#ThrowbackThursday – Where are the Nigerian Female Rappers?
Nigerian Female rappers like Sasha P, Chemistry, Blaize, Mo’cheddah, etc. were so hot in the day, it’s a wonder how they’ve managed to fade out of the minds of fans.
There are so many Nigerians and fans alike, looking for answers to these same questions. The current state of the music industry is disturbing and a concern that needs urgency especially when it comes to hip-hop and rap with no females or males for that matter in sight.
The old days where the female Rap artist (SashaP,Eva Alordiah , Blaise, Mina , mo cheddah, Zee) were at the top of their game are far gone.
These unforgettable women held it down at the very top of the Rap food chain. That was an era to experience, with the emergence of lots of female rappers, entertaining us with hit songs and hardcore Rap, Trap, indigenous Rap & Punchlines.
All the above-stated rappers today have all ventured into other creative niche or business that are bringing them more money and paying off.
Sasha P is known to have paved the way for other female rappers. She’s arguably the most decorated female rapper in Africa. Today? She is no longer in the industry, for reasons unknown. Sasha now concentrates on her budding shoe design business- Eclectic by Sasha and as for Blaise, who was hands down the best lyricist among the lot, no one seems to know what she is up to.
Muna, a beauty queen turned rapper, had the shortest career of them all. She’s currently in the movie business as an actress. She’s fully focused on her modeling career and she’s also a TV personality.
Eva Alordiah. She successfully released an EP in 2013 and an album in 2016 after which she called a time off to her music career. Eva’s rise to the top had the makings of a fairytale. Yes, she put in the required work, but some still feel the position she enjoys now boils largely down to luck. I say it’s her understanding of how the entertainment industry works that is responsible.
Eva’s hiatus from the music industry is looking to be permanent as she’s fully focused on her Digital marketing business and brand building.
The question is, why are they all not living up to the game/hype / consistent enough.
Here are my observations:
One of the main problems is that most Nigerian ‘femcees’ have refused the realities on the ground. Hardcore rap or punch line heavy songs do not get played on the radio or anywhere else as much as the pop-infused rap tracks.
Male Rappers like Olamide, Mi, Phyno, Ycee,Ilbliss, Dremo, etc have realized this and tweaked their sounds to fit in the status quo. That is why they can compete and perform on any stage like their colleagues who are more grounded in the pop genre. The same thing can be said of Nicki Minaj, Cardi b.
When there is no structure, you have to finance your own production. A lot of women in music, not just rap music, have had some bitter experiences where record label executives are demanding sexual favors from them.
Most female Nigerian artists can attest to this. In this society where everyone is kind of complacent, it is very difficult for a female to sustain her career in music, let alone, rap music.
Invariably, it is in vain for a female singer or rapper to be gifted in the artistry if she can’t twerk to the tunes of the industry’s pipers. One of the strongest criticisms against some female rappers is in their performance strengths.
When it comes to stage performance, the Nigerian music scene is still lagging behind specifically, in the hip-hop genre, it is usually between the DJ and the artists. But now, I think things are shifting and some are starting to performing with live bands.
It all boils down to the economics of music. For you to sustain a band, you need to have funding. It is very expensive to maintain a band. . You call up some band members and they keep acting silly and funny. People have problems generally in this country. You can attest to that. Take that over to the music scene, you can imagine what you will get. An artist can easily get discouraged when managing people.
4. Talent isn’t enough:
So you can sing and play really well. Are you willing to work hard too? There are so many talented independent artists busting their guts to pay dues and sharpen their craft, but equally, there are so many acts who are convinced their incredible talents are a ‘VIP’ pass to life without blood, sweat, and tears.
Even if you’re insanely talented, if you don’t work for it, you’ll have a hard time building the career of your dreams. This is especially true if you’re looking for a big-time record label contract because labels are always looking for bands and artists that work hard.
5. Poor marketing:
Have a good marketing strategy. As a rap artist, dropping songs without a planned marketing /publicity plan will do no good because people need to know you and your brands in order to actually care about your artistry.
You have to think about what you bring to the table as an artist. It might be an interesting back story, unique instrumentation within your music, or a band made up of siblings. Identify several engaging stories and things about your brand and use them to your advantage.
6. Show Organizers:
They are also not helping matters and females, in general, are mostly overlooked because they feel they have nothing to offer or the fact that they are not ‘reigning’ as hard as their male counterparts at that particular time. But female artists, regardless of genre cannot continue to be overlooked.
7. The Audience/Public in general:
We need not judge based on the numbers of an artist’s audience before we download, stream, or buy their songs. If this continues, good music will continue to be churned out. There’s a rallying cry from fans, to support, stream and buy female rap music.
In Late 2017, we saw the emergence and re-branding of female artist turned rapper “SAEON MORUDA”. Her mixtape album “BIRTH OF THE BOYCHICK” dropped in late 2018. The album was hailed by fans as one of the best hip hop project to come out from this country that year in terms of wordplay, breath control, and lyrical content.
As of 2019, Saeon Moruda announced she was leaving music for good due to a lack of support, appreciation of her artistry, general lack of support for female rappers by the public, and marginalization by her record label and the industry.
For anyone hoping to make it as a female rapper in this part of the world, know what you want and how far you are willing to go in order to get it music-wise. Forget the trappings, forget the drama, and forget the lies. Hard work, ingenuity, consistency &resilience are the only guarantee for success.