Afro Pop or Nonsense Pop?

Peep this line from a supposed hit track from so called veterans of Nigerian music of the 21st century – “she dey make me bark like a bingo, the way she dey move her wing”. It’s either I missed an earlier memo, or this line is just plain silly and defies common sense. Humans don’t bark, humans don’t have wings, but off course in the Nigerian music scene of today, anything goes so far it’s a dance track with a catchy hook and a dope beat.

Of course, that line I quoted above isn’t the first of it’s type, and sadly won’t be the last, depending on what we the listeners do about such artistes. Gone are the days when Nigerian artistes will boldly tell you they did R’n’B or Pop or Rap music, now everybody hides under the guise of Afro Pop. I really have nothing against Afro Pop, as the initial idea behind that “genre” of music was to infuse our local sounds and mix it with pop music, to produce our own kind of Nigerian pop music. But today, what do we have? Afro Pop has been bastardized and what we have now is “Senseless Pop” music.

It’s only in a Nigerian pop song that the lyrics don’t make sense; it’s only in a Nigerian pop song that all you need is a dope beat with crappy lyrics and BOOM, you have a hit track. What do you take the listeners for? Illiterates? You think we are fools? I mean we have forcefully come to terms with the fact that almost every Nigerian artiste now wants the easy way out, making dance tracks also known as Afro Pop, based on the popular but false claim that: If you don’t do dance tracks, you won’t blow up and make money. But at the same time, please make efforts to write down sensible lyrics, stop saying meaningless things on fantastic beats, stop taking advantage of the fact that majority of listeners will hear the beat and dance, without paying attention to the content of the song.

I mean it’s lazy enough that the only way you can get the attention of listeners is by doing the popular Afro Pop. Y’all wouldn’t try this shit with genres like Rap or R’n’B where content is very key, even Fuji music that majority of us classify as “Razz music”, music for area boys and touts, they don’t try this shit that majority of you “Afro Pop” artistes try, the fans of Fuji music take the lyrical content of these songs very important. Who says you can’t make a club/dance track with sensible lyrics? For an artiste that you claim you are, how hard can it be to put a couple of words that make sense together?

Music isn’t just about the melody, the words laced on the beat also matters. This crap really needs to stop and the earlier the better for our music as a nation. A producer works his ass out to make a dope beat; you as an artiste will drop meaningless crap on the beat, listeners who don’t pay attention, get carried away by the dope beat and call the song a hit. Who made it a hit, you or the producer? What intellectual input did you contribute to the song?

As for we the consumers of music, the earlier we start to scrutinize Afro Pop music, the way we do for Rap, R’n’B and the rest, these intellectually deficient artistes will continue to take us for a ride, take us as fools and keep saying crap on good beats in the name of music. The power lies in your hands, what are going to do about it? Aid it, or end it? You choose.

Tosinadeda

2012

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