Outrage Against “Logo Benz”
23rd December, 2018
23rd December, 2018
Has Afropop ever stood for quality lyrical content ?
The recent outrage against Olamide and Lil Kesh’s song, “Logo Benz” is a perfect segue for us all to look into Afropop and its lyrical content. The music culture here in this part of the world hasn’t been so focused on deeper meanings, awareness or any kind of positive message. It seems like we just want to have fun! As long as the beat is banging and the melody is soothing, your song gets a pass mark and repetitive radio play. This isn’t always the case, as of the days of “Fela”, Paul Play, to even the reign of Burna Boy, there are still some quality contents out there.
Another way to look at this kind of content is to consider our environment itself. It’s okay to think that our artists are inspired by the available influences in our environment. Olu Maintain did it with “Yahoozee”, where he gave the world a visual representation of what it’s like to celebrate the success of internet scam. Let’s not forget D’banj’s “Mobolowon”, or Kelly Hansom’s “Maga Don Pay”. All of which celebrates successes from scams and fraudulent activities. The truth is these are all reflection of our environment. And everyone who has raised a voice against the recent “Logo Benz” has enjoyed a similar song like this in the past. There are so many songs about drugs, harassment, scams etc on continuous replay on the radio/clubs, why the outrage on the particular song?
The song has a theme message on the connection of wealth being represented with the Mercedes Benz logo and the means to do anything to acquire this feat. The logo is represented with a female panties, which is a depiction on the recent news of people stealing/using girls underwear, or having sex with women for ritual purposes. The pant stealing culture for rituals has been the talk of social media over the past few months but it’s not clear if Olamide is warning against it, raising awareness or supporting it. A lot of Nigerians already concluded the latter, and you have to understand why. Even the label name, “Yahoo Boy No Laptop” (YBNL), doesn’t help this argument.
There’s a lot of back and forth contention whether it’s a first person or third person narrative, but Olamide saying, “If money no enter, I go do blood money,” just after Lil Kesh seemingly warns that the spread their underwear outside is at owner’s risk because people are stealing female underwear for rituals makes it seem like a two-man play on the current situations just for awareness. But they’re getting too comfortable using the “yahoo/fraud/ritual/drugs” narrative to drive their “street culture”. And so the outrage may be justifiable.
These kind of lyrics are very impressionable, especially coming from someone a lot of people look up to, people on the streets, people who are toiling day and night to break the street laden shackles of poverty, people that are desperate. But then again listening to a particular music has never been a do or die affair.