Sunday, June 16, 2024

#ThrowBackThursday: ModeNine’s “Cry” Still Speaks of Nigeria’s Societal Ills Happening Today

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Founder & Chief Creative Mind at Hiphop Africa

Our #ThrowBackThursday for this week is a classic. We bring back Nigerian Hip Hop artist ModeNine with the song “Cry”.

The second track on Modenine‘s 2007 album E’ Pluribus Unum released under Questionmark Entertainment is arguably one of the award-winning rapper’s most successful singles. ‘Cry’ features the soulful vocals of songstress Nnenna, received significant critical acclaim, topped charts in Africa and bagged the hip-hop titan multiple awards.

For such a sad song with social import, it is important that lyrically, only a few rap Nigerian songs with conscious themes are comparable. Modenine did win the supreme award for rap heads in Nigeria, Lyricist on the Roll at the Headies, back-to-back for several years. And in its sedateness, the song’s production emphasizes the tragedy of its lyrics.

A song of two verses, ‘Cry‘ was released as a single off Modenine’s E Pluribus Unum album. With verses in English, the song’s whimpering Igbo chorus was provided by the singer Nnenna. Each verse tells a sober tale. The first follows a woman from her early, glorious days as a university belle to the child-bearing moment and the death of her alcoholic husband who dies on his way to meet his wife in labour.

Baby kicking, got her crying on the phone/ Honey come home/ So he broke the speed limit/ After he’s drove like he is in a race/ Tryna win it/ Lost control overtaking on a bend/ And he was death an untimely end/ Wife gave birth, her joy was that he is a boy/ But cry when she found out she’s a widow.”

Where in an optimist’s telling, the second tale would redeem the first, Modenine doubles the tragedy. First, he sketches the friendly pair:

“Two young men/ Always topping their peers/ Their parents never thought they would bring home tears.” The boys become cult members at the university. “One night, both gangs had beef/hanging in the atmosphere, they let it out in grief/A face off right in the school premises/That night, they met their nemesis/ They shot each other point blank eye to eye.”


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Daniji Emmanuel is a content writer who has written hundreds of articles on various niches focusing on Entertainment topics. He’s also published interviews, conducted research and written opinions on the creative industry. BigDan, fondly called, also consults and handles brand promotions for people and organizations in the creative industry. 

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