Whenever we complain about Nigerian rappers becoming wack, we should point the fingers at the right places. We know most of our rappers now sound like queen primer puppets. But whose fault is it? Here are the factors we all should blame for the constant reduction in artistic quality;
Why are Nigerian rappers wack
1. The fans demand wack music
Here is what M.I Abaga had to say in an interview with Osagie Alonge of Pulse Nigeria.
“Nigerian rappers don’t write wack lyrics because they’re wack. They write it because its what the fans want”
Think about it, when was the last time you played a knowledge packed hip hop jam at your party?. Even simpler, when last did you really enjoy a Mode 9 record?
Trash music sells now. It sells because the fans buy it and listen to it. Its an era; one that’ll pass soon hopefully. Sing along choruses and repeatable chants are the other of the day.
How do you know what Fans are asking for? Here is the answer:
(a) Tune in to the radio and listen to the songs that fans call in to request for. DJs are trained to play the songs that are very much likely to satisfy the listening audience.
(b) Attend a party and see the reaction when a Davido song comes on as against a Phyno song.
(c) Go randomly and check the most played songs on peoples phones. Also check the kind of songs that dominate your friends playlist.
Although this might not be a holistic approach to know what is trending. Example your friends could be reggae fans and want Bob Marley songs.
This method is just a peek into the situation. You will find out that fans aren’t asking for rappers and intelligent hip hop songs. Now in order for rappers to survive, they have to reduce the quality of their music in order for it to sound similar to the other trending genres that fans are listening to.
Next time when you ask why are Nigerian rappers wack. Remember that Fans are the number 1 reason.
2. The need to get funding and make cash
Let’s not be hypocritical. Nigerian rappers are trying to sell and move their markets. They can’t do that if people don’t patronize them.
For me, the art you practice is supposed to feed and take care of you. Hell, even this blog is making money for me every time you visit it. So why should rappers stay broke while pop start get all the money?
On the track “the Game” Overdose once asked rhetorically
“What part of the game’s to be sold when you can’t make money off the skills you hold”
It all comes down to lyrics. Wack lyrics are popular and easier to bend over party beats. Now here comes the compromise; to blow with nursery rhymes, or to stay broke with quality.
In an economy like Nigeria’s, most rappers will agree with the former.
Now if your song is good, there is a higher chance of you getting equated to a pop star. Thus you could get played on radio, at clubs and get featured on shows. All of that brings money.
If hardcore hip hop was selling, no one would want to water down his verses. But it isn’t. Small doctor, and Davido are the sweethearts now. And rappers are trying to emulate them in order to get played, and payed.
3. We have a poor music culture of mediocrity
Let’s face it. Our music industry is a mess right now. We live in a time when scammers and yahoo boys are the role models. A time when rappers mock other rappers for trying to be lyrically sound (Local rappers by Reminisce). Its a time when no one sees anything wrong in poor service delivery from performing artistes. You’re asked to be patient with the “system”.
The system obviously needs an overhaul. Its affecting our musical culture. Rappers don’t feel the need to stay tight in this atmosphere. Everything is easy and the rinse-and-repeat formula is working for everyone.
Nigerian fans hold the key once again. Rappers are complacent because listeners are almost too content with mediocrity and poor performance.
Artistes are not being held accountable for their art. Writing and constructing a truly sensible piece of rap is no easy job. These rappers know how difficult it it.
But now they also know that its needless to go through all that stress and research to write a verse when the fans would probably dance and chant along to any garbage.
The earlier rappers were writing hard and very intelligent lines. These new ones are looking for the easiest way out. And the easy way is to avoid being dope because that is unnecessary wahala.
Its a fault of our dying music culture. Thank God for Hip Hop Head, we will criticize or praise the living hell out of any piece of work with the Nigerian hip hop tag. We intend to revive Nigeria’s rap music and hip hop community.