Nigerian music is not the same as it was some years ago when the idea was to entertain but also educate the listeners. Back then it was a tool for cultural transmission.
And even beyond that, it was a means through which the consciousness of the masses could be directed towards a particular end in order to achieve a particular goal.
It was a social instrument!
Regardless of what the rap music has become in America today. There was a time when it was the most potent tool used for creating Black Unity!
Through rap music the Black community was always in the know, about events in the country and how they should respond that would bring about the best outcome for the community at a whole.
Rap music helped the Black community in their fight against white supremacists that would want nothing more than slavery on their black neighbors.
Music became the medium through which the more educated Blacks could send messages and lectures to the less educated Black’s on the streets and corners.
And because of this the community was well informed about racial politics and politics in general.
With rap music the slums were able to evolve mentally, to the point that the majority became enlightened on all the important issues affecting the community.
In order to gain control over black lives and reduce their self value. Rap music was infiltrated and drugs, Violence’s and the devaluation of the black woman was made the theme by record executives created for that clandestine purpose.
Today you look at Rap videos and listen to black songs and you realize why Black people in America are stuck and becoming increasingly worse.
The truth is, we are affected and influenced by things or songs we listen to.
Eventually we become the content of these songs and videos. They change us by entertaining us.
Over here in Nigeria, we had the Legendary Fela Kuti.
The man was the voice of the masses. He took their grief and suffering and made songs out of the consequent sorrows. Telling the world that as a people we live in hunger and lack despite the abundance around us. Because of a corrupt and powerful few.
He talk about corruption in Government without fear or remorse because he was the messenger as well as teacher of the people.
He was arrested and humiliated and forced into the dark corners of fear but still plowed his feet towards truth and the emancipation of his people.
He was into the business of truth telling and because of this primary agenda, even religion was not spared.
So he attacked the church and her false prophets and doctrines. He talked about how the church was feeding fat of the people who themselves lack food on their table.
He songs addressed social issues and tried in elevating African culture over the limitation of the Western doctrines.
His fight was for Africans and Nigerians in particular. So he takes about identity as a people. That black identity the white man has worked tirelessly to erase.
Through music Fela touched on every issues affecting his people and through music tried to influence genuine change that could accommodate our African diversity.
But that is not the case with the present day Nigerian music and musicians. Who are hellbent on spreading vices instead of standing for a good course.
1. Internet Fraud
We now have Nigerian musicians who are internet fraudsters and are not ashamed or afraid to lace it on their songs.
Because of them internet scam is now almost a legitimate hustle among Nigerian youths because after all their idols support the anomaly.
There are many songs out there glorifying the criminal activity and consequently advocating for its spread.
They say “we are only taking back what the white man took from us”. Even when it is obvious that they are nothing but internet thieves without conscience.
They flaunt their I’ll gotten wealth on social media. Forcing youths of the right path by taunting them.
Nigerian music is basically now about vanity than anything else. And just the doctrines of many Nigerian pastors, their songs are prosperity and world gains.
No lesson to teach, no good habits to learn.
2. Drug Abuse
In 2020 I can confidently tell you that there are now more drug abusers among youths than ever before in the history of the country.
We have artists like Naira Marley smoking with reckless abandon on social media.
Influencing his young follower’s to pick up habits they not need as youths. I am not trying to judge smokers.
I smoke but I started the habit as a grown man and I am in full control. Sometimes I take up to three months break with out smoking.
Before I became one, I had already made some strict moral guidelines that I was following. I had values meant to make me a better person.
The bad habits came later.
But the problem we have now is that young kids are now indulging. As early as 13 years.
And it is not just about smoking weed but all other kind of substance abuse. Ranging from Tramadol to powdered stuffs.
They are suppose to be the future leaders but unfortunately the only place their tomorrow would bring their way, is the rehab!
That is if they are to stand any chance of a better life in the future.
People pick up habits everyday but to have the Nigerian music as an encouraging factor is not good at all.
The distance between drug abuse and prostitution is just a mile apart. The young girls are now becoming more dependent.
And prostitution is now a means through which they feed their addictions and love for vanity.
Nigerian music is no longer preaching morality or the need to be descent. The rave of the moment are worse than misinformed cult leaders.
They are just leading the youths down the road to perdition.
3. Empty Messages
From the above it is clear that Nigerian music is doing little in the department of positive social change.
The present day Nigerian musician is simply in business for the money. They fail to see themselves as social crusaders that can actually influence things for the better.
Unlike Fela and the others from yesterday. These song writers hardly speak against social vices, they rather encourage it so as to stay relevant and have more followers.
They hardly speak against corrupt leaders for fear that they would blacklisted from government events, events that truly pay well.
They go to bed with the same people destroying the country. They turn blind eyes to the chaos.
They fail to realize that they are powerful instruments of change. That their voice can actually bring about good governance when they they calling out the bad leaders in their songs.
This in turn would educate the less informed Nigerians on who to vote and not vote for.
But they rather keep silent and enjoy a fame that is transient.
4. The Objectification Of Women
They are guilty of it, even those famous Nigerian singers that now have us all wrapped around their fingers.
We love them but must never be blind to the bad examples set in their videos and now affecting the female Psyche in the country.
They all promote nudity in their videos. It is now a know fact that nudity is one way to increase video views off and online.
The have become like their colleagues in America and the idea is to make money and sell records instead of sending a positive message.
Suddenly many girls in Nigeria find it easy to go wild and nude because these Nigerian music videos say it is okay.
These Nigerian singers are promoting a culture that says our ladies are now nothing but sex objects.
You see them promote Twerking videos of naked girls on their timelines while staying mute when there is a girl of class and high intellectual achievement begging to be celebrated.
By promoting these class of social media whores on their video, they are tacitly saying “its okay to be indecent”.
And more and more girls are following the route that would eventually destroy them.
Nigerian music is everything short of value and those few trying to make a difference don’t get the shine they deserve.