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 up-comings 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 immediately.
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.
By MCSKILL THA PREACHA
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