Came across this article, and i find it interesting to start with. Please read and Share Your Thoughts.
Article By Goke Gbadamosi
The progenitor of Yoruba Rap sub-genre of Naija Hip-hop is none other than Lord of Ajasa but after he disappeared into thin air, Dagrin stepped into the scene with his energetic rap and literally took over the street. Until his untimely death, music aficionados generally considered him to be the next big thing. Today, that next big thing is Olamide, another Yoruba Rap crooner. ‘Eni Duro’, his popular hit single, however came out before Dagrin’s death and my reaction was wowish. I immediately realized some stuffs were missing in Grin Baba’s lyrics; he hardly ever had any cause to go surgical on his lyrics. Since Olamide’s lengthy freestyle, that is ‘Eni Duro’, he has consistently stepped up his flow, dropped two LPs and refused to get out of your face. Despite his determination which is apparently paying off now, I believe like Dagrin, Olamide falls short in the area of lyricism, though concealed by his perfect vocal ability and swag. At the risk of annoying some of ya’all, let me shed light on that real quick.
Wordplay and quotables
The impression both Olamide and Dagrin’s lyrics give is that they are well-thought and thoroughly worked on. You and I know the magic that did on their respective fan base. Dagrin played with Yoruba and pidgin words and phrases easily no doubt and people loved it. For the exact reason Olamide is admired even more today. I realise that many of us get carried away by how they deliver their rhymes not minding even if it’s to the detriment of the structure, richness and stimulating effect of what they dish or dished out as the case may be. Go through Dagrin’s discography, put sentiments aside and listen up for quotables—popularly known as punchlines. What you’d definitely pick out in his songs are lines I refer to as “pseudo-quotables”, stuff that’ll make you say nice but never “oh shit”, stuff that’ll make you nod but never pause, rewind and listen even more closely. You wouldn’t consider something like “Omo naija mi o maga, mi o mugu/Awon Ibo, won n fi mi sere bi Ugwu” a quotable, would you? What of “Ashewo dey everywhere/even gay dey fear/say ashewo go collect all the boys for this year”? That is just as basic as it gets. Olamide is no different. I’m surprised that despite the level he has attained he could come up with a rhyme like:
We are not around here but we are here to stay, immigration
Shout out to the whole of my soldiers, we’re taking over, invasion
Or something like: “You said razz like omo mushin Olosha/but now you say I don fat like Wande Coal osha.” Punchy similes? Hell no. Study some of his lyrics here and try to disprove me.
One privilege enjoyed by new school musicians who employ Yoruba lyrics is that most words in the Yoruba Language end in vowels. So you rhyme easily. Dagrin’s main rhyme technique is basically a combo of the said privilege and use of the perfect rhyme pattern. See an example of one of the numerous perfect rhymes used in ‘Make Doe’: “Your flow is so fake like clown/Let me teach you how to get down/We run this town”. And an illustration of the Yoruba vowels privilege as seen in:
Te’n ba wo s’ole bus-stop e lo ma ti b’ole
Mi o le fight fun e, mi n kin se Oshiomole/ O le beree mole, or ko ko mole/Lole, mo sha mope o o le wole.
Seriously, can’t anyone who one, knows nursery rhymes and two, understands Yoruba pen all that? I mean, the height of lyricism in any flow is revealed if it’s replete with alliteration, parallelism, adroit internal rhymes and more of crafty “similar rhymes” (boo/book) than “perfect rhymes” (book/cook). This ensures that the messages in their rap are easily retained even when they try to be at their crafty best. Study Olamide’s lyrics too and you could be disappointed too by sighting too many perfect rhymes. Don’t be surprised though, if you stumble on nice similar rhymes like:
Awon omo mi awon omo mi ni London
Awon omo mi l’america awon sturborn
Awon ti won ma twek l’ori you Tube
I know you love me, I love you too
I particularly like: “I can’t shout, oro po ninu iwe kobo/Body no be firewood, mi o de n se robot”.
Content, in hip-hop, refers to lyrical elements and how the message(s) they help to convey. I remember how a popular artiste in one the tributes composed to honour Dagrin made commendatory references to the late rapper’s lyricism. And how after giving it a thought, I was like “err…not quite”. You see, the essence of lyricism is the overall message in a rapper’s flow and more of staying focused on it than showing off the various lyrical elements he or she employs in driving it home. But for a few exceptions, Dagrin often gets too excited with his flows that he veers of the topic he’s treating as revealed in some of the tracks on his CEO LP. The love I have for ‘What They Want’ for instance is ruined by his proclivity to digress. Olamide doesn’t digress as much as Dagrin but often burst rhymes that seem to be relevant to his message but when carefully reflected upon are disappointing. If you’ve listened to his two albums, Olamide appears to be conscious of the end game of every of his flows but usually punctuate them with stuff that just don’t add up. Stuff like:
Mo ranti gbat’ orunmi gun bi t’Agani Darego
So many JAMB questions, se ni WAEC or na NECO
Buh me never hold back, eruku makanaki
Moni metal, moni torch, but mi o kin se Zaki
On the surface, there seems to be nothing wrong with the line above but the success of the likes of Yeezus, Eminem and J-HOVA as formidable lyricists is hinged on their ability to mask deep messages beneath fly, nice-sounding yet seemingly mundane lyrics. Both Dagrin and Olamide are lacking in that department.
“It’s a rap”, an expansion of the exclamation “word!”, is an informal approval by hip-hop heads that a MC’s flow is flawless. No doubt, you can’t help but get that feeling every time Olamide drops the mic. He articulates his flow flawlessly like Dagrin. Also, credit has to be given to him for using appropriate styles to deliver the messages he passes across. In the same vein, Dagrin’s strength rests on his versatility and delivery. Perhaps, the best rap I’ve heard from Naija yet is ‘Pon Pon Pon’ because the energy on it is unprecedented and almost supernatural. Olamide’s energy is equally amazing. Unfortunately, imagine the timelessness their collection of works would exude if they had serious depth in their lyrics. Dagrin’s ‘Ghetto Dream’ and Olamide’s ‘Eni Duro’ are wonderful exceptions though. If both artistes were examined based on the two songs (and a handful of others), almost every point against their lyricism that I’ve labored you with so far would be wrong. Alas, you’re a lyricist if only one or two the songs you blessed with ephemeral contents are exceptions to what you normally offer. I’m sorry people; our prolific yoruba rap “legends”, the dead and the living, are the opposite of that.
Culled From : Decoded.com.ng