Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bits And Pieces 7: Music Videos vs. music videos, Football And Christmas…

So I decided to do another B & P so soon after the last one? Sue me!

Stepping to Sexy Music
You can hardly switch on the TV nowadays without catching Jordin Sparks’ “One Step At A Time” video. That’s one hell of a great song and the video sets it off beautifully. It just goes to show that you don’t need a country’s budget, countless locations or a massive crowd of extras to shoot a good video. Nigerian video directors need to dump the helicopter and Moet and start looking on incorporating street scenes in their works (not the dirty Lagos street scenes please. Or the ones where they show girls dancing on top of danfo buses…)

Also of note is Ne-Yo’s “Independent Woman” video which features Gabrielle Union as his boss (now, which man wouldn’t want to work under Gabrielle U?) and goes to prove what we’ve always known anyway: Ne-Yo is a great musician and songwriter, looks nice in suits and is a bit lacking in the height department. Gabrielle also still has her sexy witch looks which keep heads turning.

And speaking of sexy women, Nick Cannon must be the luckiest man (or boy) alive now. I mean how many of us get to marry the girl (sorry, woman) of our dreams? Caught Mrs. Cannon flaunting her heart-stopping curves on a recent music video that features T.I. and I was so intent making plans on how to assassinate Nick that I missed the title of the track.

Finally, spotted Madonna in a video from her “Confessions On The Dance Floor” album exercise-dancing seductively alongside some other male dancers in the background young enough (or is it old enough) to be her sons. At certain points in the video, now it’s rather hard to find the words to describe this but she figuratively has sex with music! Let your imagination fill in the rest…

Boy, does it feel good to be as old as she is and still make little boys lick their lips…

Music Videos vs. music videos
Still on the issue of music videos, I watched a lot of them on EATV, Channel 5 lately thanks to a recent trip to Bida, Niger State and a rogue cable subscription in the house I stayed in there.

Most of the EATV gist is in a language I don’t understand but they do show some cool foreign videos though the percentage is very low compared to those of East African origin. Of course, the mix wouldn’t be complete without showing Nigerian music videos and Sasha / Storm Records, the Mo’ Hits crew and P Square mostly rep Naija on the EA musical landscape. And boy! the Naija videos have got WAAAAY more class than the East African videos which still look like they are been shot with handy cams.

Out of several things I’ve noticed though, the East Africans have far less reservations when it comes to showing skin on TV unlike their West African counterparts and they do look cool like that. But without wanting to sound unduly patriotic when it comes to eye candy we all know the Naija babes still rule the competition though they seem to be taking a second spot compared to the South African chicks of mixed parentage.

To tell the truth, most of the East African entertainment programmes do look pretty wack (I can’t hear what they’re saying anyway) plus Zain Networks and another unknown telecom company called Tigo seem to sponsor everything in East Africa from talk shows to street shows to even the news. I’ll give it to the East Africans though; they do seem so proud of their languages and incorporate it as much as possible into their music.

If there’s one thing both types of videos have in common, it’s this: The massive copycatting of the foreign rap stars’ bling-bling Hip-Hop culture.

And the absence of men wearing briefs and dancing seductively…

Female Football & A Flight Of Fancy
Yardie can be a fine boy sometimes. Of course the 20 sacked Ministers, the staff of Channels TV and Jonathan Elendu are not going to agree with me but I almost kissed his forehead when he rescinded the earlier decision that would have stopped the country from hosting the Under-17 World Cup in 2009. That means I may finally be able to boast of watching a World Cup match on home soil having missed the opportunity in times gone past. Yardie’s change of heart aside, you can be sure almost nothing will be done until the last moments when we’ll gladly roll out our bright red (green) fire brigade trucks.

On the female angle, one of the benefits of watching cable TV is that you’re bound to find the odd channel broadcasting the odd tournament. I previously had absolutely no idea that the female Under-17 World Cup was holding in New Zealand last month until I caught the live broadcasts on Capital TV. The Nigerian female team really won my heart in one of their past matches by hanging on to a 2 - 2 draw even after going one man down (sorry, one woman down) against the Brazilian team when the ref harshly sent off goal-scorer Ebere Orji. The Samba girls though almost made them pay dearly for the lack of a finisher with their well-played free kicks.

Things did get very tense and a head-to-head collision had Nigeria playing with just 9 girls against Brazil’s 11 at one point but one relatively amusing aspect in the match was a Nigerian player who goes by the name “MacFancy”.

The Super Falcons on the other hand were hoping to steam-roll over all their other African competition in the ongoing African Women’s Championship, qualify for the female World Cup as usual and then fail woefully as has always been their due. How sad…

No More Miss Goody-Two-Shoes
Michelle Williams, usually the cool-headed, most reserved member of the defunct Destiny’s Child has finally decided that she’s not going to let only Beyonce and Ms. Kelly steal the spotlight when it comes to bringing sexy back!

Spotted the former Miss Goody-Goody proudly parading her stuff in a thigh-length killer dress and the occasional black cat suit in a musical video “We Break The Dawn” featuring rapper Flo-Rida. Girlfriend used to be so good before, it almost looked like a “sin” watching such a blood-pumping video and as you rightly guessed, “We Break The Dawn” ain’t Gospel music.

Bad sales in the religious genre of music most probably must have made Ms. W throw away the choir gown for a cat suit and raunchy dance steps and it will be interesting to see if she continues “back-sliding” or does the split personality thing and releases albums in both religious and secular genres. Or maybe she’s finally just discovered she’s “all-woman”.

After all, it’s actually quite annoying seeing Beyonce blatantly flaunting her curves on TV especially when you know you’re just as appropriately “blessed”. And Gospel music alone can’t pay for that daily gym workout or the cat suit for that matter…

MTN Also Delivers
First of all, this is not a paid advert. Secondly, I dislike endorsing companies especially the telecoms but I just have to hand it to MTN on this one. After my recent inability to carry out a credit transfer I was surprised to get the following text from + 234 803:

“We apologize for your recent difficulties with loading airtime. We will credit your account tonight with N60 airtime as a token for the inconvenience.”

Now, compared to all the inconveniences I’ve going through lately, 60 bucks ain’t squat but the fact they were true to their word and did send the token at night impressed me with their sincerity. (Moreover 60 bucks equals to 12 extra SMSes and can make all the difference between free or no night calls)

Glo, on the other hand, would never send such a text in the first instance. They aren’t so careless as to have airtime/ recharge issues and I’m beginning to suspect Glo recharge cards will sometimes load even when there’s no network signal!

Return Of The Queen
Before she was telling us to “Jebele, Jebele”. Now she wants us back and says “Jowo, Biko”. Women always seem to have a hard time making up their minds.

What am I talking about? Qween’s latest single “Jowo, Biko” (meaning “Please, Please” or “Abeg, Abeg” in the Yoruba and Igbo / Pidgin English tongues) is out and spinning on a radio close to you. I must admit, I never gave the Qween her due respect before now (maybe her dentition was partly to blame) but after dropping these two hot singles, I can’t wait to hear what the whole album will sound like.

Heard Qween in a phone interview with Ice on Grace 95.5 FM, Bida say she’s got not just one, but two albums ready but she’s having difficulties with the marketers. She also spilled the beans on her upcoming marriage when she returns to Nigeria (no mention of who Mr. Right is though) and the fact that she’s expecting a second baby too!

Qween absolutely kills you softly on this Cobhams-produced soulful track and she’s definitely going to go places with those silky seductive tones of hers. I’ve got just one piece of advice for the Afro wig-wearing musical sovereign though: Qween, jowo, biko, settle your issues quickly with the Alaba Market boys before the pirates lift your singles off the radio and launch your “albums” before you do. Ask 9ice what he suffered at their hands before the release of his “Gongo Aso” album.

Xmas Jingles
The yuletide’s around the nearest corner and once again the marketing gates are firmly open drowning us in the advertising avalanche which compels us to buy this and buy that at “half” (= same) price. As we rush into the shopping malls, the sounds of cash registers have now replaced the sound of Christmas bells and the reason for the season has been long forgotten.

Anyway, enough of the preaching. In a quirky sort of personal tradition, I always take mental note of when and where I hear my first Xmas jingle for the year and this year it was on Livingspring 104.5 FM, Osogbo on November 1st. Maybe the fact that I’ve been on the road since then is to blame but I’m yet to hear or see another one after that which is rather unprecedented in all my Xmas years.

Sales of bangers and the Harmattan weather have been rather slow too (especially in certain parts of the Southwest) and I hear the global economic crisis is partly to blame for that one! Anyway, wear appropriate clothing when it’s cold, have a hanky ready for the dust and stock up on cardigans, jackets, tea and essential balms before their prices increase. Or even better, just get a brand new, 24-hour, hug-inclined boyfriend.

Merry Xmas in advance people!



Buttercup said...

Ok, this was the shortest post i'v read in a long

Im really tired of hearin that jordin spark's song, once i just hear those footsteps i just change the channel! Yea, the video has a nice concept @ michelle, hehe who doesnt want to sell millions of records??

Btw..i was laughin so hard at the comment u left on my post..yes, u do!

seye said...

YOu know, I would have left your blog without commenting if not for that tiny bit on MTN. ME I DEY BEEF MTN O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait, Bida-Osogbo. Where is your TV located? Wow, Bida, Osogbo MILESSSSSSSSSSS apart

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Burra: Hi dear! Long time on my page oh! Sorry about the length of the post but I was just bursting with the gist.
Yay! Mission One Accomplished! Now to Mission Two...
@ Seye: You dey beef MTN? I dey beef ALL the networks! I go just vex go buy NIPOST SIM!(lol)