Originally published in January 15, 2015 in France by Hattus, in arrangement with Blues & Hills Consultancy, 25 Avenue Parmentier, 75011, Paris with ISBN 978-979-1993284, this 181 paged literary piece has garnered enough attitude to “provoke” its readers at first glance. Beginning with the Title: HIPHOP IS ONLY FOR CHILDREN. Authored by one of Africa’s recognized writers, Onyeka Nwelue, the book is a work of Non-fiction that can’t slide out of notice.
Hip Hop is only for children is a book written with all shades of critical tone, based on the Author’s personal perspective on the Hip Hop culture. This he did by adopting an Era distinguishing system for various emerging Hip-Hop artistes from time immemorial till date. The Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and Stone Age respectively. Usually comprising of the artistes that characterized these eras, the styles of these pioneers of Rap and an opinion of whether or not the genre stayed undiluted. For a genre that has spanned through ages, evolution had sure played its part well – molding and reforming the culture, even to the “state” it had become before finding its way into the shores of Africa, hence, Nigeria!
Introducing Hip Hop with what the culture really is as contrasted with what Nigerian Hip Hop scene seems to portray, Onyeka told a detailed account of his experiences with a number of Nigerian popular “Hipper Hoppers” (as he likes to refer to them) ranging from Davido, TerryG, MC Galaxy and a host of others.
Resorting to the opinion that the Nigerian Hip Hop enthusiasts are not motivated by the urge to fight racism with their music as much as the original Hip Hop culture did, at least; nor are they posed with a reason to convey meaningful messages with their musical materials, the author outlined that a Nigerian artiste’s motives for venturing into the art are to “blow”, “stunt on ‘em haters” and the result is often a rushed out, uncooked and tasteless music. As for the few who tried to stick to the notion of what the feel of Hip Hop should be, were mostly relegated to the background with their albums finding their ways to the back of record stores. Not to mention female rappers like Weird MC, Sasha P, Eva Alordiah and Splash who could not do a follow up of their hit Rap tracks, rather leaving their fans disappointed with time-long hunger.
Despite the lack of pure Hip Hop sound in the Nigerian airways, some non-Hip Hop artistes had played vital roles in helping spice the Nigerian Hip Hop culture: the book furthered on. The Trybesmen and The Remedies, Plantashun Boyz, Ruggedman and Nigeria’s best Hip Hop lyricist, Mode 9 – all contributed to the mainstream acceptance of the Nigerian Hip Hop music.
However, a comparison of Nigerian Hip Hop promoters with Rakim, KRS One, LL Cool J, Nas, Run DMC, N.W.A, Public Enemy, Snoop Dog, MC Hammer, Dr. Dre, Wu Tang Clan, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Diddy and his Bad Boy crew, Ice T and other Hip Hop greats would be considered a lazy comparison – the author asserted.
So, the question goes: Can and will Nigerian Hip Hop enthusiasts still make a turn towards what Hip Hop originally was or will they accept the status quo and allow the saying that “Hip Hop Is Only For Children” gain its full assertion?
Well, while attempting to answer, you could treat yourself to a copy of the book here on Nerveflo alongside other Onyeka Nwelue’s books that will no doubt appeal to you.