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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Dr. Reuben Abati vs. Banky W

Dr. Reuben Abati is the chairman of the editorial board of Guardian Newspapers and Banky W...well, you all know him. The former wrote an article about the Nigerian music industry, the latter responded.

Sneak peak...
"At public functions, they mime. They are not artists, they perform. They are not necessarily composers, they dance. The more terrible ones can't even sing a correct musical note. They talk." Dr. Reuben Abati

"We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians. We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world's greatest artiste/entertainer." Banky W

A must read!!! You all really must read this!!!

A Nation's Identity Crisis
By Reuben Abati
You may not have noticed it: Nigeria is suffering from an identity crisis imposed on it in part by an emergent generation of irreverent and creative young Nigerians who are revising old norms and patterns. And for me nothing demonstrates this more frontally than the gradual change of the name of the country.

When Flora Shaw, Lord Lugard's consort came up with the name, Nigeria in 1914, she meant to define the new country by the strategic importance of the Niger River. And indeed, River Niger used to be as important to this country as the Nile was/is to Egypt. We grew up as school children imagining stories about how Lugard in one special romantic moment, asked his mistress to have the honour of naming a new country in Africa. Something like: "Hello, sweetheart, what name would you rather give the new country that I am creating?"

"Let me give it a thought? ....Awright, how about Ni-ge-ria darling?"
"That would do. That would do. How thoughtful, my fair lady? You are forever so dependable"
And the name stuck and it has become our history and identity. But these days, the name Nigeria is gradually being replaced by so many variants, that I am afraid a new set of Nigerians may in the immediate future not even know the correct spelling of the name of their country. For these Nigerians whose lives revolve mostly around the internet and the blogosphere, the name Nigeria has been thrown out of the window. Our dear country is now "naija" or "nija". What happened to the "-eria" that Ms Shaw must have thoughtfully included?

The new referents for Nigeria are now creeping into writings, conversations, and internet discourse. I am beaten flat by the increasing re-writing of the country's name not only as naija or nija, but consider this: "9ja". Or this other name for Nigeria: "gidi". There is even a television programme that is titled "Nigerzie". In addiiton, Etisalat, a telecom company has since adopted a marketing platform that is titled: "0809ja." Such mainstreaming of these new labels is alarming.
This obviously is the age of abbreviations.

The emerging young generation lacks the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences or think through a subject to its logical end. It is a generation in a hurry, it feels the constraints of space so much, it has to reduce everything to manageable, cryptic forms. This is what the e-mail and text message culture has done to the popular consciousness. Older generations of Nigerians brought up on a culture of correctness and compeleteness may never get used to the re-writing of Nigeria as "9ja". Language is mutatory, but referring to the motherland or the fatherland in slang terms may point to a certain meaninglessness or alienation. What's in a name?

In Africa, names are utilitarian constructs not merely labels. Even among the Ijaw where people bear such unique names as University, Conference, FEDECO, Manager, Heineken, Education, Polo, Boyloaf, Bread, College, Summit, Aeroplane, Bicycle, Internet - there is a much deeper sense to the names. But the name Nigeria means nothing to many young Nigerians. They have no reason to respect the sanctity of the name. They don't know Flora Shaw or Lord Lugard, and even if they do, they are likely to say as Ogaga Ifowodo does in an unforgettable poem: "God Punish you, Lord Lugard." Eedris Abdulakarim summarises the concern of young Nigerians in one of his songs when he declared: "Nigeria jagajaga, everything scata, scata"

The post-modernist, deconstructive temper of emergent youth culture is even more manifest in the cynical stripping to the bones character of today's Nigerian hip-hop. It is marked by a Grunge character that shouts: non-meaning and alienation. On my way to Rutam House the other day, I listened at mid-day to a continuous stream of old musical numbers from 93.7 Radio FM. Soulful, meaningful tunes of Felix Lebarty, Chris Okotie (as he then was), Mandy Ojugbana, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Onyeka Onwenu, Sony Okosun, Alex O, Ras Kimono, Majek Fashek, Evi Edna-Ogoli, Bongos Ikwue, Veno Marioghae, Uche Ibeto, Dora Ifudu, Mike Okri, Dizzy K. Falola, and Tina Onwudiwe. Onyeka Onwenu sang; "One love, keep us together". Veno Marioghae sang: "Nigeria Go Survive". Even in the romantic offerings like Chris Okotie's "I need someone, give me your love", or Felix Lebarty's "Ifeoma, Ifeoma, I want to marry you, give me your love" and Stella Monye's "Oko mi ye, duro ti mi o", or Tina Onwudiwe's award-winning "Asiko lo laye". there was so much meaning and polish.

This was in the 80s. That generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs, was continuing, after the fashion of T.S. Eliot's description of "Tradition and the Individual Talent", a pattern of meaning that dates back to traditional African musicians and all the musicians that succeeded them: S. B. Bakare, Victor Olaiya, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Dan Maraya of Jos, Osita Osadebey, Ayinla Omowura, Victor Uwaifo, Geraldo Pino, Rex Lawson, I. K. Dairo, Haruna Ishola, Yusuf Olatunji, Inyang Henshaw, Tunji Oyelana, Bobby Benson, Tunde Nightingale, and even the later ones: Shina Peters, Dele Abiodun, Y.K. Ajao, Ayinde Barrister, Kollington Ayinla, Batile Alake, Sir Warrior, Moroccco Nwa Maduko, Orlando Owoh, Salawa Abeni, KWAM I (Arabambi 1 and please include his disciples- Wasiu Alabi Pasuma et al), Oliver de Coque (Importer and Exporter...), Ayefele, Atorise .... But there has been a terrible crisis in the construction of music.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these ancestors have changed the face and identity of Nigerian music. As a rule, gospel musicians, given the nature of their form, sing meaningful lyrics, but the airwaves these days have been taken over by the children of "gidi","naija", "nija", "nigerzie" and "9ja". I listen to them too, but everyday, I struggle to make meaning out of their lyrics.

Music is about sense, sound, shape and skills. But there is an on-going deficit in all other aspects except sound. So much sound is being produced in Nigeria, but there is very little sense, shape and skills. They call it hip-hop. They try to imitate Western hip pop stars. They even dress like them. The boys don't wear trousers on their waists: the new thing is called "sagging", somewhere below the waist it looks as if the trouser is about to fall off. The women are struggling to expose strategic flesh as Janet Jackson once did. The boys and the girls are cloaked in outlandish jewellery and their prime heroes are Ja-Rule, Lil'Wayne, Fat Joe, P. Diddy, 50 Cents, Ronz Brown, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Nas, Juelz Santana, Akon, Young Jeezy, Mike Jones, T-Pain, F.L.O-RIDA, Will.I.am, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Jay-Z, Ace hood, Rick Ross, Birdman, Busta Rhymes, Cassidy, Chamillionaire, Soulja Boy, Young Joc, Kanye West, R. Kelly, Kevin Rudolph, T.I.P-king of the South, Ludacris, Plies-The real goon, The Game, Young Rox, Flow killa, Osmosis (2 sick), Flow-ssik, Raprince, Bionic, Fabulous, Jadakiss, Nas, Swiss Beatz, Dj Khaled, Maze, Yung Buck, Maino, MoBB Deep, Lloyd Banks, Olivia, Lady Gaga... Well, God Almighty, we are in your hands.

And so the most impactful musicians in Nigeria today, the ones who rule the party include the following: D'Banj, MI, Mode Nine, Sauce kid, Naeto C, Sasha, Ikechukwu, 9ice, Bouqui, Mo'cheddah, Teeto, P-square, Don-jazzy, Wande Coal, 2-face, Faze, Black Face, Dr. Sid, D'prince, K-Switch, Timaya, Dj-Zeez, Dj Neptune, Banky w., Big bamo, Art quake, Bigiano, Durella, Eldee, Kelly Hansome, Lord of Ajasa, M.P., Terry tha rapman, Weird MC, Y.Q., Da grin, kel, Roof-top Mcs, Pype, Niga Raw, Ghetto p., Kaka, Kaha, Terry G, Ill Bliss, Zulezoo, Pipe, Dj Jimmy jatt, X-project, Konga, Gino, Morachi... Well, the Lord is God.

These are Nigerian children who were given proper names by their parents. Ikechukwu bears his real name. But who are these other ones who have since abandoned their proper names? For example, 9ice's real name is Abolore Akande, (what a fine name!), Tu face (Innocent Idibia), Sauce Kid (Babalola Falemi), D'Banj (Dapo Oyebanjo), Banky w. (Bankole Willington), P-Square (Peter and Paul), MI (Jude Abaga), Timaya (Enetimi Alfred Odom), Sasha (Yetunde Alabi), Weird MC (Adesola Idowu). But why such strange names? They don't sing. They rap. Most of them don't play instruments, they use synthetic piano.

At public functions, they mime. They are not artists, they perform. They are not necessarily composers, they dance. The more terrible ones can't even sing a correct musical note. They talk. And they are all businessmen and women. They are more interested in commerce and self-advertisement, name recognition, brand extension and memory recall! They want a name that sells, not some culturally conditioned name that is tied down to culture and geography. But the strange thing is that they are so successful. Nollywood has projected Nigeria, the next big revelations are in hip hop.

Despite the identity crisis and the moral turpitude that we find in Nigeria's contemporary hip-hop, the truth is that it is a brand of music that sells. Nigeria's hip hop is bringing the country so much international recognition. All those strange names are household names across the African continent, so real is this that the phrase "collabo" is now part of the vocabulary of the new art. It speaks to an extension of frontiers. In Nigeria, it is now possible to hold a party without playing a single foreign musical track, the great grand children of Nigerian music are belting out purely danceable sounds which excites the young at heart. But the output belongs majorly to the age of meaningless and prurience. The lyrics says it all.

Rooftop MC sings for example: "Ori mi wu o, e lagi mo". This is a very popular song. But all it says is: "my head is swollen, please hit it with a log of wood." X-Project sings: "Lori le o di gonbe (2x), e so fun sisi ologe ko ya faya gbe, ko ya faya gbe, file, gbabe, se be, bobo o ti e le, wo bo nse fe sa hale hale niwaju omoge, ha, lori le odi gonbe, .....sisi ologe ki lo di saya o, so fun mi ki lofe, o wa on fire o...." Now, what does this mean in real terms? But let's go to Naeto C: "kini big deal, kini big deal, sebi sebi we're on fire", or D'Banj: " my sweet potato, I wanna make you wife, I wanna make you my wife o, see I no understand o, cause I dey see well well, but dey say love is blind, see I never thought I will find someone like you that will capture my heart and there will be nothing I can do....". Yes, we are in the age of sweet potato. And so Art quake sings: "E be like fire dey burn my body, e je ki n fera, oru lo n mu mi. Open your hand like say you wan fly away. Ju pa, ju se, ka jo ma sere, alanta, alanta."

And here is Zulezoo, another popular Nigerian musical team: "Daddy o, daddy, daddy wen you go for journey, somebody enter for mummy's house, person sit down for mummy bed, person push mummy, mummy push person, mummy fall for bed yakata, daddy, o daddy, the man jus dey do kerewa kerewa...kerewa ke" And Dj-Zeez: "ori e o 4 ka sibe, ori e o 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe". And MI: "Anoti, anoti, anoti ti, anoti titi." And Konga: "Baby konga so konga, di konga, ileke konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, sibe".. And 9ice: "gongo a so, kutupu a wu, eni a de ee, aji se bi oyo laari; oyo o se bi baba enikan, kan, i be double now, aye n lo, a mi to o, gongo a so, oti so o, e wo le e wo enu oko..." Or Tony Tetuila: "U don hit my car, oyinbo repete, u don hit my car o". Or Weird MC: "Sola lo ni jo, lyrics lori gangan, awa lo ni jo". Sheer drivel. So much sound, little sense. Is this the future? Maybe not.

Most of the music being produced now will not be listenable in another five years and this perhaps is the certain fate of commercial art that is driven by branding, show and cash. But we should be grateful all the same for the music, coming out of Nigeria also at this time in the soul, gospel, hip, hop genre: the music that is of Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Lagbaja, Asa (there is fire on the mountain/and no one seems to be on the run/ there is fire on the mountain now..."), Ara, Sam Okposo, Dare, Sunny Neji, Infinity (now a broken up team), African China, Alariwo of Afrika.... We suffer nonetheless in music as in the national nomenclature, an identity crisis. A country's character is indexed into its arts and culture, eternal purveyors of tones and modes. Nigerian youths now sing of broken heads, raw sex, uselessness and raw, aspirational emotionalism. A sign of the times? Yes, I guess.

I find further justification in the national anthem, many versions of which now exist. I grew up in this same country knowing only one way of singing the national anthem: from "Nigeria we hail thee" to "Arise o Compatriots". The singing of the national anthem is supposed to be a solemn moment. Arms clasped by the side, a straight posture, and the mind strictly focussed on the ideals of patriotism and nationalism. Stillness. Nobody moves. And the national song is rendered in an unchanging format. But not so any longer. There are so many versions of the Nigerian national anthem these days. Same lyrics but different musical rhythms.

I have heard the national anthem sung in juju, in fuji, in hip hop, in Ishan's igbagbolemini, in acapella mode, even reggae. I attended an ocassion once, the rendition of the national music was so enthralling, people started dancing. Even the photographers and cameramen danced with their cameras. For me that was the ultimate expression of the people's cynicism. The prevalent mood is as expressed by Dj-Zeez: "ori e 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe": an epigrammatic, onomatopoeic, market-driven diminution of language as vehicle and sign. What kind of people are we? A dancing nation? Dancing and writing away our frustrations and caring little about sense, in this country that is now known as "naija", "nija", "9ja", "nigerzie," "gidi"?

Banky W's response
My response to Mr Reuben Abati's article in The Guardian Newspapers
This is my response to the article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis" that recently ran in The Guardian Newspapers. It was written by Mr Reuben Abati, a well respected name in Nigerian Journalism.

Please try and read the original article before commenting on my response. As Mr Abati has stated his opinion, I felt it neccessary to state mine. If anything I'm sure both pieces are at least food for thought.

Dear Sir,
In the immortal words attributed to P.T. Barnum, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me, at least spell my name right." My name IS Banky W, full name being Olubankole Wellington. Not Willington, as you stated in your article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis". I read the piece repeatedly, and found that misspelling my name wasn’t the only error. At it's worst, the article seemed like an attempt to discredit and slander an entire generation of artistes and consumers, and at best it came across as having some valid points but being grossly misinformed, prejudiced, and hypocritical; definitely not what we would expect of a highly regarded publication as The Guardian, or from a person in Mr Abati's position.

In the very least, the article warrants a well-informed response. I have little doubt in my mind that it will generate a slew of responses, positive and negative, and as one of the many subjects that was mentioned in the write-up, I feel compelled to voice my opinion (with all due respect) on some of the issues that were raised in your piece. What I'm going to attempt to do is to directly address issues that stood out and resonated most with me. The writer asked "What's in a name?" and went on to honor a "...generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs"; this would have been a valid point if he had not himself mentioned Greats like King Sunny Ade (real name: Sunday Adeniyi), I.K. Dairo (Isaiah Kehinde Dairo), and Ebenezer Obey (Real name: Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi- Wow!!!). We could also point out other legends like Ras Kimono and Majek Fashek as others who, for creative or other reasons, saw it fit to have stage names that happen to differ from what's on their passports.

Shortening of full names and/or the crafting of stage names is not something new from our generation of artistes that "lack the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences" as you said; rather, it's the creative right of an artiste to go by whatever moniker he sees fit. And if we want to talk about the names of today, we can highlight a few: Eldee - actually L.D. which stands for Lanre Dabiri, similar to Isaiah Kehinde Dairo's transition to I.K. Dairo. Naeto C and Banky W are simply short forms of their full names. In my case, my father's nickname among his friends is actually Banky as well. Furthermore, on the topic of Names and abbreviations let's set a few things straight. Nigerzie is actually spelt Nigezie and is not an abbreviation for Nigeria. It's a TV Show, much like Soundcity or Hip TV, except they choose to incorporate "representing Nigeria" in their name. It's like the "United Colors of Bennetton", or DKNY, both companies that choose to represent their locations or origins in their name. Also, for the record, Gidi doesn't mean Nigeria either. It's a term for Lagos... coined from "Las Gidi". And as far as the popular term "Naija" goes, who remembers Shina Peters singing "♫ Naija lo wa yi o o o, wa jo, afro juju lo gb'ode ♫" I hate to point out that our generation did not come up with that term... the "golden age" that you long for did.

As an editorial head of a National Newspaper, you owe it to your public to at least do proper and accurate research before printing an article. The risk in not doing so, is you might unknowingly mislead your readers, and you might actually come across as being ignorant or out of touch. A quick look at all the reference names of artistes and songs mentioned in the article goes to show that the author was sadly way off base in his accusations and examples. For instance, to make a point on how today’s Nigerian artistes lyrics are meaningless and prurient, he referenced the Rooftop MC's song "La Gi Mo". What he failed to realize or crosscheck, is that the said song is probably one of the most meaningful and important songs that have been released in the last few years on the Nigerian Music Scene.

The Rooftop MC's are actually a Rap Group that leans to the Gospel or at least Socially Conscious side of music, and their songs always have a positive message. That song itself talks about the errors we make by trying to take God's glory for our success... getting caught up in the limelight and asking God to bring you back to reality to know that HE deserves the praise for where you are. The author mentioned other songs like D'banj's "Fall in Love", and doesn't realize how hypocritical he sounds by attempting to ridicule some of our most popular love songs. Felix Liberty sang "Ifeoma, ifeoma, I want to marry you", D'banj sang "Omo U don make me fall in love" and Banky W sang "Till my dying day, I'll love you". Barring a difference in musical styling, are these songs not cut from the same cloth?

Why can't someone in Mr Abati's position be proud of the fact that at Nigerian and African Weddings nowadays, couples are choosing these songs to mark their first dances instead of previous choices like “Endless Love”? Why can't we appreciate that the days of going to Nigerian Parties and clubs and celebrating to foreign music “all night long” are long gone? Despite these facts, you still see International festivals and concerts being held in Nigeria where the foreign acts are paid 30 to 40 times what some of our biggest stars are allowed to charge. I have to disagree with the author's views.

We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians.
We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world's greatest artiste/entertainer. That's why he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to create some of the best music anyone had ever heard.

We have our own producers that have shaped Nigerian sound...people like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy, I.D. Cabasa, Dr Frabz, Tee-Y mix, Eldee, Terry G etc. That list goes on. These music minds are no less credible than those of Mr Abati's time, like the great Laolu Akins. Far be it from us to claim that we are perfect and flawless in our art... we know that we are still growing and have lots of areas to improve, but the truth of the matter is we have worked very hard to create the industry we have now, and some people choose to criticize and lambaste most of us, instead of helping and teaching us.

That is unfair. Yes, some artistes sag their jeans... however, a glance at the pages of THISDAY style or the recently concluded awards shows will show you very clearly that others wear three-piece suits and traditional attires just as proudly, myself included. This music industry that you have very clearly disapproved of has partnered with and given rise to the fashion industry in Nigeria as well. Just ask Designers like Mai, Babs Familusi (Exclamations Couture), the Okunorens, Muyiwa Osindero and countless others. Everything from the t-shirts and jeans rappers wear, to the shoes and suits are made by young Nigerians, where in previous years people preferred to shop in London.

The youth-driven industries in Entertainment and Fashion have teamed up to thrust Nigeria into the world's positive spotlight, when for many years our dear country was mostly known for corruption, lack of infrastructure, and security issues. Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete... and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage.

This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D'banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.

You were right on some counts. We ARE businessmen and women, and we ARE interested in extending name recognition and brand extension. You were also right in that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created multimillion-dollar empires. Since when did ambition and desire to succeed against all odds count against a person’s moral character? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to pay more attention to the business side of “Show Business”?

Shouldn’t we want this music industry to provide for our future and the futures of our children? We know we have a moral responsibility when it comes to our Creative works. Some of us pay more attention to it than others, and there is lots of ground to cover up. But how about a little appreciation and help, instead of trying to tear us down and discredit us? Time will tell whose music will last and become evergreen, but it is not in anyone's place to judge; and for the record, can we just accept that fact that hip hop music is an artform that is probably here to stay... I mean for goodness sake the Grammy's has!! Instead of fighting the change, we should learn to embrace it. I thank God for people like the great Adewale Ayuba that have reached across to our generation to collaborate with, bridge the gap, and help us improve.

We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.

You speak of meaninglessness and prurience, identity crisis and moral turpitude. You praise Legends like Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti and you ridicule us. 9ice does not drink or smoke. eLDee is married to one wife. Olu Maintain does not drink. Naeto C is currently obtaining his Masters’ degree in England. The ironic thing is, we look up to and praise your generation too.

You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half naked at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV. However we look past what some may consider shortcomings and respect and emulate the immense contributions he made to our history. We are in awe of him despite personal choices that some may or may not agree with. All we are asking for is to be appreciated and afforded similar tolerances.

You danced to Shina Peters. Let us dance to our music. And for the record: for every "Anoti" by MI, he has a "Crowd Mentality" or a "Talk about it". For a Naeto C's "Ki Ni Big Deal", he has a "The Devil is a Liar". Just because an artiste uses a particular song to promote his album for commercial reasons, doesn't mean they should be judged on that alone. Anyone that is familiar with the cost of promoting an album (videos, press, etc) would know that it you end up making hard decisions in terms of what you have to push and promote, for your best chance at success.

I suggest that you buy whole albums and look at the body of work. Listen to the entire CD’s. I think you'll find that more often than not, Nigerian artistes are doing a pretty good job of representing this great Country of Nigeria. Naija Till We Die. Yes Boss.
~ Banky W.

Hmmm, interesting.
I have my opinion on this but I'll shut it. You tell us what you think...but note that I won't upload any comment that insults either Mr Abati or Banky W. Your comments should be objective and clear cut.
So, what do you think?


  • At 23 June 2009 at 03:10 , Anonymous MICHAEL ZUOKEMEFA said...

    Well, i guess mr. reuben might be right. but banky w has said it all. the current artistes are not looking at the wrong things or images of the old folks, they try to emulate them and praise them for starting the music industry in nigeria or naija, which by the way is just a way of reaching out to the current trend, we'll always and remain nigerians.. kudos to banky for standing up for his colleagues. he has defended them well in his statement and thumbs up to you for putting up this blog..

  • At 23 June 2009 at 04:20 , Blogger The experiences of an achiever....... said...

    Banky!! Well said..
    and I don't understand why Mr. Abati would put out a poorly researched article..smh..and we are supposed to be the microwave generation???

  • At 23 June 2009 at 05:12 , Anonymous Sammy said...

    i read the first part by Reuben Abati and i was actually thinking towards his side and then Banky w comes and logically and i must add suprisingly defends the new generation, i was impressed
    i agree more with Banky W, because this new generation continues to get numerous negative comments and sincerely all we have done "wrong" is change, the earlier generation wasnt any better almost all we see today was started earlier on. I am certainly going to start seeing Banky w in a different light :-)

  • At 23 June 2009 at 05:25 , Anonymous Shade said...

    wow! that's all i can say to. Kudos to both men for conveying their opinions/beliefs...Banky W, you are amazing.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 06:09 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    there ar some point in Abati atticle, but BANKY W i was one of ur fan,but with these ur write up, i respect u.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 06:23 , Anonymous Bidi said...

    I agree with and am quite impressed with Banky's articulate response. I think Mr. Abati is having a hard time accepting the change even though it is inevitable. This generation's industry is on the rise...although not perfect but then again which one was. :-)

  • At 23 June 2009 at 06:36 , Blogger stacy said...

    I was fuming while i read mr abati's article and i was wondering if journalism(d course i studied)was no longer about being well informed thru proper research...n wat happened 2 objectivity(anyways dat's not d point)
    D point is,mr abati killed d hearts of young pple lukin 2 make a difference wit their talents d day he slandered our artistes
    And i'm highly disappointed dat a man of his calibre wuld produce such an article n boldly give himself d credit...or maybe he's jst seeking attention...if he wants d spotlight so bad he shuld hit d studio and then cum out with d ideal song...
    Anyways Banky has said it all,naija,9ja till i die!!!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 06:44 , Anonymous aYomiDe said...

    Hey Linda...
    Ill make myne short.....I didnt read Mr Abati's...but read Banky W's response......
    and I one word...R-e-S-P-E-C-T to Banky W...He sold it....now I am a FAN.....if it was a boxing ring...Mr Abati will have been K-O! that what happens when u dont prepare properlly b4 a match!

    Linda..I am still ur fan for ever!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 07:52 , Blogger muyiwa said...

    mr reuben made a great mistake by printing this,maybe its an act of beef or something,but to say the truth,naija artiste are really trying,we living abroad are proud of them,ofcourse we are the greatest in africa,CNN came to nigeria to view whats going on in our music industry,thats a great achievement,lets praise those boys

  • At 23 June 2009 at 08:41 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I used to think Banky was some air head wannabe so and so hit wonder.NOW MY RESPECT FOR HIM JUST HIT THE ROOF.
    Good to see someone from the "other" generation articulate himself in such a manner.
    Good on you boy.
    Nike O.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 09:24 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr Abati is so right

  • At 23 June 2009 at 09:26 , Anonymous Richie said...

    Im proud of Banky.. he has proven himself to be an articulate young man.. who replied respectively and with a lot of sense in my opinion..

    our generation never claimed 2 be perfect but we are striving for perfection in evry aspect of out lifes. wwe rlooking 4 a way to make 9ja beta... and wot other industry has repped nij on an international scale mmore than the music industry?

  • At 23 June 2009 at 09:27 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hope something good comes out of this 'situation'

  • At 23 June 2009 at 09:50 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Fantastic reply from Banky.I have more respect for him now.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 09:56 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi All,
    We all say 50 quid (meaning 50 pounds), 1 dime (whatever currency), etc.
    I am disappointed that a learned fellow like My Reuben would stoop so low as to write an article based on pure sentiments.
    There is something called trends. While I am not an advocate of a valueless society, somethings can't just be the the way they were. In the the early 80's there were slangs & abbreviations. Some have even become a part of us. Even Mr Reuben must speak some slangs!
    I don't support dressing half naked in the name of creativity, but there is creativity in writing & exressions that don't necessary undress our values as a nation & as a people!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 10:01 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the older generation are somewhat angry at the younger generation for being better and bigger than they are. You know, taking the torch and shining it brighter than they did. The older generation did not expect that, they expected less and wala! They are dumbfounded.

    I hope that they find some peace and amicability in the whole scenario, that is, Mr Abati and Mr Banky Wellington

  • At 23 June 2009 at 10:02 , Blogger Dayo said...

    Even though I am a huge Abati fan, I must say he really goofed this time. Where did all that hate come from? Big up to Banky, I always thought of him as just a pretty boy but now I know better, that reply was right on point.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 10:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    now i have a reason to respect Bankole Willington...Oops !! Olubankole Wellington!!
    YES BOSS!!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 11:03 , Blogger Bunmmy said...

    Yes boss! I'm a Fan for Life. wassoo impressed by Banky W response and that seals the agrument

  • At 23 June 2009 at 11:16 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The guardian man had a point trying to state they give wrong messages when singing. But I still go for Banky.

    This is the young generation. The older generation enjoyed their selves during their time. Make them free the younger ones abeg. :-)

  • At 23 June 2009 at 11:45 , Blogger Ibikunle said...

    Choosing from some of the great songs of old that Mr Abati kindly used as references to his "mis"giuded points,"Nigeria go survive"(Only if the old and new work together to create a dynamic future).Thumbs up to Ayuba and Pasuma for bridging this Gap.
    "Asiko Lo Laye"(A standing ovation to every new generation artiste that have created a new song/slang to give a voice to a culture that is hip hop by making the most of the asiko they are in).
    The new generation have shown us that their songs will be around for ages to come(i do wager that one of "African Queen" ,"No one like you","Olo Mi" or "You don make me fall in love" would be played at one of the Abati kids weddings in future).
    Banky W,if you were just a pretty face before,you now are the brain box and voice for which the next generation is guaranteed a solid foundation.KUDOs

  • At 23 June 2009 at 12:02 , Blogger Rasheed said...

    I quite like Mr. Abati's piece and I totally understand that its a journalist / editor's role to spark debate in such a fashion. He doesn't have to be factually correct and yes it can include contradictions and the beauty of it is it allows artists like Banky W to stste their case which he has done so well. Music is often a generational thing just like fashion etc Not all current modern day Naija music is to my taste but I admire and respect that this generation of musicians are raising the profile of their nation and in turn bringing something to the economy even if the music is consider disposable. Only time will tell. What Mr. Abati has to consider is other than our great writers Soyinka, Okri, Achebe et al, what are the modern day journalists and social commentators like himself doing to raise the profile of our nation?? Where are their awards and recognition??

    And as for renaming or branding our country,in my opinion if its okay for the mistress of an old colonial master to christen us Nigeria, why can't we interpret it as we please?

  • At 23 June 2009 at 12:42 , Blogger SANTIAGO said...

    Ok, the thing about me is, there SANTIAGOPAD.BLOGSPOT.COM

    are a few Nigerian artistes that i admire and simply love, before now, Banky W really was not one of them (ok, thats another day's story) but Banky, ur(hope Mr. Reuben wont mind me abbreviating your for ur?)response was simply apt. just RIGHJT. you really had me this time. you came out clean on this ONE! thumps up Banky. You indeed are MR. CAPABLE!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 12:59 , Blogger BBB said...

    I was a fan but now he has my respect...
    such a knowledgeable and proofread article as a reply...
    he def has my respect

  • At 23 June 2009 at 13:16 , Anonymous Liz said...

    Does it matter that while Banky defends himself and other Nigerian artists and their "authenticity", he himself wasn't authentic until recently? See, I posted something earlier, but my post is not shown here for some reason. I am not here to put Banky down, but I must say, I am not a fan of this man who just recently found his Nigerian "roots". In college, Banky did not speak with an accent or represent Naija like he does now...AT ALL. I am just so shocked to see that he's all extra Nigerian now and people are supporting this 'act'. To me, Mr. Rueben has a point and I don't at all believe the Banky W. hype.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 13:21 , Blogger Tokunbo said...

    War of words? I think Reuben Abati is writing based on sentiments. The new generation may be different from the old in so many ways but that does not make this generation bas as painted by this seasoned Journalist. Anyway, I think Banky W has done a good job, I need no further word to add. We are a blessed generation I dare say, just because some few are bad does not mean everyone is bad. I beg to disagree with Reuben abati

  • At 23 June 2009 at 13:41 , Anonymous Eviano said...

    I kinda agree with R. Abati, tho' not on all points. the fact is the music of today will not be remembered in 5 years time, we won't play them like we play those of the 80's and 70's today as old school music.

    That being said I guess we are the young generation and this is who we are, we have our identitiy and right or wrong we have decided not to bend to the dictates of the older generation who see nothing wrong with stealing the wealth and furure of the country but want to tell us how to play music!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 13:43 , Blogger doll said...

    Mr Abati presented a poorly researched and highly sentimental and generation biased argument….

    Banky W…much respect bruv…enough said

  • At 23 June 2009 at 13:50 , Blogger Lilian temewei said...

    if ur tym don pass,e don pass.he made sum sense but i think hes not dynamic.its a new generation.we aint static.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 14:25 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I do agree and diasgree with both oMr.Abati and Banky W...for instance a lot of the names some of our artiste have are obviously inspired from d likes of Jay Z etc etc..but really who cares....they are entertaining us and whether we like it or not we are all a product of nigerian culture and western culture!!!Abati saying that they cannot construct sentences is plain silly or that they are singing songs in pidgin is absurd...we do speak pidgin in naija..it is a language!!!....Music is freedom so nigerian artsiste can express themselves whichever way they please...I bet now that he has read banky's response he knows that some of those artsiste are well educated and brilliant people!FOr us to coin a name Naija is something we should be proud of..it shows fondness for our motherland ..i dont know why Abati will have a problem with that..Abati is a product of his generation and banky as well...so i guess they have different views...in all sa both made valid points that reflect their generation gaps

  • At 23 June 2009 at 14:45 , Anonymous Kunle Binuyo said...

    Reading both opinions by Reuben Abati & Banky. W., I'd say they were on point in serving the purposes of the sources. For one, Abati's piece shouldn't be disregarded just because there were some blunders in his work. Sure, no one can lay claim to perfection. Nevertheless, reading between the lines of Abati's write-up, I concur with the fact that many Nigerian songs are laced with good beats but utter nonsense when it comes to lyrical content. This has forced me or rather kept me listening to Tupac Amaru Shakur. Save for a few, Nigerian songs have good beats, excellent renditions but poor words. What do you have to show for a nation that does nothing verbally to advance the cause of development economically, socially or politically. What we hear nowadays are mostly composed of talk about booty, 'bobbi', ganja, igbo, shayo, hennessy, moet, maga, hammar, control numbers, let's spend my money....
    I quite respect very much the angle and tone of voice Banky.W used in his rejoinder....But one thing artistes, save for a few again, must understand is that the influence of music cannot be quantified because of its powerful force...
    When you put the opinons of the two authors on a scale, you'll find a balance as both are meant to gear the music industry towards a direction that will foster the positivity that Nigeria ought to represent in Africa and the world at large.
    Banky has done very well to respond, and in such good manner for that matter. Notwithstanding, he should see the elder's words as an iron that is meant to sharpen and not to condemn...Reuben Abati sure meant well for the younger generation and he obviously doesn't want a Nigeria that will be managed by youths with loose morals and inability to understand the needs of a growing nation...

  • At 23 June 2009 at 14:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well Said by Mr. Abati. I was just pondering on the same thoughts a few days ago. No Substance, meaningless music. Time will surely tell.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 15:25 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Girl friend, I read both articles and there is no cause for exchange of words or taking things personal.

    Objective criticism makes one the best person in life.

    I suggest that all the artistes should read Reuben Abati's article without taking it personal and take some useful suggestions/advice.

    His opinion may improve the industry somehow.

    Thank you.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 16:00 , Blogger Bukonla said...

    Banky, VWS though i will add that Dr Abati needs to understand that Change is a Constant phenomenon that will be both '+ive' and '-tive'. You know, we can't get it right 100%; which is evidenced by some happenings in their time (majek Fasek not all good news in the states). Finally, i wud recommend that our cerebral 'Dr' embrace the postive chnages in our generation and profer solutions that will better improve the other ('-tive') side. Thank you

  • At 23 June 2009 at 16:25 , Anonymous Maynezee said...

    Appreciation of ANY form of art is a function of UNDERSTANDING which our dear Reuben Abati lacks in this case. Truth be told he is a passionate man but passion without information is dangerous both to the one who has the passion and to the people around that person.Mr Abati's article is a result of lack of understanding of this ART and his failure to differentiate between Music and Entertainment.

    I don't agree with all the lyrics in todays music, but if he wishes to address that then he should stick to that point.

    He dares flash his generation in our faces even in d current situation of Nigeria where this so-called generation of his brought us to?

    He speaks of a Nations Identity crisis? what kind of Identity was handed down to this generation in d first place ? an Identity that's already needing REBRANDING? He should stick to criticizing his own failed generation and not pick on those trying to pick up the pieces...

    How many Senators of his generation can sing the National Anthem? Rooftop MC's wuld shoot a video for d song "Chop Kpomo, Chop ur Mouth" if d Senators n members House of rep are asked to sing d National Anthem.How many of dem understand what it means even beyond singing it, because if they understood it dey wouldn't act the way dey do

    Arise O Compatriots, Our looters call obey

  • At 23 June 2009 at 16:26 , Anonymous Biodun said...

    Hmm, Banky was very eloquent and informed. I am very impressed but Mr. Abati has some very good points. I currently reside outside Nigeria so I occasionally find it difficult to understand the cultural context of some songs. For instance, "Foka sibe". I still don't understand the reasoning behind it. I think the hip hop folks need to separate the "Men" from the "boys" asap so that the genre can receive acceptance by more. Overall, I loved the exchange of ideas. it was so beautiful to read both articles. How I wish our gov. officials could be so literate.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 16:31 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mr. Abati comments just shows how far we are from living what a true Nigeria will be. These guys are going beyond cultural and ethnic lines and building what a true Nigeria will look like in future and yes we are complaining and criticizing these young kids. What we need to do is encourage and teach this young people, it is not too late, if government is falling in educating and empowering them, we as a society, must rise up and fill the void.

    Keep up the good job, all you young artist. We love you.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 16:36 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi sweets, girl u so fine (you dey make fine jealous sef!).What won't I give to have dat your'drop-dead-gorgeous' body? Kai, more time in the gym and less choco, abi?

    Anyhoo, I think Mr. Abati has raised some really valid points (let's just look, abi read beyond the criticisms -contradictions- in the article). And I also agree that Banky W is cool to step up to defend the industry (even at the risk of being asked 'who be dat small boy wey dey yearn okpata?)

    However, my submission is that the current crop of 'artistes' need to actually earn respect by being less superficial (the blings n crystals can be annoying), put more sense in their lyrics and actually SING with their CLOTHES ON!

    Some 'artistes' come up with really nice song (beuriful vocal delivery, lyrics etc) and just manage to ruin this with the video (a good example: Madam G's 'Nothing has changed'. Wetin dat babe wey to smoke cigar towards the end of the video dey signify- dat smoking is d new cool?)

    And Mr. Abati, just because some of use abbreviations or pidgin english does not mean we can not write or speak English language (through our nose, too!) it's just dat ideas too plenty, and writing in full fit cut the flow, as writer consign, u get wetin I dey yearn?

    Girl, I don turn this into another post! Make I run b4 d barrage (of literary bullets) start.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 17:09 , Blogger Seun Idowu said...

    While I respect Dr. Reuben Abati and his writing, I must express my new-found admiration for banky W. He has just proven that this generation of Nigerian artistes are no dimwits. This is a topic I feel very strongly about, and i have been procrastinating on writing an article on it...I guess i have no choice now...

  • At 23 June 2009 at 17:51 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That was a poorly researched article from Dr. Abati. I think he should stay where his authority lies. Good work, Banky


  • At 23 June 2009 at 20:08 , Blogger sukkilala said...

    sincerly, Abati's article and Banky W's response makes history in the history of entertainment in Nigeria.Abati was on point but pointless in hitting the real nail on the head.
    Banky has successfully defended himself and those young artistes who genuinely aspire to make impact in the music scene. I an happy this came and I believe there should be no beef it is an intellectual discourse that should be archived for our libraries.

  • At 23 June 2009 at 20:46 , Anonymous laide said...

    Banky w's article was so on point. AndI LOVE HIM EVEN MORE.As much as i respect Reuben Abati, he should have done a proper reasearch and then give constructive criticisms. you just dont wake up and rubbish what people work hard for.......... Indeed im so impressed with Banky w . Very articulate young man.......... sure Mr Abati is impressed as well..

  • At 23 June 2009 at 22:31 , Blogger sisi said...

    Nice reply from Banky W.... It is clear that this generation is working with what was handed down to us.
    @liz, give Banky a chance...people do change u know...

  • At 23 June 2009 at 22:53 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Our Mr capable is truly capable. very well said boss!

  • At 23 June 2009 at 22:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i like when people can still see the points in an article, even if they do not agree with it whole heartedly

  • At 23 June 2009 at 23:34 , Blogger TWayne said...

    Well said Banky.

    What's in a name anyway? After all most of us have long names that were shortened by the very people who gave us these names and our parents also have nicknames. Besides I guess we all have a right to identify ourselves whichever way we deem fit.

    But Banky really shouldn't take things personal. He is in an industry that is very subjective and will, more often than not, attract criticism, especially by the older generation who are suffering a bit of "western-influenced culture shock". I felt some parts of his response were personal and not very necessary, e.g. some statements in the first paragraph. Just state the facts (like he did) and move on. You put yourself a step higher than your opponent, gain more respect and give your opponent nothing to hold on to that he can use against you in the future.

    But I applaud his response nonetheless. I don't think I could have done better. Well thought out, well researched and well written. What an excellent piece!

    Regarding Mr Abati's piece, well I guess he has a right to his opinion. But I believe articles in newspapers should be more objective and based on facts because the public has a right to be well informed. Opinions should be stated as such. As much as I would like to agree with him, unfortunately I can't because I simply do not subscribe to his school of thought.

    Oh... lest I forget, a lot of us use sms language simply because it is cost effective. :-) We really can read and write good English. Thankfully, Banky was able to confirm this through his article.


  • At 23 June 2009 at 23:49 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Abati was talking about an era where listeners were Literate, educated, and they cared about what they listened to.

    The message was important. Now, the listener is just Different(?)

    What do we listen to. Do we even care?

    The musicians, Educated? Enlightened? Or just plain EXPLOITERS?
    What is their message? Is it all about money? We are the most deprived, basterdized and rejected era yet, and we go about as if all is well and good. I don't believe Mr Banky and co have nothing important to talk or sing about?
    Naija/9ja/Nigeria till i die!!!

  • At 24 June 2009 at 00:25 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Like Rasheed said earlier:

    "And as for renaming or branding our country,in my opinion if its okay for the mistress of an old colonial master to christen us Nigeria, why can't we interpret it as we please?"

    I think that was what I did not get about Mr Abati's article. Why the fuss about the name? Even the USA has nicknames and its recognized. It doesn't make them less powerful or intelligent.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 00:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Things lik this can be disheartning. I studied mass communication and this leaves me confused about ethics...reading the first article made me sad beacause, I was still thinking about the things that were said about the same songs mentioned and it quite didnt make sense at all and now I see this.It's not fair on our generation at all. See Banky reads papers thats all I have to say...He reads newspapers.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 01:25 , Blogger NigeriaPolitricks.com said...

    Banky W won this round!!!

    Reuben Abati can eat crow!

    Why is he beefing our young talents who are just trying to hustle; trying to make a dollar out of 50cent?...seriously, old age is a disease and I think Reuben Abati should retire his pen before he starts yarning more dust...Glad Banky W mopped the floor with Abati's behind with his powerful comeback!

  • At 24 June 2009 at 05:43 , Blogger LENTINI said...

    Mr Abati, good write up sha but please next time keep to ur generation and leave our own generation alone.
    the world is changing and we need to change with it and not seat back and watch things pass us. in your days, 33 lager beer was one of the top beers then but today Heineken is way better. so are u saying we should stick to 33 lager because the older generation drank it? well the songs of today are good well produced and comes with gr8 videos that we Nigerians can be proud of today. i don't even listen to American hip hop anymore because Nigerian music is way better i understand it more and i can also relate to it more.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 06:31 , Blogger midexus said...

    Any relation of Maureen Ikeji?

  • At 24 June 2009 at 08:00 , Blogger soulstar said...

    very well said by Banky W. He made his points very clear. I feel Mr Abati might be slightly out of date regarding this issue and indeed hop on the train of change.


  • At 24 June 2009 at 09:57 , Blogger NwaChi said...

    Yes, not a very well researched article by Mr Abati, i agree, but there is a lot of sense in all he points out or most!
    Banky W made some very interesting points which I agree with him on. However, we must not forget that he lived abroad for a while before recently returning home like someone already pointed out not all artistes can give such adequate responses.
    I have to disagree with him on what he said about some artists not drinking and smoking because the so named people I have seen do what he said they do not!
    Whether we choose to admit, much as i'd like to say everything is alright esp. being that i am also in this young generation there is something terribly wrong with our generation and the sooner we address it the better! Not everyone in the music industry is bad i agree there are the likes of Asa, Nneka and some others who sing meaningful songs and not just whatever. truth be told there are times I wonder if these people were high when they made some of these songs and their imitation of western music is so poor and unhealthy! But there are times we do not necessarily care about the lyrics and all we want to do is dance away our stress (I guess these songs are appreciated in such instances)

    However like Banky said they are not all the same, and where there is room for criticisms praise should also be awarded. We should be thankful that now more people who have lived abroad(no thanks to the economic troubles in the world) are choosing to return home and identify with our cultures. I say this because much as we try to justify our every act it used to be cool not to have a Nigerian accent or to be a yankee or janded babe but today everybody is sucking up to Nigeria, we should also be thankful that more Nigerian songs are being played home and abroad at events and the entertainment industry is booming BUT we should please not get lost in the world of "Others" and try as much as we can to stick to our own!

    Then again, we can't blame a man for trying to feed his family or make a living for himself with the only talent he/she has, especially when it is legit.
    I applaud Banky for a great response not just pointing out mistakes but owning up to some and agreeing with some. More people in the entertainment industry need to get like him!
    Much as we all strive for "CHANGE" we need to understand that not everything needs to be Changed or imitated some things are better left as they are/were.
    *excuse all typos* :)

  • At 24 June 2009 at 10:01 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi all,

    Interesting comments really. I guess Mr Agbati got it all wrong, though not to say the artist done have there grey areas.

    Am particular about the lyrics, lifestyle and what is passed on to the next generation. We all have to agree that the movies and music we all encourage now contributes morale decay going on in the country, not that am saying they are the total cause of this but the fact is they are the new "role models" the new "icons" of the society. Let's not throw away our good moral up bringing all for the sake of stardom or meeting up to the "European or American standard" or sooner than later we are bound to see our ladies walking on the street naked (not that they have not started anyway) and men probably getting so irresponsible that they can not keep a home.

    Now to Mr.Agbati, please focus more on the Politicians and the leaders of our present time, for i believe that this is your area of specialization, you and the likes of Pat Itomi, and others would only have succeeded if we can have responsible and upright leaders.


  • At 24 June 2009 at 10:40 , Blogger *Dith* said...

    @ Liz...why does it matter when he found his Nigerian roots?? He later found it right?? Some people go through life and never do.

    However you may have a point.

    Repping Naija wasnt always seen as cool and hip and it feels like it was just yesterday when we had alotta folks forming "I'm not Nigerian but my parents are" and "I do not speak ibo, pidgin, yoruba" and what have you? Now that it is viewed as a cool thing.... actually, thanks to alotta these artists(which can even be used as a point for this ongoing debate), Everyone wants to Niaja until they die!


    Just for a sec, put ur personal feelings aside about Banky and admit that his response to the article was very well thought out.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 10:48 , Anonymous Ifada Johnson said...

    Truth is always bitter. Both of them had their points. Dr. Abati is well respected and experienced. He did well, but could have nailed it if he had carried out more research and had a proper understanding of the industry.
    Banky told us half-truth. We don't need a sooth sayer to tell us that our music industry if fake, with no identity and full of mediocres, except for a hand full. The bigger picture is that, both of them stated their own story and the best will be to agree as much with each of their views.
    Like a chinese saying: you cannot fatten a chicken by placing it on a weight balance.
    Lets do what we have to do to make our music industry stronger.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 12:23 , Blogger truthfulhurtingthoughts said...


    Banky kllled it right there!!!

  • At 24 June 2009 at 12:40 , Anonymous abdulwahab galadima said...

    A very interesting argument, while I see the two parties representing to generations: abati- a generation that has failed to live up to itsa billing; this country was handed to that generation but since then what happened, failure!! and failure and failure. I think abati should give Banky W and those guyz in the industry a standing ovation. Banky represents an orphaned generation, not becaused that generation does not have parents but because they are as good as dead forgetting their basic responsibilities. And to make it worse this generation is striving to come out of the mess we have been put into by Abati's. Well I do not expect Abati to understand; they attended free schools(yet he can not do a thorough research ), got free books and got free healthcare. Us it is struggles from day one and have chosen to do it differently by being dynamic so as not to mess Naija the way our fathers did. Do not fear us I beg, we must dare to do that which you colud not to get past the failures of your generation.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 13:10 , Blogger Mayowa said...

    After reading Mr Abati's Article, Banky W's reply and a friend's reply at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=100613711575,

    I Must say...
    First of all, Mr Abati is so uninformed(with respect to our generation)as a Journalist - a highly respected one at that. What happened to proper research, being unbiased in journalism? I feel if he's angry at someone/some people or somethings, he should face that squarely rather than put up such a write up that he not only contradicts himself, but also makes glaring how much mess the nation is in, which 'they'are handing over to our generation...oh, and it's now 'our' mess. Neither generation is clear of blame but that write up is uncalled for and purely uninformed.

    I must also add that it's good to know that we have informed youths amongst us. That we are an emerging generation creative young Nigerians who have no fear revising old norms and patterns to be able to succeed and survive in the Nigeria of today. Almost daily, I hear of impressive things being done and being proposed by youths. I must say that we should not be moved by such words because we're going to hear more. We're one of the nest things to happen to Nigeria...
    I must also add that i am exceptionally impressed by Banky's reply.
    Fishy nice work!

  • At 24 June 2009 at 13:37 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @liz.....be banky's fan or be not what ever he was, bottomline is that if Mr. Abati's article was half as diplomatic as banky's was, it would have actually won everyone's support.....because most of the things he pointed out are true and are issues that bother our parents and elders.....But banky expressed his opinions and even if you dont agree with him, you just want to? because he wants you to see things through his eyes......this is what Mr. Abati couldnt achieve he came out as prejudiced and biased...i dont even know banky's songs, not really a fan of his, but his article tells me one thing, he is a worthy role-model....

  • At 24 June 2009 at 14:02 , Anonymous Liz said...

    @Dith - you said it perfectly "Repping Naija wasnt always seen as cool and hip" and in school people didn't even know he was Nigerian. I cannot trust what a person says when I feel they are just saying it for show, or to make themselves look better. Lets not act like he's this soulful Nigerian singer that puts his heart and sould into his music. Have you heard his songs? Have you seen him girating all on stage and grinding up on females? Looks like a wannabe R. Kelly to me!

    Anyways, that aside, his response to Mr. Abati was pretty good. He defended himself and some others, yet I would have to do my research to see if all of HIS claims are true.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 14:02 , Anonymous Magnetic said...

    I dare say that Mr. Abati was trying to be funny not disparaging but sha who knows.
    Never was I a fan of Banky W but today I hold him in high regard.

    We (YOUNG GENERATION) are who we are and no apologies for that.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 14:04 , Blogger missjarola said...

    i agree wit both writers,
    for example if both made 10points
    3 out 10 -i agreed with Mr Abati
    10 out of 10- i agreed with Banky

    i agree wit rasheed's comment, abt Mr Abati ,a journalist / editor's role to spark debate in such a fashion. He doesn't have to be factually correct and yes it can include contradictions.....
    And banky killed it...am not saying it 'cos every one its doing so...BANKY HAS WON MY RESPECT apart frm being a FAN of his Music...really CAPABLE...in defending wat he BELIEVES in

  • At 24 June 2009 at 15:09 , Blogger fendizzle/StelteQ said...

    B4 now i was of the tkinking dat Banky was just a regular fine boy who was fortunate 2 have stayed in the states but now i know dat dude is very deep and knowledgeable. I have a new found respect for him now. This only goes to show that of the young crop of artistes we have in 9ja right now, the educated ones like Mode 9, Rugged, MI, Naeto C, Ikechukwu, Banky, just to mention a few might end up being the ones who'll be able to manage their fame and fortune well in the long run.
    That said, i still believe dat Mr Abati raised some very valid points and like some one dat commened said, it's the duty of an editor to raise up issues like dis for discusions and not for running down. Mr Abati is still very right in my opinion.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 16:24 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I wonder why Nigerians can just face fact. I support Abati. We should just try and reason along with him. And not be diversified by Banky W's cover-up speech. Although is a nice speech. But I wonder why somebody who can write that kind of a good and defensive speech, will not be able to compose a good music with better lyrics. Somebody might have cooked up the speech for Banky W. No doubt about that. We just try and make things work out fine for Nigeria, after all we are in the Nigeria of re branding now.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 17:43 , Anonymous Olamide said...

    Wow! Wow! Banky W has really left me speechless. Thumbs up bro, u just won ursef a disciple.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 17:52 , Anonymous Naijapreneur said...

    I do not think Rueben or Banky's point of view is wrong though may have been wrongly communicated.
    I am as scared as Rueben with some of the things i see my generation display on screen while i am happy at others. So, i will just say both write up be read objectively so we can save the next generation from decadence that we will not be able to handle.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 19:38 , Anonymous Abiodun said...

    On a good day I will definetly pitch my tent with Mr. Abati when it si him vs Anybody in the this part of civilization but that lady/ or Guy Banky W or what do you say his/her name was, mirrored my thought. Mr Abati needs to know that even United State is called "Uncle Sam" in the hallowed chambers of Washington and King Sunny Ade Sang, "Pamurogo do mu rogo do murogo do..........." words that are complete gibberish

  • At 24 June 2009 at 19:40 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    On a good day I will definetly pitch my tent with Mr. Abati when it is him vs Anybody in this part of civilization but that Guy Banky W or what do you say his name is, mirrored my thought. Mr Abati needs to know that even United State is called "Uncle Sam" in the hallowed chambers of Washington and King Sunny Ade Sang, "Pamurogo do mu rogo do murogo do..........." words that are complete gibberish

  • At 24 June 2009 at 20:37 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I respect Reuben Abati a lot, but on this issue I beg to disagree with him...Mr Abati shld know that this is the 21st century, and there is something about packaging, even Sunny Ade (Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye), Ebenezer Obey (Ebenezer Fabiyi) and others knew the importance of packaging and stage names. Names don't really matter, what matters is the content of a man's heart and his character... if names mattered that much, Mr Abati's parents wouldn't have named him Reuben, cos where in "9ja" is Reuben from? and even the Reuben in the Bible, was Jacob's 1st son, who slept with his father's concubine & was cursed by Israel b4 he died!!! What a name to have!!

  • At 24 June 2009 at 21:46 , Anonymous Ajayi Oluwaseun E. said...

    Pamurogo do mu rogo do murogo do..........." words that are complete gibberish

    you are really a nut case.
    Banky 4 life, opps! chelsea for life

  • At 24 June 2009 at 22:54 , Blogger IBUKUN said...

    There is no doubt that Dr.Abati has some valid points,but it must it must be pointed out that it was the great KSA that sand "What do you disaya,what do you have under,sweet banana" and the now Evang.Obey that sang "Obey lo l'oyun"(Obey is the baby daddy".

    The point that i'm trying to make is that the primamry purpose of an entertainer is to entertain and not be some stantard of purity and chastity.The society that an artists also finds himself didctates what kind of song he produces.Dr.Abati,pray tell,where are the record companies that gives a fledgeling artiste a good deal for his work?where are the songwriters and the producers on the records label that gives a youn artiste good material to work with? we all know the answer to that one! so,until the right sructues are in place,and these artistes and their own songwriters,managers,producers etc,then these are the kind of songs we are going to get! and for them to even excel in these less then savoury circumstances,they deserve our praise not condemnation! Like you there are some naija(yes,naija) songs that i don't listen to,but that does not mean that i don't appreciate the talent and the work that these guys have put in.

  • At 24 June 2009 at 23:53 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    man is talking RUBBISH... Linda? did u hv to torture us with the whole lenghty gibberish!!piiiiissssstttttt

  • At 25 June 2009 at 02:44 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    As it is both men are on d same page only on different paragraphs..

    I call Dr. Abati's write up as a wake-up call to our generation which was even coroborated by Banky himself if carefully read. the big picture here is the fact that there is really nothing new under the sun... i'm sure those times mr abati referred to, there were people who did not agree with trends of "our" music then, but their own (Dr Abati's) generation had to look up to it as the "best" form of music which is now being used to taunt us.

    As much as I agree that there are some flaws and negative stuff in the so-called "borrowed culture" they are not peculiar to this genration only... In fact I beleive all of what we are complaining about these days have been done in the past.. a clear example is ear-rings worn by our fore-fathers..

    So i'd like to submit that the erudite journalist has spoken well to awaken our consciuosness to "doing the right thing" musically and to encourage Banky and others to keep doing what they know how to o best "rightly". In truth Banky is a clear cut ambassador for "Entertainers of our generation". Keep up the good work brother. And to other very good artistes that are keeping it real.. i say BIG UPS!!!!!!


  • At 25 June 2009 at 04:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Reuben’s piece is very Myopic, subjacent and a destructive construct. It is very very disappointing, coming from a man who should shape public opinion. It is with this same Narcissistic approach he writes about other issues of Nigeria….please someone should tell him that music is a global brand and the name of the age is globalization 3.0; where individuals are gona take the lead, not companies or nations as it was in their time...That’s why we need names that sell, that’s why our artiste must do the business of their art. Someone also tell him that hip-hop is a culture and any art born out of a culture gets a name related to it hence the sexy names…Banky W,Dbanj rather that oluwabanko….kai just imagine that name on his CD, it wont even sell the art in lagos not to say japan or london. That article was dead on arrival, has no single lesson but rather filled with opinionated self-service and a de-service to our music industry- loss of sales in the global market, loss of revenue to Nigerian economy, loss of respect for our art. Shame on the old man.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 04:51 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The problem with us nigerians is that we loooove to deceieve ourselves and love to follow the gang...when one person finally speaks up about an issue that is biting the nation, we all rain hell on that person...let us face facts...mr abati is super right in some of the things he said...yes banky nailed it with his obama replica speech but that doesnt change the fact that mr abati made solid points...he said alot of nigerian artistes are perfomers...he nailed it right there...go and youtube and watch live performances of nigerian artistes...you will almost throw up...75% of them cannot sing...dbanj cannot sing or rap to save his life...yet he picks up the mic and all speaks some koko language and all the ladies start shaking...yea yea yea the man mispelt a few things...at least we get his point...which is that they changed their names...also alot of these nigerian artistes make no sense in their hit songs...freal listen to some of them closely and you will ask yourself why u even bought their cds...and if dbanj says the word koko one more time amma have to slap somebody...i mean banky's speech is good...it shows that he went to skool...alakowe so tie morun...eka re layi...but it doesnt change the fact that we have alot of talentless artistes in naija...
    P.s: I still love the entertainment it provides sha...as I speak I am bumping my head to wande coal's bumper to bumper...lepa to bad is next on the playlist..afterall...kini big deal

  • At 25 June 2009 at 08:19 , Blogger Barzini said...

    This is a clear case of the generational disconnect we have come to constantly see in the country now. The older generation just can not see reason with the actions of the younger, while the younger despises the older for the way the country finally turned out!
    The compromise seems so far away, and yet all that is necessary for growth is understanding and some tolerance.
    Its the classic disconnect between generations!

  • At 25 June 2009 at 08:58 , Anonymous Akin - TennesseeKing said...

    Now that's what higher learning in the States does for you. Provides you with the tools and skills in engaging in intellectual debates without hurling insults.

    Banky W is an Industrial Engineer with a good education. Just because one chooses music for a career doesn't mean they are airheads like the icons of Abati's generation such as Shina Peters and praise singing artistes patronizing politicians.

    Abati got what he deserved and I hope he focuses on pandering to Aso Rock politicians. Waste!

  • At 25 June 2009 at 08:58 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I totally see where both parties are coming from. Honestly, both of them have good points to make, all of them may not be accurate.

    I agree with Mr. Abati in some aspects, because it's a big adjustment for the older generation to get used to the way things have drastically changed within the younger generation.

    There is a difference btw old school and new music. The old school had a way of not putting everything out there, but now the younger generation just go all out for it, if they want to f*** a girl they just say it, and all kind of derogatory words. I'm in the younger generation, but i don't agree at all with all that they do.

    All what the older generation are fighting for or concerned about is the morals and simplicity like how it used to be during their time. To be honest, I'm impressed with how some of the new artists have carried themselves. For example, someone of them sticking to one woman, not using profanity in their songs, and going to school.

    At the same time, we younger generation look up to the older generation, even though they made a lot of mistakes, so they are not the angels that they try to present themselves as. And i think it's time for the older generation to step down, because they have not done much to help either, and let the younger generation who are willing and trying to change in positive ways to step up.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 10:37 , Blogger shaifamily said...

    I think Mr. Abati went a bit over the edge in this article. For anyone who has read 'Future Shock' by Alvin Toffler, the things he spoke about wouldn't have been too much of a shock.

    The society is in a constant process of evolution. Language, culture, political and economic landscapes have changed dramatically from the way they were centuries ago. I wonder why Mr. Abati will launch such a caustic attack on a generation which has embraced a generational shift, which for reasons best known to him he has refused to acknowledge.

    The world has changed, the Nigerian youth has changed and if anyone is afraid to acknowledge and accept that fact, too BAD!!!

  • At 25 June 2009 at 11:23 , Anonymous Bc Goerge Armstrong said...

    Wao,these are an intresting pieces of articles coming from both Mr Abati and Banky W..other people have said it all but i just want to chip in this...im really impressed with Banky's reply,i have always known him to be an intelligent chap but i'm not too sure if he actually wrote this or it was written by his publicist cum lawyer..it's just too good a reply.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 11:26 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wao,these are an intresting pieces of articles coming from both Mr Abati and Banky W..other people have said it all but i just want to chip in this...im really impressed with Banky's reply,i have always known him to be an intelligent chap but i'm not too sure if he actually wrote this or it was written by his publicist cum lawyer..it's just too good a reply.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 12:13 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hmm..so Banky W now remembers he's Nigerian after years of faking his identity? He should better go back to America o. Abati is human and bound to make mistakes but truth is: He made a lot of sense in his article. And for Banky...I'm not impressed!

  • At 25 June 2009 at 12:28 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If truly Banky W wrote this response, I will respect him for life.
    Dr Abati walked into a land mine.

    Is it that he forgot Sir Shina Peters' " mo fe j'akan obi eleyin" or King Sunny Ade's " Pamu rogodo mu rogodo dale, pamu rabati murabati baba, oni tibi bami lalejo hun o ti se yi si, ki je yan afi omi oo jo, omi ladun omi sororo ojo weliweli"

    Or Obey's " Ina mo faan o abebi, ina mo wa faan lo tan mi wole, otan mi wole o o ti lekun mo mi, otilekun mo mi o ti mi lu bedi, oti mi lu bedi o turo idi mi, otu ro idi mi o se oun okunrin se, o se oun okunrin se mo se oun obinrin se, bere bawa do youn o, obey lo loyun o"

    A classic case of convenient amnesia

  • At 25 June 2009 at 15:30 , Anonymous Naija Blogger said...

    Impressed with Banky W response, - articulate

  • At 25 June 2009 at 16:23 , Anonymous Donald said...

    I'm really trying to understand what "...and in school people didn't even know he was Nigerian. I cannot trust what a person says when I feel they are just saying it for show, or to make themselves look better. Lets not act like he's this soulful Nigerian singer that puts his heart and sould into his music." means.
    Did you go to school with him in yankee? so how do u know pple didnt know he was Nigerian?, and because he can speak english without a Nigeran accent when he is abroad makes him less Nigerian?? Wow.. So if he is not a soulful nigerian singer that puts his heart and soul into his music, Pls tell me who a soulful nigerian singer is.
    Pls tell us ur history with banky and why u hate him sooooo much.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 17:43 , Blogger MyOwnThINg said...

    Do you know why Banky replied...he's exposed/lived in a society where you'r encouraged to speak up! Express yourself...stop all this OGA SIR & shut up attitude! This is called assertiveness and the ability to communciate effectively. I hope young people in Nigeria can rise up and express themselves objectively to move this country forward!

    I hope the respective peeps should learn from it overall. Money isn't everything but the ability to communicate effectively often times help alot.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 17:59 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Liz - Why do you sound so bitter? Did Banky snob you in college? Did he not give you the time of day? Cuz that's a lot of hateration coming from you. Get over it of that's the case. People find their levels and you need to find yours.

    Personally, both long ass stories are unnecessary. It's great that Banky can write intelligently and he rebutted a lot of Abati's claims, but was it really necessary? I see it as unnecessary giragira.

    In any case, music nowadays - both abroad and in naija - is just rubbish. There's been a loss of focus on making good music and meaningful lyrics and all these artistes care about is putting together beats and quick hits that we are all going to forget tomorrow. Well, I wish all the naija artistes good luck. Get it while you can, so that when we no longer remember you 5 years from now, you'll at least have some change in your pocket.

  • At 25 June 2009 at 19:39 , Anonymous truth said...

    lol! Once someone disagrees with the popular view based on whatever facts, it becomes a case of Hating. Gosh please you guys need to learn how to disagree with other people's opinions without mendling into rubbish talk about Hating the subject. Once one strongly expresses his/her uncommon opinion they always seem to have ulterior motives to you shallow minded folks.

    This rubbish "show us the facts" talk...."did he snub you in school?" yarns. It's the www. You cant have all the facts you want from annonymous commentators so just swallow what you can, debate logically, counter the other argument with YOUR OWN FACTS and please MOVE ON!


  • At 25 June 2009 at 20:41 , Blogger temmy said...

    Whatever happens to poetic license?

  • At 25 June 2009 at 20:47 , Blogger temmy said...

    This is an argument Reuben Abati cannot win. Whatever happened to poetic license?

  • At 26 June 2009 at 01:15 , Anonymous Tola said...

    In my opinion, the initial article was trying to raise our consciousness. We as youths deserve better. Through both articles I still haven’t heard anyone hold the record labels, production companies, PR teams, radio stations, and media responsible.

    Although I respect artists that use music as their creative outlets, not everything that can be recorded needs to be played in the media. There are several intermediates between when an artist writes/ record the song(s) and when it gets to the media. Why isn’t anyone in between point A and B saying this music is trash and we won’t play that on the radio…our youths deserve better. I’m not saying we need to censor everything that isn’t “uplifting” because even that depends on who’s listening and in what circumstance but there has to be a balance. Turn on your radio and all you hear is TRASH. Why should we have to listen to these “nonsense” music on the radio when some of these same artists have better, more suitable music on their CD? Most young people that really are affected by the “trash” music on radio can’t afford to get the CD and listen to the complete package where they can weigh out in their mind what version of the artist they prefer.

    So before you guys jump on the Banky band wagon, you should think about two things…
    1. Why was he so offended by the article if he is proud of his craft and doesn’t feel like he is one of those artists with no talent.
    2. Really what difference is it who wrote the better article, the whole argument is based on the fact that WE NEED BETTER MUSIC, not who can run a spell check on a computer!

    In my opinion Banky is one of those artists who couldn't make it in the U.S mainstream, so he tries so desperately to fit in with Nigerians where he has an advantage because he can speak American...still I respect him for trying.

  • At 26 June 2009 at 06:08 , Anonymous Tolu said...

    Interesting topic.. both sides exercised their freedom of speech and I respect both parties.
    Banky W did a good job in defending what he believes in, and Abati pointed out some flaws that are prevalent in music today.
    A lot of todays musicians are trying to make commercial music that they can profit from, and that type of mindset cripples creativity. But Not all the popular music is bad music. So. Abati faulted in generalizing the whole music industry.
    at the end of the day, if money is being made, jobs are being created and young Nigerians embrace their nationality, I beleive the music is serving its purpose. Lets not look to musicians to create identity, every citizen and the government should carry that burden.
    Much respect to banky W and the new crop of business minded musicians.

  • At 26 June 2009 at 10:33 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think Mr. Reuben should have contacted Dele Momodu before publishing his write up, Dele understands better what our generation is up and about.


  • At 26 June 2009 at 12:04 , Blogger Adetutu said...

    I got the hype of this Abati R v Banky W challenge. I had to get the full gist - What a word tussle!
    Well, Mr. Abati was right about some point( especially the stage outfit - well what can i say , its a HIP HOP world out there).
    However, I am impressed with Banky W, he sure did hit the nail where it hurts!I don't care if its born out of creating a good PR for himself(which it sure did, reading all the comments), but he did a good job of replying!
    Mr. Capable - I duff my hat!
    Kisses Muuuah!

  • At 26 June 2009 at 14:44 , Anonymous shayee cutie said...

    While I strongly suggest that these articles should not create any bad air between both writers and ,or their colleagues, it will be nice to take learnings from the two generations.

    Having read both articles, it is worthy to note that both writers view should be carefully pondered upon, so we do not lose the real message(s).
    I understand Mr. Abati's view about some songs not communicating anything. knowing well and assuming that is it public knowlwdge that soome songs have good beats but does not make any sense lyrically.....baby konga di konga ileke konga...... but the same song surely makes me dance everytime I listen to it. Maybe, songs are just meant to do different things( make one think, dance, laugh, forgive, smile, work, sleep, etc).
    Again for Mr Abati... anyone can have a nick name. I'm sure sometime during his school years or early work years people refered to him as something other than Reuben/ Mr Abati... so there's really no diffrence between that and a stage name.

    For Mr. Capable your rejoinder to Mr Abati is surely on point.

    It will be nice for you to know however that our generation needs to do more work than our fathers did. Not because of anything our fathers or their friends will say, but because we dont want our friends comparing our children With us and thinking we are better off.

    Our generation is doing great in the entertainment industry no doubt and for Godsake we are helping ourselves to make a life which our senior friend(s) have failed to see.

    I am proud of this generation but we all need to work harder than we are presently doing for our works to outlive us. God help us.

    Lets see if by re- reading Mr Abati's article some of us can learn a couple of lessons.

    Banky W..... You rock.

  • At 26 June 2009 at 18:18 , Anonymous Biodun said...

    In fact, I'm not giving Banky W and likes an inch any more. Today, we're sad about the loss of MJ because his music had meaning. Abati is soOO CORRECT. let Banky & co pick up pen and paper to write some meaning words of wisom that can touch lives. Until then, they are just noise makers to put it lightly.

  • At 26 June 2009 at 23:21 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    sup wiv dis Banky hype sef? As far as i'm concerned he was just blabbing and only wanted to be heard(cheap popularity)Proud to b a Nigerian at least we can now listen to our music in some clubs all thru. Nigerian artistes are not tryn but dey r on top now.

    Now to be realistic,ao many of u will fold ur arms and kip smilin when u hear ur 4yr old chat to the lyrics of these songs (e.g Kilodisaya, i love dat booty), or ao many of d Bankys will want to introduce his future patner to his mum and encourage her to dress d way we c our ladies dress (half naked) in our music videos. None, bcos we know it aint rite. The world is changin and we need to change but doing it the rite way makes d most sense.
    As for Abati, i quite understand ur point which is rite but dont forget we r clearin d mess caused by ur generation, criticism should b for ur generation and Kudos be given to ours. Did d generation u wish us to follow think about internet or facebook, even now dey aint finkin of ao to improve d standard of living of d people but only ao to ve big bellies(awon ole). Sir pls face dem and next tym when tlkn about serious issues pls dont include the issue of name and word shortening e.g 9ja, as dat is only a sophisticated shortand dat we were tot in skul to write faster...lol,.
    Both gud writers,i couldnt ve done beta. Abati as a journalist... more research and Banky abeg no dey bobo us wiv som of ur non igbo smokers mentioned...Tibi ipsi esto fidelis:to thy own self be true

  • At 27 June 2009 at 02:50 , Anonymous Joseph "9jahustla" Ogunsulire said...

    This is deep. Mr Abati started it, looks like Mr Wellington finished it. Progress does not equal loss of identity. If it were so, then why has the guardian newspaper adopted the online means of communication. It is called a news"paper" not a news online. Mr abati should fight that first except for the fact that progress does not equal loss of identity

  • At 27 June 2009 at 07:02 , Blogger Baybee Inc. said...

    I'm glad to be in between Generation X and Y together, so I can easily relate to these pressing issues being raised by these two respectable citizens of Nigeria. Dr. Abati is a highly venerated individual and has put a mark on the path of Nigeria journalism. I always read his articles but I can firmly express that he got this totally wrong. Our present crop of hip-hop stars have done a lot to add great value and revolutionized the music industry and I think we should all be proud of them and give them the necessary support/encouragement/advice needed to grow more and be reckoned with world renown super stars like Jay-Z, Kanye West, MJ (R.I.P), Will Smith etc.
    I live in the U.S and I know a lot of Nigerians over here that have never been to Nigeria, do not speak Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo languages but yet these hip-hop songs have given them hope to learn about their country and you will be surprised that they speak the languages now and even express parables as well. This is a commendable stuff and we should give honour to whom honour is due.
    Banky W, you have spoken well and I totally concur with you. We need serious revolution in Nigeria and you guys have taken up the courage via music to initiate this inevitable. It is a bottom-up approach since our leaders have refused to take initiative and make adequate provisions for growth and development.
    Long-live hip-hop, long-live Gidi, long-live Naija… Still repping Naija tight.

  • At 27 June 2009 at 14:50 , Anonymous Anwoju Kunle said...

    Well all has been said, but the irony is that there are some truth in what the man has said, although some extremities; http;//www.nigerian-youth.blogspot.com

  • At 27 June 2009 at 16:21 , Blogger Bellemskey said...

    What is Banky's point? Is he trying to prove that he can write or that he went to school? What we are saying is that theres too much western influence in our music which is not good... I support mr. Abati's article and i would say the Banky's rejoinder did not thrash the issues required to be addressed... Anyway ive never been a fan of him or the other clowns...

  • At 27 June 2009 at 16:24 , Blogger Bellemskey said...

    I am of the younger generation and really think most of the somes reeled out these days are absolute nonsense....what is the meaning of 'Kini big deal' being repeated over n over or 'o 4kasibe', 'Konga', 'lyrics lori gangan', 'Coco and Cocoless' ... Absolute crap...

  • At 27 June 2009 at 21:44 , Anonymous Nnamdi said...

    Banky is neither a writer or an analyst but has done a better job than the acclaimed Dr. Ruben. That's what you get when you release a highly and unneccesarily antagonistic piece with the sole aim of tainting one of the only things that make us happy and proud as Nigerians, the music industry. You just got served Mr Reuben and you asked for it.

  • At 27 June 2009 at 23:57 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    loooooooooooooooooong thing... someone summed it up light years ago... generational disconnect. I'll bet sum1 (probly d saddened journalism graduate)in the next thirty years will be dismayed by d "disturbing" wave of change the next generations are gonna come up with... well, if we don't all get nuked before then

  • At 28 June 2009 at 00:11 , Anonymous estee said...


  • At 28 June 2009 at 07:34 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    After reading both pieces and most of the comments here, some of us are missing the point. Dr. Abati's piece was not well researched but he nailed his points which I agree to most of his points about how most of this current artistes songs do not make sense. I understand some of this artistes are trying to emulate the hip-hop artistes like 50cents. If you listen to 50cents, his songs make sense because he is rapping about gangsta life,tough love. Some of the example Dr.Abati used are songs that are meaningful if you listen to the whole song.I believe Dr.Abati's piece is to educate and make the industry(entertainment)aware of the impact on the society. Even though Dr. Abati is old skool, he understand the impact of music on a generation. I think he should be applaud and not seen as an old man with grudges against our generation but as an old man that want our generation to hold on to meaningful music, just like we hold on to Fela's music, Haruna Ishola or I.K Dairo or King Sunny Ade. On the other side, I applaud Banky W for an impressive respond in defending himself and the industry but he missed the purpose of Dr.Abati's piece.Constructive criticism are not to put a group of people down but intend to create or visible outcome generated rather than the opposite.

  • At 28 June 2009 at 10:53 , Anonymous cremynal said...

    ..its true dat some artistes think 'its all about the dance track', but pls, music is the opium of the people,try to mess it up and u'll be messed up...mr. Abati should try to be more objective and accurate next tym..btw, he just helped banky w. sell his album...

  • At 29 June 2009 at 09:16 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i guess Mr Abati is right about what he said we all have to come to fact that music is about the lyric and what u can decode u should be able to gain some knowledge from it our nigerian artiste should try and get good song writers to help them out they dont neccessary need to write the song themselves but they surely need help ASA is part of our generation and she does come out with something good Music is about Talent or you learn; not the way the nigerian artistes are going about especially when they are on stage and start pulling their trousers in front of audiences Ethics is also very important
    people just like the beats not the trash that come of their mouths.

  • At 29 June 2009 at 10:50 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dr. Reuben Abati is very right & I agree totally with him.

    Banky W, don't be too happy when people are telling you that you are right, most times such people will escort you to your early grave.

    You need to read in between the lines... I think you are just missing the point just to protect yourself & your fellow musicians.

    The truth is timeless. I for instance cannot & will not introduce this so called new breed musicians to my children...most of you don't qualify to be a role model.

    You mentioned Papa Fela Anikulapo Kuti...do you know that papa was a cultural & traditional person till the day of his death?...that was what he preached... He had contents in his musics, he had substance, he composed his songs & didn't steal no one's sound. Most of you, with exception to a very few lack sensible contents in your lyrics. I studied music & have been involved in music since mid 80s.

    You said you all don't have the means to have band members... the fact is that there's money in music now than it was in the days of King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Papa I.K Dairo, Dr. Orlando Owoh... to mention but just a few. How were they able to manage a huge number of band members & even built houses for them? Most of you make very huge money but not ready to invest same in grouping band members to play life & original music. The only things we have known you to do is buy very bogus cars & jeeps, rent apartments in very expensive areas without having regards for true investments & one of you even already have 6 kids without a legally known wife or wives.

    It is so bad enough that most of you sing senseless lyrics... it is even worse when most of you display very immoral acts in the public & expect to be accorded a place as a good role models.

    The truth is you make all the money but don't want to share by grouping band members...so please you have no excuse in that regards.

    Finally, if they have to even sue any people for piracy, the first set of musicians to sue are most of you who call yourselves Naija artists. You don't compose your own music anymore but to steal someone's else's sound from abroad & adopt it by just changing the wordings or lyrics... you stole Rihana's sounds(Under my Umbrella) to sing (from Ebumeta)....you should be sued for piracy.

    I bet Dr. Reuben Abati is right, let's see how far most of you will go in the next 5-10yrs. We know those who will stand the test of time.

    A word is enough for the wise.

  • At 29 June 2009 at 10:56 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dr. Reuben Abati is very right & I agree totally with him.

    Banky W, don't be too happy when people are telling you that you are right, most times such people will escort you to your early grave.

    You need to read in between the lines... I think you are just missing the point just to protect yourself & your fellow musicians.

    The truth is timeless. I for instance cannot & will not introduce this so called new breed musicians to my children...most of you don't qualify to be a role model.

    You mentioned Papa Fela Anikulapo Kuti...do you know that papa was a cultural & traditional person till the day of his death?...that was what he preached... He had contents in his musics, he had substance, he composed his songs & didn't steal no one's sound. Most of you, with exception to a very few lack sensible contents in your lyrics. I studied music & have been involved in music since mid 80s.

    You said you all don't have the means to have band members... the fact is that there's money in music now than it was in the days of King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Papa I.K Dairo, Dr. Orlando Owoh... to mention but just a few. How were they able to manage a huge number of band members & even built houses for them? Most of you make very huge money but not ready to invest same in grouping band members to play life & original music. The only things we have known you to do is buy very bogus cars & jeeps, rent apartments in very expensive areas without having regards for true investments & one of you even already have 6 kids without a legally known wife or wives.

    It is so bad enough that most of you sing senseless lyrics... it is even worse when most of you display very immoral acts in the public & expect to be accorded a place as a good role models.

    The truth is you make all the money but don't want to share by grouping band members...so please you have no excuse in that regards.

    Finally, if they have to even sue any people for piracy, the first set of musicians to sue are most of you who call yourselves Naija artists. You don't compose your own music anymore but to steal someone's else's sound from abroad & adopt it by just changing the wordings or lyrics... you stole Rihana's sounds(Under my Umbrella) to sing (from Ebumeta)....you should be sued for piracy.

    I bet Dr. Reuben Abati is right, let's see how far most of you will go in the next 5-10yrs. We know those who will stand the test of time.

    A word is enough for the wise.

  • At 29 June 2009 at 12:51 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i think Dr. Reuben had a good point he just communicated it wrongly. I've argued so many times with my friends as to what exactly this are THIS ARTISTES singing,we always come to the same conclusion beats! So what are we all screaming about truth be told some of them need to go back to the drawing board and get their rhythm right. And will it have been OK if Dr. Reuben didn't include the names of the artistes or what?

  • At 29 June 2009 at 17:13 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Banky W should grow up and face the fact for u to successful in anything u do u have to invest not necessarily money but effort and time dont let peole push over cliif that u gave an excellent reply to reuben go home to ur bed and get ur lyric right and stop all those day dreaming fantasy of urs get back to school or get a job and leave the stage to people that makes sense in music ie those that have invested and done their home work right.
    Reuben Abati is not condeming change but it should be done in the right way; i have not heard ur music never heard about u nor u music am not a music fan but i still know the popular ones.
    what is "fenu won so" where people use it on face book as means of exchanging words its that what we want for this generation absolutely NO or "you don hit my car oyinbo repete "na music
    abeg go sit don jare

  • At 30 June 2009 at 07:43 , Blogger iTope said...

    Dr Reuben had some points but his points were at the same time off-point while that of banky was on point. But putting it in a more larger context, I think Dr Reuben might be 'waging a war' not directly pointed towards Nigerian artists. I'll advise any of the artists mentioned that in their response, they should try not to be sandwiched in a 'battle' that's not directed at them ESPECIALLY if they have in the past or will sometime in the future perform at a THIS DAY music festival.

  • At 30 June 2009 at 10:53 , Anonymous Denji said...

    I enjoy the controversy this is generated. However, i am sure Dr. Ruben Abati meant well. Critism is the practice of analyzing, classifying, interpreting, or evaluating literary or other artistic works. Most times, we get carried away and forget that life and everything about it including art and music is transient. Change is the only thing in life that is constant. If our leaders in Nigeria could accept critism in good faith our nation would have been the better for it. As a person, i appreciate the contribution of our present generation of musicians but they should not rest on their oars, there is still room for improvement. Banky W, let's take it all in good faith and see Dr Abati's article as opportunity to move the industry forward. Kini big deal!!!

  • At 1 July 2009 at 11:23 , Blogger Daydah said...

    I certainly hope that Mr Abati got to read Bankole's response...it will let him know that not all artistes are school dropouts.

    I also hope it has enlightened the older generation that the moral decay which they refused to 'do something about before its too late' in their time, has birthed what Mr Abati feels is the problem right now. If their generation didn't see anything wrong and didn't act against the incessant school strikes, the intolerable primary and secondary school teacher conditions, the non-existent electricity and intolerable conditions for enterprise, I do not see why they should complain that the present generation do not have the patience to write or say complete sentences, or stay in school and all the other things he said out of sentiment.
    The Nigerian artistes and fashionistas have tried to bypass all the shortcomings they inherited from their parents to get to where they are. I am glad Bankole admits that there is still room for improvement, but Mr Abati should follow up his improperly-researched criticism with an extended hand to this generation to stop the decay before the very next one would become totally irredeemable.

  • At 1 July 2009 at 12:54 , Blogger hillary_ebele said...

    I go by the name Dj ATTE real name Oluwaseun ATTE. As i read the Dr. Abati's story (i call it a story because it holds no water), it was clear and obvious that this supposed Ph.d holder did not do his research on the topic. I'm currently part of a broadcast outfit, one of the codes and conducts in this industry is not to be biased, do not take a stand point no matter how much the story affects you. But here is a man who knows practically nothing about the Nigerian Music scene yet he was very judgmental.

    I was interviewed by a colleague in the industry about the surge of Nigerian Music some time ago. This is what i said "as a child growing up in Victoria Island, Lagos, all the parties i attended, i can't remember ever dancing to a Nigerian song except for Shina Peters' Afro Juju but now Nigerian music is widely acceptable and loved" In fact, looking back we only listened to Nigerian Music on television - NTA to be precise. I also responded to the question by giving a practical example to my colleague. "When am performing - as in djing- in a party, wedding, club or any event, i play Nigerian songs all through and even when i try introducing new foreign songs they (the dancing crowd) complain to me and they come saying "please play d'banj or that song ...foka sibe". This makes me proud and even encourages me to produce good music (am also a producer).
    Dr. Abati is from the school of thought that don't like change and do not want toaccept change. For carrying out loud he kept making reference to the LORD ALMIGHTY to save us from the situation he painted. I don't need to be a scientist or a ph.d holder to know that the only constant thing in life is change. I'm almost 30 years old, i can't wear clothes the same way a thirteen year old would. If they want to sagg their jeans let them, few years ago i used to do the same. When i was younger you find people always criticising and condemning instead of teaching or correcting the wrongs.
    I'm not a man of many words, i suggest people especially with this school of thought should take a chill pill and let the young grow and fly.

    Dj ATTE

  • At 1 July 2009 at 16:05 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Banky W well said! Ruben Abati. Do I say Mr, Dr, Esquire, Barrister.Which 1 e be ?

  • At 6 July 2009 at 15:30 , Anonymous Priscilla said...

    Should I say I am partially in support of what Mr. Reuben Abati wrote in his piece, “An Identity Crisis,” because though I dance to these songs but I am usually lost when it comes to the lyrics and the meaning of most of the songs? But equally, now have very deep respect for Banky W for his high articulation, show of respect and how he convincingly marshaled his points in his response to Abati’s article? I tend to lean heavily towards his side of argument. Why? Because he had very convincing arguments and being part of the music industry he was able to correct some of what Abati overlooked or was ignorant about before writing his piece. For instance, though the Abami eda was an icon in the music industry but he was a very bad example for any young man on how to live life. I also believe that Abati’s generation should do more of mentoring than being judgmental of a whole generation of musicians. And like Banky W said, “We want to learn but you have to teach,” show the light; show the way for Banky W’s own generation where they are deficient. And at least show some appreciation for what the young men and women have achieved. But what do we have? Abati went on to batter these young creative, talented Nigerians who are doing a great deal and showing the rest of the world that something good can actually come out of this corrupt society just like Nollywood had done.
    Here we have two generations and I happen to be in the middle of these two generations, you may want me to be on one side but I refuse to do that. Why, because by the time I graduated from the University to face life, Nigeria had already been divided and sold out by Abati’s generation. I found it no longer belonged to all of us but to a select and corrupt few individuals who hold the nation to ransom. Abati happen to be among the very few of his generation who through their writings and activities have tried to right the wrongs of this nation but not much has happened in that direction.
    Now, here comes a new generation of Nigerians who by their sweat and creative genius have carved a niche for themselves in music, all they need is to appreciated and corrected where they are going wrong, not to be judgmental, not battering, not to be mowed down.
    I think the music industry is doing great and we should all appreciate them.

  • At 13 July 2009 at 00:51 , Blogger TONUKARI Ufuoma .E said...

    No be lie, everybody get e mouth to yannn according to Eldris Abdulkareem. Naija will soon reshape itself because she has been standing on one leg and from every look of things she is tired and shaking. When she decides to put her two feet on the ground it is then so many things we take their true shape and there will be no much debate on such issues. We shall choose our names, our styles and what have you. For instance, our so called Nigerian Pidgin which has recently be tagged as Naija language by ...... will take the centre stage in communication and big big grammar like that of Abati go find e square root for naija mata.

  • At 10 September 2009 at 09:20 , Blogger Michael said...

    The problems we have today are the footprints left by our older generations; we suffer and are humiliated for problems we didnt create yet we still wear the jacket proudly. Those who were able to get a PHD at 24 without ASUU srike can afford to write carelessly. Banky W, you made me proud with your article, you certainly desrve a PHD if not for ASUU strike ;).

  • At 10 September 2009 at 19:53 , Blogger nwauwac said...

    DR Abati, was right about songs having less meaning, but don't blame our youngsters, it's global
    for example, lil wayne's lolipop lyrics, akon's I wanna f**k you,things like this has always been there(cos there were also songs like sexual healing in the
    80s). I think it's about giving the consumers what they want & in that medium send a message across,
    talking about 9ja(thank's to banky for defending our 9ja) it's what we want to be called, Nigeria- that's what colonial masters want to call us. 9ja 4 life!!!!!!

  • At 10 September 2009 at 20:03 , Blogger nwauwac said...

    Mr Ruben was right about the meaning of songs this days, but it is not a nigerian thing, it's global
    for example, ttake a look at lil wayne's lolipop or akon I wanna f**k you,it did'nt start today(there was sexual healing in the
    80s) so think it's about giving consumers what they want(the determine it validity)and in that medium pass a message across.
    About 9ja(thank's to banky for standing up in defense) that's what we want to be called, Nigeria thats the name that the colonial masters want to call us, thats the name that answers world's no.2 most corrupt country, that's the name we can't be proud of at airports, let's tell our selfs the truth, we can start from there.
    9ja 4 life!!!

  • At 5 November 2009 at 03:08 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well said Banky W but Dr Abati was right in some cases..... The musicians of today has done well for themselves but I agree with Abati that must of them can't sing live on stage and musical concerts, they don't even mime they just shout rubbish at their audiences If this issue can be addressed the Abati's of this world can go to ....... Note that the name given to us by colonial master oh sorry his lover is long gone with LORD LUGARD and his mistress and we have rechristened our beloved country Naija, Nija, and the best of them all 9ja 4 Life. Bless

  • At 26 December 2009 at 01:27 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have one question and one question only. Banky W did you write your rejoinder yourself? i m not being disrespectful just trying to get at the substance.From where i am sitting it seems like a well written PR piece.Banky W if you wrote it yourself i apologise for casting aspersions.

  • At 25 January 2010 at 00:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    @ d last poster; i think he wrote it himself. He wasn't the only artiste mentioned so why would he pay a PR company to do that. Besides he's a blogger as well. http://bankyw.blogspot.com/
    i doubt a lot of nigerian artistes are into the whole PR thing big time

  • At 24 June 2011 at 00:06 , Anonymous Olabisi said...

    Thanks to Dr.Abati for this wake-up call.There are lots of sence in what he said, which will challenge our artist. But against all odds our artist stands out from the crowd,the choice is ours to desides which of thier messages suites us (F I B).Nigerians of today are dynamic and thats the way to go.We ar re-branded
    .9ja 4 life

  • At 23 July 2012 at 03:24 , Anonymous Eze said...

    The new generation is what is exporting Nigeria to the globe in a positive light.Most times when you speak to other foreigners in the past, all they remember is 419 or yahooze,hence they start avoding you but now with Dbanj shining in the UK as well as Psquare, many now wish to be Nigerians.What has the old generation done other than corruption and looting?? Besides he is now part of them, abeg Reuben park well joh.

  • At 20 May 2015 at 15:00 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Since 2009, Ruben Abati has been averse to change :) Linda read the last paragraph of your story, these were the days when you never uploaded insulting comments...#FoodForThought


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