NIGERIAN PARENTS AND HIP-HOP MUSIC by Labzy Lawal

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Music!, Music!, Music!, is it the way the carefully configurated vibration of sound that emits from the instrumental gives Rhythm to our hearts and has us moving, tapping, bumping and grooving or simply nodding?, or the way the words put on this static flow of sound energy steer our emotions in various ways and captures or moments like the pixels of a camera?.Well, the answers to those questions are as infinite and endless as creation itself as we all have different opinions about and perspectives from which this very powerful form of life force affects our lives.

In the words of Late great Nigerian Afrobeat Legend “Fela-Anikulapo Kuti”, “Music is my life, My language and My most powerful weapon!”, My take on this? Honest, candid and absolutely articulate!. As we all know music comes in different styles and can be differentiated into various Genres i.e Jazz, Soul, Rock, Pop, Rock n Roll, RnB and Hip Hop on the global sector and Juju, Akpala, Fuji, Afrobeat, Highlife and more on the Nigerian sector. In this very endearing piece of publication, our major focus would be on Hip Hop which is an embodiment of majorly Rap and Dance music.

The creation of the term Hip Hop is often credited to “Keith Cowboy” a rapper with Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five when the music was still known as “Disco rap”. But “Deejay Cool Herc” a.k.a “Grand Master Flash” who is Generally recognized as the father of Hip Hop due to his influences alongside colleagues and friends “Coke La rock”, “Afrika Bambaata, “Pauk Winley”, “Bobby Robinson” and more have had great influences on the local style of Rapping by delivering poetry verses over fink music breaks, the DJ and MCs would often add call and response chants often consisting of a basic melody to allow the performer gather his or her thoughts and relay words in-tune with the Rhythm of the instrumental, (An event that often held in 1520 Sedwick Avenue, the Bronx, a venue used by DEEJAY COOL HERC and is often referred to as the birthplace of Hip Hop).

Though Hip-Hop music originated as an improvisation made to existing music by party deejays and this style of music predates the introduction of Rapping into the Hip-Hop culture, as majority of the genre is accompanied by Rap-vocals, the roots of spoken Hip-Hop music is actually found in African – American music and Ultimately African Music, most particularly that of West – African culture.

In the event of time, and with the evolution of technology, more modern beat machines have been invented and the art has been very variably diversified, holding great prominence. In African countries like, South-African, Ghana, Botswana, and our very own Great Nigeria!. Acceptance of this Rhythm, Rhyme and Poetry entailing style of music in Nigeria can be traced to as far back as the early 90’s dynamic du of “Junior and Pretty” with their Hit singles “Bolanle” and “Monica” off their “Life” album, Wierd MC with the release of her popular hit single “Allen-Avenue” off the “Simply-Weird” album and “Eedris Abdul-Kareem” of the remedies by his solo-debut album “Pass” (PAIN AND STRESS = SUCCESS) .

The Early and later 2000’s have been great step up points for hip-hop in Nigeria as it witnessed the emergence of the likes of Ruggedman, Naeto-C, Trybes-men, Modenine, Dagrin, M.I, Blaise, Kel, Emem-Ema, Bouqui, Sauce-kid and many others. In very recent times, there have also been notable imputs in the Nigerian Hip-Hip industry from cats like 12 GAGE, Vector, Olamide, Phenom, Dark-Poet, Makiller, Mischief, Lyrical-Shocker, Loose-Kaynon and “old-new” kid on the block “Labzy Lawal” who on “Feb. 25th ” released an “Extended Play” (EP) compilation coupled with a First listening gathering at a weekly rap show wax-lyrical in kokolounge Lagos on Monday Feb 29th.

The event had Special Guest Appearances From Industry tycoons like, Kid-Konnect, Elbama, Sarz and was hosted by the well renowned “Loose- Kaynon”. The Highlight of the event was also the presence of this young and vibrant Rapper/Rap artiste’s Mother which Amazingly spiced up the event being one of it not the first occasions involving the presence and support of a parent in the “often negatively envisioned” area of Hip-Hop music or Music as a whole by Nigerian Parents.

Commencing at about 8:30PM in the very popular and prestigious “Kokolounge” situated at E-Centre, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos, the gathering featured open-mic performances from ace/rising rappers Phenom, Dark-poet, J. Berg, Lyrikal Shocka,J.Berg and More .

It was rounded off with performances of songs off Labzy’s “THE SOLITARY EP” and Questions from the guest to Labzy’s Mum which had it turn-out to be a beautiful event and a benchmark achievement to encourage Nigerian parents to encourage their wards into developing and Honing their talent in whatever they are interested and known to be very talented at with full support and guidance as it may yield productive in the nearest future.

***Written By Yemi “Labzy “Lawal***

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