‘’Omo I don hustle…I don sleep for gutter…I don tey for ghetto’’. Its not unusual is it? to hear musicians give us these lines on a regular, both upcoming and already established artistes. We all know that everybody works hard to get to where they are but please apply the fear of God when we tell these stories. Unsurprisingly however, it seems like the trend to have your own story of your struggle to fame, some fabricated, some legit. Recently one of the new musicians who came around in 2015 or 2016 claimed that he sold moi-moi in traffic to earn a living before he came to limelight….Really?? moi-moi in traffic?? I’ve lived in different parts of Lagos all my life and I’ve never for once seen moi-moi or any cooked food whatsoever sold in traffic. In kiosks yes…but definitely not in traffic.
One of our celebrities was even more misleading in his own tale. This chap blew like a tsunami some seven, eight years ago when he came and started shouting in his hit track ‘’don’t stop me, don’t stop me, my daddy is a rich man, don’t stop me, don’t stop me, my daddy is a rich man’’. Fine bro, your daddy is a rich man. We have heard you. Later, bros remembered ‘’áah,gbese,I’ve not told my own struggle story. So bros came and released another song where he featured another son of a rich man and then both of them started singing “back when I was broke yo,nobody was there to jonze yo,all the girls dem no want to follow blah blah’’ Egbon please pick a struggle and stop confusing us. Are you broke or rich? Everybody just wants to claim street even though some obviously had it easier. Please stop giving us bogus claims our dear musicians
Another very big lie these guys give us is ‘I spent hours in the studio working on this song…the fans don’t know how much effort I put in this track..blah blah’ Like you mean to tell me you go to the studio with your pen and pad and decide to start your song with ‘’skiboroboskibo skiboroboskibo ooshey baddest’’ or you say your music has content and the content I’m getting is “eyin eyan nla sneh…eyan nla nla nla nla nla sneh…o ta sneh…o ta bi atarodo sneh’’? Guys please stop giving us these lies we are not dummies. Just go and tell us the truth… say something like “I had absolute rubbish in mind that’s why I recorded this song…I always have rubbish in mind when I record my songs’ cos that’s what you always reflect in your songs.
It’s also important for you to start with a standard you can maintain. Big ups to whoever sang gbera in this aspect for consistently maintaining his standard not trying to go above or below it.(please don’t go below it egbon) as there are people that like to listen to music like ‘’dog number one…run,dog number two…run, dog number three…run, dog number four is coming oooo so run,run,run,run’’ and he has his market but please if you start off like J.Cole don’t come and start giving me Young Thug later in your career. This is why they said you blew and went back to upcoming.
A big shout out too, to all those musicians that are steady trying to make good music especially the one that was chased away from his record label by his hausa brothers and the one that the ‘’Sho Le’’ singer took his headies next rated car from him, your reward will come in due time. You that you promised us Grammy and you’ve not brought it home. Two of you actually,wehdone sirs. To all of you that went international and started giving us international rubbish like you that was teaching us numbers and nursery rhymes in the song about your dad, God will judge you and you that was trying to build a music empire with Tonto Dikeh as your first lady and K.Switch as your headline act…what were you expecting really?
All of you one hit wonders too abi two hit or three hit wonders…how market na?? Una go just come release one or two songs and go and under the radar again. All of you that are wasting your big record labels…you gotta B REDy for a music career before signing a record deal na. No be by bromance and money. You need small talent. You too that died and came back…please next time don’t come back abeg. Just carry your pink lips cream and be going abeg.
Lets talk about the names too. The names some of these guys give themselves can help them to either destroy their market or promote it. Na now Ice Prince go realise sey Ice dey eventually melt if nepa off light and wey BlackMagic go discover sey it’s not always by juju. Na why slyde just slide out as him take slide in and we all know that Scales are not always balanced that’s why that dude blows hot and cold. I honestly don’t know what Kiss Daniel was thinking too when he chose his name.Mr Incredible will always stand tall against his contemporaries in this name game forever but no be by name sha…just ask Solid Star or 9ice or Sugarboy…your name fit sweet mey your music no dey ok but at least we go still wan try you out.
My dear Nigerians, please lets also stop celebrating mediocrity. The rave of the moment now (at least before he went to jam talk and compared us to Ghana) keeps on recycling his beats and gives us regular lyrics and be shouting zagadat upandan. You too that Folake is catching your shot (how does this even make any sense??), continue. Keep on exploiting the Nigerian market that cannot identify good music and keep on patronising you saying ‘’club jam, club banger’’ Its high time we learn to look at content and lyrics and stop listening to all these vulgar jargon even though they are actually groovy. Meaningful music can also be groovy e.g Ajebutter and Falz’s bad gang
Big ups to Uncle Edward too. He realised that Clarence was collecting too much money from them videos so he went to study videography and film making and started shooting his videos himself. Sharp guy. You too that went to America to charge your phone…hope sey the battery don full now.
Gender equality requires that I also evaluate our female musicians and the standard of their work. You, my crush that started doing lovey dovey with Nigeria’s own R. Kelly and the Igbo demon of our music industry. Don’t worry, I still love you but please no go carry belle…same goes to Simi and Folarin/Kunle. You wey go dey form Barbara Marley upandan…e be like sey that your German juice don expire. Abeg just carry that your nose ring and red hair to Big Brother Naija house. Na your type dem dey find for there not the music industry.
Aunty Tiwa Swift that basically graduated from backup singer of foreign artists to selfie taker with the foreign artists…big ups on your success. Maybe you can also help Hadijat to sort out her career so she can in turn help you to sort out your marriage. Big shout out too, to Darey Art Alade’s surname sake…even though the contrast in your music are like water and oil, enjoy your stardom and keep on winning them awards. We hope you find Johnny one day so you can finally change your Twitter name or get married. You don dey old too lowkey.
Finally, all of you that won music talent shows like The Voice, Project Fame and the likes that have struggled to remain relevant now that the party is over…una no try. Big shoutout to the likes of Praiz and Timi Dakolo who participated in these shows and have still managed to retain a level of influence and stay true to their style…in a way at least. Let me also appreciate our golden oldies like Tu Baba and the P Square for succeeding in remaining relevant despite the evolution of the entertainment industry…God bless your hustle.
P.S This is just my critique of the music industry in Nigeria. You don’t need to agree with it. Abeg if you think I’ve wongfully criticised your favourite artiste…no vex. It’s all bants.
Written by Korede Awosika, Class of ’18