In West Africa, music creators like Zlatan Ibile, Olamide, Burna Boy, Naira Marley, Wizkid and Davido, have curated tracks that looped into and balanced in pop culture spaces, and most times they alter our behaviors and perspectives, how we react to their music publicly and see society inclusively.
In 2017, Olamide, co-inspired the mainstream success of the popular Nigerian “Shaku Shaku” dance through his street infectious records like “Wo”, “Science Student”, and more before several Nigerian acts began to embrace, and stuck with the creation of records tapping from the glories of Shaku dance that beamed between 2017, and the near end of 2018. Songs like Reminisce’s “Problem” peaked into the street numbers and raised the bar of cultural influence in Nigeria.
DJ Consequence’s “Assignment” that features Olamide also inked a certified appointment with the street brochures and peaked influence into the clubs of Lagos alongside Mr. Real’s “Legbegbe” which accompanied the success of the trendy dance in shows and event centers as well as Wizkid’s heavyweight pop appealing “Soco” featuring Terri, Spotless, and Ceeza Milli, it was perfectly produced by Northboi.
Shaku-Shaku recorded a range of moments where tracks like Naira Marley’s 2017 “Issa Goal” scaled through Nigerian pop culture during the 2017 World Cup, hosted in Ru$$ia. “Issa Goal” recorded moments meant to motivate Nigerian players in the world cup as it sprung huge influence and peaked in the numbers of streams, downloads, and airplay worldwide.
Shaku-shaku winced strongly, establishing an indelible memory structured on pop culture history from West Africa as it gradually draws the curtain between the end of 2018 launching acts like Zlatan Ibile and Naira Marley fully into 2019 where they established the strength of a new pop wave to fully come.
Chinko Ekun’s powerful “Able God” featuring Lil Kesh and Zlatan Ibile came along, launching Ibile into the Nigerian music scene amongst his contemporaries and other creations like “Zanku” which peaked afterward along with the dance that took over the mainstream, we recorded the new culture wave on the same note that heavily influenced with the soft appealing dance moves. It involves both legs in motion, not for those with disabilities.
Inside the end of 2018 that launched Zanku, Zlatan Ibile’s official track for the dance, “Zanku (Legwork)” generated and preserved cultural taste at its peak before it encroached its fading moment between the corona pandemic period in 2020 where everyone was faced with homely responsibilities rather than Zankuing and throwing legs to work.
Before the fadeaway moments of pop influential dance, Burna Boy’s “Killin Dem” was sync for its force and influence that originated the dance with one of the strongest sounds patterned to sell the dance globally, it was produced by Kel P, whereas the laid back zanku dance offered an intensive impact for one to focus on the dance, Burna featured Zlatan Ibile, and it became an instant cultural maestro that finally raked influence and closed 2018 during the festivities.
Naira Marley’s 2019 “Mafo” featuring Young John can’t be forgotten alongside his “Lord Of Lamba” 6-track EP, which savored great pop culture moments. Naira Marley performed at Wizkid’s 2019 concert in London at O2 Arena where he shared droplets of his street vibe for innocent fans who embraced with every glee.
Zlatan Ibile’s “Shotan” featuring Tiwa Savage is amongst the numbers, and apart from influencing pop culture with Lamba, and the grooves that certain records are curated with, some tracks are coolly packed differently and speak about society mostly during the police brutality in West Africa (Nigeria), certain records storied our minute survival in poverty, and the bad government and connecting various cultures faced with the same plight in series, thereby theses track are considered having potential influence to carry on pop culture as well as they record great moments altogether.
Below are a few potential tracks that can influence pop culture without Lamba, these are the recorded few amongst others:
3. Dr. Barz’s “Man Must Wack”
“Man Must Wack” by Dr. Barz comes with the introduction to a deep cultural cadence that has great potential to elevate and savor pop culture moments.
“MMW” is all about human survival, it is what an average West African (Nigerian) encounters to survive and in between, it ends in savoring cultural taste by drawing its sense of conceptualization from the legendary Nigerian highlife creators’ watchword, Parley Brown.
Dr. Barz’s creations are nothing but his chronicling reality to form his artistic embodiment, he has churned artistry that has the potential to layer great impact on pop culture.
Even his last year idealistic single, “Corona Plandemic”, offer hands to reshape people’s belief about the global cascading pandemic; Barz has been the simple replica of a singing and rapping prophet aspiring to set his people free through his semantic lyricism. He has more to offer including addictive melodic cuts, only if you listen and read in between the lines.
Jae5 is both British and a West African music creator. He is a British-Ghanaian Grammy award-winning record producer who’s raked huge streaming numbers with his debut single, “Dimension”, which entirely comes from and speaks for Afro culture.
The story that accompanies Dimension is a major significant on pop culture. In the creation of Dimension, Rema delved into storying his past through the chorus and pristine hook that depicts a young Nigerian hustler trying to survive; he stories certain hindrances that tend to keep one from achieving his/her desires as he illustrates with his peers that desperately pray for their freedom.
He sings to express the depth, “Some of my brothers dey wey dey serve time/They wanna be free, they all wanna see the sunlight.”
These lyrical examinations slightly tally with police brutality and harassment in West Africa (Nigeria), as well as Skepta’s flows that examine myriad plight from bad governance and their consistent deception upon citizens, their corrupt practice, and putting human lives to jeopardy.
Dimension is driven to impact pop culture, the potency is visible and viable even on the sonic structure that sells with Afro structural elements, neatly.
The soundtrack for “Coming 2 America” is such an exceptional record, and for the reason of Burna Boy’s appearance, it boldens Afro cultural significance, as well as Rema on Jae5’s “Dimension.”
The order of these song lays very huge mark as a potential influence to record pop culture moments that are very far from Lamba, as these particular record should be perceived as a creative mishap for pivotal introspection against societal flaws for the change in Africa, respectively.
“Coming 2 America” soundtrack is a very simple elaboration of America on a good spotlight, mostly the part of New York that correlates with the iconic movie, starring legendary black American comic actor, Eddie Murphy.
The neat elaboration was curated by John Legend who took the mantle upon himself to sell and simmer his great nation into the mind of Africans in various communities because they support black culture, whereas, Burna’s take was at a pivotal effect to sustain America in the spotlight, while flawed Africa and put their sins on the light also. It comes from exposing their heinous leaders who’ve been wrapped around and tied strongly in corruption and greed.
Lamba is good, but when tracks like this are mentioned for its potent carriage to change us let us move with it, embrace and sell it to the spaces and to the people they belong to, and expose what they hide from us; pop-culture enthusiast who understands at some level how these songs can shape our perspective and embrace the change we deserve indeed, shouldn’t ever with-hold what they vision through this records, like I mentioned through free, easy, simple, and my truthful publication.