POP CULTURE: Fraud Money Is Bad Money, It Should Not Come Near Music
“On the norm; Money is all you require to be heard as an artiste in Nigeria. Good money, bad money, nobody cares. Do you have it? Spend it, you are welcome. You will Be praised, haled and also you will make your money back”.
The structuring of music and the delivery of it as a commodity for consumption in the form of a piece of art, from the formative and smallest bit of it as an entity of atom in the thought process of music artistes, the mental creative like an object in their emotions (Manufactured), to a piece of an idea turned into lyrics (processed) recorded in a studio, released, promoted and distributed (final product), so it can be heard, requires nothing else to become a complete work of art rather than money.
Whatsoever is heard as a record, seen as a video, streamed and downloaded through a link is just a byproduct of creativity made visible by money.
Music and entertainment business requires a capital intensive transaction all over the world. America which arguably has one of the biggest entertainment industry, which bores in it the music sector with major record companies like Warner Chappell, Universal and Sony/ATV as the some of the largest music publishers in the world still spends mega box to deliver music as an art.
Their music industry which was supported and built with money from multinational investments, grants, structures, government policies etc, still enjoys the continuous release of these munificence till date.
Nigerian music industry is not spared from the raking in of cash into music to meet the demand and supply of it as a product. For an artiste to be heard without a budget is liken to a tourist who wants to climb a very high mountain in the world without having mountain climbing tools like ropes, crampons, belay device, etc. Also, for an artistes to be heard with budget, you have to have up to #30 to #40 Million stacked to push your brand. Hence, the holding unto straws, not just straws, anything that could be seen as stubble, made with grit strong enough to aid firmness for a good climb up the ladder of an artistes career and growth.
The industry behooves on artistes a great puzzle, locked down with entangles that are so hard but will only take money to solve it.
With almost none available structure, poor government policies, zero grants, poor investments and other evil which will choke out an artistes trying to establish his brand and be heard in the industry, being a music artistes in Nigeria is hard. In a nutshell, the industry is very hard. Only that music lovers are left to consume a sugar-coated products with make believe panorama lifestyle, media flaunting and other deceptive aspect of being an artistes.
The Nigerian music industry has been built by individuals, people with the Nigerian hustling mentality, those who tends to pursue goals despite the shortage of relevant tools needed to wheel the needed results. Those who are legit and genuine, poaching for a profit and with their investments.
There are others who are also in the business, also investing and poaching for gains but this time with illegal investments gotten from what is known as ‘wire wire’, better put; the Yahoo Boys or internet fraudsters.
These guys are some of the biggest sponsors of Nigerian music. They are in the form of an upgraded level of 419. They get their money from using the internet to dupe people.
Some of them with one hit on their ‘clients’ can rake up to $20 to $30,000 or even higher. With these huge amount of money wrongly gotten, they tend to look for a place to invest, and the music industry becomes their Robin Hood.
Over time, they have grown in strength and money because of their gains in Yahoo exploits, music investment which has brought back valuable returns to them.
As pointed out above on how the Nigerian music industry lacks coordination, and how some of the artistes who were already constrained with so many awry arrangements of the industry and had no option of moving an inch forward in their career had to open their arms wide to accept the Yahoo Boys bargain of; if we bring in the money, you become the poster board for the investments, you will record a mad track, release it with a sleek video and a good budget to promote it for you, the profit comes, we share the spoil, you win as an artiste with ‘blowing up’ fame, recognition, turning to a celebrity, and any other benefits that comes with being a blown artistes, and we on the other side keep winning with making our cut out of the profits.
We have made it in life. We are both good now. We maintain the cycle. Go back to our laptops, make clicks on clicks, dupe several other people, invest back in the music industry and make more profits. This circle must keep spinning us around for the money.
However, to what extent can we continue like this?
Last week, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had on a tip off trailed and arrested some people suspected to be Yahoo Boys in a popular night club in Lagos.
This is not the first time the government through it crime agency is clamming down on internet fraudsters.
But what’s the bet If the government is getting bolder to sniff on internet fraudster in a club were other normal Nigerians had gone to have a great time, get entertained with drinks and reveling songs while winding down. There is a little flash of incandescence that things might getting closer to the entertainment industry, and the saying goes thus; ‘if you know you’.
Here is the point; Nigerians trooped out as usual from their different Whatsaap groups to discuss fraud in the country. Fraud in politics, fraud in entertainment, and several other facets of fraud in Nigeria. Top of the chart in the discussion was the internet fraudsters, the Yahoo Boys, and like a bottle of carbonated drink filled with a pressured gas, corked open by force, a High horse hypocrisy was poured out and drank from dirty cups of Nigerian sinners, it appeal, created and accepted mentality of; If he steals or fraud people for money, if he uses it to help others, then nobody should call the boys out. We are all sinners in this country.
The same young Nigerians asking for accountability from the government, protesting for a better approach in dealing with public funds were quick to burn to ashes with their tweets most of those who were bold enough to speak up against fraud.
Beside this, how do Nigerian internet fraudster make their money?
They put up a deceptive approach to date older and retired women oversees, with the promise of marrying them. Overtime, they build trust, as a result of this, they will ask them (women or clients) for money so they can get some none existing goods to be moved from place to place. And bingo, these women who are beclouded with love will gradually release their retirement savings, and all their life earnings to them, and when they have gotten enough, they block them online and the remaining routes and access leaving them miserable.
Sometimes, the after effects of the emotional trauma they put their prey into do result in suicidal conditions.
This is the kind of money that is used in sponsoring music in Nigeria. Money ripped from peoples sweats, pain and sometimes blood.
Efe, 2017 winner of Big Brother Nigeria who popularised the catchy phrase ‘based on logistics’, came out very potent to support the Yahoo Boys. And he was whipped by the right hand of Nigerian Twitter hypocrisy.
He wasn’t the only one, Noble Igwe on the other hand spoke against Yahoo Yahoo. He even went as far as snitching some locations that he feels illicit activities are being carried out. The left hand of Nigerian Twitter was used to path his back with a sublimed attack on his personality revealing his own hypocrisy clearly written to his face at the same time.
By all standards of morality, it is totally wrong to put such money into music. It can bring back the immediate gains, but, there is something it sure hold for the future if Karma is ever considered.
eLDee the Don, ace rapper who was amongst the second era of Nigerian Hip Hop artistes who pushed the culture so hard, came out to juxtapose his position as an artistes who had in his hay days spoke against the government in his protest song “I Go Yarn”, and also encourage opulence and display of luxury with his other song “Big Boy”. He went quite emotional trying to draw an analysis of how he perceived he made the two songs, what he said in the one he protested and wanted a better life for the Nigerian people, and the other he encouraged display lifestyle with.
This was a sober resonating moment for two different eLDee, reflecting in the past and comparing himself with an industry currently eroded from morality with no consideration whatsoever who is hurting who to bring sponsored money into music, as far as I, as an artistes can blow, I’m okay, it is cool, we are good. This is the receipt the music industry is built upon for some artistes to blow.
On the norm; Money is all you require to be heard as an artiste in Nigeria. Good money, bad money, nobody cares. Do you have it?
Spend it, you are welcome. You will be praised, haled and also make your money back.
But, fraud money is bad money. It should be spoken against, head should roll in the industry with an arrest and as a fact, such money should not come near music.
Noble Igwe lisited fraud fronts in Nigeria which is a common knowledge but a bearded Oyemykke thinks Noble Igwe is wrong for calling out fraudsters. No valid reason in his video. All he kept saying was "STUPID". We know Noble is short, drop another line. pic.twitter.com/ZvoZNW4FDr
— Iyá Lájè Of Lagos (@newscantell) May 12, 2018
ALSO READ: Fals Might Have Began A Revival