WHERE NIGERIAN HIP HOP WENT WRONG – BY OGUNLEYE OLUWAKOREDE
Major media outlets have not been able to tackle the few setbacks of the Nigeria Hip hop. Some just focus more on the good music these Artiste produce but the question we should mainly ask about the Nigerian Hip hop is; do we still have talented and real Hip hop artiste in this country?
Growing Hip hop artistes blame fans for their change from Hip hop sound but I have personally seen this excuse as a messy and silly one. Things have gone so wrong that fans can’t see any difference between Hip hop and other music genre. No Artiste can force a particular fan base to adapt to one’s music style but you can make listeners love your music just for the passion you put in your work. Building a fan base does not just happen within a short time except one goes through dubious ways. It requires hard work, commitment and diligence to develop this. Artiste should learn how to leverage more on the few fans they are building so as to expand further to other fans who may find little interest in their music.
Hip hop genre basically has not been a music from the African tradition even though it still has little element of African music and it may seem difficult to imbibe in average African’s heart. I can clearly relate this to the inception of the English men in some African nations. The English language has never been a culture of the African community but the English were able to imbibe a foreign culture into the minds of individuals by also adapting to a tradition that is not theirs. This phenomenon was a slow and gradual and it has become something that may be impossible to expunge in some African nations. In relation to this short example cited, Hip hop should be a culture that listeners love and it is not with compulsion but it should be something that runs in a society’s life activity. Hip hop is predominantly more than a genre but a culture. It applies to different spheres of a society’s life. You cannot lure teenagers in your song about drug addiction and smoking in an African community like Nigeria and expect individuals particularly adults to love your music. One of the main reasons for Nigerian Hip hop stagnation is that few Hip hop artistes have not been able to crack the minds of the majority listeners and give out what these listeners want to hear. Importantly, there has not been a unanimous opinion on what Nigerian listeners are interested in.
SHOUT OUT!! To M.I for the wakeup call directed towards all rappers in the country. It has come to my observation that we rarely have quality rap album in the last years. It is high time one made things clear: so many rapper are not able to uphold the Hip hop culture. Every artiste wants to be complimented but very few Artistes shy away from critics.
Most genre of music in the world never got its popularity with ease. Hip hop made its emergence in the lives of the Black-American boys in the 70’s but it became a mainstream music in the mid and late 90’s.This is more than 20 years of commitment and these guys were doing this for the culture. Also, the RnB genre started immensely between the 60’s & 70’s. It went through series of evolution ranging from soul, funk, disco but the genre became more impactful in the 80’s. Relating this scenario back to Nigeria, Hip hop also started from the streets of Lagos in the early 2000’s with young boys showing their Emcee skills and it has been nearly 18 years and we are still waiting for something massive to happen. My attention was drawn to a particular line M.I gave in his ‘’You Rapper should fix up your life’’ single: /Once you blow up you switching up/ That’s why these fans are not feeling y’all/. There is more to this line than just rhyme or literary application. It is so evident that most rappers are majorly interested in the bars (money) and not the bar (music) and this has shifted them from the initial motive. There is no doubt that the media outlet produce young and talented rappers and we have seen it in some cyphers, internet short videos and many more but how can these talented Artistes be promoted? There has been no Hip hop record label that has been able to spend at least more than 10 years making good music and signing talented rappers. We are majorly familiar with labels of other genre of music and there has been limited promotion for young rappers. The lack of all these is enough for an Artiste to switch sound.
It has become so evident that most top Hip hop artistes have not been able to collectively pass a legacy to younger generation of talented Hip hop stars. You don’t encourage younger generations by just releasing your own hit records or freestyle session. You sit some of these guys down speaking the hard core truth about Hip hop and most of all, encouraging them by having few studio sessions.
The question of ‘’who to blame?’’ is not of necessity. In my view, the media, fans, artiste any other related music consumer can try pushing a music genre like this by offering the best and upholding the truth and fact. The media should learn how to correct flaws constructively and compliment great works. All these, particularly, compliments are what inspires an Artiste to get better. The music industry should get to a stage of maturity whereby most artistes will show realness. Those who built the music industry we enjoy today gave their best through hard work and endurance and that is what makes an icon. Rapper should not only fix up their live, they should also fix up young Hip hop stars.
entertainment, history and socio-economic matters. He has previously released
works like album reviews and content information. He is also a music critic and
analyst particularly on Nigerian music entertainment.