Friday, June 14, 2024

“LIL DURK OMO WEREY”… WHY NOT “KHAID OMO WEREY”: The Decline of Nigerian Rap Amongst Nigerian Listeners

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Last year a video went viral on Nigerian twitter where a you g Nigerian was playing a Roddy Ricch song and incorrectly attributed it to Lil Durk and said the Yoruba phrase, “trap l’anje” meaning “Trap is what we will eat.” Then later said “Roddy Richy Omo werey” loosely translated as “Roddy Ricch is crazy.” This scene attributes to the love Nigerian Youth have for Lil Durk, Roddy and his trap/emo compatriots from across the Atlantic.

Lil Durk L’anje

O-Block’s finest and OTF de facto leader Durk Derrick Banks, popularly known as Lil Durk has recently debuted just one spot off the submit of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and not just that, he has also made it to the submit of the Apple Music Nigeria and Spotify Nigeria Charts.

The ‘All My Life’ trapper is known to be notoriously popular amongst urban crowds of young hustlers, party goers and fraudsters (read as hustlers) in major Nigerian cities like Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Poet Harcourt etc.

This love the streets of Naija show to “The Voice” is because he really is the voice of the young hustlers on the streets and the ghettos, he speaks about their daily realities in his music including Police harassment, poverty, profiling, a shared sense of fashion and music, internet money and a penchant for recreational drugs.

But so does Psycho YP, Erigga, Kaptain, Odumodublvck, Cruel Santino, Blaqbonez, Zlatan etc.

One can argue that Odumodublvck’s ‘Declan Rice’ recently made it to the top of the charts in Nigeria, but one must realize that it was so celebrated because the feat is an anomaly in the Nigerian mainstream music scene.

The Afrobeats and Pop acts always have an upper hand amongst Nigerian music listeners and party goers.

Nigerians’ Love For American Hip Hop

Nigerians have been recorded in the past to be the second biggest consumers of American Pop and Hip Hop music, after the country of its production.

Nigerians are some of the biggest fans of Eminem,Lil Wayne, DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, NF, Kendrick Lamar etc.

In 2018, five days after J.Cole released his fifth studio album, he visited Nigeria for the Castle Light Unlocks Concert and even the Dreamville emcee was surprised at the reception from the fans during his performance of his five days old album.

The crowd of thousands at Eko Hotel were singing along word for word to the intro of the album ‘KOD.’ That’s right, an intro, not a hit single.

At the same show MI Abaga, arguably Nigeria’s biggest hip hop expert ever, had a lukewarm performance (read as lukewarm reception from the fans during his performance.)

This has been the case for the better part of the last decade and this decade, foreign rap acts get more clout from our local listeners than our local artists, and even the treatments of these artists by even organizers differ significantly.

What happened to Nigerian rap?

When did we leave the days of MI Abaga’ spitting “back with a banger for the hood, for the streets, for the zanga,” and he wasn’t capping because he really did have the streets and the charts in a chokehold.

The days when Phyno’s ‘Alobam’ and Olamide’s ‘Durosoke’ were chart topping anthems. With the latter’s ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’ album spanking five chart topping singles on the MTV Top 10 chart in 2014/15.

The days when Vector chest beatingly christened himself ‘King Kong’ and a wave of remixes took over the whole country in 2015.

The days when Ice Prince’s ‘Oleku’ was the most played song on Nigerian and even African radios and became the most remixed song out of the country of all time.

We have the internet, but why are the corporates not supporting?

As stated at the beginning of this article The internet is an entirely different virtual universe, its reach knows no bounds, we are in an era where we have a million times more information in one day that our ancestors got all their lives.

The youngins are using the internet t their benefit but there’s so much you can do without corporate support, why are the corporates not tuning in?

Why is Ladipoe not receiving the same kind of budget and push the likes of Rema and Ayra Starr asre seeing.

Rema himself only taps into his trap/hip hop once ina blue moon and none of those songs gets the same push his Afrobeats singles get, the likes of Victony and Alpha P rap every once in a while with most of their fan base not even knowing they rap.

Khaid who alongside Psycho YP is the latest well known proponent of trap music in mainstream Nigerian music, is more known for his Afro signs than his trap and emo songs.

Why do rappers feel they have to switch genres to make it in the industry.

Rappers and trappers like Swayvee, Yarden, Sknny, Ifnyi, Preacher Kingz, Tonee C, Remy Baggins etc. who are making wavs on the internet are not getting the clout and push they deserve and this may just be the root of the problem.

Do we blame the market, the industry or the corporate executives?

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