Review: Un-Breaking D’Banj’s Breaking News

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d'banj breaking news

D’Banj is an intelligent artist despite the negative criticism he received for leaving Don Jazzy and the famous Mo Hits Crew. But if you’re not here for the money then quit the game is a popular phrase artists across every genre have used to justify his/her business driven ambition. D’Banj knew or his close associates have warned him of his artistic negligence or shift from the African appeal his music always possessed and had tried to redeem himself or win back that swag by coming back to his roots. His ‘Emergency’ single was a direct response to this reassertion of his artistic relevance. After sampling, manipulating and taking even the mannerism of the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the massive response it garnered, D’Banj returned to the lab and came out with Breaking News.

Breaking News has all the tenets of a typical Fela rendition: political consciousness, local flavour, call and response pattern, customary baselines and back-kicks that are signatory to what is called Afrobeat. ‘What’s on the news?/ Do like sey you know/ It’s how it goes down/ Do like sey you know/ They don’t care, they don’t know/ Do like sey you know,’ are all reminiscent of Fela’s ‘People wey no know dey happy/ People wey know dey look.’ It embodies the lackadaisical spirit or approach Nigerians have towards political issues. Their negligence seem to spur the people within the corridors of power to do as they please irrespective of what is right. Or the people’s wish and as Edmund Burke said; bad things happen because good men do nothing. .

The political manipulation and so called economical calculations leaders have been doing in D’Banj’s satirical note is rubbish because it ends as breaking news and nobody remembers it again. Just a flash. The rhetoric questions peppered through the song gives food for thought to any conscious listener. It questions the establishment’s inquisition to everything like buying a car or anything material by good citizens while neglecting their core functions. We already know it’s Fela-ish and thus the speeches over beats and repetitions.

The groovy feel of the song makes it appealing and the easy lyrics would make it a performative song. It seems like a song that would really have audience response on stage especially the musicality created by ‘Jorojarojo!’ To a large extent, D’Banj seems to be returning from his exile – attempt to make ‘World Music’ or Popular Music which is now disguised as ‘Good Music.’ His efforts towards African themes and rhythms are beginning to pay off, in the same manner the ‘Emergency,’ single and video have been making the rounds in airplays and views. Despite not giving any solution to the assumed Breaking news which is no news at all if you’re an African, been following African politics or being conversant with the political lifestyles of its nation states especially Nigeria. The song’s satirical flavour gives it both appeal and social consciousness. It’s a good song, we will dance to it, but not for long.

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