My love affair with Olamide has been dogged over the years by people willing me to do better. They come for me over the ‘razzness’ of his music. People have something to say about the lurid lyrics he employs. They came triumphantly with Story For The Gods – “Surely you cannot bat for him now! He is glorifying rape culture!” He wasn’t, but even that wouldn’t have stopped me. They were astounded that not only did I like him even while singing ‘Falila Ketan’, but it was – and still remains – one of my favourite songs.
What these people don’t seem to understand is that this is no teenage crush. I am not a slave to the rhythm or a child discovering lewd music for the first time. I do not giggle coquettishly as he sings naughty words. I’m grown and this is by no means my first ride around the rodeo where music is concerned.
I love Olamide’s work because I think he is a lyrical beast. His tongue is a lesson in alchemy: this man turns mere words into rhythmic gold. Language has always been my first love and when I see what Olamide does with it – first in English and then in Yoruba before dexterously flicking over to Pidgin…it’s sheer poetry, a joy for the ears.
He did a couple of commercial things I did not particularly care for – I Love Lagos, although an ode to my birth city, is a particularly dark day in the annals of my ‘Lamide Love Story. I was all set to get puritanical on him – how dare he not bring his very best to the studios every single time he touches a mic?!
Until I stopped to think of how many times I myself have gone through the motions despite being in an artistic capacity. Moreso when I am being commanded to write. You have not known pain until you have to write a sponsored post and try to inject life and passion into it. Just experiencing that ONCE helped me give him all the passes he needed. Not every time lyrical flow and creativity; sometimes put words to paper and pay rent.
All this turenchi to say that Owo Blow pleases me NO END! Lord, the things this man can do with his tongue! It is nothing short of supernatural!
Won ni player ni mi s’e ri mi ri l’ori console?
Mo kana gan, t’o ba ti j’oro ego
Emi o ki n se Lagbaja; e le pe mi n Chinonso
Mo ti y’Ibo gan from way back
Awon kan n bee, mo kan lay back
Success yen gan gan ni pay-back
E stack money up, ki n ma l’agbo ninu Maybach
Ahn; owo kun n, bi i ti Rick Ross
Won fe crucify mi won fe kan mi m’ori cross
Ahh; eje Jesu no be zobo o
Nobody fit stop me; oga, you no be O.B.O
Wallahi, it just comes too easily to him. Yorubas say “Abinibi, o yato si ability” – meaning innate skill is different from that which is learnt. Olamide is the embodiment of this saying. It flows from his guts to his mouth. It is his doing and our ears determine it to be good.
This may not end up being a club banger (although it will be because YBNL), but for me, it reminded of why Olamide is and remains my Bariga Boo.
Owo Blow – don’t hate the playa, hate yourself!
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