The legendary musician, who has about 23 albums to his credit, said Nigerian hip-hop artistes must learn how to re-invent themselves in the uniqueness of indigenous African music genres, such as Afrobeat, Highlife, Fuji and Juju, if they want to remain relevant in the music industry.
“As far as I am concerned, Davido and the likes sing Fuji. The truth is the music they play is sweeter than American hip hop and rhythm ‘n’ blues. So why call it hip hop? That is why they cannot enter for the Grammys as that tag ‘hip hop’ is limiting.
“They have to rename it ‘hip hop Africo’ so that the West will know that it is Nigerian. Rhythm ‘n’ blues and hip hop music in Nigeria is like a candle that will die soon because there is no door to the outside world. And any music you can’t take to the outside world is not worth doing,” he said.
Commenting on the criticism that an average Fuji artiste is a college drop-out or tout who does not believe in dishing out good videos, Ayuba, who clinched two Kora awards in 2005, says: “Fuji musicians don’t spend money or make out enough time to shoot good videos. But you can’t blame them for this because they don’t believe it is worth doing, since their songs don’t get enough air play on radio stations.
“Many of the people behind the consoles at these radio stations are aged between 18 and 23 years. The kind of music they know and prefer is hip hop. And you know Nigerians love anything that comes from the western countries.
“See what happened 10 years ago with Makossa music. It practically took over our churches and mosques, though most fans didn’t even understand the language.”