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Nigerian music and our future IQ

By Chinedu Hardy Nwadike

The right definition for how I feel now is troubled and having realized that speaking out makes it look like I have an alien mind is the funniest thing that I will have to face especially now that I am writing on this topic.

Looking at the state of Nigerian music industry today, one would praise the resilience of the veterans and also the contributions of those who came after. The greatest praise should be heaved on Nigerians who used the best part of their hearts to believe in Nigeria music because without the people, there would never be anything like the lucrative industry we have today.

I am taking time to praise everyone because a good professor I know said ‘commend before you condemn’, so having commended everyone, now is time for condemnation.

As a writer, one of my first titles was ‘Things that need to be changed in Nigerian music’ and there, I called for a change in our contents, but like a friend of mine would say, ‘Hardy you are just busy writing and people are busy making their money’, it became the case for me.

I later wrote another article titled ‘Bloggers: gods that live in sin’ and ‘Without brains: Does pen and paper make one a songwriter?’. In these articles, I looked at the ‘contentless’ posts on blogs as well as the nothingness of those we have been celebrating as great song writers in recent times.

The fact that Nigerians have come to trust these artistes wholeheartedly means they are our sole content providers when it comes to music and when I analyze the kind of lyrics that make our people happy, I just wonder what 2020 will be like if we continue with this trend.

I have always said it that as long as you are in Nigeria, people will find a way to make something out of every nonsense you do. I see IQs falling every day and no one is even saying anything about it.

Money talks
Back in the days, I used to hear that love makes the world go round, but that is never the case in the music and media industry today. With money, the media will say something good about every nonsense artistes put out in the market.

Even when the people know that we are lying, they won’t have any choice but to believe us, because they can never find the truth elsewhere; they make do with the lies, finding a way to be happy with it. That is simply the Nigerian way.

Love songs or depressing songs?
Sing a love song, then people will say you are either depressed or heartbroken and they go ahead to back it up with the statement that the high level of suicide abroad is because of the so called depressing songs they listen to. This makes me wonder if anyone is even recording the number of suicides in the country or the number deaths that has been inspired by infidelity which most of our songs somehow preach.

We just watch people make money at the detriment of the good life we are supposed to have and no one is also mentioning that we are pursuing the western world with the rate of divorce cases in the country. Thank God women are not taking alimonies serious in Nigeria, because if they start, Nigerians will understand why people at the age of Arsene Wenger are still single abroad.

Music used to tell a story
Back in the days, when my dad used to play Onyeka Owenu, Bright Chimezie, Raskimono and co, every song had a story. I don’t want to mention the likes of Tina Charles, Kenny Rogers, Don Williams, Everly Bbrothers, Jim Reeves, Juice Newton and other great singers that adorned our vinyl record rack.

I love how they approached every single story in their songs and today we call them legends. They are names found in our music text books and I just wonder what you will do as father when you learn that your child is studying lyrics written by Timaya, Kcee, Wizkid, Davido and TerryG especially in secondary school.

Will you let him attend that school the next day?
Our songs are making us not to know anything again, the best they have given us are hash tags [#Godwin #Doro #Gobe] and when we finally pick quotes from them, you just wonder if we are mentally retarded.

We at times console ourselves with the word ‘revolution’, but I say this is destruction. We will end up stranded someday and just like Asa said in her song ‘fire on the mountain’, “One day the rivers will overflow and there will be nowhere else for us to go, and we will run, run, wishing we had put out the fire”

It’s now about money, alcohol and shaking bum bum

I just wonder what will happen when there will be no bum bum left to be shook in Nigeria. Our songs have suddenly become ‘bum bum’ songs. That word or something close to it is hardly found missing in any of our hit songs or should I talk about the word ‘baby’, that one is everywhere.

People used to fight corruption and societal ills with music, but that was back in the days.

Somehow I don’t blame the artistes because music was only defined as organized sound, not organized lyrics.

Your lyrics can be scattered, all you need is a good beat and you are good to go.

And our IQ is falling
If what you take in affects what you bring out, then we are in trouble. We expect to have people thinking like ‘bum bum’ in Nigeria very soon. People who plan on how to spend millions of Naira, but will never think of how to make it.

Thanks to Nigeria music, an average young man in Nigeria has women and cars as the number one reasons for making money.

To prove this, drop a fashion magazine and a heap of current newspapers on a table in a reception where youths are mostly attended to, almost everyone who walked into the place will pick the fashion magazine with just few picking one of the newspapers.

News channels are no longer for youths in Nigeria, they only dwell on fashion and music TVs, dreaming of luxury even when they don’t have a job.

People hate to think and they fear that as well. People no longer want to do anything difficult, they just want life to be easy and sweet all the way.

I am still trying to figure out how this can be remedied because even if the censoring boards should ban these songs, you cannot take them out of the streets, internet and clubs.

It now boils down to Nigerians to be mindful of what they listen to everyday and also to the artistes to help their listeners and Nigeria in a whole.

This piece was inspired by music producer Kasablanka who said “I you keep listening to Nigerian music, your IQ will drop to 0%. Block your ears”

Comr. Chinedu Hardy Nwadike, is a novelist, blogger, newspaper columnist, he writes from Owerri, Imo State. [email protected] 08038704454, BBM 763D08AE


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