Music Video: Majemu by Dimeji & the NCR band

Today, I share a music video by Dimeji Olayinka-Israel. I had the privilege of being part of rehearsals and recordings for his forthcoming album and, while you’ll have to wait for my detailed reviews of the songs on the album later in the year, you can take a peep into what’s to come by watching the video of Dimeji below. The lyrics have been translated into English for non-Youruba-speaking folks. Be blessed and enjoy the rest of the weekend! :)

Asa’s “Broda Ole”: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

Today, we head back to the suburbs – the outskirts of Lagos, maybe. Asa tells the story of a no-nonsense mother whose impressionable child is being wrongly influenced by a notorious neighbour. Ironically on a jolly beat, the narrator sends a serious message to her object of scorn and his girlfriend. Here goes:

Oh! Ah!! Mo gbo n’pe (Oh! ah! I heard)
Eyin ni broda oke (You are the fellow who lives upstairs)
Eyin l’e n k’omo mi l’ole, ah ah ah (You teach my child to steal)
Oh! Ah!! Mo gbo n’pe (Oh! Ah!! I heard)
Eyin ni sista oke (You are the lady who lives upstairs)
Eyin l’e n fe broda ole, ah ah ah (You are engaged to the crook)

She hurries into bridge, giving a mention to other neighbours who are troubled by the notorious neighbour’s negative influence on their children – as if reading out the names of all parties to a petition. The cast is not far from the everyday characters that acclaimed Nigerian writer, Teju Cole, brings to life in his “small fates”.

Iya Sidi, oni ‘diri mi (Sidi’s mum – my hairdresser)
Sisi Uche egbon ore mi (Uche, my friend’s elder sister)
Awon lo ran mi wa o o (They all sent me to you!)
Bobo Musa onireke wa (Musa, the male sugarcane seller)
Iya Mulika ol’omo meje (Mulika’s mum – mother of seven)
Awon lo ran mi wa o (They all sent me to you)

As if the notorious neighbour is distracted by her serious, albeit funny stance, she reiterates her seriousness about the matter at hand – and I can picture her clapping both hands, holding her sides and shaking her waist in sync with the rest of her body.

Eyi ko n soro erin (This is not ‘a laughing matter’)
E ma je n so fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to the people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you
T’ori olorun mo be o (I beg you in the name of God)
E ma je n so fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you

She is angered, perhaps by the man’s silence and amusing looks, so she flares up further.

Oh! Ah!! Mo gbo n’pe eyin ni oga ole (Oh ah! I heard you are the leader of a robbery gang)
E de n se bi Olorun, ah ah ah (And you are acting like you’re God)
Omo mi mo f’iya bi, on f’oju di mi (My child whom I bore in sweat now dares me)
O n s’oro mi l’aida ; pe eyin ni Olorun (He/she speaks evil of me; that you are God)

Emi l’omo olokun meji; (I can be troublesome)
E lo bere mi l’owo anybody (Go ask about me from anybody)
E ma ma wa ‘ja mi o o (Don’t you dare me!)
Oh oh oh, oh oh
Omo to ni ‘ya re ko ni sun (The child who says his/her mother would not sleep)
Oun gangan ko ni f’oju sun (He/she is the one who would lose sleep)
E ma ma wa ‘ja mi o o (Don’t you dare me!)
Oh oh oh, oh oh

The brass-section players are let loose here like never before since the beginning of the song. Back-up vocals also come alive, never singing a word…

Eyi ko n soro erin (This is not a laughing matter)
E ma je n so fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to other people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Eyi ko n soro a ri fin (This is not a laughing matter)
E ma je n so fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to other people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you, Eh!

The strings take turns as Asa takes liberty with musical notes, scat-singing like one tired of repeating same thing the umpteenth time. She soon repeats the familiar line even as the tempo picks up again. The brass players have fun again.

Eyi ko n soro erin (This is not a laughing matter)
E ma je n so fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you
T’ori olorun mo be o (I beg you in the name of God)
E ma je n ro jo mi fun anybody, ah ah ah (Don’t let me expose you to people)
I’m talking to you, talking to you

She sneers, but the lively piece continues till fade just five seconds short of four minutes.

Ori abiamo a mu e l’oni o, a mu e l’oni o (Nemesis will catch up with you today)
Ah, ah, ah ah
A ni, ori abiamo a mu e l’oni o, a mu e l’oni o (Nemesis will catch up with you today)
Ah, ah, ah ah

Ye ye ye, eyin die die die
Eyin agbaya eh; eyin agbaya ah (You good-for-nothing adult x2)

This is a brilliant, entertaining work of art. Again, thanks Asa!

Listen to Broda Ole here: :http://gbengaawomodu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/11-Broda-Olé.mp3|titles=11

Photo credit: www.fredprat.com

*This post was originally published here: Asa’s “Broda Ole”: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

Bez’s “Zuciya Daya”: A Narrative Lyrical Analysis

Several months ago, I did a series of narrative lyrical analyses on some of Asa’s songs. (I like Asa, and her songs – the lyrics, her voice, her signature ad libs, and her guitar-strumming prowess.) Someone in a similar mould is Bez Idakula who was tagged as the “the next big thing” by the Guardian and Thisday newspapers in 2008. He does a hybrid of jazz, soul, and world music – an eclectic sound he calls ‘alternative soul’. Last year the highly talented guitarist from Jos, Plateau State, finally dropped his long-awaited 15-track album, Super Sun, produced by Cobhams Asuquo, with the exception of one song by IBK, and it was worth the wait. Today, I weigh in on the Track 3.

“Zuciya Daya”, literally translated as “One Heart”, is a warm exchange between two people who emerge from two different socioeconomic strata to find a heart-connection and a common ground. It is the cliché romantic tale of ‘poor-boy’-meets-‘rich-girl’, but you just have to fall in love with the points of view and dialogue, plus the music. Ushered in by hi-hat cymbals and guitar strokes, the protagonist observes his object of interest; he wonders what she thinks, tries to feel her pulse, guesses with certainty and eventually receives words of encouragement and assurance:

VERSE 1:
She sits across the table/thoughts moving through her mind
She knows I may be yearning/ But then I have no say
She stares with tears/ She walks away/ She may be rich, I am not;
And that alone just kills the dream
“Don’t you worry ‘bout the thing,” she says
“We should both be happy, we would be together forever”
“Don’t you worry ‘bout the thing,” she says
“We should both be happy, we would be together forever.”

The chorus is garnished with five beautiful Hausa words which he repeats to admonish his lover, and whoever cares to listen. He pleads for mutual commitment to the relationship, perhaps to guard against the faintest trace of doubt and lack of faith in the longevity of such a partnership.

CHORUS:
And I’ll say these words/ “Every little thing you do;
Mu bayar da zuciya daya” [Let’s give with one heart]
Mu bayar da zuciya daya” [Let’s give with one heart]
“For you don’t know where it takes you to.”
Mu bayar da zuciya daya” [Let’s give with one heart]
Mu bayar da zuciya daya” [Let’s give with one heart]

In the second verse, he changes the point of view, as in a note to self. He highlights again the pains and heartbreaks that often accompany such relationships, like a man who persistently seeks re-assurance that all would be well, regardless of the difference in socioeconomic background.

VERSE 2:
I sit across the table/thoughts moving through my mind
I know I may be yearning/But, then I have no say
I still had tears/and, she walks away/She may be rich, I am not;
And that alone just kills the dream
“Don’t you worry ‘bout the thing,” she says
“We should both be happy; we would be together forever, baby”
“Don’t you worry ‘bout the thing,” she says
“We should both be happy; we would be together forever.”

Bez does quality music and I’m impressed by the level of details to the sound and the words. The poetry is pleasant to the ears. Nevertheless, what is your take on this track? Have you ever been caught in the rich-boy-meets-poor-girl/rich-girl-meets-poor-boy web? How did you handle it, whether it came out right or not? See you next week!

Listen to “Zuciya Daya” here: 03 Zuciya Daya

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu