The creative process of making music is different from artiste to artiste. One draws inspiration from loved ones and family, another’s passion is fueled by nature and serenity, others take theirs from the street, the ashes and lowly places.
It’s always easy to tell where an artiste might have picked up the inspiration to create a new piece of music just by listening objectively to the song.
That being said, we can all tell where Terry G picked up the inspiration for his smash hit ‘Free Madness’. Or perhaps we understand how Davido felt when he was recording ‘Dami Duro’. From this background, we have artistes who naturally make heavy emotional love songs while others do razz, uncouth music because that who they are or have been forged into from their cumulative experiences.
It is from a state of ashes to riches fairytale that songs like ‘Yahoozee’, ‘Big Boy’, ‘Living Things’, ‘Wetin We Gain’ etc rise from. Many of our music stars who made hits singing about ‘getting paid after hustling’ have indeed had worst days behind them.
The hustle as we have come to understand from some of these ‘great songs’ is not entirely legit in the eyes of the law or morality. But after cutting corners, bending rules, playing dirty finally get to hammer. This lifestyle has been propagated extensively on some of our biggest songs and they artistes themselves get brazen about it as each day passes.
To show how far gone we are in culture of glorifying fraud, an artiste wakes up one morning hits the blunt and without being quizzed declares on social media ‘yahoo no be crime’ equating it to justice for yesteryears of African slavery by the whites.
Tongues wag, he gets the sticks but he never backs down on his stance on ‘yahoo yahoo’ aka internet fraud. Whether by sheer sarcasm or folly he makes a record on the very controversial subject to ride the buzz.
Now he alongside his buddies are somewhere in the custody of EFCC cooling off.
For one, making music about fraud can be an artiste’s creative process vis a vis his environment in this case as well as many others. But it’s a no-no when you damn the consequence and push the narrative that is OK to do fraud because our politicians are uncaring criminals too or internet fraud is a 21st century gesture of Robin hood .
Openly supporting fraud may be the beginning of an end to the rise of Naira Marley and Zlatan Ibile music careers. The deed has been done and they must face the consequences now unless proved innocent.
However, the stench of openly supporting fraud and being associated with fraudsters might be much harder to dispel.
Naira Marley and Zlatan have no known endorsement deals at the moment but can brands especially those in the financial sector want to get associated with them now? I think not. Let’s think back to how much Dammy Krane is struggling to get up after being beaten down flat by allegations of credit card fraud in the US. Remember he was acquitted but Nigerians still troll him everyday for it.
Once you get into the books of the EFCC best bet is that your life is being watched closely for the moment you slip up again. Probably the anti-graft agency may have found the perfect scapegoats to set examples with. Things can never be the same.
How about these artistes walk into an Embassy demanding visas to catch up with shows outside the country and they are refused. And it gets ugly when you can’t secure the bag outside Nigeria because of their soiled reputation.
The public endorsement of internet fraud may be a suicidal path for both Naira Marley and Zlatan and there maybe no coming out alive.