Monday, August 11, 2008

Gongo Aso - 9ice's Stepping Stone

Speakers on the streets seem to burst from the sound of the ‘signature beats’ and the husky voice with so much appeal…

Some wonder if the beat and the voice are Siamese Twins… So inseparable it seems no other voice could go with such beats and no other beats would’ve been good for such a voice…

From every perspective, ‘Gongo Aso’ is a product of simple but complicated blend of rhythm and lyrical expertise with a mind infested with cultural identification that it appears to harbour the fear of one day being robbed of it. Much as its popularity goes, the uniqueness of the song lies in its ability to mask the simple lyrics with a measured amalgam of Yoruba Language which vested on it the buoyancy from the attributes of a ‘national anthem’, as its contemporaries turned out to be.

The cultural identity portrayed by 9ice in ‘Gongo Aso’ is not unexpected of a typical Yoruba man whose tenacious hold on culture is unrivalled amongst other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. To say that ‘Gongo Aso’ is the only song whose unique nature is rooted in this aspect is to be the least exaggerating. Hit songs who, in one way or the other, exude even an iota of the Nigerian cultures abound in music stores. Same goes for artistes who are grounded in this ideology. However, what singles out this Ibadan-born crooner is nothing more than the masterful rendition accorded every line and rhyme his voice honours.

Two years ago, he was just another Naija guy on the streets. But now, 9ice has become a household name made popular by the unprecedented success with the hit song, ‘Gongo Aso’. One would want to ascribe 9ice’s spectacular entrance in the Naija music scene to his appearance in Ruggedy Baba – by Ruggedman, a Naija rap sensation famous for his hardcore critique of fellow rapstas. With his second album "Gongo Aso", 9ice has carved a niche for himself in the Nigerian music industry whose nascent nature makes it a bee-hive of competition.

As the song enjoys maximum airplay and profound listening, criticisms and admirations continuously flow. Though the latter far more outweigh the former, it would make sense to evaluate the remarks of the critics. It has been argued that the theme of the song could not be easily fathomed by even prolonged listening. Could it be 9ice wanted conveniently to ‘show’ himself in the song, or more or less market his lyrical prowess as shown in the opening line of verse one: “Gongo Aso!, (you know), am on fire, no be beans talk…”?. The argument follows that, as a consequence, no moral lesson can be deduced from a song whose message is elusive other than a portrayal of personal skills. One is then tempted to classify it amongst songs like Yahoozee- by Olu Maintain and ‘2 Much Money’ by Kelly Hansome. These classes of songs have been criticized for being devoid of tangible messages other than advertising/showcasing Nigeria’s expertise in precisely cyber-related fraud. But, come to think of it, wouldn’t it be kind of cynical judging a song only based on ethics and morality when doing so would amount to condemning the whole by sampling just the part? Nonetheless, these aforementioned hit songs have enjoyed #1 spots for weeks in national music charts and some global countdowns. More so, they have and are still being considered classic party jamz by the average club-minded Naija citizen.

As 9ice continues to blaze the trail in the Naija music scene, calls for him to honour most of the elite ‘shows’ in the country and beyond have become unceasing of recent. It is worthy to note here that Naija can no longer wait to explode into the international music scene. It’s nice (Abi ‘9ice’?) to learn that most of these artistes making waves are proud to repp Naija to the fullest, wherever and whenever! A lesson to our artistes who think that to sound western in their lyrics would guarantee them a place in Naija musician’s hall of fame. Far from it! Nowadays, ‘We Doin’ it in Our Own Stylee’ as 2 Baba (TuFace Idibia) and friends would rightly point out. Peace, Folks! Naija is hottin’, O nwelu ife na-eme! (Nothin’ dey happen!).

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Find this CD most exciting;Haven`t been so impressed in recent times by a nigerian artist.
Keep improving.