IS NIGERIAN HIP HOP DEAD OR ALIVE?
It was a cold, dark, lonely night and my mind was racing. I logged on to
Twitter so i could get distracted and of course it was the same old drama
about sex, hoes and politics been discussed but there was something else
this time. A discussion about who the dopest is in Nigerian rap. This kind
of discussion usually takes place when Nigerian rappers are beefing, It has
happened a million times already and i wasn’t supposed to be flabbergasted
but it got me thinking. Is Nigerian Hip Hop Dead Or Alive? I tweeted
“Nigerian Hip Hop Is Dead”. Fast forward 20 seconds later, the
notifications started coming in hundreds.
The same set of people who would get on social media networks to disrespect
legends like Eedris Abdulkareem, Eldee, Modenine, Weird MC, Rugged Man etc
came at me like wolves saying Nigerian Hip Hop is Alive. They attacked so
flawlessly with insults you would think they truly care/cared about the art
in the first place.
What Or Who Killed Nigerian Hip Hop should be the big question now. In my
opinion since ‘opinion’ is now widely accepted, i drafted a few points
below. Read carefully.
1. THE MEDIA
Music will NEVER circulate without the media and its so clear how the
Nigerian media killed Hip Hop by condemning and preferring Afro-Pop because
Afro-Pop artistes seem to have more cash to throw around prompting this
same media to label lyricists ‘Broke and Hungry’. Top bloggers and OAPs
claim to love Hip Hop but we all know how we had to BEG most times to have
our Hip Hop records on top Nigerian blogs or being played on radio. Yes, we
begged not because our music was wack but because we knew bloggers wouldn’t
post no Hip Hop record especially from the upcomings because it probably
doesn’t generate enough traffic and the radio wouldn’t play it for free
either. Radio Deejays are part of this whole scheme, “PAY me and i will
surely play your record but we DON’T play rap music on our show”. With that
kind of statement, Someone ‘desperate’ for stardom would start singing
Our so-called Hip Hop World Awards can’t even boast of a cypher each year
at its annual ceremony neither can its 24hrs TV station claim to play Hip
Hop videos on a regular. Now, this is where the Olamides and the Phynos
come into the picture. For the record, they are excellent rappers but they
are NOT doing Hip Hop. Obviously a debate for another day.
The Lyricist on the roll award which is supposed to be the only thing
keeping Hip Hop alive is video based therefore killing 90% of most
Lyricist’s dream of ever getting recognized plus pop albums being nominated
for Hip Hop album of the year also killed the kulture.
2. THE FANS
In recent times, Nigerian Hip Hop fans have become plain rude and
unappreciative when it comes to real art. They want double standards all
the time. The so-called Hip Hop fans are swift to insult a Modenine but
hold a Wizkid in high esteem. The reason behind that i would never figure
out. The fans keep saying they want a conscious sound, put out a conscious
sound and the fans would say they didn’t hear any punchline on the record.
Put out a punchline filled record and the fans would say you gotta dump it
down. Hip Hop is NOT just about the EMCEE and the DEEJAY. The fans play a
big role. If football fans were not as passionate about the sport, football
as an art would have been killed. People would play but there would be no
stars. Same thing applies to Hip Hop, The fans have to show that they truly
love it but they didn’t so we here now.
Lastly, fans are NOT honest with emcees. Because you are a huge fan of an
emcee doesn’t mean they put out dope materials all the time, fans have
become so blind and deaf that they tag everything from their favorite emcee
“Dope and Classic”. The lack of criticism from fans killed Hip Hop’s growth
To me, emcees today are confused and impatient. They emcee for just six
months and they want to be on the billboard. It doesn’t work that way.
Money has to be made no doubt. Even the last element of Hip Hop focuses on
entrepreneurial skills but after coming out as a dope emcee and you start
singing six months later, you lose respect of Hip Hop fans. Most Emcees
couldn’t stick to the art and that made the kulture suffer. For example,
Ice Prince used to rap but he has made a lot of money whilst singing and
upcoming rappers also want to be like him therefore the kulture will remain
dead for a very long time.
Yes, legends also have to be blamed for not guiding and pulling up young
rappers. Instead, legends don’t want to lose their spot. You can’t be
number one forever, even KRS with the “One” after his name knows that.
What makes you a legend is not longevity but the positive things you
actually do/did for Hip Hop. Legends haven’t pulled fellow rappers up
lately, they would rather set up record labels and sign Afro-Pop artistes
hence killing the kulture.
As a real Emcee and true HipHoppa who has four Hip Hop mixtapes to his
credit, i know how hard it was/is for me admitting Nigerian Hip Hop is
dead. On a personal experience, a top Nigerian blogger (arguably the
biggest) who claims to really love Hip Hop once told me and i quote ‘Yo,
preacha your music is too Hip Hop. I’m sorry, i can’t post it’. What’s
too Hip Hop? What would happen if he posted the record? Guess i would never
find out either.
NOW I PUT THE QUESTION TO YOU ALL, IS NIGERIAN HIP HOP DEAD OR ALIVE?
KINDLY SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.