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What has changed? Everything, except God. The terrain, atmosphere, population, politics, economy, education, transportation, communication, business, culture, wellbeing, life span of human beings, life has it were, has changed radically. Change, they say, is constant; nothing is ever the same, and no one is ever the same again as a result of change. The question is, how has this change affected us all? Is it positively or negatively? 

What brought about this change? An average Nigerian will quickly answer APC or Buhari, because "Change" in Nigeria is synonymous to APC or Buhari. Don’t be quick to conclude, we might need to pause and really think about this. But that is not my goal here. 

My goal here is about this change and music, especially in this 21st century. Please read on, don’t stop now because it concerns you. At least, find out how music impacts everybody. 

The impacts of music globally can never be over emphasized. Music has helped to reduce unemployment. It has taken advertisements to a new level. Music has been a powerful tool for communication and preservation of cultural values, beliefs and moral ethics. At a time, in Nigeria, our music used to be in narrative form, a story with an underlining message or truth. Many important lessons pertaining to us as a people were learnt through singing in our elementary classes.  The well-defined, cool music of those days would calm your nerves and relax your brain. 

But this change in our music, even though has recorded some positivity in terms of its creation, performance platforms, distribution and consumption, still calls for a careful watch. We are not really listening anymore; it’s just about feeling the beats (rhythm and groove). Even if all the lyrics are curses, as long as it gets us dancing, we think all is well. We have forgotten that music is so powerful that it can control one's emotion and actions. Majority of our kids, and even adults, are now used to slangs picked up from some songs in their everyday conversations (AYE LE O, BADDO SNEH, DURO SOKE, WOJU O, DORO, ONE CORNER, AJA ONE, MAD O….). This unusual, loud, meaningless noise we call music, isn’t it contributing to pollution, stress, e.t.c.? Just saying. 

The American community till today has not been able to salvage the wreck and damage music genre such as Rock, Rap and Hip-hop has caused. The increase in violence, sales and consumption of hard drugs and hyper sexuality (leading to high risks of  rape, unwanted pregnancy, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases e.t.c.), to name a few, are the results.

This change, are we not seeing the negative effects in our own community? What typify the major crop of our popular musicians in Nigeria today if not the glamorization of drugs, violence and naked women? 

Role modeling is another problem. All of a sudden all our students want to become musicians. For the money, I guess. But what about the lifestyle of flamboyancy, hooliganism, indecent dressing, and illicit sexual behavior, can our children really separate? Media and the internet are not helping the matter especially in spreading music with bad and immoral contents. 
I am not saying music generally, such as, rap/hip-hop or any genre for that matter, is bad or is solely responsible for the ills in the society; there are good ones too. I know as a nation we have issues; unemployment, poverty, corruption and so on. But this change that has caused widespread of music with bad and immoral contents, its impact on young minds negatively, we may never be able to quantify.

My honest advice to parents and guardians; please show good examples, monitor the young ones and pay attention to the kinds of music they consume. To all musicians, your creativity will inspire your listeners and bring you gains but, for God sake, your content will surely have a resultant effect. Sow good seeds. Students, focus on your studies; choose your role model wisely.

For every one reading, there is good music out there you can enjoy. Your life is not a dumping ground for rubbish, watch what you listen to. And if you really want to pursue music, there are good musicians out there too you can learn from, including myself (with a little support, my music will be everywhere soon….not kidding).

Whatever happens to music with this change? You decide.


© 2021 Oyeniyi Oke (Okextra). All Rights Reserved

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