Who could be the most suitable candidate to be featured in a “Bad Gang” song other than the bahdt guy himself? This isn’t about Falz, but lately, he’s been featured on some conscious songs and he delivers through his signatory rotten English – to borrow Ken-Saro Wiwa’s phrase – some satirical reflection of the society’s woes and it’s inhabitants’ shortcomings. When Adolphos Sanchez argued that every society deserves the kind of art it (be)gets, he wasn’t far from claiming we are the sum total of our experience and our art is the byproduct of our society – a sort of mirror of our everyday reality.
“Bad Gang” is a socially conscious song that stands to correct some cliched ideas of modernity, new fashion or swag even though it fails to rationalise some of its views. It tends to paints a grime picture of the misconceptions of the new cool and social acceptance. Ajebutter 22 croons: “All the fine girls that join gang and all the good boys that join gang/ You’re taking on drink/Smoking cigarette, wearing all black/ Bad gang/ Keeping late nights, putting on dress carrying girls/ Bad gang/ Keeping your beard, piercing your ear, don’t comb your hair/ Bad gang/ Sleeping outside, wearing tight jeans, wearing nose ring/ bad gang…was a good girl but you change..” Are you serious? When has keeping up to contemporary fashion, keeping a beard, not combing hair – dreadlocks? become a bad thing, or become a secret cult thing?
Or, who isn’t in one way or the other guilty either by involvement or association of the bad gang creed the song ‘particularly’ depicts? Or of the bad gang’s rites of passages? We are and do have relations, friends or associates that are smeared with a tinge of the guilts Ajebutter 22 and Falz portray in their various ways. Though they try to moralise the culture of wayward lifestyles that is fast becoming a model to be emulated, they forfeited freewill and didn’t put into context a wholesome idea of what being bad entails. As a result, both of them are not an exception, who do we see in their videos, gifs and their industry hangers on?
When the song is beginning to lose its subject matter, Ajebutter tries to save the day with; “Sunglass in the night time/O lord/ Tattoo on her backside/ Anytime is the right time…
Spaghetti strap bomb-short, Indian hair…you’re a drop out,” which to a large extend speaks to the upcoming youngsters and industry enthusiasts who think these are what makes them superstars. It’s a conscious effort if only it puts reason in the way of its fantasies. The song could be misleading with its random ideas and footloose wandering.
Falz didn’t spare the so called happening ladies who “are now dating men that is way older/ And for this you’re thinking you can raise shoulder/ That your high-heel didn’t make you a queen-diva/ In the runs girl club, you’re the ring leader.” Falz is a minimalist lyricist and doesn’t have time for poetry – or is short of it, when he stands to address his subject matter. It’s commendable that he sticks to the script better than Ajebutter 22. He raps;
“You’re not only watching, you’re doing Blue Film/ Why your skin multi-colour if you didn’t use cream?…I want to help you but its more difficult/ Child of the world, your spoilt to the core/ You’ve joined bad gang, you’ve joined secret cult.” Anyway, there is no secret (cult) to the people depicted as they practice and live in the open and that line gives the song an unserious undertone – despite having a serious theme.
Is the song moving? Yes. Will I play it again? Of course. The groove in the song is appealing and its brevity calls for a replay.