Friday, October 9, 2015


There's a lot Reminisce's "LOCAL RAPPERS" track featuring Olamide and Phyno tells about the evolution of the Nigerian music industry, as well as the enterprise of the Nigerian young person and youth in the face of the everyday challenges (some of the most trying the world over) s/he faces.

It was norm in the early days, even to these times, when it isn't out of place for young people going into the music or entertainment industry mimicking western culture. That actually gained ground with Nigerian singers doing all their best to outdo singers in their chosen genre from the west. Unfortunately, the reggae artistes, no matter how much they tried, couldn't sound better than the worst rudeboy doing reggae in Jamaica. The same could be said of the Hip-Hop, Rap, Rhythm & Blues crooners who could only do their best but were nowhere to be found on the scale legends of those genres easily maintained for the time their careers were at the peak.

It is testament to the sagacity and resilience of these young people, many of whom have been failed by contemporary Nigerian society where the welfare of youths remain the last, if not least on the agenda at every level of government and out of it generally. It took lots of belief in themselves for those who attempted in the early days to Nigerianize, or localize (as with Ghana-Hip Life, Kenya and the rest) foreign genres with loads of African content, even when at the time, it wasn't the most popular or profitable thing to do. You would notice that even with Musical Talent Hunt Shows, after the ones in the academy might have been shown the proper ropes, defending those with and by doing foreign music on show nights, even the winner or some of the bests on the show, once out of the academies/show in general go back to the streets to do their song street-style, i.e. Hip-Hop and Rap heavily laced with "Naija" nuances. One lesson from what these ones have done is to take something western and localize it, which we will do well to adopt in other sectors of the Nigerian socio-econo-political space, amongst others.

Though many of the forerunners have long seized to make tracks, some (like Da Grin) even dead, their dream and their labour is finally beginning to yield fruit, with Hip-Hop and Rap heavily laced with everything Nigerian is making waves not just within Nigeria, but outside of it, with international awards rolling in on all sides to complete the cycle, such that it must create fear in non-Nigerian artistes if they find they are nominated alongside Nigerian artiste(s) for any music award, in their home country or elsewhere (that's not Nigeria).

It is interesting to note that this stride by Nigeria's youths in the music industry isn't restricted only to music, as many have found their hands in many startups, especially taking advantage of the ease of communication enabled by social media platforms to market their ideas, services and products amongst others. This generation of young Nigerians largely ignore the government and society that ignored them in the first place, making the best of the situation they have found themselves in, indeed making lemonade of lemons thrown to them by life.

To say that I enjoy every bit of LOCAL RAPPERS, each time I listen to it 'pon dah REPLAY is a gross understatement, as much as I find very creative and prolific many of the songs put out by Nigerian and Ghanaian artistes who have fused very well Africanness into Hip-Hop and Rap. I wouldn't say that I am as impressed with Reminisce as I am with Olamide and Phyno in the track, even though he claimed no one rapped better than him this year, when he was totally outdone and outclassed by those he featured on his own track.

In all, the song not only sounded great, it is inspirational especially to youths with the message to encourage belief in oneself, though the song could do with less explicitness, something some of today's artistes will do well to take a cue from Tuface who has achieved fame and all (and at forty still going strong) doing purely Nigerian music without as much as leaning to the vulgar.



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