In this report, SAMUEL ABULUDE looks at the impact of pop culture on youth and promotions of drug abuse of by musicians in their videos.
Nigeria musicians are one of the smartest and most creative in Africa. The 21st century musician wants to make impact by churning hits upon hits and also smile to the bank which is more important. So releasing a song that will accepted by all is the most important factor on the mind of a hip hop artiste. Music is an arts but also a science they say. No wonder, the King of street music, Olamide has held many spell bound by his retinue of hit songs. The latest, ‘Science Student’ is about the most trending song now. Based on the pulse of YBNL fans, Science Student is one of the best songs to have come out of the creative mind of the Baddo president. “Olamide’s new release, Science Student teaches us that you don’t’ have to be a science student to be a scientist. The song, which is his first this year 2018, is bound to make you unleash the Shaku – Shaku dance move you never thought you had,” a statement read about the new song
Produced by Young John and BBanks, Science Student is a typical street song of Olamide’s signature sound. But the song has more. Olamide has been called out for his latest song “Science Student”. Controversy surrounding the hit track is that the lyrics is promoting hard drugs and encouraging the youth to get high on various forms of drugs.
Ace movie maker and broadcaster, Don Pedro Obaseki has urged NBC and Censors board to ban Science Student. Why? Because the song talks of youths using indulging in illicit drugs using Codeine (syrup), Tramadol and others. Obaseki in a video chat which has gone viral stated that Olamide should not be allowed to corrupt the youth with his sings openly as his songs is very suggestive and talks about monkey tail, skushi and all those names used to referred to illicit drugs that are marketed readily at the Lagos motor parks and also in major cities across the country. It is a known fact that the level of drug abuse among youth is very high and worrisome.
Also, nollywood actress and Tinsel star, Kemi Lala Akindoju has lamented the increasing use of hard drugs by Nigerians. Perhaps taking a cue from what she has observed aside listening to Science Student, Kemi said it was worrisome that those in the entertainment industry were involved in the menace.
The actress further condemned artistes who promote hard drugs in their songs. According to her, such form of encouragement must be addressed. On her snapchat page, she wrote “This encouragement to use hard drugs and get high under the influence in the name of songs and dance is disturbing. What’s more uncomfortable is how we all are (sic) with this, I am however disturbed.”
Olamide Defends Song
But the “WO” crooner in a video has now come out to clear the air on his song. Olamide further explained that he wants to impact his people positively since he is a part of this generation. And that he wanted to create something groovy at the same time with a message that isn’t harsh, so hence the comic relief in the very epic hit. The father of one who is known for his street vibes has asked people to take out time to properly listen to the lyrics or better still ask someone who understands Yoruba language deeply to explain the meaning of the song which is not in any way promoting immorality or drug abuse in the society.
X-raying the ‘Science Student’ song
The song has the chorus “Ko s’ewe Ko s’egbo…. Won ti p’omi gutter po awon Omo Science Student meaning literally, ‘there is no herbs and there is medicine … They have mixed chemicals together looking like dark and smelling gutter water. They did that like Science Students.
Listening to the song over and over, one could observe Olamide’s creativity and depth and also affinity to showcase the going-ons and nuances in the dark world of street life where survival of the fittest- the scramble for daily living and eking out a living is a burden for touts, agberos and street urchins. Olamide has used the names of illicit drugs which is readily being used even at the watch of our law enforcement agencies. Drugs intake and abuse of it like Tramadol, codeine, and also local brew like monkey tail, skushi, shepe, alumo and all that were mentioned or some of it in the song, Science Student. Olamide played a dramatic verse on persons getting drunk and smoking heavily with smokes ebbing out like the iconic Yoruba god of thunder, Sango who is famed for smokes and fire coming out of his mouth.
Olamide used all this similitude subtly to bring out the artistic nature of his street song, Science Student. The song may not be banned because he has only used expressions of youths indulging in drugs in his song. Language is another thing at play. Don Pedro Obaseki is right to say parents should warn their children not to listen. Going further to ask the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission NBC and the Nigeria Video and Film Censors Board NFVCB to ban the song is the outburst of a father telling young people not to be carried away by the lyrics of the song. Music indeed is spiritual and can be acted upon. Olamide released the song in January 11, 2018 and the sing on different download and streaming devices has more than 204,848 views – barely two weeks after release. This is the impact of Pop culture on youths, adults alike. The song has about 10 videos of different dance steps and styles of people experimenting on the song. And this translates to Olamide Adedeji smiling to the bank because each of the 10 videos on you-tube have a minimum of 40, 000 views. Infact, Hot Naija you-tube channel has 154, 077 views as at Monday when yours sincerely checked.
Commercial Song Vs Good Song
The debate has been on. Commercial songs which is not concerned whether the lyrics is good or not has been the weapon that artistes have brandished. Good songs is what an average artists does and this is made up of good melody+ good lyrics + good rhythm. Terry G has said once in an interview with LEADERSHIP newspaper that Today’s music is evil and he would not allow his son to listen to it. But it is this ‘evil’ music devoid of good lyrics that the artistes release because they say, that us what fans want. A juju musician of a sort, St Janet has performed lewd songs and the videos have been released and been a sold out in the market. This is the make of our society. Morality is being downplayed and we are hypocritical about issues.
The pressure to succeed by secular artistes is high and so our artistes will try out formulas that have worked for them over and over. Hit songs is difficult to come by. So Olamide and others worth their onions have perfected the arts dropping songs that the people will love.
In Search of Moral/Youth Ambassadors
The modern day musician needs to come to the aid of the young generation and help influence positively on and off stage performance. We need musicians with good lyrics and those that do.
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