Saturday, September 29, 2007

Afrikan Boy - "One Day I Went To Lidl"

I certainly do not endorse shoplifting in Lidl, ASDA or elsewhere, but I think I am quite feeling this track (and broke-ass homemade video) by Afrikan Boy.

Afrikan Boy is the youf who featured on the song "Hussel" off of M.I.A.'s Kala; I think the kid's got a future.

It's refreshing to hear a UK-based Nigerian rapper repping in something of an authentic Naija voice--Yeah, yeah... I should probably know better than anyone that the phrase "authentic Naija voice" is pretty nebulous, and a slope we don't want to go slipping down. But I guess what I'm saying is that unlike a lot of Nigerian rappers in Jand (and even many back home in Nigeria) Afrikan Boy does not seem to draw too heavily upon the vocal approach of American hip-hop or even Jamaican dancehall and ragga. Likewise, he doesn't "ovah-Naijarize" the thing too much like a few MCs in the Diaspora who crank up their Nigerian accents to the point of parody.

His flow is rudimentary and occasionally awkward, and sometimes his rhyme sense misses the mark by miles, but I hear the seed of something original there. The cadence and repetitive end-rhymes create an inbuilt call-and-response that brings to mind Nigerian nursery rhymes and children's songs like

O-yi-bo (PE-pe)
If-you-eat (PE-pe!)
You-go-see (PE-pe!)


Bas-sey, Bas-sey (YES-YES!)
You are dan-cing (YES-YES!)
When I told you (YES-YES!)
To learn your spel-lings (YES-YES)
But you are dan-cing (YES-YES!)
I can-not stand it (YES-YES!)
I bet-ter fol-low (YES-YES!)

And then there's his style of humor, the subject matter and references he makes, even in his tossed-off metaphors ("out there we are grinding like pepper")... I hear him laying down building blocks with which to build an authentic, original Naija rap style that doesn't ape international trends.

(Mind you, I am by no means suggesting that Afrikan Boy is the only Nigerian rapper doing this, but for whatever reason I find myself especially appreciative of his efforts.)

Here's his Myspace.


Anonymous said...

Hiphop lives all over the world.If Redman or Ludacris was from Nigeria, this would be there sstyle! Love It!

skateboardj said...

I like this track a lot. It reminds me a little bit of grime, the hook especially reminds me of Roll Deep.

Thank god for post-world hip hop.

Let me know if you find anything else.

Comb & Razor said...

skateboardj! thanks for commenting, man!

"post-world".... is that what we finally decided on?

i like it... i think i'm gonna start using that!

skateboardj said...

Post-world hip hop

Yes. It doesn't sound like any of the "world" music you would hear in record/coffee shops.

Even with world genre music that incorporated western influence you could hear the country of origin. With post world you can't but it's not as prevalent.

It just sounds like some weird awkward mutation of hip hop, it's the morlocks of hip hop. I love everything good and bad about it, the cheap sounding electronics, the awkwardness as the artist are trying to figure out the genre themselves.

You know I like hybridized music better than the original, that's why I think I like Psych Soul more than Soul/Funk. I definitely think Whitefield is faking the psych and think Psych Soul by the Temptations is weak.

The comment was longer than I expected. I get too excited talking bout post world hip hop!!!

Comb & Razor said...

Whitfield's psych-soul is pretty interesting on a purely musical level, but it's still pretty mannered, contrived and polished.

but we have to bear in mind that even though he was given some latitude to break away from the tried-and-true Motown formula, he was still working in that Hitsville factory, trying to make buffed-up, commercial records.

but it was pretty clear that Whitfield was aping bands like Sly & the Family Stone and Funkadelic... some of the Temptations psych-soul stuff felt kinda dated even at the time of its release, but by Motown's standards it was pretty cutting edge.

anyway... i love that "morlocks of hip-hop" image you used. you should write more about that, man!

skateboardj said...

"it's still pretty mannered, contrived and polished"

Yep that's why i don't like it but on the other end Funkadelic go too caught up in the druggy image. I can't stand those 10 min meandering songs.

I see what you mean by working within his limitations but I just feel it pales in comparison to others in the genre.

"anyway... i love that "morlocks of hip-hop" image you used. you should write more about that, man!"

post-world or post hip hop.
anyways to continue the analogy the hipster hop acts like MIA, Spankrock, Bondle de Role would be the X-men. Some pretty ass sounding shit, although its meant to sound cheap it's really not and they just appropriating the sexual crassness into their work I assuming on some ironic level.

Bay Radical said...

Wow that song fucking rules. Thanks for the link!

Comb & Razor said...

thanks for stopping by, Bay Radical!