THE LEWDNESS OF THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY
by Prospero Ifeanyi
Flavour N’abania. The Nigerian afro hip-hop artiste has always been one to divide opinion. The strategy through which he penetrated the Nigerian music industry and then steadily progressed to continental recognition is impressive, even laudable. Flavour had been known to promote obscenity in his music, resorting to the use of explicit language and unashamedly depicting feminine wantonness from time to time. Several lines like “ara daraada adago” (a fallen breast is fallen) and onye nwe panti no n’iro (who owns the panties hanging outside) shows that the high life/ afro hip-hop singer obviously has no reservations on certain aspects of morality.
Flavour is obviously not the only Nigerian artiste known to promoting indecency in his music. The trend these days is to fashion a slang to imply lewdness. Some artistes have created “successful punchlines” in that light, and that includes Davido’s “banana fall on you”, Tekno’s “I get big cassava”, wizkid’s “your bumbum is bigger than Bombay”(How one backside is bigger than the whole of a city in India beats my imagination). Lil Kesh seems like he never runs out of sexually explicit lyrics, his verse in “Ladi” ft Olamide and Phyno is horrifying, to say the very least (just google interpretations to Lil Kesh lyrics in “Ladi” or “Gbese”). Kesh being relatively new in the industry as he debuted in 2012, looks like he has carved out a niche for himself as “the Naija king of profanity”. An article on tooexclusive.com mentioned with certainty that the “even the dandiest of minds can easily with little or no explanation get the meaning of SHOKI (quickie), “oya shoki the shoki, ba mi wa omoge to bayodi…” I think some people are beyond redemption, I am looking at you Kesh.
The female artistes are not dulling too. Cynthia Morgan is perhaps the most profane female artiste in the industry. The hip-hop rapper in her single “German juice” called out ladies “with the biggest behind” and her verses come off like one from a pimp’s dictionary.
Asides the lyrics, the music videos are no better. Women are constantly portrayed as sexual objects in the video and the norm is to rent a truckload of unclad, semi-clad, bodily gifted ladies and have them twerk their “assets” on camera while the artiste spray some currency. Suffice it to say that it is very difficult to see a music video these days without getting a boner (for the male folks).
The following are examples worthy of mention.
Timaya ft Sean Paul “BumBum”
The title is very befitting. The girls in this video were well oiled and endowed, thereby making one’s heart to skip a few beats with their perfected bouncing movements. Clearance Peters directed this video.
Olamide “Felila ketan”
That Felila was a hell of a girl! This video was all booze, dim lights and a bunch of aroused niggas cheering Felila to do more “ass work”.
Flavour’s Obianuju borders on partial nudity and sexual provocation.
Turn on Trace Naija, I am pretty sure over 75% of the video content showcases sexual provocation.
The music industry worldwide promotes vulgarity and explicit sexual content so the Nigerian industry is merely following a trend. Like it’s been said “sex sells”, and our artistes are merely after the profits. When questioned on why his music was too vulgar, Lil Kesh simply replied that he makes music for the streets, and in the streets these vulgar words were used 24/7, so he is simply targeting his music to his preferred audience.
I see no end to profanity and lewdness in the Nigerian music industry, judging from the fact that key artistes have risen to their status by promoting indecency without moderation, scores of upcoming artistes will undoubtedly subscribe to this brand of music.
To protect young impressionable minds, it is advisable that these songs be banned from our secondary schools downwards. Parents should try their possible best to ensure that vulgar music are not found in their children mobile devices and also certain music channels should be made inaccessible to children below 16 years of age.
A call for the ban of music with explicit sexual content should also be made by concerned citizens so as to discourage the marketability of this particular brand of music, that should at least send a message to Lil Kesh, Olamide and their likes to water down their lyrical content if not sanitize it completely.
A reorientation is imperative for the female folks who appear in music videos unclad and proper strategies be put in place to ensure that they showcase their art (dance) in a less provocative manner. The video directors should be held responsible here. A censor board should be instituted if not already in existence to curtail their (the video directors’) excesses.
We should also encourage, appreciate and patronize good, moral and inspiring music, the likes of 2face Idibia (a good number of his songs are without profanity), Darey art Alade’s “you are not the girl” & “pray for me”, Timi Dakolo’s “great nation” & “medicine”, Bez “super sun” & “you suppose know”, these artistes have lyrical depth and they drive home a message be it that of love and friendship, political struggle and national unity, etc.These guys produce beautiful music devoid of the mindless repetition of sex, flaunting of wealth and utter nonsense! Slyde in his song Banana chanted the line “Take banana till you go Yo” about 60 times. Who does that?
Written by Prospero Ifeanyi