This quote made more sense in 2019. After Mavin & Jonzing Record Label introduced a vibrant youngster whose take on Afrobeat was eclectic.
During Rema’s breakout as expected, criticisms about his fashion style & music sound, fired left and right, on the streets of Twitter Ng. Like bullets on the battlefield.
‘He sounds like an Indian’ ‘What’s he saying I can’t hear?’ ‘He’s bringing American Trap to Nigeria’, etc, Fast Forward to 2 years later, Most New School Nigerian Acts want to sound like Rema. (No shade thrown).
But how is the Alte Movement & Rema’s evolution relevant to this article? And What is Drill Music anyway? And why should we care?
Drill music is a style of trap music that originated in the south side, Chicago. It is defined by its dark violent and nihilist lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats.[Wikipedia].
Does it have a place in Nigeria?
The answer is straight-up Yes!. If not, records like Pop Smoke’s ‘Dior’, Headie One & Drake’s ‘Only You Freestyle’ won’t be climbing Nigerian music charts.
But can a home-based Nigerian artist ride on the Drill wave? Will Nigerians accept it if they do? Should we? What will happen will happen regardless of the opinion and expectation of a dreamy listener like myself.
For a hardcore Hip Hop sub-genre like Drill music to solidify a spot in the Nigerian music scene, A culture has to accompany it. Like we witnessed crop-tops, bucket hats, baddy jeans become very popular during the Alte Revolution in the 2010s.
But what type of culture will this ‘Gangster Rap’ promote? I hope it’s not what we’re thinking. I hope the young Nigerian artists going into drill know better than to promote Murder, Sex, Drugs.
Loki840 is one rapper that deserves your listen. His latest single ‘Dance’ featuring Lagos based Drill rapper ‘Droxx’ is everything I love about +234Drill.
The listening experience the song delivers has hip-swaying impulses like the title commands, The slippery beat sequence is commendable. For a drill track, the lyric is creative. relatable and raw; while serving as a potent ego juice. ‘With some real-life top boy generals, Please don’t test me, I’m bigger than that!’
There are Other projects like ‘Welcome to the 234’ by PSIV or tracks by ‘Officer’ where Droxx goes on about police brutality. Thriving in the underground streaming platforms, mainly Soundcloud.
What is needed is a charismatic act and a good record to set the stage for ‘Drill music’ in Nigeria. Or should I say (‘Afro-drill’).
But even with a charismatic Artist and a good drill record, setting this stage will be difficult and will require heavy rebranding and heavy marketing. As several styles are reigning in the Nigerian music industry.
There is the Marlian street Lamba that is going nowhere. There is Altè that is certain to make its return with the release of Cruel Santino’s upcoming album. Also, there are mid-tempo pop tunes that have suddenly become so popular; Need I remind you is the opposite of what Drill music entails. So Nigerian Drill Artists have a lot to overcome.
Although still at its genesis, the final confirmation to whether Drill Music does have a place in Nigeria or not. It Will be known; When a Homemade Nigerian act makes a Drill record that’ll land a top 10 position on playlists and digital charts. Which will now open the doors for others to follow.
With this line-up, there is talent and potential for this to happen. Loki840, LK, Jaiye, ODUMODU BLVCK, Mojo, Drae the alien, D.S.6, Tomi Obanure, Wickedest, Qeeb, Eniola Havoc, Mo’gunz, Droxx and others are yet to be discovered.
Who is it gonna be?
Freelance Writer, Pop Culture Critic & Storyteller.
Reach out to me Israelnisola
Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.