by Ore Fakorede
Someone (okay, George Bernard Shaw) once said, “Hell is full of musical amateurs.”
I’ll leave you to find out who that barbarous quote is directed at in this week’s definitive list of the most tragic, tragic new things in Nigerian music.
1. Frankie Free’s New Music Video: How Low Can You Go?
Frankie Free is one of South-South Nigeria’s burgeoning producers, but he’s pretty much unknown elsewhere. That relative obliqueness of his musical existence may well be his saving grace. Frankie recently debuted the music video of his latest track, ‘Bend Low’, but he really shouldn’t have gone to all the trouble. Like something from a low budget (aren’t they all?) Nollywood movie, the clip’s disconnected intro features terrible acting and tacky visual effects (teleportation and telekinesis?!!), setting the tone for the remainder of its disastrous four and a half minutes. Next time, Frankie boy, save some money to hire a proper cinematographer. Watch the video here.
2. Lil Miss Miss’ Cover Art: In Bad Taste
To her credit, Lil Mis Miss is not a bad rapper, a truth established by ‘Las Gidi Chick’ – her now viral freestyle delivered over the massively chopped, screwed and overdubbed instrumentals of Tyga’s smash hit, ‘Rack City’. The former video vixen wisely cashed in on the positive response to that freestyle and released her official debut single, ‘No Whine Me’, (a dyed-in-the-wool hip hop track featuring producer/singer Del B) last week.
Her folly: Like Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and Nicki Minaj before her, Lil’ Miss Miss elected to be suggestive with the art accompanying her new song. Literally cutting it close in a risqué, bumtastic outfit, the hustle bunny would be right at home on a garish handbill promoting something less than savoury. Miss-guided.
3. The EME Collaborative Album: Download Failed
Dear Wizkid and Banky W fans, don’t get your boxer shorts in a bunch just yet. I have no bones to pick with the quality of EME’s ‘Empire Mates State of Mind’ album. I’ll even go as far as stating that while there may not be many of its kind to pick from (and don’t you dare say “solar plexus”), the 19-track set is arguably the best collaborative album in the history of contemporary Nigerian music.
That said and undoubtedly noted by would-be detractors, can someone please explain why Spinlet deceived the pubic with its bogus ‘free album download for 75,000 users’ offer?! EME, probably trying to be cool, struck a deal that made the album available only as an exclusive download on the Spinlet app, purportedly free for the first 75,000 users who took the bait. But it just didn’t work. Every one of those so-called free downloads either failed or resulted in a miraculous disappearance of call credit from phones.
Wait, the company circulated a press release to formally apologise for scamming a lot of people into unwittingly paying for the supposedly free download? And the spin masters then so graciously gave out 30 Spinlet credits to all users so they could purchase the album without actually paying? Does ‘apology’ now mean the same thing as ‘explanation’?! *thumbs furiously through dictionary* The nerve! If this isn’t sufficient proof that Spinlet is not all that it’s being vaunted up to be, I don’t know what is. Before more Nigerian record labels and artistes alike are tempted into prematurely offering their albums/songs as exclusive downloads on a faulty platform, the Spinlet apps should be withdrawn from every app store/market/world, already installed versions deactivated remotely, and subjected to multiple rounds of beta testing somewhere far, faraway from these shores. Nigerians are not guinea pigs!
4. The Timaya/Terry G Collaboration: Two Times The Mediocrity
The song had prospects of some sort. Considering the experience and prolific nature of the collaborators – Timaya’s fourth studio album arrives today and Terry G releases singles like it is going out of style – one would expect that a coming together of the two would set off musical fireworks. Those hopes were dashed into smithereens by ‘Malonogede’.
The Afrobeats track taken off Timaya’s new album is a mindless smorgasbord of ‘borrowed’ lyrics (even the words of a popular Christian worship song were lifted) and questionable rhymes. Lacking head, tail and lyrical direction, it relies on its catchy beat to win listeners over. But the only listeners who will be wooed by this audio mishmash are those who are either too inebriated to care or have guns held to their heads. If you’re the type to sacrifice reason for rhythm with the sole intention of soaring to a mind-numbing musical high, ‘Malonogede’ will definitely be your cup of tea, slightly heavy on the caffeine.
REPRIEVE: With famed director Patrick Ellis behind the camera, the music video of dancehall artiste Shank’s most recent hit, ‘Ghetto’, plays out like a highly polished Nollywood movie. The black and white short actually has a plot, taking its star – actor/singer Gabriel Afolayan – on a retrospective journey to his past in a low income neighbourhood somewhere in Lagos. Guns, marijuana, hoodlums, musical instruments and animals collide in this almost five-minute ode to the mean streets of Las Gidi. Oh, and that ubiquitous Davido cameos. Take it all in.