You may have noticed from my previous posts that I am a music aficionado. I don’t know whether that’s the right word to use (aficionado) or if I am just using that word because I have always wanted to use it in a conversation so I could sound really self-important and knowledgeable; or just maybe it is because it rhymes with ‘olodo’ (which I am not). Or avacado (which I like).
I try not to be far away from music. Back in the day, my huge cassette and CD library were the first things I packed into my luggage on a trip anywhere, before clean pants or my passport. I have gone through many MP3 player earphones, like Goldie and bronzers or the Federal Government and power sector plans. I listen to quite a diverse range of artistes, and shuffling through my MP3 player, you are likely to see Wu Tang Clan right next to The Kooks. Though they are both the names of dogs, you would probably see a DMX gangsta banger next to a Beethoven’s classic composition. Or some Duncan Mighty after you skip something from Maroon 5.
There is a Greek proverb that says “Whom ever does not like women, wine and song is a fool.” Well let’s just say that I must be quite wise. I like Chi Chi, palmi sangria and jamming.
I am more into lyrics and personality than beats. That’s the hip-hopper in me. Yes music is great for dancing and bumping in your car stereo, but if you do not get a thought-provoking response from it, or if it lacks enough depth to be played on your I-pod as you lay at night, then there is a huge problem. By now you would have guessed that I don’t really listen to Justin Beiber or half of all Nigerian artistes. For the latter, I do like some of Duncan Mighty’s material, and M.I’s most definitely incredible especially his most recent album. And that’s not forgetting the older acts.
I hate to sound like a papa, and wax lyrical about the lack of substance of modern music compared to the old school jams we were brought up on. Everybody likes to talk about the good ol’ days. Yawn. It is true – a lot of the new music from nowadays fail to inspire. Strip some of them off their fancy beats or flashy videos, and you are left with sounds similar to a Coke counter scrapping the ground. And don’t get me started on Auto-tune. I prefer to auto-wind or auto-eject.
What happened to music you could fight or fuck to (pardon my French)? Fela taught us how to war and question; many babies were conceived when their folks were bumping Marvin Gaye at night. Majek Fashek turned us into rain-makers; and Sunny Ade made the most socially awkward of us the life of the party with his infectious jams that made you dance. Even Shina Peter’s famous “Afro Juju” songs transcended ethic lines, such that the most Igbo merchants felt the songs too. I could not understand a word of Eva Edna Ogoli’s Isoko accent but I knew she was making sense with whatever she was saying. Who knows whether she was swearing for us, the listeners sef? Who cared? How many people could even decipher Shaba Rank’s chants?
Now every artist nowadays wears huge Rayban or aviator sunglasses in his videos and pops champagne. Nigerian acts like The Mandators (remember them?) and Danny “Mr. Raggamuffin” Wilson used to look you dead in the eye as they performed their songs. I can swear that I recently saw an old video for Lekki Sunsplash where the artist looked like he had apollo, but he connected with his audience, and the crowd was kept jumping. After hearing Felix Liberty’s “Ifeoma” as a youngster in primary school, I swear I wanted to find my own “Ifeoma” and dash her my “Mathset” ( a really big deal then for some reason) out of love. Consolation prize, but I did later develop a thing for a girl called Ihuoma in Primary 6. I used to share my Nasco Wafers with her but only after licking clean the cream filling).
And in Uni, Celine Dion albums were the hardest to find on Saturday afternoons, because that was when most fellas were expecting female company so they knocked from one apartment door to the other trying to borrow Celine Dion’s greatest hits from their pals. Apparently Ms Dion’s music worked wonders with chicks. Well personally I can’t stand her voice, so it would put ME off, not to talk of my date. Besides, nothing could beat R Kelly’s “Bump and Grind” if you had a female guest over. Wimps preferred Joe though. How could they ever expect Joe’s music to set the mood when he sings songs like “I Wanna Know” and “Why Are All The Good Girls Taken All The Time”?
Most girls I have been involved with have shared a similar love and taste with mine for music. I have been on dates where I and the lass just parked the ride in a dark car lot (yes in Nigeria!), pulled open the car sun roof, slipped in an Incubus CD, and gazed at the stars while chatting about everything. We also had the windows up tight and the doors locked for fear of muggers, but music and love are the best things ever, eh? The foggy window sessions were the best…ha ha.
Different views about music are sometimes a signal of incompatibility. If that girl you fancy thinks that Soulja Boy is the greatest thing since sliced bread, you really should think twice about your future with her. You had better Superman out of there after you kiss her through the phone. I once got into a heated argument with a date who swore that M.J wasn’t the king. She actually rooted for another Michael – Bolton. Biko biko. She also thought Mariah was superior to Whitney (before the drugs kicked in). She also opined that Ruggedman had a better catalogue of work than M.I. Hmmmm. I respected her strong views and independent tastes, but there are some lines you don’t cross. We never had a second date after that. Michael Jackson is the king. By the way, we never had a 2nd date because she moved to Jand for school, and is now married to a rich politician’s son, who can actually afford to buy her a whole car, rather than sit in one for a date. Bye bye.
My old man put me on to music as a kid. He had stacks of records – Sir Warrior, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Oliver De Coque, Handel, Mozart, Shalamar, Jackson 5 – you name it. I would watch him play record after record during family gatherings even when I was just at an age where I preferred to use them as Frisbees. I nearly took off my cousin’s head during a rough tossing game with a Barbara Streisand Record.
Part of my pre -blog awards manifesto was that this blog would become more personal, and I will open myself up to you guys a bit more (if you want me). Prepare to be slightly disappointed as my private life is not nearly about fast cars, fast women and ever faster cash. I won’t also reveal my identity – think of me as Lagbaja or Mil Mascaras (the masked wrestler from WWF). Or public accountability and Nigeria’s oil fund. The more you look, the less you see.
That said, let me kick-off by putting my MP3 player on shuffle and choosing the first 15 random songs. It is said that you can tell a lot about someone by the music they listen to. If you have Zaki Azay in your collection, that means you have a thing for torch-lights and NEPA has dealt with you in your area. If you have Edreez Abdulkareem, that probably explains why you are so afraid of your bad English, you do not comment on any articles here. If you have Onyeka Onwenu, you are probably deep, soulful and attractive.If you bump Asa, you probably are intelligible, but you only shower once a week. And if I find J.Lo, it probably means that you are single and uncompromising. I promise to be honest and write each song as it comes up in the shuffle, no matter how embarrassing it may be.
I would like to get to know a bit more about each of you as well – in addition to your comments, please put your I-pod, MP3 players, Blackberry, I-Phone, mobile phone or laptop music player on shuffle, and list the first 15 songs you see. If you don’t own a music player, please list the first 15 songs you hear on the radio.
- Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – I Miss You
- The Lox – The Heist
- Train – Whipping Boy
- Jadakiss – Take Me To New York
- Mobb Deep & Capone N Noreaga – Illegal Life
- Aaliyah – The One I Gave My Heart To
- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – I Wanna Rock
- K Dogg – Omo Abokun
- Eminem & Royce Da 5’9 – I’m On Everything
- Kanye West – Dark Fantasy
- Creed – Don’t Stop Dancing
- Raekwon – Wisdom Body
- Sauce Kid – 2 step
- Notorious B.I.G – Another
- Nice N Smooth – Sometimes I Rhyme Slow
Your turn now…