Everyone has a particular ambition/ desire which they work at in order to achieve certain degrees of success. Mine was to get a newspaper column. Though that has not yet materialized yet it is my pleasure to inform you all that an article of mine was published in The Guardian( 24th July Page 51).
The article is on probably one of the most talked about issues in today's society.: The Nigerian Entertainment Industry.Here it is
Tosyn Bucknor said “You know what’s worse than someone
trying to get your attention? Giving it to them.” I would say “There’s nothing worse than an elder correcting you and you refusing to take it.” As a member of the so called hip hop generation who pays great attention the lyrics of the music I listen to I am of the opinion that majority of the artistes ruling the airwaves are very far fromachieving the greatness of legends like Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and Michael Jackson. And if you’re wondering why I’m comparing artistes of
different eras? Blame D’ Banj. He dubbed himself “the African Michael Jackson”. Whilst Bob Marley died before I was born my knowledge ofthe legends mentioned above indicates that they are greats who changed the face of music for many years to come. Michael Jackson’s music is for people of all ages. MJ is remembered as a great because his music passed for something few of today’s hip hoppers produce: Meaningful
music. Man in the Mirror, Heal the World, They don’t care about us and
Black and White are proof. Fela’s music is timeless because twelve
years after his death the music he made while alive is still relevant to the problems we Nigerians face today. I was only five when Fela
died but I know the man as much as I know today’s artistes. The same goes with Bob Marley.
A careful study of today’s music leaves us with the
reign of meaningless music. In recent times a study of the Nigerian entertainment scene has seen the most popular songs talking about what I would call the 4 Gs- girls, guns, grass(drugs) , green (money). Maga don Pay (Kelly Handsome), Shayo (Durella), Shayo (Bigiano), Bobbe Fc (DJ Zeez)
Booty Call (Mo Hit’s All Stars), Bumper To Bumper (Wande Coal) are evidence. What examples by perceived role models? I'm old enough to tell what's good and bad but worry for my baby cousin who sings Wande Coal's "You Bad" without knowing what it means. Nowadays every one seems to be getting into music. Listening to the radioand not hissing nowadays seems like a dream.
I’m a Banky W fan and carefully studied his
article in response to Dr Abati’s own. He made mention of Shawn “Jay
Z” Carter’s entrepreneurship skills. Hear Him “You were also right in
that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created
multimillion-dollar empires.” What he did not make mention of is the
fact that Jay Z’s latest single is titled “ Death of Auto tune” in
reference to the voice enhancing software that has been made use of by
artistes in recent times. Jay-Z himself stated that the point of the
song was to "draw a line in the sand", saying that while he
appreciated the use of the Auto-Tune by artists with an ear for melody
like T-Pain, Kanye West, & Lil Wayne, far too many people had jumped
onto the technology and were using it as a crutch. One of the partial
inspirations for Jay-Z to write the song was hearing Auto-Tune being
used in an advertisement for Wendy's fast-food chain. It made him
realize that what was once a trend has become a gimmick. In other
words Jay Z called the bluff of his contemporaries who had turned the
industry on its head. Why can’t the likes of Banky W, M.I, Asa, and
Etcetera who we can classify in the Make sense category call the bluff
of their colleagues who give music a bad name?
On the track “The Entertainer” off the album titled same,
D’ Banj proceeds to insult we the ever listening audience. The hook of
the song goes “I’m an Entertainer, I entertain”. Towards the end he
then proceeds to say a bunch of senseless tongue twisters only he and
his Mo Hits acolytes would be able to explain. He adds “Na you’re
pocket”. Implication: He can say whatever he wants on a song and still
get rich because people would still patronize him. What a message!
After this he will drop another album and millions of Nigerians would
spend their hard earned naira to buy a cd on which he insults them.
Why don't we make the artistes guilty of these crimes sit up by making
them realize the impact of their words?
When Dr. Abati speaks it’s not because he hates us but
because similar mistakes were made by artistes of his generation. Sina
Peters, Ras Kimono, Majek Fashek are evidence So why can’t we swallow
our pride and take correction like the good children that we are?