Male molestation, Feminism, Bad Governance and Courtship; How does International Act Weirdz address Youth and Societal Issues in the Album ‘Sunshine & Whistle’?
‘I like woman i dey straight forward o’ was the next tune blasting from the car speakers…in this moment, the five of us screamed and proceeded to lose our home training…’ Amaka dissapoint me…nyoooojexhhh confusion’ we howled in unison.
It was all joy till the next song played. It was something different and while the others hissed and cursed the radio station for ‘dulling’ the mood, the first lines hit me ‘what is it that you want from me? What is your expectation? And i vetoed to let the song play; it is a decision i will never regret till date.
Of course when you hear a song you like and do not know, the first thing to do is to Shazam and in this moment i was introduced to an artiste who would later change my perception on reggae music.
On reaching home, i wondered why my friends had lost their vibes when the song came on radio- it was titled ‘Another day in hell’ the truth is that they did not bother to listen to the lyrics of the song which i thought was relatable and was passing a positive message, the reggae flow had put them off- i mean who does pure reggae in these times? The times of the legends Bob Marley, Oritz Wiliki, Majek Fashek and the likes had passed; yet this was a young man who was making music like these legends and arguably even better…
No-one is really hard to find again in this age, and i quickly followed him on social media platforms after downloading the first single off the upcoming album, and just like that, Weirdz had gotten a new fan.
You could imagine the joy i had felt when i heard the album had dropped.There was going to be More of the first song i heard of him coming my way? Guess what? It was More and Even better tracks!
The album starts with ‘I am sorry’ which is an apology from the persona who admits how human he is and begs his lover for forgiveness for all the hurt he has ever caused her. Boy! has poetry ever sounded more brilliant? Track two is a spoken word rendition to a female backbone probably his mother which extends to track 3 where he refers to her as a General. Feminism comes to play as he exalts her even to the status of a god, the question remains if his creator will be pleased with the words ‘i worship you’ he uses to depict his submission to this elevated female figure. The most important lesson i learn here is the importance of the female in our society and the sacrifices that our mothers and wives make for we men.
Track 4 ‘still i rise’ replicates the original style and sound of Veterans Lucky Dube and Majek Fashek’s. Weirdz speaks about the tough skin of Africans; A practical example of our major characteristic in these parts-our hopefulness and ability to rise amidst tribulations. This is the first song in the album in which he expresses his spirituality and belief in a higher power. Tracks 5,6 & 7’She wont Stop’ , ‘Another Day in Hell’ and ‘Too Late’ sheds light on Male Molestation which is rarely spoken about especially in Africa. This is a brave act from the artist who admits that sometimes men are molested but due to societal constructs, it is rarely spoken about or even admitted by the men themselves who fall victim. To balance the equation, Weirdz speaks of the good kind of love in the track ‘Sunshine and whistle’ represents which is an indication of a sensual healing and recovery from the toxic kind of love he receives earlier. While he praises his woman, it reassures that there is still that good kind of love in the world.
Track 9 which is my favorite, is titled ‘Egyptian’ This is a political song criticizing the politicians who promise and fail. He also speaks of a dawn of a new era rooted in presence of his maker. I think it is very poetic to end an album with a single called ‘ Genesis’ In this philosophical and highly spiritual and bold opinionated rendition he ends his beautiful piece of work.
Even though i think the album is overboard on spirituality, as it seems as if it is almost impossible for The artiste to render his themes of love, heartbreaks, politics and society without involving the presence of a higher being; mirroring the feat used in our Nollywood movies lol. Generally, the awakening consciousness of the album is top notch with themes such as feminism, Nature, politics, Male subjugation and religion clearly addressed in a climaxing just resolution. It is my conclusion that Weirdz is the revival of pure reggae in Nigeria with key elements of spirituality and philosophy identifying him as an intelligent artiste who appeals to the consciousness of even the random man.
The album is very prophetic.
Reviewing this album makes me ponder on what the future of Nigerian music holds? How do musicians sleep at night knowing there is no positive message in what they sing? Don’t they worry about longevity of their arts? Don’t they care about the morals they can impart on the youths and kids through their music? Or are they just bothered about what they will eat at the moment? However, can we really blame them? The Nigerian youths consists of about 60% of the population that drive the trends especially in the music and entertainment sector; so this means these artistes make music for the youths, yet this is the scary part: how do the youths choose noise over conscious music? The questions remain: are we as youths ready for good music to grow our industry to a global standard? Are we ready for anything good at all?
Download links here: //itunes.apple.com/ng/album/sunshine-whistle/1434525960
A review by Tenn Zipa J.