Image from Pulse
This episode of loose talk podcast is a defining moment in music history, where an artist with the antecedents and status of MI, stepped into the verbal ring with two of the greatest entertainment journalists in Nigerian history. A lot of jabs were thrown, a lot of knock downs and comebacks, there were a lot of calculated punches and spontaneous outbursts of passion. There was also a lot of ego, enough to have a healthy conversation but a bit over the top at times. The episode is a nearly 3 hour podcast that is definitely not going to be fun to watch, or listen to on mobile data but if you love music, especially, African music or African hip-hop in particular, you need to listen to or watch this episode of the loose talk podcast.
The single most important moment for me, in the podcast’s entire three hours was when MI, Osagie, Loose Kanyon and AOT2 went back and forth over an alternative music platform to iTunes for MI to base the numbers of his Chairman Album. Osagie said that over 90% of Nigerians do not have access to iTunes and majority of Nigerian iTunes users are not even in Nigeria. Remember last November when Nigerian banks positioned themselves as enemies of the music industry and all but eliminated the only platforms for Nigerian artistes to make money off album sales. It is sad and in some ways infuriating that, when Nigerian music is once again pushing continental boundaries our artistes are barely making any money off it directly.
MI’s Chairman album is one of the highest selling albums, if not the highest, since it’s release in 2014, it has made about $120,000 (over N43 million) according to MI over three years. There were a lot features on that album, so all the collaborators have to get paid, producers, sound engineers, marketing and PR teams, the record label has to get paid. By the time all the due diligence is done, MI is taking home a lot less than that and remember, this is money made over three years on what is arguably the highest selling album, in that period. Now, imagine how much up and comers take home. A lot have given up and release entire albums for free on Soundcloud hoping to parlay whatever successes into getting an endorsement and high profile gigs.
It takes an unbelievable amount of time, energy and human resources to make an album. Even musicians with near zero talent hire writers, producers and engineers that know the work and all those people have mouths to feed. So it is extremely important that if you can, pay for your music. A number of Nigerian ATM cards work on Deezer, and UAE iTunes store and Apple music, although most Nigerian songs are not on that store. If you have a dollar card you should be able to access Apple music. You can also try barter cards where you can fund a dollar card in your Naira account.
I also think Nigerian artistes, record labels or at least record label backers and entrepreneurs need to talk to themselves and see how they can parlay their influence and resources into either bringing a foreign player like Pandora, Amazon music, Spotify or Google play music to come in, or improve and expand an indigenous platform like MTN music plus, cloud 9, iRoking or Spinlet. The market is ripe, the music is ready and if we play our cards right this will be the dawn of a new age. What we cannot do is sit here and allow this opportunity go to waste.
I am confused and this is why.
Over the weekend TapJets, a US private jet charter service, released a statement accusing Dammy Krane of using a stolen credit card to hire one of their jets. They also promised to prosecute him to the full extent of the law.
— TapJets – Mobile App (@TapJets) June 2, 2017
If Dammy Krane is convicted, I’m sure one of the questions he would be asking himself is why he didn’t fly first class. In his mind is he thinking first class is no longer a big boy stuff? This whole situation got me asking myself some questions. Why are people addicted to some lifestyle we can’t really afford? Who are we really trying to impress and why?
Celebrities living above their means is not news and for the life of me I can’t understand why? Flashing money has never gotten anyone a hit song or a blockbuster movie. The best it does is to keep you in the headlines long enough for you to eventually get arrested or steal a picture of someone’s dogs. It’s not like we have paparazzi chasing down celebs like there’s no tomorrow. No Nigerian entertainment journalist or photographer is paid well enough to bother. Like have you seen our entertainment journalists? They have more important things to do abeg.
And that’s the funny thing to me, nobody cares if celebs drive a sedan or a land cruiser, no one gives a damn if they live in Lekki or Surulere. No one. The only people that care are those that want money from them and armed robbers picking targets. If you are reading this and you care but claim you are neither a beggar nor an armed robber, clearly you need to think about your life, just go and look at yourself in a mirror because all is not well.
This is not just a celebrity problem, it affects regular people as well. I have nothing against wanting to send your kids to the best schools, but there is an issue when you want to send your kids to a school that you know, you and your spouse and your extended family combined cannot afford. It’s a dangerous thing to live above your means. What if there is a sudden need for cash? A health emergency or a surprise bill?
And those of you guys that are dating someone and you can’t tell them when you’re cash strapped so, you take your babe to mad restaurants and eat garri like crazy. I’m here for you. Mscheeew. What’s worse is that you borrowed that garri ahead of time because you already knew stupidity was following you. Then you will now post the picture of the restaurant on Instagram but forget to add the garri. Can we all please respect ourselves, this adulting thing is hard enough without you your no-garri-eating Instagram photos putting pressure on us to be great. Some of us will actually like to get through this come-up phase with all our marbles intact.
There are so many things I love so much about good gospel music. I’m not talking about some half baked, half thought, poorly produced ramblings with bible scriptures used for chorus and verses and a choir singing off key. I’m talking about proper music.
I feel like when you get a gospel song right, you’ve made an instant classic. Gospel songs are inspirational, easy to sing to, relaxing and thought provoking and that is exactly what Travis Greene has done with You Waited. Listen here.
Find it here for iTunes
Hip-hop they say is a universal language for hip hop lovers we have been inspired by Talib Kweli, Jay Z, Nas to mention a few. In Nigeria we have also had Modenine, MI and Eldee and a couple of others.In no particular order, here are my biggest 15 hip-hop collaborations that rocked Nigeria.
Nobody Test Me- Jesse Jagz ft Ice Prince & MI
This was a dope hip hop collaboration unifying the 3 Choc Boys to form hip hop alliance the song which was on Jesse Jagz’s debut album Jagz of all trades witnessed this 3 wordsmiths who were at the peak of their powers bringing their A-Game to this track and the truth is really nobody could test them at this time.
Ghost Mode – Phyno ft Olamide
When this two hip hop giants from both the East and West collaborated nobody was sure what will come out of it and whether they will strike gold but the truth is they didn’t strike gold but they hit platinum as this was the beginning of a partnership from the East and the West which led to more collaborations and this song was also on Phyno’s debut album No Guts No Glory.
Local Rappers- Reminisce ft Olamide, Phyno & Chigurl
This was a street anthem as this collaboration between kings of both the East and the West which also had Chigurl lacing the hook saw this 3 MC’s spitting and taking shots at punchline and English rappers stating that they are here to stay The song also won best collaboration at the Headies award earlier this year and was the lead single on Reminisce 3rd studio album Baba Hafusa.
Super sun (Remix) – Bez ft Eva, Eldee Da Don, Ice Prince.
After his supersun single he follows it up with a remix as the alternative singer took an unfamiliar route and put 3 rappers on the remix where all the rappers brought another dimension to make it a hip hop classic and this song was also a lead single on his debut album Supersun.
Marry Me- Falz ft Poe & Yemi Alade
This was a smash hit single off his debut album Wazup Guy as Falz and Poe doing their thing while Yemi Alade played a supporting role with the hook.This was a humorous rap song centred around a girl who is frustrated with her man for not proposing to her after dating for a long time and instead opts for another woman the lyrics in this song make it a memorable rap classic.
Trybal Mark – Trybesemen
Trybesmen were the pioneers of hip hop in Nigeria (The others being SWAT ROOT and Remedies) with Eldee Da Don, Kaboom and freestyle who were the first members of this group and they came through with their smash hit single Trybal Mark which was the song that brought them into the limelight.
This was another group which comprised of Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila and Eddie Montana and they came together to do this groovy rap tune titled shakomo the track which earned rave reviews from critics and they also got a mention from Hip Hop World Magazine at that time for this track.
Spazmodic- Mode 9 & Terry the Rapman
This song according to hip hop critics is regarded as the best hip hop collaboration of all time in Nigeria based on just lyrics as both MC’s tried to outdo each other with their timeless bars and punchlines this song was on Mode 9’s mixtape Pentium IX and Terry Tha Rapman’s sophomore album The Rapman begins and a fun fact for you in the video of this song there was an unknown MI Abaga, Jesse Jagz and Ice Prince so you could say this was the making of stars.
Stylee – DJ Jimmy Jatt ft Tuface, Mode 9 & Elajoe
This was a jam for the streets especially in Lagos as DJ Jimmy Jatt enlists Mode 9 and Elajoe to do justice to this classic not forgetting 2Baba himself who had a solid verse and hook to follow up.This song later became the lead single on Jimmy Jatt’s debut album The Definition.
1,2,3 Remix- DJ Neptune ft MI, Naeto C & Dagrin
Another DJ again comes up with another hip hop classic as he recruits MI Abaga, Naeto C and Dagrin (of blessed memory) for this classic rap tune as this 3 MC’s all brought their best display of wordplay,metaphor and punchlines.
Government – Reminisce ft Olamide and Endia
A song off his 2nd studio album Alaga Ibile came this socially conscious rap tune called Government. This was a track speaking of the ills in the society and he had the Baddo himself and Endia on this track to make it a memorable tune and again it’s well worth noting that this song got Reminisce a mention on TIME magazine.
Eziokwu – Lynxx ft Ikechukwu, Phyno & Ill bliss
This was hip hop made in the east as Lynxx sought the help of his fellow Eastern brothers Phyno , Ikechukwu and Oga boss himself ill Bliss to make a street anthem which not only went viral in the east but all over the country.
U know my P – Naeto C ft Ikechukwu
Big boy rap hasn’t felt so good like this 2 MC’s doing it off Naeto C’s debut album which was also titled U know my P Naeto C and Ikechukwu just flowed seamlessly on this song and produced a feel good rap tune.
King Kong Remix -Vector ft Phyno, Reminisce, Classic & Uzi
After a well received original version of King Kong. Vector decided to go one better and do the remix bringing on Penthauze heavyweight Phyno, Babahafusa himself Reminisce, Classiq the Hausa rapper and the last but not the least the fastest rapper in Nigeria Uzi.All of them joined forces to bring forth a dope hip hop joint.
Sample Remix- Terry tha Rapman & Pherowshuwz ft Stereoman
This was a remake of the original sample track by Stereoman. Terry tha Rapman and Pherowshuwz combined to make a dope hip song which was on Terry tha Rapman’s 3rd studio album Boys Are not smiling and the song also got Pherowshuwz an award for the best rap single at the Headies.
Dear Nigerian Artistes
Back in the 90’s we had musicians who were socially conscious as I listened to Onyeka Onwenu’s One Love, Daddy Showkey’s Fire Fire. Even Fela of blessed memory was known for doing socially conscious music, criticising the government and speaking of the ills in our society. Even in the early and mid 2000’s when there were songs like Jaga Jaga by Eedris Abdulkareem which got him in trouble with the former President Obasanjo. There were songs like Power of Naija by 2face, Me I go yarn by Eldee, Only 4 Naija by Terry tha Rapman.
But our Nigerian artistes are no longer socially conscious. Save for very few most are only after scoring their next big hit and will decide to do a couple of club bangers to get airplay on the radio.
Here is the problem for me, it’s not all about the hits because hits come and go what remains is the value added to the society.
Imagine for a second artists like Olamide, Phyno or even Tekno did a song on the societal ills in our country. Music is communication and communicating in Nigeria’s case should entail singing about the abnormalities in our society. It becomes a beacon of hope to the people and in another way demands more from the government. The truth is music is powerful.
Dear Nigerian artistes know that you are very powerful in your own way and can bring about change in your own little way not everybody can relate to popping bottles, driving the best cars, getting money but people will definitely relate to your songs of hope for a better nation and a society on. God bless you for reading.
Also, remember, the greatest Nigerian artiste to ever hold the microphone, made most of his music about the social ills in Nigeria. I’m talking about the one and only Fela Anikulapo Kuti
By Chima Odima
Without question, this is certainly not the best of time for Nigeria. With the drop in the global price of commodities, Africa’s largest economy seems to have taken a dive for the worst. Unpaid salaries, salary cuts and mass sacks have become the order of the day and as expected Nigerians are at the receiving end of all these tragedies. However anyone conversant with Nigerians will tell you that they are among the toughest and most resilient people on earth. Whether this is a good or bad character trait remains an issue for another day, but, we are a nation of “long sufferers”. An average person will think that we would naturally have a thriving psychotherapy industry; we don’t we just go to church and listen to music.
Nigeria is a great music nation: we sing and dance to celebrate and to mourn. Music in itself is our therapy. I think it’s not a coincidence that we have the largest music industry in Africa. Recently however, music seems to have taken a backstage in the Nigerian healing process, and the reason is not farfetched; our artist have lost sight of the reason Nigerians love their music; its therapeutic functions: thus, a yearning for music with a higher purpose; an anticipation for the music of hope; music that will define a new nation, a music that can only come with GOTHAM.
You see, Music is powerful! It has the power to change your life for the good or the bad. What you listen to determines who you are. There is a consistent relationship between active engagement in music and general mental state. Music has the power to bring communities together and it’s a source of strength.
Gotham EP is a music project that will connect different strata of the society together to propel each other to the path of hope, mind elevation and revolution—a project that will ignite a national movement across several local communities to bring hope and comfort. Gotham is an understanding of the power of music in bridging the gap of background, religion and ethnicity. Gotham is a vision we foresee for our music industry. The idea of Gotham in itself is a challenge of the status quo; an affront to the familiar, yet we anticipate, because we need Gotham. The untrained eye might ask; will Gotham ever come? Indeed, most of us ask! But then again, Gotham might come but you may never know until you pay attention.
Gotham drops on OCT 1st a 7track music project by the Nigerian artiste called 4runner, for your illumination and elevation.
Twitter & Instagram: @4runner116