Nigerian Music Today: Razz or Class


“Oh Ye Rappers, I’ve moved on to bigger things..see you in jiffy”. This is the intro of one of the most played songs right now all over the country Nigeria. Anyone who is indeed a “Stubborn Rocker” like myself will know the song i am talking about ; and guess what?…I love that song. It is a confirmation that many artists have taken off their cloaks and abandoned the monastery of classic music. They are fast changing the terms that binds them to their creed of releasing only quality songs with contents that carries deep and meaningful purpose(s). The hip-hop R n B culture adopted form the west is fast loosing it’s grip. Why is this happening?..Well apparently too much is required to be successful in this category yet only few has relatively fed from it with respects to this part of the world. Our society is plagued with irregularities such as a disorganized system of both artist management, promotion and distribution of their work, uncontrolled piracy and a vicious cycle of corruption to mention a few.

Many Artists who have carved a niche for themselves in the category of world class musicians have had cause to bend their rules in order to keep the cheques coming. In some cases they try to explain to beloved fans the reasons why they had to compromise as we have seen and heard with “Reminisce”. So if being Razz is equal to Ras Kimono then it’s not a bad thing at all.

Nevertheless, artists still manage to compensate lyrical depth and tedious singing techniques with very groovy beats and catchy hooks, they funnel all the grammar and melodies that would have been into simple verses composed with our local languages, forged through slangs and sometimes repetitive chants, such that is easily understood by the common man on the street so he can relate to it and hopefully pay for it in any way possible.

No doubt ,one way out for artists is to give people what they want, the larger populace of the country is comprised of the “RAZZ” that is the not so western oriented people and in business, you offer the product that will take over the larger population in order to make more money easily and quickly. For my colleague Reminisce whom I recognized as a good rapper who has the clout to stand any rapper in the country and in the world, all he had to do ask everyone to KAKO BI CHICKEN… Meaning “Fold like a chicken”