Now retired Nigerian artiste eLDee took to Twitter to speak up on the trending issue on Nigerian social media – fraud popularly known as ‘yahoo yahoo’, particularly where young Nigerians extort huge some of money mostly from innocent foreigners using the internet and the rapper has admitted to his contribution towards the menace of cyber-crime in the country.
According to Eldee who looked back at his experience with an interviewer on a red carpet some years back. In his words:
One day in 2010 while doing a red carpet interview, an interviewer asked me: “I listened to your song big boy, while I do like and enjoy the song, don’t you think the lyrics are a little misleading? I mean you’re glorifying a materialistic lifestyle…”
She contd…”How do you reconcile that with some of your previous more socially conscious music?” Without thinking deeply about what she said, I immediately responded that I wrote the song to motivate young people to be successful.
I added that I don’t understand why anyone would try to suggest a negative meaning to this amazing song that is doing so well at inspiring young people to be everything they can be.
We didn’t have time to talk any further because we had to move along quickly and do another interview and but I noticed as we walked away from that she looked disappointed.
I didn’t think much of it at the time. I mean, she fell right into the category of the “haters” I was describing on the song, so I just moved on.
There was a part of what she said though, that stayed with me and continued to echo in my head. It was the part where she asked how I was able to reconcile “big boy” with some of my previous more socially conscious music.
A few years before, I had released another successful record titled “I go yan”. I go yan is a socially conscious song that tackles the shortcomings of African leaders.
When you place those two records side by side, the contrast is evident. The more I thought about what that interviewer said to me on the red carpet that day, the more clarity I had about the contradiction.
How can I care so much about the plight of my people and at the same time promote oppression and materialism? I struggled with it for a while but I eventually developed a coping mechanism that helped me get past the feeling of guilt.
My coping mechanism was that in the expression of art, it is ok to have to contradict positions from time to time so I thought it ok to one day feel like Bob Marley and another day feel like Diddy.
Even the late great Tupac Shakur made records that if placed side by side are contradictory. Compare “Dear mama” to “Hit em up” for example, same artist, different emotions. That was how I coped with my own contradiction.
Truth is, people who are close to me know that I’m more of a Bob Marley than a Diddy. In my natural state, I’m more socially conscious than flashy. Much of my music doesn’t give off that vibe though, primarily because a lot of my music was made to cater to my audience.
We have a society that today finds justification for corruption, armed robbery and fraud…because it doesn’t matter anymore how you get it, just get it, and for no other reason than to flaunt it.
I made the song “big boy” and unwittingly contributed to the decay…I know better today