Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nigga Raw, Hip hop Artist?


With Hip hop being the reigning genre of music across the globe, it is now fashionable for music artists to brand their music as Hip hop even in circumstances where the music is apparently not. Here in Nigeria and Africa at large, the artist will refer to their music as Afro Hip hop.

A pertinent question here is ‘what is hip-hop?’ Hip hop is a culture and hip hop music is one that has been influenced by hip hop culture or way of life. That is to say that the music is reflective of that culture and anybody who lives that culture can relate to it.

The bits that make up a culture include dressing style, manner of greeting, language style, most favored sport, most favored music and so on.

When Hip hop music rose, from the late seventies to the mid eighties, to become very relevant attracting followership, the next thing hip hop artists started looking at was how to propagate the music culture until it becomes a global phenomenon. If the music must spread successfully, it has to incorporate local cultures in order to gain acceptance easily. However, the local artist must preserve the Hip hop framework so that it can be recognized as Hip hop by everybody including Americans, without been told.

The obvious impression when one listens to Nigga Raw is that he is listening music that is largely Highlife whose original home is the South Eastern part of Nigeria where Raw comes from. Furthermore, there is an element of clowning in Raw’s music, something that is abhorrent in Hip hop. As if that is not enough, Raw has developed the habit of remaking the records of renowned Highlife musicians, implying that he sees them as his idols.

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