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 being 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, Ruggedman, e.t.c 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 it’s 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 as “Broke & 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 upcomings because it probably doesn’t generate enough traffic and the radio wouldn’t play it for free either. Radio DJs 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 it’s annual ceremony, neither can it’s 24-hours TV station claim to play Hip-Hop videos on a regular; now, this is where the Olamide‘s and the Phyno‘s 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 fathom. 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 as “Dope & Classic“; the lack of criticism from fans killed Hip-Hop‘s growth in Nigeria.
To me, emcees today are confused and impatient; they emcee for just 6 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 6 months later, you lose the 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 Hip-Hoppa who has 4 Hip-Hop mixtapes to his credit, I know how hard it was/is for me admitting that 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.