By Adanna Omaka (@adahna)
The Nigerian music industry has come a long way best believe, from the likes of the Chris Okotie‘s to the Evi Edna Ogoli‘s and then once upon a time along the line, a new genre of music called ‘hip-hop’ popped its face in Nigeria. Back in the days, it was kind of sneering to call oneself a rapper and of course, no parent would have wanted the child to venture into the music, let alone rap business.
Overtime, the industry and people in Nigeria started to recognize, pay attention and accept the genre called ‘hip-hop’. With the likes of the SWATROOT rap group (made up of Modenine, Overdose, 6footplus, Terry Tha Rapman, Mr. Baron, Eldee XL, SOLO Dee and Ruleclean) and Trybesmen (consisting of eLDee da Don, Freestyle and Kaboom) making a bold move and bringing the rap game into the Nigerian music scene in the late 90′s, and then we began to hear of females in the game like Sasha and Blaise (before then we had Weird MC, Queen Change, Empress and a few other). You see our society was and is still a male dominated one that considers females the lesser sex. Hence, female artistes generally speaking, did not blow up, as they should have.
However, fast forward a decade later, the game so far seems to have changed. Mark the word ‘seem’, because the female artistes generally speaking, are just becoming visible but have still managed to grow on us and make impressionable statements in the public who now pay attention to female emcees.
With the likes of B.O.U.Q.U.I doing her thing the gospel way, Sasha P who has made a huge move and so far has clinched the top spot as Nigeria’s foremost femcee. Blaise who many consider as the tightest female lyricist (pity her discography can’t back that up) and Kemistry making notable effort before she finally got stuck with her radio OAP job outside the country. So far, we have had influx of more female Mc’s. The likes of Kel who gained so much attention and released her debut album, Eva, Mo’Cheddah, Swytch of The Pulse, Zara,Cyclone, Mayshua and so many more.
One would be able to call a gathering of female emcees in Nigeria and about 25-30 would show up…or maybe more…
Sidebar: When I say femcees, I mean females who rap to inspire people with well-constructed and clear lyrics and with any type of instrumental and exploring other genres of music. You know being versatile with beats. Also being able to move the crowd and are concerned with making that classic music or album that would remain evergreen on people’s minds. So if you know you don’t fall into this category and if you use Lines like ‘i was born to win, I’m a born victor” (pronounced ‘Bourn vita’) or you call and refer to yourself as a ‘Barbie’, ’hoe’ or ‘Binsh’… baby girl, I am in no way talking about you sorry!
Female emcees in Nigeria may not have gotten to the level of the likes of Lauryn Hill, Tiye Phoenix, Eve or Missy Elliott but they are most definitely getting there. And the battle (some of them choose to call it competition )for the best & tightest female emcee has begun, the movement is fast spreading, the evolution has begun and with change being the only constant thing this too, hopefully, shall be a ‘Once upon a time’ story!