"The modern youth is termed trendy by these two words. Pop and Culture"- Uno.
Pop (Adj) according to the Advanced Learners Dictionary, means “New and general appeal (especially among youth)”. In short, if you have heard wizkid’s new song or if you partook in the mannequin challenge or if you just got a new pair of Timberland shoes’, you’re POP.
What we youth tend to place less emphasis on is the “Culture & Tradition” part. Most of the things trending today and buzzing around us youth are styles and practices engaged in by our forefathers. For example, some of our successful musicians of today, D-Banj, Wizkid, Davido, Burna-boy amongst others have firmly integrated their songs with lyrics and melodies from our cultural and traditional artistes such as; Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Lagbaja, Ebenezer Obey, and these young “trendy & pop” artistes owe much of their successes to these artistes. To buttress my point, even great American musical acts such as Jay-Z (Roc Boys), J-Cole (Let Nas Down), Drake (I’m ready for you), have also dug deep into their African roots and have found sounds from Fela and Nneka respectively, appealing enough to integrate into their music. This further highlights the necessity of tradition and culture into our trendy and pop lifestyle.
The progression of computerized ways to create sounds in our modern times also encourages a lackadaisical attitude amongst our youth. We enter the studio, listen to a beat and “jump on it”, whereby, our tradition was based on hours of rehearsal and painstaking exercises of trying to get the sounds to gel and sound whole. King Sunny Ade, Kwam 1, Ebenezer Obey, to mention a few would get their backup singers and instrumentalists and rehearse in the studio for several hours before mastering and perfecting the song for a synchronized sound whenever they are called to peform. Now, don’t s get me wrong, I’m all for modern practices but all I’m saying is we need to get our foundations grounded. Our producers should learn how to play an instrument or two, our artistes should work hard till they find their sound instead of just “jumping on it” and we as artistes should work on our art till it’s where we want it to be. Producers like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy or TY-Mix can all play instruments and have studied their craft extensively. We all jump into the studio with freestyles or half-ass written songs and sometimes it comes out great but more often than not, the song would be enjoyed for what it could have been.
As a conclusion, all my babbling sums up to the fact that I support the school of thought that stipulates the Katapot theory; “we need to take a few steps backward before we can go the farthest’. We just need to pick a little from our past before we can advance into the future.
Uno is an upcoming rapper who mixes indigenous genres of music into contemporary music to create a modern African sound that people from different roots and backgrounds can vibe to and enjoy. Follow him and fill that void of good music you’ve been lusting for. Bless.