The problem is not Terry tha Rapman’s switch to pop, it’s the fact that ‘Gamusu’ is a weak offering

Posted on December 19 2016 , at 04:30 pm
Read more
Story highlights
  • 'Gamusu' is not worth the plenty grammar Terry is defending it with.

Lord TR
Terry tha Rapman

It must be hard being a Nigerian rapper – one minute fans are ignoring your clever punchlines and witty wordplay, the next they are slating you for doing tracks that nobody cares about.

Terry tha Rapman‘s gripe is with people criticising him for trying out a pop sound on his latest release, ‘Gamusu‘. It smacks of hypocrisy for the same audience that doesn’t pay attention to rappers to turn on them when they switch sounds.

Terry tha Rapman is not your average rapper. His flows have never been in question. As his alter-ego Joe Spasm, he’s even more deadly with bars. But then he has never been restricted to what people refer to as ‘hardcore’.

In the words of @Hephef, Terry has always been the ‘mainstream pop star’ from the hip-hop collective Swat Root and he excelled at it. While others like Modenine remained unflinching from their purist approach to the art form, Terry was willing to mix it up and throw in a local slang here and there to spice up his deep lyrics.

His ‘I am a Nigerian’ was a parody of Eminem‘s ‘My name is’. ‘Na Beans’ remains one of the finest rap songs to come out Nigeria. However, nothing lasts forever and after a while newer artistes got on the scene and got more attention than Terry. Shit happens.

Add to that the alignments and re-alignments with different labels and you’ll probably understand why the man has not been celebrated as much he could have been.

As the wave of local fusion – irritatingly disparaged as ‘pangolo’ music – swept over Nigerian music, several artistes made the decision to flip their sound or at least ‘popify’ it a little.

Therefore you had Dr Sid who used to be a rapper with Trybe Records become a pop singer with Mo’hits and then Mavin. The likes of Olamide, Phyno, M.I Abaga that Terry referenced in his Facebook post all have leaned heavily towards pop and it is working for all of them.

Like he rightly said, all the rap greats have done commercial pop songs in the past and it does not reduce their greatness one bit. So the issue here is not necessarily because Terry tha Rapman is experimenting with pop, it is because ‘Gamusu’ is a weak attempt at doing so.

The song is unimaginative at best and if it didn’t show the man’s desperation to hop on a lane that has landed Wizkid on a track with Drake, Terry’s own words in his Facebook post confirms it: ‘I also have bills to pay.’

In the spirit of full disclosure, in the past this writer has given some other rappers flak for not taking advantage of the commercial successes that pop can earn them. That said, it should never be at the expense of good music.

One of the biggest songs of 2016, Tekno‘s ‘Pana’ is not anything intellectual. The lyrics are not only cheesy, some are downright ludicrous. BUT (capital letters for emphasis) the music is too good to ignore. The beat, the tune and the arrangement makes up for its chaffy content.

So it’s fine if Terry tha Rapman wants to do what sells i.e. pop music. Anybody saying he shouldn’t is not deserving of good music. How dare you say artistes cannot do what they like with their songs. In the same vein, any artiste – more so one that has been famed for high quality lyrics – that desires to dumb it down, needs to do so in a way that is not sub par.

In the words of Jay Z in his song ‘Moment of Clarity’, ‘I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars. They criticise for it, yet they all yell ‘holla’. If skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be lyrically Talib Kweli. Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense, but I did 5 mill’ – I ain’t been rhyming like Common since.’

‘Gamusu’ is not worth the plenty grammar Terry is defending it with. Someone else suggested that he ought to get Tekno’s ‘songwriter’ to help him out. Now that might sound like a diss but it really isn’t.

If Joe Spasm is going to thrive in this his new calling, he’ll need to do much better than ‘Gamusu’. Oh you thought people didn’t pay attention to rap? With pop, it’s worse. There’s a thousand songs that sound exactly like this. And to make that money he’s talking about, he must do better than this.

Ⓒ Copyright NET News Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Please use sharing tools. Do not cut, copy or lift any content from this website without our consent.

More related posts