Music as part of the entertainment industry has passed through several phases from generation to another. When it comes to music, it’s sometimes a case of ‘different strokes for different folks’; every generation seems to have its own type of ‘music in vogue’. Someone once rightly said that music is universal.
Music is one of those things which has single-handedly united people of different tribes and tongues – the language is not a barrier, as long as the music is pleasing to the ears. This has often been the case in times past and present. Notwithstanding a recent trend in African music continues to baffle me.
When you mention, D’banj’s ‘d koko’, p square’s ‘do me I do you’, x-project’s ‘lori le’, 9ice’s ‘gongo aso’, kc presh’s ‘shokoribobo’ e.t.c., what comes to your mind? The happening songs, right? Though the songs share a commonality in popularity they also share infamously a lack of relationship with the real Nigerian story; which is one of neglect, crass corruption and a failed leadership system.
Some two decades ago, the hit songs were Majek Fasek’s ‘send down the rain’ the Mandator’s ‘rat-race style’. Fela’s ‘dead body get accident’,etc. These songs were radical and helped describe and shape the subsequent battles for Nigeria’s fight for political freedom. But what is the difference between then and now? Some might argue that it’s time for the new kids on the block. Quite true, but is it that time has affected our minds so much so we no longer care about the song contents of these ‘award winning’ tunes? All we now do unfortunately is dance to the rhythm, feel the music and drown away the real issues.

In truth many of these popular songs are lacking in depth with regards to originality and message, leaving most artistes to think erroneously that thrash and filth sells faster to the Nigerian music audience than quality. It is no small wonder that the numbers of songs being churned out daily by most artistes are finding their way into mainstream television and radio. Anyone who dares to be different is left to pine away in musical oblivion and ultimately, penury. So where do we go from here?
The media has been of help in their role as custodian of morality in the arts, especially with the vulgar and outlandish songs. But there is still more to be done by the broadcast regulatory body. Placing a ban on semi nudity and nudity in musical videos is a step in the right direction but the greatest damage is to the mind. Ridding the air waves of such notions that crime pays and portraying women as objects of sexual conquest need to be discouraged absolutely.



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