Friday, August 04, 2006

ME I GO YARN PART 1

NIGERIAN MUSIC VIDEOS

(for the lack of creative juices and with all pun intended, I shall lack originality and spot light other blogs...lol)

I saw a really cool video on Yetty's blog from ELDEE of the Trybesmen fame. It is his latest and you can find that the others like 'I go Yarn' on YOU-TUBE as well as on the website. I have always been a fan of the Trybesmen crew and while some of Eldee's solo stuff has varied a bit in style and lyrical content, it has never lacked freshness and creativity. He's also continued to reflect that consciousness and gab-humor that was first introduced when Trybesmen first hit the scene (Yeah they made it hot to not just laugh about the silliness of the music but to also get hip with it too). I love the composition and the technicalities but am not sure how I feel about the content of the video, I am some what sidelined about it but I shall leave you to decide that in the comment section of Yetty's blog. I also stumbled across one from Dare Art-Alade, Escalade, that I'd not seen yet on Naija Gal's blog. See ehn, as I mentioned about my Fridays I usually search for videos on You Tube but today I specially went in search of more Trybescrew videos and other Nigerian musicians, in the hopes of seeing something fresh and creative but I have to say I stumbled across some things that were a bit disappointing.

Which brings me to wetin I wan yarn....

This might dig up old wounds but I have been burning to say this for a hot minute now but I just let it slide because I was hoping that I would find something to counter my annoyance, but that has yet to happen. I must wonder, am I the only one who is noticing how music videos from Nigeria are beginning to become too much of an 'apery' (if that's isn't a word, it is now) of American MTV/ BET style videos. I have had this argument before, nearly 8 years ago and it turned into an elaborate story of cockroach, greencard and yellow bubble vest (coded gist). I laugh every time I remember that, it was very funny. Ironically I have to say that conversation could have been had yesterday because the bone of contention still remains but in a variant fashion. Don't get me wrong at all, I am not dawging anybody or any ones craft at all. Just making an honest journalistic observation and laying out my opinion, which no one has to agree with. I applaud how everyone is stepping up the game and making the music and the videos better in terms of composition, videography, the technical and aesthetic parts of the craft(I ma yet to see much of this improvement in the movie industry). I would have to say that much has improved in those aspects as well as in the quality of the music and the creativity of the musicians (in some cases their directors). There is nothing like doing something and doing it well, which certain people have done and continue to do over and over again. Raising the bar each time. I still have small beef with the trend towards hip-hop but hey that seems to be where the rest of the world is headed so why should Nigeria be different. My major beef and bone of contention has now shifted from hating all that rapping and cussing (it doesn't flow with the accent at all)to the content of the music videos themselves and the ideas they convey. While I love to support my Nigerian musicians, I must say that I am just a tad bit disappointed by the absence of 'Nigerianess' in the videos with the exception of the accent and the flag. In the case that the environment is very Nigerian, the musicians kill the feel with their very very fakely forced American accent that you know some of them picked up from watching WAAAAY too much TV. These days I can only bear to listen to the CD's and have now become 'afraid' to see the videos because that would just kill it for me.
I know for every musician, the ultimate goal is to make it to MTV/BET eventually (or is Channel O the preference now? ). The music videos on these channels seem to be the yard stick across the board. You could never have seen any African video that didn't have a big name collabo linked to it on MTV/BET(eg. Wyclef and Youssour N'dour). The sad part was that great African music and videos went unnoticed to the rest of the world. Circa 2000 and something MTV Base lands and finally a forum. BUT I am not sure whether that has even helped the situation because we all know it is just more viewers and another market for an influx of American music. Check out this forum on BBC, Is TV Good For Africa?. Me I know my own answer but I shall not speak much about that because I just sent my resume to them. LOL!! No hypocrisy at all, just that there are some forces which you just can't change by putting up a fight. You will just die of a migraine, if the athritis medication the doctor gave you instead of tylenol does not kill you first.
As I was saying about the videos, they are all beginning to look very un-African/un-Nigerian. Like if I flip the channel I could be fooled that I am watching BET. Where is the creativity? Where is the culture? Why the copying? It is true that these African musicians are competing with the Americans in terms of air play and are compelled to look more American or shall I say 'contemporary' (whatever) but the reality is that our difference is what will propel us to the top. My latest example is TU-Face's 'African Queen'. The reason that video won all the accolades, including 'First African Music Video to win MTV Award' is a 'NO-BRAINER'. Have ya'll ever seen a video like that on MTV or BET. Luda's all around the world and Jay-z's 'Girls' video from way back (the one about the African girl that wanted half)are the only ones that seem similar. That plus the authentic sound (of African instruments) instead of highly synthesized 'jim-jim' beats made it a head turner, sounding very different to all ears. WE DO NOT NEED THE AMERICAN AUDIENCE TO JUSTIFY OUR MUSIC OR THE WAY WE PRESENT IT. Lagbaja for instance. I know I may never get my guy crooning in the desert (that corrine Bailey chick stole my bicycle idea...lol) I am sick and tired of seeing skimpy booty shaking video girls (i'll excuse the choreographed dancers) on MTV and BET that's why I don't watch those channels, and I am sure as heck not ready to see them in African videos. Or am I going to be told now to turn off those channels too. Seeing as my only access is through YOU-TUBE, I guess I could really just not go searching for them in the first place.
The whole world is going through this globalization/ Mcdonaldization phase where every thing must become more American before it becomes acceptable or embraced. We see it every day. The move to modernization and 'contemporariness' (another made up word). Some say it is a good thing, indeed it is and I understand that there are areas where we have to make concessions because of trend and time, but some 'modernization' and 'contemporariness' is bad news, it is conformity, it is extinction. Must we as Africans continue to compromise on everything, including our ART AND CULTURE which is the best in the world, contrary to what the capitalists, the big corporations and THE MAN want you to believe. They tell you 'Son no one is ready for that primitive stuff' and we buy into that and trade it for their CRAP. But then get hype when Luda goes to shoot a video featuring African women and Culture in J'burg. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?
Anyways a word is enough for the wise, ME I DON YARN MY OWN. JUST an expression of opinion. If you no like am MAKE YOU BOUNCE. Meanwhile here are some videos that I found on YOU-TUBE. I am liking that D-BANJ 'Mobolowon' and 'Galala' (my razz side...you should see my police and thief style). I like Dare's songs but I am a bit on the fence about the video(on second thought I really like that Fuji video especially the green screen dancers and the smoky bust stop part. NOw that's hot. Guess there are some that make the cut and others that just don't, or may be i'm making a biased judgement and canning those that really don't put much thought into the videos). Can somebody tell me what in the high heavens is 'K-K-Kenny Ogungbe' doing there. Is he trying to be the 'P-DIDDY' of Nigeria now...LOL. As in do your thang Mr. K-O, age aint nothing but a few digits just no pull muscle o.
By the way I am still looking for someone to write and produce the remix of Cardinal Rex Lawson's 'Love Adaure' featuring Me. Hmh perhaps Tuface would like to be the vocalist and Eldee can be the rapper, me I can manage the hook. Like joke like joke now Addy will appear on You-Tube busting out in some 'atilogwu' dance in the video like Beyonce... now ya'll know she stole all those 'ajasco' moves in 'Dejavu' from an igbo dancer.

Enjoy my video-list some of whihc are just abysmal. Feel free to express your self in the comment box













23 comments:

Miguel said...

lol..lol....i don't drive an escalade ext...man that video,beats and lyrics wins the cake..oh my ... see as i am rolling on the floor...this guy wan kill me with laughter..tufiakwagi ooo mba! it shalln't (yes my own word)...happen!

Anonymous said...

Its a conincidence that you are talking about African music, I was in DC last night to see Lagbaja and the guy was awesome! Ego, was amazing, she sang her "never far away" song and the whole hall stood to applaud her afterwards. Lagbaja still keeps it real and thats the staying power, trying to copy "oyinbo" folks wont work, you will just be a coconut, white inside, black outside and no one will accept these artistes in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Dare and Eldee I definitely enjoy!

Don't forget to vote for the talented Dare @ the fast approaching NMA's

http://www.nigeriamusicawards.com/index.htm

Anonymous said...

what is DKoko?

Parazone Super Bleach said...

'contemporariness' Adaure you are "2 kinds of crazy" LOL...You must come out with you own dictionary! Dont know who is worse you or Jade!

In "agreeness" of your comment some of our Nigerian Musicians need to take a page out of Tufaces' book! Whatever formula he used worked!

And on Booty Shaking in Nigerian Videos...Excuse me while I barf!..
They should just stop it unless they are wearing Nigerian attire!!!!!!

I always have a brown paper bag close by (to hurl)when I watch beautiful Nigerian girls shakin' what their mama dash dem like rent is due at sun down! Its not right when Americans do it in videos and its even filthier when Nigerians do it! It's a travesty! At least give our videos the Africaness it deserves and stop clothing them in ripped denim skirts and allowing them to rub you up and down like you are P.Diddy!

I know it catches Oyinbos attention when I burst out my African sputs in church sometimes! So they should show off some African designs in the videos, Lord knows we have some really awesome designers

The only booty shaking I will permit is Fela dancers or Femi's dancers droppin' it like its hot! Now thats African!

The world hasn't seen/heard enough of what Nigeria has to offer in the music genre and videos except from Baba himself Fela, Suny Ade, Lagbaja, Femi and more recently Tuface! (and some others who are trying)

I am sure we will get there eventually. Im glad i got that off my chest..Im gonna get some seltzer from the fridge..hear it helps after bouts of barfing..lol

ps

Wetin be Dekoko...

Nneka's world said...

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!
ADAURE!!!!!!
You don kill me finish here, remix of rex lawson Love adaure!

Dont worry it shall be done, if you include me in the vocal line up.

I know see the trend, but hey everyone wants to me "westernised"
Well wish them luck

Mide said...

Dare all the way.

I'm glad that we are putting more professionalism in the things we do.

Hot!

Tosin said...

The "Fuji" video was the epitome of your description. Truly abysmal.

The guy from the "Shake Something" video looks like a very notorious cultist from Lag.

The "Escalade" guy is trying too hard to be Americanized. Granted, the video went through a lotta editing and brushing and has a more professional look, but his antics, gestures and weird facial expressions are just like "Ol boy, chill out! Just dont fall off your daddy's balcony". And then he starts doing the ad-lib/voice-over part. haha.. pure omo yoruba!

As for the "Wombolombo" or is it "Mobolowowo" guy. It was quite amusing. If Anything! What exactly is the KoKo?? And whats with the sidekick guy with the walking stick. I thought those died with Biggie Smalls?

Finally, the Galala guy is just biting from good old daddy Showkey! And one question... are there a lot more White people in Nigeria now or are they just giving Visa's to any ragamuffin at the US Embassy?

Great Blog Adaure!

Anonymous said...

Dare Is too cool! His father, Late Art-Alade would've been proud of him!

naijagal said...

thanks for showcasing my blog :) one thing I want to point out though is dare has other videos that are more naija but this is the one nigerians in naija love, go figure!

Adaure said...

@naijagal...I figured that's the case... I can see why. The song is good. But like I said, saw the video several more times and it ain't half bad, however i'ld like to see 'something else'. Please share the other videos if you have em

Adaure said...

Me too I wonder what 'D-KOKO' means. And is that song like the naija version of 'whisper'..hmh... sounds similar, may be he just sampled it.

Tutsy said...

God bless U Adaure....Excellent post, omo, u hit the nail right on the head. I have often wondered the same thing my self....why do naija artiste feel the need to "Americanize" thier videos...whatever happened to the concept of originality? Them go steal beat, steal American rappers flow...even steal video and then they come out and say "I AM AN ARTISTE" yeah right.... aritste my foot.....artiste wey no get one ounce of creativity.

The music industry in naija is so abused, i swear u don't even need a talent to be succesful any more, just piggyback off someone else's hardwork and get paid is the order of the day. I'm sure there are lots of "Milli-Vinalli's" yet to be exposed amongst those sorry bastards.

Why can't people find thier niche? why ride off someone else's cocktail? not every one was meant to be an artiste u know....i hope one day we will all see the end of this Epidemic.

Now i do understand the need for them to market thier image according to thier target audience...which are mainly between the ages of 15-28...whose ideas of what is hip has been twisted and corrupted by the media, but should we feed into that? the only way out is to promote our culture through our music...and homevideos (those are getting too westernized too).....all i can say is one day we would all wake up and see being all "westernized" ain't nothing but a load of crap. Thank God for artistes such as Lagbaja....Tuface...and few others who have kept it real through all this American madness.

Onada said...

Yup, why the need to americanise. How about embracing our own unique culture. i agree with you tutsy. abeg preach on!

didi said...

abeg,dont american artistes also copy african styles?check beyonce's steps.
i understand where u r coming from but i think our artistes r trying jare.
tutsy,not all oyibo artistes r talented and u didnt have to call dem bastards.

NaijaBloke said...

Men Adaure u r one nutcase ... Why u call Kulutemper out like that now...."You will just die of a migraine, if the athritis medication the doctor gave you instead of tylenol does not kill you first".

Me I no dey talk abt the videos sha,cos one of my friends in naija almost cut my head off over the phone when I was having the dicussion abt the way they r singing,rapping and dancing with some funny looking accent.I tried explaining it to him that I still dont get it why they r trying to form aome yanky accent,when all this ignorant ppl over her r dying for Nigerians when they speak English here with a li' bit of English accent.U know how many ignorant omo dan get their congos shine by my naija brothers over here just cos dem they fall for the small Queens English way we talk.
Wo na dem sabi,if na wetin go make dem make money wetin we wan do abt am.

Anonymous said...

Before you crucify these artists are we not the same people who copy everything we see on TV? If I recall clearly, when hot pants and cropped tops were in vogue (in our JSS days Adaure!) were we not the same people killing ourselves to buy them? Remember platforms, bell sleeves and bell bottoms? Even worse, when knee length boots (yes knee length boots!) were the in-thing, I remember more than enough people who bought them and wore them well! Spice girls nko? What about the famous halle berry haircut from boomerang or Janet jackson's braids in poetic justice? Was is not from these American videos on MTV and the likes that we got those things from? Do you know how many girls tried to look like da brat with her braids? A more recent example would be alicia keys and her beaded braids. Now we can look back and laugh at those times but we weren't playing in those days O!
We're quick to judge these people, let's not forget we're (or were) equally as ridiculous as they are when it comes to copying what we see on TV.

Adaure, can't seem to catch you on MSN these days, how far with the stuff?

-Ayisola-

Anonymous said...

I could not help but comment on D'banj's (mobolowonwon) video. The tune was banging and all, infact i couldn't help shaking my booty to it.
However i was most annoyed by his story line. He is singing about how God saved him from 2 the gurls he was cheating on and how God also saved him from being caught as a fraudster... are u kidding me!!
God does not have a hand in being a cheat and a fraudster!!!
Infact he neva bolowonwon o!
That's like insulting God's intelligence.
That's my own 2cents!

Tola said...

I'm sorry to say this but that dkoko song is horrible. Makes no sense at all!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you tola..just checked it out..by the way..noticed u were MIA for a while..glad to have u backed..missed your blog

Anonymous said...

We lean from others, just give them a chance to arrange, with the trend of things they will come back to their root, even the naija crowd like these videos as it is now, they give them wa they want, and when naija ready, they will get it, I trust these guys na anywhere belle face dem deh turn.

Adaure said...

@Ayisola... LLLLOOOLLLLLL!!!!Na true you talk. I definitely rocked my BAD ASS knee high boots that I found at St. Tej to SS1 X-mas party without shame. It was freaking 'fall fashion' and I saw that look on the runway on Video Fashion Weekly. I even did the lumber jack and bandana look. The spice girl look with my flourescent green hipsters(that practically every chick in our set had in different colors courtesy of Pero's mom who bought tonnes from London) and white platforms and don't forget the Roc-Sac. It was fun and there was definitely and admitedly some ignorance associated with that. My intent is not to crucify but rather to constructively criticize and empower anyone who reads this or carries the message to take the initiative to CHANGE THAT. Just because that's the way things are doesn't mean it is acceptable. There are ways to do that and still remain fresh, funky and youthful without looking like a Knock-off (or old school) which in all honesty many of them are looking like and creating cynics(like myself) amongst us. When I see a music video or hear music from a nigerian artist I dont want to have to draw a parallel with any other. I don't want to be like oh that looks like something Usher, Jayz or Beyonce did when it comes to the creative and artistic content.. technique mos def because that's the notch but the elements in terms of what the video reflects ought to be different otherwise we'll all continue to perpatrate, promote and proliferate (just used the big big grammer for the assonance)Corporate America's goald of infilterating every culture to creat a market for their product.
That being said, i agree that they only pander towards what appears to entice the audience more which is americanism. Again if we have the power we should try to do our best to change and it starts with one or two people deciding that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
That's 50 cents from Queen SLim Mack of the Underground.. Peace out.

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