof music, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I always feel like some chick that is doing the walk of shame the morning after a hot night with a random stranger right after I move and grind to one of these pointless songs.
When all is said and done, my point is this: we need more great music, and less crap one liners and scattered music concepts squeezed into the awesome pool of a great beat that will confuse listeners as to whether the song makes sense or not.