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Author Topic: Rapacious Rap  (Read 10030 times)
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Abdalla
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« on: November 16, 2008, 10:30:01 PM »

Jama'a, Sallama

Yup, I am still on with my music thing! Things are quite now because of the change in focus of our sponsors. You may recall that I regularly organize music concerts at the British Council. Alas, they have a new focus now, and music and concerts are definitely off the menu. With no one interested in doing what the BC was doing, we are back to the dark period of not showcasing young and not so young musical talents. I am trying to see if I can somewhow put together a video and audio CD of the various concerts we have had -- but there is too much work to be done, and I am extremely busy with my almajirci. Sigh. But I am mulling over the process and hopefully when things get a little less hectic, I might do something in that direction; but don't hold your breaths.

The only other avenue for public exposure of musical undercurrents in Kano (where I am based) is via underground circulation of what I call Bluetooth Hits. These are songs released not via radio play or on CDs, but through bluetooth facility of cellphones. There had been about three of such releases in the last six months that I am prompted to write an ethnomusicological analysis of their subject matter: poetic invective, or zambo. Since that is a long time coming, I decided to share a few of the thoughts with you (as well as the samples -- more later!).

Traditional Hausa musicians of course are masters at this invective -- Ali Makaho and Haruna Uji war of words, for instance. Even the religious singers -- Masu Yabon Manzo -- were not left out; for instance, Rabi'u Usman Baba's blistering attack ('Yar Wasan Hausa) on the Hausa film industry for their adaptation of Rufa'i Ayagi's religious poem (Ya Muhammadu) to a Hausa video film soundtrack, Ya Matana (by Sani Garba S.K. in Dabi'a).

Now it is Nanaye and Rappers. Nanaye is a new term for synthesizer Hausa lyrics that have mixed gender singing -- the typical fare of Hausa video film soundtracks (and advertising jingles on Radio Freedom!). It has a male voice, and stringent female call-and-resonse chorus ('yan amshi). Even religious subjects are treated this way (e.g. Bashir Dandago's Fatsumatu which was a massive hit about two years ago). Some Nanaye singers often cross-over to Rap. An example is Billy-O, whose Billy Tibani is really a Nanaye song, but rapped over. But perhaps the first Nanaye singer to introduce zambo in his song is Shaba, in his Fati Bappa (a song disowned by the lady herself in an interview with an issue of Fim magazine) in which he sarcastically rendered:

Shaba mai golden voice          Shaba, with golden voice
Na daramma mai muryar kare,      I am superior to he who barks like a dog
Wani mai wakar hanci           He who sings with nasal tone
Sai ka ce ana gudar biki,          As if in a ceremonial ululation
Kai idan yana waka                       See, when he is singing
Kamar an kunna injin markade,     He sounds like a milling engine
So na ke ka fito fili           I want you come out in the open
Ka nuna yau da ni za kai biki,       And challenge me if you dare
In ma rokon Allah                       And I will pray to Allah
Sai ka zamma dan banzan gari..    To turn you into a guttersnipe


The overwhelming view-- not denied by Shaba himself -- in Kano was that he was referring to a well-known imitation singer (whose speciality is imitating the voice of a popular Hausa video film comedian) and with whom they had an altercation sometime before the song.

When the Kano State Censorship under Mal. Rabo became some kind of Taliban for the popular culture industry in Kano, musicians (or more accurately, lyricists) quickly banded themselves and released an underground song, Ki Yi Shiru Maryam Baba (which was instantly renamed Rabon Wahala)

Mai karfi da karfin mulki        You who use abuse your position
Ba ka fi fa karfin Allah ba          Your power is less than that of Allah

Mai karfi da karfin iko               And you use you use your legality
Ba ka fi fa ikon Allah ba            Allah is more legal than you

Mai karfi da karfin khakhi          He who uses the power of his uniform
Bai wuce tasrifin Allah ba         His transformative powers are less than those of Allah

Mai karfi da karfin jama'a         He who uses the power of the masses
Bai wuce rundunar Allah ba      Has nothing on the army of Allah

Allah Kai mukewa kuka            Allah we beseech thee
Zalunci ba zai dore ba            Tyranny will never sustain itself

Wanda duk ya ke zalunci         Whoever terrorises the people
Karshensa ba zai kyawu ba      Will surely come to a sticky end!


The fact the Mal. Rabo was a former Commander of Hisbah Corps (moral police) and was indeed fond of his Hisbah uniform is not lost on those who listened -- and love the song. From my inside sources, Mal. Rabo heard the song and was apparently unhappy with the radio play it was receiving from Radio Freedom. He seemed to have complained, and they suddenly stopped airing it. However, my fieldwork indicates he did not do such thing. If anything, he actually loved the song and had it mobile phone! He says it is a good song that urges leaders to be careful and merciful in what they do -- and there is nothing wrong with that.

But the most fiery invective was from Adam Zango -- a session musician turned into an actor, and later Nanaye singer when the acting seemed to have slipped him. He released a Macossa themed video album last year (2007) titled Bahaushiya -- and he was clamped in jail for almost three months for showing an exposed midrif (of a female) during one of the songs. After his release from prison (after he apologized to the Emir of Kano, the Governor, the People of Kano etc), he recorded a song, A Zango Oyoyo. It was a blistering attack on Kano State and, particularly the Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.

To Bisimillah Allah                                            I start with the name of Allah
Zan wake mugun bawan nan                                 To sing about that horrible servant (of Allah)
Jaki mai harbin nan ya fake da cin addinin nan          The kicking donkey, who hides behind the facade of Islam
...
To Barau ka kama ni,                                            Well, Barau you have arrested me
Kuma ka je ka kulle ni                                           And you have clamped me in a cell
Karshe ma ka daure ni                                          And game me jail term
Ni na ji dadin daurin nan                                        Oh, I am so happy with this jail term

Shi ba daurin Allah ba                                           It is not ordainable by Allah
Ba daurin Manzon Allah ba                                     Nor it is ordainable by His Prophet
Ba kuma daurin Musulunci ba                                  Not even Islamic

...
Wata motar mota ce                                            Some cars are real cars
Wata motar sai an tura ta                                     Some are just lemons

Wani daktan dakta ne                                          Some doctors are real doctors
Ai wani daktan na abortion ne                               Others are abortion butchers
Wani tailan taila ne                                             Some tailors are real dressmakers
Wani tailan fid da tsiraici ne                                  Some just make clothes that make you nude
Wani malam malam ne                                          Some Malams (Islamic scholars) are real Mallams
Wani malam bokan iska ne                                    Others are just useless marabouts
Wani gemun gemun taure ne...
                         And some beards are just like that of billy goats

The icons used in the song of course allude to Shekarau -- who intensified the Shari'ah in Kano (although it did not start with his Governorship) and of course sports a clipped beard typical of Muslim mallams. Other portions of the song allude to Shekaru's dark complexion.


From my fieldwork, I learnt that Zango insisted the song should be deleted from the computers of the studio where he recorded it -- after transferring it to his cellphone. When he migrated back to Kaduna (allegedly after threats to his life from the few who learnt about the song, although did not hear it), he kept playing the song to his friends -- and eventually someone copied it, who bluetoothed it to someone, to someone etc. It eventually came back to Kano. According to Fim magazine (November 2008), many who heard Zango's song promised to "deal with him" whenever he comes into Kano. In typical Nigerian parlance, it means he will either be beaten, harassed, or worse.

One group that took exception to the song was the K-Boyz -- a duo (stripped from four) of hard core Hausa rappers. After listening to Zango's song, they went to the studio and recorded a blistering counter-attack which they call Bingo. Bingo is a common name for a dog, and from my discussions with them (Hassan and Ibrahim as they are now), they said they use the word Bingo to refer to Adam Zango as a dog, or as they said in one of the more palatable lines of the song:

Kin haifo jaki                        You have given birth an an ass
Mawallafin asara                   Author of misfortune
Da haihuwarsa, tsinanne         Rather than giving birth to the cursed one
Gwamma rashin da ne             It is better to be childless
....

Bakin kare                             Black dog
Ka ce an daure ka don asara    You complained of being arrested, misfortuned one
Ka ki bin dokoki                      You refused to obey the law
Dole ka sha dauri                    You must therefore be jailed
Da kai da masu binka               So you and your followers
duk babbar........(censored!)     (er.. can go to blazes -- listen to the song, and you will understand!)
Tsinannu jakai,                       Cursed, assess
Mawallafin asara                     Author of misfortune

Ka ce wai Gwamnan mu            You said our  Governor
Na ta ci da gemu                     Is making waves with his beard (promoting Islam)
Ka dakata ka ji mu                   Listen to us
Ai ya fi dai ubanka                   He is better than your father
Mawallafin asara                      Author of misfortune
Mai takama da muni                 You who is preens in his ugliness
Da haihuwarka, tsinanne           Your mother shouldn't given birth to you
Gwamma zama ba bu                Your non-birth is better than your existence

They used the same format he used in starting the song and ending it. It was simply too strong. They started first by abusing Zango's mother, before moving on to Zango himself and his followers, revealing layer by layer, Zango's previous life. I can't bring myself to reproduce it (there are young people, such as Muhsin Grin Grin Grin Grin, reading this board), but it made quite a few allusions to an anatomical portion of Zango's father. Recorded with a hard core beat, it is the classical Parental Advisory candidate that you see on some rap CDs. Due to its abusive contents, the song was not played on any radio station in Kano, but became a hit -- gaining popularity through being transferred via bluetooth. Incidently Adam Zango was played the song, and he was reported (in Fim magazine November 2008) as saying that he doesn't mind, and that it is because he is worth it, that is why they are abusing him. That may be the case; but many would find it odd to be glorified with abuses, rather than praises.

And so it continues. Media technology has provided Hausa youth with the musical power to sustain some of the poetic invectives used by the traditional Hausa musicians and which often could be vicious (e.g. the line in Shata's Bakandamiya which lambasted kukuma music, and which Ahmadu Doka did not like, and became a basis for his own Bakandamiya -- and after which he stopped singing (alledgeby because of being "cursed" by Shata for daring to reply to Shata).

Poetic literary invective is nothing new in literature -- having been around since earliest times when writers and poets started putting their thoughts to paper. It is not likely to end either, because someone somewhere will always take an exception to what another artist does. It becomes worrying, however, when it becomes a standard conversational fare, thus taking people's attention from the creative genius of the poet, singer, or writer.

I have uploaded A. Zango Oyoyo and Bingo to our servers. Salisu will soon send a link to where you can hear or download them.

Abdalla






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Dan-Borno
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 08:41:55 AM »

Interesting Prof. especially the puting together of a video
and audio CD of the various concerts, this is a well come
idea and if you need any hand, mine is up.

Admin. lets have the links to this Bingo and Oyoyo pls before
we post in our comments.
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 11:18:38 AM »

Wa'alaika salam,

First of all, I highly regard your heavy and beaming jovial expression on me. That keeps me stick with you gentlemen up here. Thanks.

Well, I can't remember where exactly but I once heard (overheard?) you saying that you were going to rather denounce their (both A Zango and K-boys') actions, for the way all the 'incident' went was quite ammoral, for example there is use of vulgar, abusive and offensive language. Yet I didn't see any where where that is mentioned, which it, I reckon, very applicable here. We don't know how many people would stumble here to read the thread. Thus would serve as a message, huh?

Personally, ain't happy with whats happening in film or song industry in Kano. Though, almost against my'self', I like and love to listen to SOME of those musics expecially that of Sadi Sidi Sharifai. Things have remarkably but negatively changed, e.g they have now transformed their basira to attacking, defaming, etc other people as well as praising, sycphanting! What a bad move! Just why not continue with their 'normal' songs?

And, up to now, I have never listened to full version of A Zango's song, let alone that of K-boys because there is ristriction in bluetoothing, downloading, etc them. Yet people still do it secretly.

Don't get enough time to say my mind gaba daya. Amma inshaAllah that would be continued. Ina fatan that would be responded to ASAP.

Thanks
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 03:22:40 PM »

Mhnnnnn! Intreresting! A jira i dawo. Allah dai Ya sa mu dawo lafiya! Prof. za mu sake haduwa kan wannan maganar Hausacontemporary music in Allah Ya so. I hav alot to say! Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 03:24:55 PM »


Well, I can't remember where exactly but I once heard (overheard?) you saying that you were going to rather denounce their (both A Zango and K-boys') actions, for the way all the 'incident' went was quite ammoral, for example there is use of vulgar, abusive and offensive language. Yet I didn't see any where where that is mentioned, which it, I reckon, very applicable here.

Muhsin, I am not sure I understand exactly what you are saying! Are you expecting me to condemn both Zango and K-Boyz? I am afraid I don't have that luxury of passing an opinion as a researcher. I have access to K-Boyz and I told them abusing anyone's mother is bad enough. I don't have access to Zango. In any event, as I said in the posting, using an invective -- insult or abuse -- in literature is an old art, going back to the Greeks. That it is old doesn't make it right. But it does happen. Artists who see differently have always used the medium of music to exercise their creativity in insulting each other. It is particularly seen as bad in Hausa societies because such societies are didactic -- they expect any literary form of expression to be "meaningful" and educative -- witness the furor against Hausa fiction and Hausa video films which are all seen as immoral and not geared towards any moral messages. In other societies the wordings used in the invectives alone are units of analysis! But as they as they, "different strokes, for different folks".

Salisu will be uploading the link to the songs, so people can download and see what they make of them.

Abdala
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 11:01:31 PM »

Assalamu alaikum - members,

You may navigate to the following link to download the two mp3 files. http://kanoonline.com/jm/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=53
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 11:58:47 AM »


Well, I can't remember where exactly but I once heard (overheard?) you saying that you were going to rather denounce their (both A Zango and K-boys') actions, for the way all the 'incident' went was quite ammoral, for example there is use of vulgar, abusive and offensive language. Yet I didn't see any where where that is mentioned, which it, I reckon, very applicable here.

Muhsin, I am not sure I understand exactly what you are saying! Are you expecting me to condemn both Zango and K-Boyz? I am afraid I don't have that luxury of passing an opinion as a researcher. I have access to K-Boyz and I told them abusing anyone's mother is bad enough. I don't have access to Zango.

Yep, I was, Prof. But I didn't know of the second fact. And you did right by telling them (K-Boyz) that.

Thanks
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 12:09:01 PM »

Thanks Prof. I first heard of the Zango song from a friend. He told me that he was surprised when his wife played it for him from her mobile in Katsina. I was actually shocked that our society has degenerated to such level that someone like Adam Zango would have the temerity to insult and abuse a governor in a song. I havne't heard it ( and I don't even want to listen to the song) as it would only infuriate me further. By all means sing your song and criticize if you want, but to abuse and insult someone as high as a governor is totally degrading and unacceptable. It shows irin rashin tarbiyya, rashin ilimi da tsabar rashin hankali na shi Zango. Allah ya kyauta.
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2009, 12:46:30 PM »

Malam Bagangizo & Muhsin, i dont know why you guys turn
your eyes in seeing any good with these young and talented
musicians of our time.  now, you said you dont want to
listen to the music, i dont know how you arrived successfully
at faulting Adam Zango's song which i rather prefer to call
'message' to the Government of Kano. 

now that zango was somehow sent on compulsory exile to a
nearby state that shares almost everything same is finding
comfort, and i bet you, zango is selling more than you can
imagine right inside kano state.  this is our fear right from the
inception, its better for the government to play it safe with
these boyz, shape them to have a better society.

now, 3 or 4 weeks ago, Iyan Tama was also sent to jail by the
censors board even after he pleaded not guilty to the offence,
he was not allowed to defend himself in a court of law - for
God sake how do we fight evil with evil?

finally, ibro was released, but dont be surprised, he has also
released an album, whoever listens to the music knows that
he is sending message to the government of kano and
particularly, some group of people who thinks that kano must
be like 'madinatul munawwara' which is not possible.

if kano succeeded in sending away the likes of zango for the reason
that he is not the son of the soil (only when you become famous
that your state of origin will be questioned) they cannot succeed
in sending away people like ibro from kano.

now that music has been banned in all hausa fim, we are withnessing
the proliferation of islamic singers "masu yabon annabi" in an
alternative way to keep their business going - as for me, music is
music, wether religious or otherwise, so long as the instruments
used are same.

in naga dama a gidan gwamna zan kwana
in naga dama a gidan sarki zan kwana
in naga dama a unguwan dosa zan kwan
                        -   A. Zango


kuma, bagangizo, wether we like it or not, we cannot run away
from entertaining ourselves, be it in sport, music, name it, one
way or the other you must relax and enjoy uself.


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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2009, 04:26:45 PM »

Malam Bagangizo & Muhsin, i dont know why you guys turn
your eyes in seeing any good with these young and talented
musicians of our time.  now, you said you dont want to
listen to the music, i dont know how you arrived successfully
at faulting Adam Zango's song which i rather prefer to call
'message' to the Government of Kano. 

So in your reckoning, abusing a sitting governor in a song is okay? Moreover by wani sakarai, mara hankali irin A. Zango? Ko ni na fi karfin Adam Zango ya zage ni, ba ma wani gwamna ba? The isssue is not about song, but about what's in hte song. There are many musicians in Kano churning out songs/albums on a daily. Ba wanda ya ce musu kala. Because they are decent. Adamu Nagudu, Nazifi Asnanic, Mukhtar Kabara, Fati Nijar, Maryam Baba, Murja Baba, Billy O, Shaba, Abdullahi Mighty, Aminu Ala, Yakubu Moh'd, Ali Jita, Danladi Kima ...... These are just a few of the hundreds plying their trade in Kano. Me yasa su ba'a ce musu komai ba? And for your information, Mallam has nothing to do with Zango's exile. Mutanen gari ne da suka ga abin ya zama rashin mutunci suka ce zasu yi maganin shi. Like I keep on saying, everyone is free to go to whatever state if he/she feels he's not comfortable with the regulated film/music environment in Kano. If the other states can take wadannan shirmen, fine. Good luck to them. Mu dai anan bamu yarda da rashin hankali da shiririta ba, all in the name of entertainment and business. Ehe!!! Aha!!!
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 04:52:28 PM »

yes, many were not persecuted, this is just the begining,
sooner or later, they will get at the others - but i am sure
you didnt hear the song quoted by Prof. which Sadi Sidi
Sharifai, Fati Nijar and some other musicians jointly sang
to air their grievances (all the musicians): refresh your
memory.

Mai karfi da karfin mulki       
Ba ka fi fa karfin Allah ba         

Mai karfi da karfin iko             
Ba ka fi fa ikon Allah ba           

Mai karfi da karfin khakhi         
Bai wuce tasrifin Allah ba         

Mai karfi da karfin jama'a         
Bai wuce rundunar Allah ba     

Allah Kai mukewa kuka           
Zalunci ba zai dore ba           

Wanda duk ya ke zalunci         
Karshensa ba zai kyawu ba

who is A Zango to even dare come close to you, not to talk
of abusing you? it wont happen, but i am assuring you that
anytime you lower yourself so low to his level and cross his
line, he will deal with you and anybody. 

Late Dan-Kwairo is an hausa musician, during his time, there are
emirs and chiefs who are not in his good book, each time he
sat down to sing, he lambast them to the core.  Same thing
with Late Mamman Shata - its their on record check them.

Bakangizo, do you know that our (nigerian) governor's dash out
millions of naira to musicians to praise them? i expect you to
say NO, because it seems you dont listen to our local music,
if not, these boys make a hell of money before the election,
and the worst is, they are asked to abuse the other person's
opponent in the song.  now its pay back time.



     
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2009, 02:59:06 PM »

I don't see what you are on about. I really don't. The song you quoted was by Maryam Baba, featuring Sadi Sidi. It is still on sale. Nobody banned it, and the producers were not arrested or persecuted. In fact if you read what Prof said, Mallam Rabo Moh'd, the Head of the Censor Board even had it on his mobile phone and he personally said he liked it. So what's your point? Compare the lyrics in this song and the one by wannan sakaran Zango. See d difference. While Maryam was generalistic, matured and sensible in her approach, calling on leaders to act justly and wisely, and it was about the censor board chairman. Amma wannan wawan was attacking the governor personally. This despite the fact that the governor was not the head of the censor board. As if Mallam singled him out and gave a specific order to have him incarcerated. So I don't understand what's bugging you so much about it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2009, 10:04:57 AM »

what i was trying to say is that both Rabon Wahala and the
song by wannan sakaran yaron Adam Zango were released
to serve the same purpose - meaning attacking their attackers,
except that each is on its merit, that is why Prof. Abdallah
referred that of Zango as most fiery invective, take note
of the bolded most pls, but they are all fiery invective.

what about the new release by Dan-Ibro (SANKARAU)? baka jiba?
in that song Ibro completely lambasted the governor clearly and
inform whoever wants to know that his illegal and unjustified
imprisonment will only encourage him to do more - he referred himself
as "mai bakin reza" this is just the beginning.

wanda yakaini dakin tuwon dusa, to bana ka kamo kwarkwasa.
komai tsiyarsu dole ya numfasa Allah kadai yake iya daureni

...adaka adaka, sai dai gwaza
.


 Grin lol, wai shi da baban chinedu zasu hau tsohon babur su tafi borno.

What i was against is the mode the government is fighting this war,
its time they try a more result yielding method else, same happened
to the black american rappers.
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"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak
bakangizo
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2009, 07:31:51 PM »

And you think some shallow, childish abuses would deter the govet/governor? Of course you expect these types of reactions, especially given our type of environment. Rashin hankali da rashin da'a sunyi yawa. The govt knows this would happen. I would expect it. It is rather harmless and stupid as far as am concerned. Again, why is it that only two or three are affected amongst a hundred? Why are the others not touched? Why is Maryam's song still on sale and the gov't didn't even raise an eye brow? It shows the gov't isn't just punishing anybody for the sake of it. Saboda haka a bi doka a zauna lafiya. Duk wanda ya taka doka, doka ta taka shi. In ta kama ma, ta karya shi. Ehe!
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 05:09:44 PM »

Rapacious Rap indeed
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"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak
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