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Comatose State Of Rap Music In Nigeria

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Who is to blame for the near-death situation of rap music in Nigeria?

Hip-hop was once a big deal in Nigeria from hardcore emcees, to comic rappers and the infusion of local parlance into rap. Hip-hop thrived not only a genre but also as a culture. If we start mentioning some of the great rap songs out of Nigeria, we’ll go on for days. Artistes claim to evolve by morphing the Hip;Hop genre into something else forgetting hip-hop is more than just a genre, it’s a culture, one which is slowly fading into obscurity and disappearing from our minds.

Rappers, Audience and the Industry all share the blame. Audience won’t listen, Rappers won’t keep at it, then Audience blames Rappers for not keeping at it and fight for recognition but still won’t listen to the ones keeping at it. Personally, I believe people don’t really love music anymore. Both artistes and fans share this fault. Fans don’t love music, no one has the patience to listen anymore. They don’t care enough to appreciate music just for the sense of it, the kind of appreciation and love that makes the genres unimportant.

Artistes take blame because there’s no love for music like before. The kind of love enough to spur on you to keep at your passion regardless. Rappers don’t show resilience to push for recognition but instead are quick to switch genres to dance to the tunes of their audience. Ironic, considering they are ones making the music. The audience on the other hand, scream about relatability as one of their reasons for not listening to rap, they claim they want to hear where a person is from in their rap. They want to hear “streets” , telling where you’re from in rap. We get it, early rap in the US was about that but it doesn’t mean Mac Miller didn’t count as an hip-hop artist, does it?

It is common knowledge the afrobeats industry does not respect hip-hop because many people don’t care. There’s also the curious case of industry-supporting corporations not reckoning with hip-hop. Industry doesn’t promote rap music. You hardly see rappers on show line-ups, even shows for upcoming artistes. How many shows over the last 5 years have had a rapper or several rappers headlining? Even the recently concluded Rick Ross’s live in lagos concert barely had any established rapper on the line-up except CDQ. Even accomplished rappers are not really helping the situation. Most upcoming rappers are not even begging to be signed , all they ask is more exposure. If MI just tweets about underground rappers he listens to once every week, it will go a very long way in increasing the exposure of nigerians to rap but he’d rather whine about the industry not supporting rappers while he’s doing nothing to support the culture himself.

I don’t believe the Nigerian hip-hop industry is dead but in coma and in need of urgent resuscitation considering the untapped potentials of many upcoming Nigerian rappers. To be frank, there’s a boatload of rappers in Nigeria but people only want to listen to mainstream. They have no patience at all plus people’s minds have been infected with the narrative that there are no good rappers in Nigeria. So, they don’t even give anyone a chance.
Must really suck being a talented rapper in Nigeria cause all you could with that talent but your audience just wants pocotua meh meh meh.

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