Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nubia’s lyrical ballads


Beautiful Nubia’s most recent album Kilokilo is an eclectic mix of love ballads and didactic playground stories that are carried along with simple drum strokes and gong beats. In Wa bu’ra, he sings about finding love on the dance floor in a manner that makes one really wish to have such an experience. At once he takes the listener back memory lane into the dance rhythms of the 1960s and 70s lulling the listener along with his Afrobeat style. The story of beautiful Amoke, a love interest, comes alive with every twang and ascension of the beat. It is also at once romantic as well as it is didactic; “Haa Amoke arewa omoge/ jowo nje mole ba o jo/ lo ba nowo pe oya/ l’aba bo s’agbo ijo/ Agba wa bu’ra/ b’ewe o se e ri”.

In Mama Bendel, Nubia’s reminiscing takes the listener back to the University of Ibadan of the 80s with his tribute to the all caring food vendor, Mama Bendel. He immortalizes the legend of Mama Bendel with his typical racy beat tucked into palm wine music. “She was always there, she put the shine in my dull days”, he sings. His tribute takes the listener down his own memory lane remembering the days of yore at the hands of caring mama puts.

In Down the street, Nubia offers a beautiful sing along with a sad song about a little girl who has lost her family; “Where is papa gone, where is mama gone…everybody’s gone, the little baby cried and cried”. In Kilokilo, the title track, Nubia cannot run away from the poet’s role as the society’s voice of conscience. He sends a warning to politicians to desist from their evil ways. My mother’s fatter than yours tells of the average person’s willful ability to make others feel smaller than them. It is a funny depiction of a playground exchange between children at loggerheads. “My child is better than yours/ my brother’s stronger than yours/ my sister’s prettier than yours/ and I’m richer than your family; my house is bigger than yours/ my father’s taller than yours/ my mother’s fatter than yours/ and we’re richer than your family”. At the end he compels the listener to live life above wanting to be like the Jones’.

The twelve track CD album might not exactly be like his previous massive album Jangbalajugbu but Segun Akinlolu has surely scored another hit with Kilokilo. His music slowly grows on the listener and one cannot but fall in line with the rhythm with more listening.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Nubia is one of my favourite Nigerian artists. He does appeal to my sense of poetry and rhythm.

    Nice blog.