No Bounty, You Are Wrong about the Lack of lyrics in Afrobeats
Because it's like two brothers fighting, I'm sick of the continual comparison between Afrobeats and Jamaican popular music. Jamaican deejay Bounty Killer recently issued a review of Afrobeats and modern Jamaican music in his attempt to provide a fair assessment of Jamaican music. He erroneously stated that Afrobeat had no lyrics, citing the Burna Boy's "Ye" as an example of melody but not many lyrics. Sorry, Bounty, but that's not the case, as the text analysis of the song below will demonstrate.
I would first like to acknowledge that these lyrics are from the Nigerian artist Burna Boy's song "Ye" and are written in Nigerian Pidgin English. The lyrics depict the struggles of making a living in Nigeria, the pressure to conform to societal expectations, and the desire to enjoy life despite the difficulties faced.
The opening lines "My nigga, die for nothing, ah" and "Die for nothing, ah" are repeated several times throughout the song and set a tone of desperation and hopelessness. The lyrics suggest that the narrator's friends or associates are willing to die for nothing, which could refer to the senseless violence that is prevalent in Nigeria. The repetition of these lines serves to emphasize the gravity of the situation and the sense of urgency to find a way out.
The chorus "My nigga, what's it gon' be? G-Wagon or de Bentley? The gyaldem riding with me, I no fit die for nothing" presents a contrast between the desire for material wealth and the importance of staying alive. The use of the terms "G-Wagon" and "Bentley" is a reference to expensive cars and suggests that the narrator and his friends have aspirations of wealth and luxury. However, the line "I no fit die for nothing" indicates that they are not willing to risk their lives for these material possessions.
The verse "Anything wey you do, dem must commentate" highlights the pressure to conform to societal expectations and the scrutiny faced by individuals in Nigeria. The line "I can't come and kill myself" is a common Nigerian saying that means "I can't overwork myself or put myself in harm's way." This line suggests that the narrator is aware of the dangers that come with trying to succeed in Nigeria and is unwilling to put himself at risk.
The verse "Plenty, plenty, plenty suffer wey we face just to make sure money dey" acknowledges the difficulties faced by individuals trying to make a living in Nigeria. The line "I want build house, I still want turn up" suggests that despite the challenges faced, the narrator still desires to enjoy life and have fun.
The verse "If you be commissioner, I be head of state" is a bold statement of self-confidence and suggests that the narrator believes in his own abilities and potential. The line "But my people dem go say I no want kpai, I no want die" reiterates the importance of staying alive and highlights the dangers that individuals face in Nigeria.
Overall, the lyrics of "Ye" by Burna Boy provide a vivid depiction of the struggles faced by individuals trying to make a living in Nigeria. The song presents a contrast between the desire for material wealth and the importance of staying alive and highlights the pressure to conform to societal expectations. The lyrics are powerful and resonate with many individuals who face similar struggles in Nigeria and other parts of the world, like Jamaica.
In closing, I will quote Buna Boy, who recently stated on social media, "I believe coming together as brothers and sisters is the only way forward for us Black people worldwide. You work against the progress of our people worldwide if your goal is to keep us divided.”
Let us strive towards unity and solidarity as we work towards a better future for all Black people around the world.