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5 Talking Points From SMH; Critical Review Of DABOOMSHA’S Controversial Jam

This is a review of Daboomsha’s new fiery single “SMH”, the song is rocking the Nigerian Christian hip hop community and drawing a lot of reactions. Daboomsha is a respected hip hop luminary, a radio presenter, performing artiste and president of boomsha kreatives. He is also a TV Show Host most notable for Gbedu on AIT.

I do not know the mind of the artiste completely so I cannot state my opinion as fact. Rather I’ll try to deliver an honest commentary based on my understanding of the issues on Daboomshas SMH.

Get SMH from Praiseworld

While I believe the song to be a great example of the much needed wake up call the industry needs, I also think some parts of the track are a little brash. Here is a list of this reviews guiding precepts, I’ll build my thoughts on the following;

  1. Christian hip hop is all and only about Jesus Christ and his ideology
  2. Christian hip hop is a legit sub-genre
  3. Christian hip hop exists in Nigeria

If the above listed points hold true for you, find listed below my key observations from this very controversial piece;

READ: 51 blog contacts to submit your songs to now

1. The convo

hiphophead.com.ngDaboomshas SMH got stakeholders talking about the ills in the in the christian music industry, most of whom observed no restraints while venting their frustration on the system.

I even got insulted by my friends when I called for a balanced criticism on one of the heated discussion threads lol; it’s understandable because these topics inspires a lot of emotion, and that itself is an indicator of passion for the work which is ultimately a good thing.

Christian hip hop exists in Nigeria and its come along way although it’s still in its first generation. I love to think Daboomsha deliberately did SMH to start a conversation within the Christian hip hop community.

These talks will lead to a change of attitude which may lead to reforms, therefore it’s a brave step toward the realization of a bigger vision.

Take me for example, I’m a hip hop enthusiast with a blog that’s barely 3 weeks old, I probably wouldn’t have written something about it if this hadn’t happened, so yeah I’m staying woke on this one.

2. Mutual responsibility

Some christian personalities in the media/so quick at dissing us but won’t be assisting us

Famzing with the industry but criticize the ministry/don’t smile in my face and lie to me that you’re feeling me

Cos when you hit the station you still won’t play me tho/you stick to your daddy yo songs on the radio

How about the christian bloggers who claim that they love us/but when the songs drop they pretend and ignore us

You keep reaching out they never reply your email but CHH is all of us if we fail then you fail

Daboomsha uses these emotionally charged lines to deliver a call to order; those in positions of media influence will feel particularly scolded by this. By the way CHH is an abbreviation for Christian hip hop.

Its totally relatable, I cant count the number of times I got ignored by bloggers, or the number of times I got bounced off an opportunity because the christian OAP didn’t like my “religious” content.

It’s important to note that many mainstream non-gospel artistes owe their successes to the church going christians who have used their position at media organizations to their advantage.

The artistes’ main focus is on the christian media people who blatantly ignore or refuse to promote the work of other christian rappers.

By refusing to promote christian rap, you are ultimately refusing to promote the gospel.  Radio personalities, bloggers and other content creators were not spared the whipping.

This is not meant to be taken as a generalization though, there are lots of content creators who have been great at their jobs.

READ: Hip hop in Nigeria is dying and we are responsible

3. Unity

“we supposed to be fam same team same signature”

“whats withe the competition jealousy and self promotion/ego with the braggadocio ooh thts a heavy potion”

“God wants an army why why you raising an idol”

“if we fly solo we die solo”

This is the main reason why I dig the song. The overall big picture of daboomshas smh lies in his open advocacy for unity within the christian hip hop community.

The song for me, preaches cooperation among the stakeholders which include rappers, bloggers, producers, event organizers, fans and media personalities.

One thing he got very right was the prevalent issues of selfishness and pride coming in the way of love and mutual support, he wasn’t shy to pick it apart either.

Nigerian Christian hip hop players really do not support each other enough and there has been a lot of clique-forming up till now. YWAP’s Soul Flame is probably the biggest christian hip hop group in Nigeria and the revival will start there, so don’t miss the next hip hop hurray (I’m a soul flame fan).

4. The experience line

“Same old faces on the posters of church events/same old gospel artistes men aint nothing changed

I made a vow never to attend the experience until I see a Christian rapper up in that stadium”

I don’t quite agree with this bit; Christian rappers are not in competition with the other “same old faces”. Although I understand it’s a personal statement from the artiste I still think it’s poisonous to unguided listeners who need direction.

Firstly, no one should boycott the experience or any mega concert simply because they don’t give the microphone to Christian hip hop artistes. This isn’t a “them vs us” thing and even if it’s going to be, these statements create fruitless rivalry faster than they effect structural changes.

It sounds to me like a subtle protest which could be futile, personal goals should not get in the way of  core beliefs, like faith.

The Experience is an Interdenominational Gospel concert hosted by Pastor Paul Adefarasin. Of course they could do better by say, calling up a christian rapper.

But that should not be done just to add variety in order to meet a growing expectation. Perhaps we could pick up the challenge and start our own mega concert because I believe that christian hip hop followers in Nigeria have the numbers to make anything happen.

So if the experience or any mega Christian concert comes to your city, do attend.

5. Church

“Hip hop missionary all 5 elements, ready for the war but the church aint ready yet”

“This culture we rap for, this ministry we fight for is not accepted or celebrated on your platforms damn”

All successful movements are derivatives of actions taken based of valuable beliefs. So it should never become CHH vs Church because both have one parent belief and thus are one movement.

Revolution is futile in faith because the demand is not for a “right”. What works is revival because the demand is for a revelation. Church will probably not support christian hip hop artistes until the revelation comes to them, I doubt if we can scold them into understanding.

And by church, I mean church administration or church leadership.

Christian Hip hop needs church support but it has to thrive independently where there is none. But wait, what is growth for a Christian rapper anyway?.

Is it more sales, more shows, more fans or more attention? While it isn’t wrong to attain good metric and stats, what’s more important is the core belief that guides the artistes’ decisions.

Besides, the church does not owe us a stage and we shouldn’t feel entitled to support simply because we’ve done extensive work on our own.

Christian rappers like all evangelists have a statutory duty of preaching the ideology of the faith, the church can help make this work easier for an artiste but if it chooses not to, we’d just have to keep on relying on the voice who called us.

I don’t think it’s wrong for an artiste to desire recognition after all it could be an opportunity to reach more lives, but it shouldn’t become a pity party. Acceptance and recognition are good things, but I think we’re doing it wrong if we begin to care so much about getting celebrated.

This is in no way absolving the church of any responsibility, they’ve neglected christian rappers for too long. In fact I’m one of those who strongly believe that there is a problem with the way the modern church is run. Church is making mistakes daily and it still has a thing or two to learn but let’s calm down on the church-bashing a little.

So pastors and ministers this is for you; there is a new revelation called christian hip hop and its the only alternative to the turn up music your youth are now secretly listening to. Get in!

6. The money line

“I hear some rappers bragging about the money they gushing/there is something fundamentally wrong with the black man

You’re not as rich as Dangote so what you getting hyped about/you’re not driving a Lambogini ogbeni shut your mouth

The sultan of Brunei has 22 in his parking lot/you never even buy one but you’re the one that talk a lot”

Personally I think it is downright crude; there are a lot of ways to say those three bars without sounding as offensive. However you should understand that Daboomsha’s intention is to correct poor notions and raise weakening standards while drawing the Nigerian Christian hip hop community together. This is not meant as a shade or a diss, so please do not take this wrongly.

I believe that if a christian rapper wants to talk about the money God gave him, that shouldn’t be a problem because audiences differ. One of my favorite songs in 2017 is “Rich and Rychus” by Rysmta Ray, it’s so enjoyable especially because of its “started from the bottom now we’re here” idea.

Dangote and Otedola will probably always have more than everyone but I should be free to talk about the many material things that God has blessed me with as long as I’m glorifying God.

But the point made here is that its easy to forget your duty as a preacher when you get distracted by your own material blessings.

FINALLY

I love Daboomshas SMH track so much, it contains a lot of information and it should not be misunderstood. We can disagree to agree, so lets look at the situation together and find ways to make it better. Its not an avenue to fuel our darker emotions. The revival is on, share and drop a comment if you like.

 

OG Adoga
I am a Rap Music Instructor, Hip Hop Culture Custodian, Social Media Expert, all round smooth operator and chief editor at Hip Hop Head. If you want to become a member of Hip Hop Head, simply visit Join us page.To reach me, get my personal details from the Contact page.

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