It will be nothing short of absurdity and perhaps an error on the path of an individual living in Nigeria at the moment if he or she fails to acknowledge the fact that the Nigerian music scene is currently filled up with more noise makers and few musicians, with respect to lyrical content and artistic relevance. Consequently the I must make am via music syndrome has seen a myraid of individuals mostly youths, venture into what I would term as not being their calling - MUSIC, for the fame, glitz, glamour, recognition and of course financial gains attached to anyone tagged a musician by the immediate society. This has been the order of the day and has contributed immensely in heaps of nothingness as tracks ozzing with lyrical emptiness are dished out daily in thousands to be assimilated by the average and or perhaps neutral minded listeners who see these tracks as the main thing or better still, the banger as it is usually called. Well, as long as we dance away our sorrows to the beats that's okay right?
Being a colloquial term in the music industry especially in the rap genre, beef has partly been the bane of prosperity for rappers, as people pay little or no attention to the rap genre. Therefore this adequeately lyrically treated verbal attack between rappers, termed beef, usually stemming from personal issues or clout chasing, give rappers the priviledge of occasional headlining in blogs, entertainment news, as well as hot discussion topics on social media and amongst their fans. Rappers such as Shawn Carter(Jay z), Kanye West, Eminem, Curtis Jackson (50 cent) have all proven to be unbeefable with, evidently reflected from the length and quality of various beefs amongst themselves and or other rappers whose artistic relevance can never be underestimated in the world music scene.
Perhaps, the consistent soaring and massive airplay of lyrical empty tracks drove Jude Abaga (M.I) - Nigeria's foremost rapper and entrepreneur into dropping a track in 2018 titled Fix Up Your Lives where he charged rappers to wake up to the clarion call as rap was soon becoming a dead genre in the Nigeria music scene. This track saw replies from few rappers whose varying lyrical response seemed to assure M.I and everyone who cared to know that Rappers where still alive in Nigeria.
February 2019 saw the release of MARTEL CYPHER I in a collaborative effort between 100 crowns entertainment, Beats by Jay and four rappers; Blackbonez, Loose Kaynon, A-Q and the top dawg M.I. Clearly, they dropped lyrically rich verses, bearing smartly delivered punchlines and bars (all colloquial terms that elicit rap tracks whose lyrical richness is dense and to a certain level poetic). Moving on to 10 September 2019, the MARTEL CYPHER II titled THE PURIFICATION led by M.I Abaga was released with the same collaborative efforts as the first Cypher, but this time titled THE PURIFICATION perhaps in an attempt to purge and purify the Nigerian Music scene "rap genre to be precised" of amatures , fakes and wanna be rappers who keep downgrading the rap genre. This clearly sparked distinct reactions from varying classes of individuals who were quick to point out that it was not just a purification attempt but as well a shade to another Nigerian core lyrisist, rapper and top dawg VECTOR the viper perhaps stemming from personal issues. The wake of M.I's verse in THE PURIFICATION clearly paints a picture of how he feels on behalf of the underappreciative vibe and of course underestimation of rap music and rappers as he said ...we don't get any appreciation ? Well lets call it charity and poverty alleviation... Figuratively this entails that as a rapper you may just accept that you are doing the industry and perhaps your country a favour. Loose Kaynon, Blaqbonez and A-Q delivered lines as well, richly spiced with punchlines ~ figurative expressions that will have you thinking deep and scratching your head and finally letting out a smile once some encoded line is decoded. Clearly one can assert that M.I set a standard with this Cypher which should be met by anyone claiming to be a rapper in Nigeria and beyond of course exempting the likes of Vector, Jesse jagz, Young six and the remaining few in the top notch dimension.
M.I perhaps in an attempt to throw in the theme of purification listed the 100 crowns as remaining 96 more crowns left to be worn which of course exempted Himself, Blaqbonez,A-Q and Loose Kaynon ...We hundred crowns, we need like ninety six more crowns into place... and further ended up giving props to legends in the Nigerian rap music scene and finally mentioning himself as the number one rapper in African which I'd say is relatively true but not proven yet even though I don't dispute its eventual factuality. And it could be recalled at a point years ago that the TooXclusive music website posted a news where M.I asserted himself as being better than 95% of American rappers. That, in my view is nothing but the truth because except the 5% who we all should know it is obvious that the likes of Lil baby, quavo, offset, takeoff (Migos) aren't up to his level with respect to a comparative analysis of their lyrical contents, as even Snoop Dogg has at a point on Instagram lashed out on Migos for their pattern of rapping (lyrical content) which he termed absurd and volatile.
Definitely, I would advice upcoming rap artists to take a cue from legendary rappers and pay close attention to their lyrical content as it is the attraction of rap music, since rap music comparatively isn't danceable but rather didactic. I guess its high time money, sexualization of women, promotion of hard drugs, and flexing of Ego are done away with as cliché or recurring themes in rap music and music in general. Obviously, the purification has set the pace for a new generation of woke and focused rappers who are venturing into the rap game with the major aim of dishing out educative and entertaining lines simultaneously and perhaps poetic ones. Let's purify our music industry.
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