Hip Hop music as a genre has evolved into a global force in entertainment, enlightenment, education and art. It keeps on expanding and evolving into new and diverse sub genres which are received with mixed reactions of praise and criticisms on various subjects matter like lyrics, concept, production and influence.
For hip hop music in Nigeria, there is no exception. In truth there is so much criticism for hip hop’s relevance in this society. Even though from research we are considered second to the US in worldwide hip hop follower-ship.
further, lets focus more on the emceeing branch of hip hop and the reaction from an average Nigerian. What is the general notion of the genre?
Right from the early years of hip hop music in Nigeria there has been various forms of criticism. Some have died down while others still persist. Here are a few of the negatives and positives of hip hop from a Nigerian’s point of view and possible solutions.
Negatives of hip hop music in Nigeria
1. Hearing/Diction Issues
This has been one of the biggest problems with hip hop especially during the early years. Listeners often complained about not clearly hearing the words of rap artistes, thus considering their music as wack.
When I was younger, my mum, elders and the Church said hip hop is demonic. Why? It doesn’t follow the normal structure of the acceptable music which had melody and harmonic Singing. Instead they complained that the artistes mumble words that passes evil subliminal messages to the listener condemning the soul to hell.
3. Promotes Bad habits
Like what we see clearly nowadays. Drugs abuse, lust, pornography, sex addiction, rebellious characteristics and gang violence are mainly portrayed by most hip hop artists. Thus responsible parents tend to prevent their wards from listening to hip hop in order not to “spoil” the child.
4. Social Ills
Hip hop has been harshly criticize as the cause of unnecessary social misfitting like indecent dressings, wayward lifestyles, bad communication skills. This is all because of the way the listeners try to copy their mentors.
5. Waste of words
Here is another funny reaction people give to hip hop. Some say “This artist is too deep” or “He likes using dictionary words” or “Just rapping no chorus for 5minutes”. And this complain comes right before they tag hip hop as boring. There are other factors like lopsidedness or theme and falseness.
Positives of hip hop music in Nigeria
Most people who listen attentively to hip hop praise the lyrics of dexterous artistes. Especially those with a conscience approach to it. This is because they address many issues that other genres of music fail to.
2. Psychological Gains
Some addicts of hip hop appreciate the art because they testify that it beats off the effects of depression and insomnia.
3. Lyrical Richness
Another positive is the content of the lyrics. Some artistes are praised for their adept use of terminologies and poetic devices to express their flow. Therefore the use of similes, metaphors and hyperbole in multi-syllabic schemes means you might not understand what is being spoken without some education. Moreover others use this poetry in their lyrics to express opinions on topics like science and politics.
Especially in Nigeria, hip hop is the most used genre in other forms of music like Juju Music, Rock, Reggae, Afro, Dancehall, Gospel etc which makes the art more appreciated.
5. Level of Knowledge
For rappers who read, praise is heaped on them for their use of storytelling and abstract references. These devices are used to reveal something different from what was expected.This thereby exposes intelligence.
About the author
Dablacceinstein is a rap artiste, a hip hop observer and a human rap music encyclopedia who is driven by the practice of the true culture. He was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor in October 2017.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead