The simplest medium of communication in Nigeria is the RADIO. This special Device has such powers that you will be amazed at how rural areas, most especially villages are conversant with latest news, songs and trends. It is now a lot easier due to the presence of radio application on mobile devices. One can acquire a mobile phone for as little as #2000 with a radio app on it.
The environment one finds him/herself will determine how one will be able to grow and adapt to it. We all are conversant with this proverb “if you are in Rome, behave like the Romans”. It will be so strange for a northerner to go to the eastern part of Nigeria and see his culture represented/aired on the radio 24/7. Such can be said for a Yoruba person going to the north and listening to the radio playing Yoruba music?
We all know that music has no boundary. YES! It is one aspect that lots of radio stations have tried to tackle due to Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage. They are now successful in overcoming this segregation scourge. But a price has been paid at the expense of one important group of people – UPCOMING HIP-HOP ARTISTES.
I dare say that in almost all the states in Nigeria (with the exception of a few states like Lagos and Abuja), home-grown artistes (most especially the upcoming artistes) are poorly represented by radio stations in such states. The closest link an artiste has is with the RADIO PRESENTERS & DJs (otherwise known as ON AIR PERSONALITIES). Unfortunately, these radio personalities ask to be paid before their works are aired on the radio. This is pathetic. As a result, the upcoming artistes suffer in silence. I personally was very disappointed at a particular radio presenter in a particular radio station (I wont like to mention the name) said that upcoming artistes are too poor to promote their works or get air-plays. He also boasted of not being of the same class with them because they can’t pay for airtime. Well, upcoming artistes may not be of the same class with him because they are better than him. The bitter truth is he is nobody without an ARTISTE.
Radio OAPs and DJs need to respect upcoming artistes. There is no superstar in the whole wide world that wasn’t an upcoming in their start to stardom. Upcoming artistes respect these OAPs so much that they worship them as gods. It is saddening to see your CD thrown into the trash bin immediately you turn to leave their office. They will always promise you free airplay but after 1-2 plays, that’s the end of the case (i.e. if you are lucky to get it played).
I sometimes fault the upcoming hip-hop artistes. Package yourself. Be a brand. Make good music. Avoid the F and S words. Your appearance, boldness, charisma and reputation should be oozing with positivism. These qualities should scare them off and put their hearts at alert. Once you package yourself, they will never disrespect or look down on you. Show them respect too.
There is no gain in hyping an artiste that is trending from Lagos while the so-called superstar has no idea that you are hyping him from Borno. It is like selling amala to a northerner who prefers fura da nono ten times over. I am not against this trend but what should be done needs to be done well. I must confess that no radio station from where I come from can openly brag about single-handedly hyping their local hip-hop artistes with free air-plays. Radio stations (most especially OAPs) should be proud of where they are broadcasting from. It is part of their corporate responsibility. UPCOMING HIP-HOP ARTISTES MAY NOT BE RICH. But they also have big dreams to make it some day in life. You never may know the value of what you’ve got till you lose it. A bird at hand is worth a flock in the bush. The rejected stone may turn out to be the precious stone in another environment.
Radio stations need to play their part. Radio OAPs should be like fairy godmothers to upcoming artistes (most especially hip-hop artistes) and not dictators in the game. Nobody knows tomorrow.
Upcoming hip-hop artistes need to get their acts right. Never try to diss an OAP. There are kind-hearted ones out there. Stick to them. Forget about the materialistic ones. Life has 2-faces. Choose one.