Yeah! You see that 34-letter word up there? Yeah that’s the plain and simple reason Nigeria is yet to embrace extreme rock music or Metal. Now if I were a nice chap I’d wrap it up right here and now, leave it all nice and clean in that little knot of a word and then y’all would have to go and stream the Mary Poppins video to get my meaning for when the atrociously long word starts trending tomorrow (heaven forbid). Alas I’m not a nice guy and seeing as I’ve got some time to kill, I’m gonna take y’all on a mini tour inside my head and explain what I feel is the reason Nigeria is unprepared for extreme rock music.
Got your seatbelts on? Good, let’s knock this sucker outta the park.
I love my momma to pieces, even though I’m not gonna go out of my way to say it and as far as I’m concerned, a greeting card accompanied by breakfast in bed on mother’s day is a grand gesture of appreciation don’t you think? Anyway, Momma is a typical Nigerian woman who married a typical Nigerian man with whom she had a typical Nigerian family and even adopted a typical Nigerian dog. You get where I’m going with all this right? So yeah, Momma was and still is a typical Nigerian so I wasn’t too bothered when back in the day she’d barge into my room unannounced and uninvited as my speakers were propagating the gospel of some good ol Audioslave, My Chemical Romance, Black Veil Brides (to mention but a few) in full blast (as they did every other Thursday either because I really enjoyed the music or because I wanted to give myself tinnitus). So Momma would barge in and yank the chord of my boom box from the socket. She’d then go out of her way to give me a Power Point presentation using nothing but her hands and huge eyebrows telling me about the dangers of listening to “the devil’s music” as she preferred to call it and I being the good son I was and still am (hopefully) would fold my arms behind me and bow my head for the entire duration of my darling mom’s presentation.
I always liked the way she’d present her arguments with so much conviction that you’d have no other alternative but to agree that she knew exactly what she was talking about like she was personally in charge of arranging the devil’s playlist because I remember this one time when I actually paid attention during one of such presentations, she said that rock music was what Lucifer (the dark Lord himself) listens to when he’s brushing his teeth or taking his bath in preparation for the start of a new day. Apparently Momma had spies in the little face-me-I-face-you quarters wherein the old boy lodges (hey don’t tell her I said that or else I’ll tell her that you were the one who got me hooked on “the devil’s music” :p).
So basically my point is that the average Nigerian sees rock music (talk less of extreme rock music) as something evil, malicious, diabolical, ominous, menacing, threatening, frightening and any other word with the suffix -ing that translates into bad so it’s no wonder why some fellow “Christian brothers and sisters” would go through my playlist and scream blood of Jesus and half-throw\half-return my phone to me like I was the suddenly donning the Hellboy costume from the terrible Hellboy movies (Editor’s note: Hellboy is NOT terrible. You take that back!). The funny thing is that the level of close mindedness exhibited by these beautiful people would continue to keep them away from some of the best songs ever sung. Heck rock music is incredibly diverse especially now it’s like rock music has never had it so good (granted I don’t necessarily approve of all the new genres but hey, variety is the spice of life).
A friend of mine once said something that stuck with me. He said Nigerians prefer simplicity over complexity (but in reality who doesn’t?). He went on to expound on his theory by saying that this notion relates especially to the arts or entertainment scene if you like, that’s why most of our artistes would sing (I hereby beg the pardon of any singer or lover of indigenous Nigerian music) no-brainer songs with no-brainer lyrics for the enjoyment of their seemingly no-brainer target audience. He also went on to describe how this same theory applies to Nollywood but that argument ain’t within the scope of my thesis hence I won’t trouble you with it. Take your typical rock song for example, with all the screaming and wavering tempo of the lyrics and the awesome but sometimes not so awesome guitar riffs you’ll see that sometimes you find yourself making a conscious effort to be one with the music and as if that ain’t enough, conventional dance styles don’t blend well and sometimes they don’t blend at all with your typical rock songs. And I’m sure you know how much we Nigerians love to shake our tail feathers to the tune of a good beat. But I did see this one video Mother load by Mastodon wherein some girls were having something of a ‘twerk-off’ and I must say that it was probably the most beautiful thing I saw this last month.
How can these problems be solved you ask? Well I’m more of a hindsight crony than a foresight kinda guy so I might not have a good enough answer for you now so here’s the best I can do presently.
I guess a step in the right direction would be to show support to our local rock artistes who are trying hack it in this uncharted territory because as far as I can tell there’s no market for Nigerian rock music out there hence I would like to give props to outfits such as AudioInferno and the like who’re trying put the word out and make it happen. That’s for the consumer base and now for those in charge of the product (producers, singers, song-writers and what have you) I cannot emphasise enough on the word originality. Sure I love Breaking Benjamin but woe betide any Nigerian act who thinks that a dark-skinned clone of the band would be a good idea. So once again lemme make a petition please do not fall under the temptation to copy anyone no matter how strong the urge is–resist it and my ancestors would be sure to reward your diligence handsomely!
As you can see the land-mines that bedeviled the path of the long-awaited embrace between our dear country and extreme rock music ain’t gonna be completely negated or diffused any time soon so for now I guess we’d have to manage a fist bump or a nudge now and then and continue to exercise patience.
I think I’ve said all I need to say for now so with this I hope I’ve been able to convince you and not confuse you (sorry, couldn’t resist the temptation) that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is the reason this wonderful country on God’s green earth isn’t ready (at least not yet) to embrace extreme rock music. So that’s it from me, a big thank you to the entire AudioInferno crew. Here’s your boy Boon saying stay safe, be good to yourself and above all keep on rocking. Peace!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are entirely the opinion of the writer and do not show the views of AudioInferno.
This post is written by David Boon, a guest writer. He wrote in response to our post WE WANT YOU, TO WRITE. He has no Facebook or Twitter handle so must be some sort of recluse (we assume). He can be reached via email at [email protected]
Do feel free to send in your own post and we will put it up. You can contact us via email at [email protected]
On a very related note, watch the Death Metal version of Mary Poppin’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious