There are many things you can say about singer Brymo, but one thing we can all agree on is that he has mastered how to market to the outrage machine that is conservative Nigeria. Ever since he came free of the more traditional music industry, Brymo has skirted the fringes of respectability, challenging Nigerians to label him a rebel, or worse, a pervert. His music since then has often delved into sexual imagery and metaphor, and he took it a step further, crafting the promotion and branding around his penultimate album Klitoris around a vaginal pun and the expectation that the conservative Nigerian audience would interpret it literally. And they did, causing enough internet noise on which he could pivot the album and give it the much needed springboard for the album’s stellar music.
Brymo’s putting out a new album this week, and he understands that thanks to #MeToo, an album title about vaginas wouldn’t be allowed to simply slide without further investigation, so instead of turning our focus to female anatomy, for the first single off Oso, his new album, he turns our focus to his anatomy, all gloriously oiled up and displayed with not an iota of self consciousness. It is interesting that before Nigerians even registered the nudity of the lead single’s music video, they noticed that Brymo was wearing a ‘crude’ thong. There were far too many wails of Brymo ‘crossing’ the line, some even going as far as lamenting that they would never be able to see the video with their siblings, even though we never hear them repeat this point of view when it is a song glorifying codeine (we’ll get to that in a bit).
Here are the facts, there is not a single frame in the entire song where there was even a hint of sexualization, unlike the infamous D’Angelo video for “How does it feel” most people have already drawn parallels with. Brymo was simply a naked man at a piano, banging out a ballad. Whatever other metaphors Brymo was trying to express are superseded by this one: Nigerians do not what to do with a man who isn’t ashamed of putting out a video where he has no clothes on.