Saturday, August 8, 2009

FEATURES OF A TYPICAL NAIJA ALBUM

I am a lover of Nigerian music. Unlike some people (who prefer buying pirated compilation CDs), I buy original albums. If I like an artist, I go out and buy his/her album. One advantage of this I have discovered over the years is that there are some really good songs you won't hear on radio on a normal day.

For the last three years (when Naija music started gaining acceptance), I have been buying Naija CDs so much so that when you come across my collection, you would think I sell CDs. The following are the albums in my collection, if you can beat my record, let me know! You may have some albums I don’t but I have all the albums that matter!
Body and Soul – Plantashun Boiz (Who does not have this then?)
Plan B – Plantashun Boiz
Face2Face – 2Face Idibia
Grace2Grace – 2Face Idibia
Enter the place - 2Face Idibia
The unstoppable - 2Face Idibia
Independent – Faze
Originality - Face
Me, music and I – Blackface Naija
We be Da Natives – Da Natives
No long thing – D’banj
Run down/Funk you up - D’banj
The Entertainer - D’banj
Curriculum Vitae - D’banj and Mo’hits All Stars
Mushin2Mo’hits – Wande Cole
The Certificate – 9ice
Gongo Aso – 9ice
From me to you – Dare Art-Alade
The most un.darey.ted – Darey
Naija 007 – Sound Sultan
SS4 – Sound Sultan
Yahoozee! - Olu Maintain
E Plaribus Unum (One amongst many) – Mode 9
Pentium IX: The mixtape - Mode 9
The Paradigm Shift - Mode 9
Thy album come – Ruggedman
Ruggedy baba – Ruggedman
The King is back – eLDee
BIG BOY – eLDee
The rapman begins – Terry Tha Rapman
Money Long: The mixtape: Sauce Kid
Shock Therapy: The Minority Report – Rooftop MCs
Kalangolo – Frank D’Nero
Mr Capable – Banky W
Still on the matter – Da Grin
True story – Timaya
Second turning by the right - Lord of Ajasa
Game over - P Square
Free me – Terry G
Pin code: 9.10.11 – Sunny Neji
The Definition: DJ Jimmy Jatt
King of the Zanga – Durella
King Kong – Shank
You know my P – Naeto C
Dat Ibo Boy – Ill Bliss
Talk about it – M.I.
Life and times of Killz – Ikechukwu
Asha – Asa
Saxophone mood – Yemi Sax
Buga: Never say die – Jesse King
Africano: The mother of groove – Lagbaja
Paradise and Sharp Sharp – Lagbaja

Over the years, i discovered some similarities in my CDs; some major features which all almost always have in common. They include:

1. NUMBER OF TRACKS: The number of tracks on a regular Naija music album is between 9 and 11. Though nowadays, we see some hip-hop artistes having 18-22 songs on their albums. We have been made to know that what's responsible for the small number of tracks on Naija albums is not lack of creativity but a business strategy, since they'll make the same meagre sum from a 11-tracker that they will from a 22-tracker.

2. UNNECESSARY SKITS: From the 11 tracks in these albums, we find 2-3 drab and absolutely unnecessary skits in most Naija albums. I dare say that there are some really good, creative and interesting skits in some as well.

3. INSTRUMENTALS: It is only on a Naija album that you will find instrumentals i.e. the beat of a song. They like to include the instrumentals of their most popular songs in their albums. I don't know what they think, that maybe we like the songs insomuch that we listen to only the instrumentals? I mean, not all of us are DJs, are we? Methinks it is just to increase the number of tracks on their albums.

4. TRADITIONAL MUSIC: You will always find a traditional music on a Naija album. When I say traditional music, I mean songs done in the indigenous language of the artiste. Apart from normal English and Yoruba language (Yes, Yoruba because it's the official music language in Naija) Naija artistes sing in, they also have at least a track done in their purely indigenous language. Patriotism, you say?

5. THANK YOUs AND OVA ISH (apologies to M.I.): You are likely to find a song dedicated to God or to people who contributed to the artiste's success or both on a Naija album. As is common to all Nigerians, they allude to being God-fearing people when in fact, their actions says otherwise.

6. POLITICAL SONG/SOCIAL COMMENTARY: Politics is a favorite past-time of most Nigerians, whether they know sh!t or not. The political situation in the country gives Naija artistes something to sing about. And like they say, people learn a lot from the music they listen to. Naija artistes see themselves as role models to a lot of young people so they've taken it upon themselves to pass social commentaries once in a while (lets not forget that they are also responsible for majority of the slangs on the streets).

7. ALBUM ARTS: The CD jackets of Naija albums are always made of paper. The last time any one came with plastic, I haven't started buying. It is common to see some of the following on a Naija music album art:
1. Typographical errors.
2. Track mismatch.
3. Artistes showed putting on jewelry that's not real.
4. Websites that don't exist, either of the artiste, record label or marketer.
5. Marketer's name, phone number and office address.
6. Manager/Promoter's name and phone number.
7. Written appreciations/dedications apart from the song on the album.
8. Lyrics to some tracks on the album.

7 comments:

RocNaija said...

I know a few people that'll beat your list hands down..
But then you added a disclaimer "You may have some albums I don’t but I have all the albums that matter!"

Nigerians are more religious than God-fearing.. Shows in every sphere of the society..

Gotta agree with the instrumental bit though.. Never occurred to me.

bumight said...

LOL
the annoying albums are the 7 track album
track 1: Swagger boy
track 2: skit
Track 3: show ur love
track 4: skit
Track 5: swagger boy instrumental
Track 6: skit
track 7: show ur love instrumental

like WTF! i wont even mention names here!

but for real though, just like in d western world, u need that one song on ur album thats a club-banger, for naija artistes its mostly the yoruba hip hop song
then you need one thank you Jesus song. or else how are the grown folks going to listen to ur album? lol

Buttercup said...

Lol..good observations. I only have MI's Talk About It :(. How you dey?

lixue said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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esquire said...

@RocNaija: You're right, Nigerians are more religious than God-fearing.

@bumight: You think they're considering old folks too?

@BC: You only have M.I? That's bad. Lets support our own. You'll be surprised what those guys are bringing out these days.

I'm good, thanks for asking.

@lixue: Thanks for stopping by. Keep visiting, like you promised. We have the most objective criticisms on the Nigerian media.

Naughty Eyes said...

Impressive album list... I just might "steal" a few of your CDs when next we see!

Coming to the similarities in albums, I agree with everything you said. The unnecessary skits can be SO annoying. I think the instrumentals are actually meant for DJs to mix with and for OAPs to use as their signature tunes.
The album art and track mismatch really needs a lot of work.

As for the fake bling and incorrect websites, let's not go there...

Naughty Eyes said...

PS: Sadly, I think lixue is a spam blogger... Her blog just has random sentences.