THE INTERPRETION OF SONGS BY NIGERIAN FANS
Like a Nigerian Rapper, Cyrus Tha Virus said in an interview with a popular Naija blog: “There is a huge difference between being blunt and being insulting”, something most Nigerian music listeners do not understand contributing to impediments to the growth of the music industry. Most listeners always misconstrue hip hop and other genres of music which they do not listen to be a bunch of trash.
But literally, music as an art or a form of art usually consists of an intended message to the audience and also serves as a medium of communication. The reggae genre for instance consists of either party or dance hall songs or freedom and voice for the voiceless themes as seen in the works of Bob Marley and Damien Marley as well as his Nigerian disciple Majek Fashek . Hip Hop itself might be conscious, deep and also danceable at the same time like several other genres.
Most listeners do not take these factors into cognizance before listening and giving their final judgment on a song. Before a listener can actually decode music content effectively, he must understand the message, and the mood of the artist. The complexity of most songs usually affects the way listeners decode songs. Rappers like Mode nine, and XO Senavoe have complex lyrics which at times is traced to their poetic inclinations, the latter for example had his lyrics heavily criticized on the recent BET Cypher hosted in Nigeria because listeners could not understand his complex word plays, hence he earned the tag of a whack rapper.
An average listener judges music according to the beat upon which the lyrics is delivered and pronouncing judgments based solely on a first listen has proven to be erroneous several times in the past. In recent times, it appears some listeners only want to detect the flaws of artists and sometimes listen with ears prejudiced against the artist by factors other than the song itself. This may include an actual or perceived discord between the artist in question and some other celeb they are in love with. In other words, some songs that get the boot are sometimes not so bad if biases are swept aside.
“Oyato” is a fresh single released by D’ banj which met mixed reactions even before the day it was released with some saying it was a very poor effort by him. Actually the song is not that bad as the venting on the social media suggests. In an attempt to satisfy numerous people after his break up with his partner and producer Don Jazzy, he employed a very popular term which is usually used by nearly all Nigerians, “OYATO” as the title of the single. Unfortunately, the reception this new work has gotten is not what he envisioned. “OYATO” which means “it’s different” simply represents what D’banj Is after signing with Kanye’s imprint, GOOD music and Def Jam records. The song bore a same similarity in tune with “Scapegoat” which was well received then by both critics and fans alike so why the fuss about OYATO? To make him look like a failure? Who knows?
Fair enough Don Jazzy also received the same treatment when he signed Tiwa Savage onto his Mavin Records imprint and also when he released the debut album under this imprint: Solar Plexus. Some said it was a hurried job and some graphic designers also used the opportunity to showcase their talent in using Adobe Photoshop when they manipulated the image, changing the album title to “The Mavengers”.
Most Nigerians have formed the habit of jumping onto the bandwagon of naysayers without having a reason for doing it. Davido’s dami duro was a party song like any other with its own blend of memorable verses, a catchy hook and a strong beat, but some criticized it for not having any message and said he spat Gibberish on the second verse, but barely a month later and these same people are dancing widely to its melody and singing along, gibberish verse for verse!
Most artists usually bounce back from these hurdles, but the likes of Eedris AbdulKareem, Raskie and Kelly Hansome. Rugged man actually ended their career excluding Kelly Hansome’s who was dealt with by fans of M.I. and The Mo hits Crew in a not so publicized saga. Kelly is undoubtedly talented, but the hate he had gathered as a result of beefing the fans favourites dealt a huge blow to his career as all the good music he had churned out aftermath the Mo Hits saga were met with hate and rarely get posted on major blog sites. 9ice, well known for his proverbial lyrical content, also was tongue-lashed by numerous people. A lot of allegations were made on him, bad publicity and what not, but he proved to be undaunted when he released a semi-classic Tradition album and a combination of impressive Bashorun Gaa and Versus albums respectively, but still some believe that he has exhausted his proverbs and lyrical ingenuity on Gongo Aso, once more bringing the bandwagon effects into existence as the term “exhausted his Proverbs” was coined from the Rugged man beef against him back then in 2010.
Like the popular saying “What goes round comes around”, Rugged man’s career is also being threatened as he is no longer respected by fans even though he introduced Nigerians to new and fresh era of hip hop songs at the detriment of other artistes in the game then. He released Ruggedy Baba Part 2 and it was rated as an average track and an insult to the first version were he featured 9ice!
Numerous others also have their own stories to tell, but fans should desist from making destructive criticism about these acts as it would not help in correcting their flaws. Nobody is perfect: we all just dey try our best. And like another rapper said on his track, “You no like my track? Why you no just shut up and skip it”.
For what its worth, give Oyato by Dbanj a listen to form your own original opinion. Click on the link to download
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