Saturday, April 4, 2009
The evolution of Hip hop in Nigeria could be traced to the late 1990s. On the mainstream were such groups as The Remedies, Maintain, Trybesmen and single acts like Rasqie Mono.
In other parts of Nigeria, underground groups such as Swatroots, Coal City Finest and Tuck Tyte could be heard representing the game as much as possible. Mainstream hiphop at this time till the early 2000’s was characterized by a lot of Afro beat, native language and junk rap.
Owing to heavy radio rotations and publicity, these misrepresentations of the art dominated for a long time. In 2003, the genre was revolved by the release of ‘Ehen’ by Ruggedman. A diss song that sent all the so called mainstream hiphop acts to the cleaners. From this time on, Hip hop was born again. A new dawn that woke every sleeping head and sent them back to the studios. Ruggedman released a few other controversial records addressing sternly a lot of issues in the Nigerian Hip hop scene.
This rebirth of Hip hop lowered the activation energy and there was an explosive influx of cats into the game. The appreciation of Hip hop grew across the populace and hiphop heads could confidently walk into radio stations to present their songs for airplay. Rap shows started getting hosted on some radio stations and the love for the art increased tremendously.
Hardcore hiphop was still making its way to the mainstream and this saw the rise of cats like Modenine (a member of the Swatroots). With his first single ‘Elbow Room’, he redefined the game and took Hip hop to its roots. By the release of his debut project ‘Malcolm IX’ , he reiterated the place of poetry, word play, punchlines and metaphors in hiphop articulation. He showcased the elements of Hip hop namely emceeing, dee-jaying, break dance and graffiti were also present in his videos. His subsequent projects maintained that standard of serving undiluted Hip hop music. Modenine is generally referred to as the king of underground hiphop in Nigeria. He succeeded in putting hardcore or underground rap music on the mainstream.
Today, we have a lot of names to reckon with in the Nigerian Hip hop music industry: The Thoroughbreds, Terry tha Rapman, Pherowshuz, Overdose, Eldee the Don, Sauce Kid, Blaise, Freestyle, M.I, Sasha, Gino, Naeto-C, Jimmy Jatt, Ikechukwu, Str8 Buttah to mention but a few.
Also worthy of mention are radio hosts/O.A.Ps who have contributed immensely to the elevation of the game. They include:- JAJ the Mecca Don, Mike Magic, Eldee XL, HNIC Dr. Gee, Chucks da Spaceman, Kemistry, Andre Blaze, S-Dot e.t.c.
Thumbs up to the beat makers and dee-jays who have made it happen. Such as, G-Lynx, OJB, Mr. Callen, Jo-Kaynie, ID Cabasa, DJ Humility, Kraft, Mr. Ish, Jonah de Monarch, Frenzy, Kokomikor e.t.c.
Hiphop music is part of Hiphop culture which began in Bronx, New York in the 1970s predominantly among Afro Americans and Latino Americans.
Hip hop culture embodies four major elements, namely: - Emceeing/Rapping; Turntablism/Deejaying; Break dance and Graffiti Art.
Hip hop music is a genre typically consisting of a rhythmic vocal style called rap which is accompanied with backing beats.
Beats are traditionally generated from portions of other songs by a DJ or sampled from portions of other songs by a producer through synthesizers and drum matching. Live bands are also used especially in contemporary music.
Rapping also referred to as Emceeing is a vocal style in which the performer speaks rhythmically and in rhyme generally to a beat. However, recently, a difference has developed between rapping and emceeing. Emceeing has been used to describe those artistes who possess and exercise superior lyrical ability and prowess.
Rappers or Emcees (MCs) may perform poetry which they have written ahead of time or improvise rhymes on the spot with or without a beat.
During the late 1970s, break dance arose during block parties as break boys and break girls got in front of the audience to dance in a distinctive, frenetic style.
By the 1980s, all the major elements and techniques of Hip hop were in place. Hip hop turntablists (also known as Disc Jockeys or dee jays or DJs) use turntable techniques such as beat mixing/matching, scratching, beat juggling to create a base that can be rapped over.
Graffiti art traces its roots to Philadelphia, U.S.A. This involves making artistic impressions over surfaces like walls, roofs e.t.c. Sprays are used to make drawings and write ups which pass non verbal messages.
Hip hop has globalized into many cultures worldwide especially in the developing world where it has come to represent the empowerment of the disenfranchised and a slice of the American dream.
Hip hop has emerged globally as an arts movement with the imperative to create something fresh by using technology, speech and the body in new ways. The music and the art continue to embrace celebrating its transnational dimensions while staying true to the local cultures to which its rooted.
Hip hop inspiration differs depending on each culture. Still, the one thing virtually all hip hop artistes worldwide have in common is that they acknowledge their debt to those Black and Latino kids in New York who launched this movement in the first place.