There are more than a million music artistes in Nigeria; popular and unpopular, professionals and amateurs. How many of them are really making good music?
In a line-up of 10 Nigerian youths, one would find at least 8 of them to be rappers of sorts, singers, songwriters, lyricists, or whatever they choose to call it these days. In short, upcoming artistes. The question now is, how many of these so called upcoming people actually do come up?
I’ll take it from the top. A few days ago, something intriguing was retweeted unto my TL. According to @CelebFacts9ja, ‘Nigeria has the highest amount of Artistes in Africa’. The good Lord knows I wasn’t surprised, but it struck a chord. I had to ask; why???
My name’s Pearl, and I’m a self-styled sarcastic rant enthusiast. I like to take things apart and find the worms that are destroying them from within. I like to get to the root of the matter. In short, I like to know why, hoping that in knowing why, I might be able to be the beginning of a change. Mayhap if my voice is heard, this change might be achieved. But I digress.
Why are there so many self acclaimed artistes? Is there really that much talent in Nigeria? Personally, I think not. I mean, if one listens to the ‘New Artist’ session on the radio, one is like to take a baseball bat to the radio in self-defence. Or smash the radio on the wall. Bad, grating voices, retarded lyrics, boring beats, poor production, the list goes on. Abeg, wetin na? Do these people want to blow out our eardrums? I think they forget something important; MUSIC. Yes, I know the lyrics don’t have to make sense, a good jam is a good jam, at least in Nigeria. A good jam isn’t necessarily good music, but then, how many ‘good jams’ can we get out of artistes, upcoming and already made alike? I belong to the school of thought that declares that your ‘hustle’ is no reason for causing earaches. I mean, let’s look at this with an unbiased view. I know everybody’s trying to get made, and the fastest way seems to be getting into the music industry, but if everyone that wants an in gets it, who would remain to listen? This is assuming that everybody trying to get in has some talent, of course.
The singers probably have the easier way of it; once they have uniquely good voices, lovely beats, and some ‘ baby whine for me’ give it to me, bend down low’,’the finest girl, the sexiest girl’ lyrics, BAM! They make it. But the rappers? Hell no. Years ago my dad used to rant about youths not reading their books but trying to sing every rubbish they could imagine(I guess I got my ranting gift from him). I used to argue with him. I thought he was just being ‘old-school’. But then over the years I realised how right he was. Especially as far as rappers are concerned. What do you have as a rapper, if not words? How do you get these words, but from reading? We look up to MI, Olamide, Phyno, Vector and such as really good rappers, but has it occurred to anyone that these people must spend a lot of time reading? No? I’m an avid reader myself, I love wordplay, and I can tell you that sometimes their bars just kill me. The wordplay is so smooth, so ‘punny’, it just takes my breath away. It gives me ‘Isingbaka’. Scatters my head, straight up. If these people write these bars themselves, then you should know they spend a lot of time in books and dictionaries. Take that from someone who reads dictionaries as a hobby. I figure many people don’t realise this, especially the upcoming rappers. Mostly, they recycle used bars, at least to the best of my knowledge. It’s only the really good ones, or those that have great lyricists that make it in. So my advice, if you’re a rapper, and you don’t like to read, please hire someone who does. Nobody’s ready to listen to lame bars these days.
I want to bring this rant to an end (grin). I’m sure I’ve stepped on toes. Sorry, the glaring truth does that a lot. I just want to say, I do appreciate that everyone is trying to make it big, trying not to be swept away by the sea of unemployment. I understand this very well. I also understand that there are other industries. You might find that fashion would work better for you than music. I’m a jane-of-many talents myself, but I steer clear of music and stick to dancing. I do hope the really good guys make it in. I need more dope jams to choreograph. I also need more sick bars to bring me to my knees and make me confess that I’m a mere novice at wordplay. But all in all, may the stronger hustler win!
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