He is from an influential family of learned lawyers. A lawyer also who preferred his passion for music what he studied in school. Folarin Falana better known by his stage "Falz The Bahd Guy" is a Nigerian rapper, actor, and songwriter. He is one musician Nigerians can boast of everywhere and anywhere. In this piece, ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on his artistry and his recent song which has raised many eyebrows while pointing out sundry issues of national importance.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a political giant in Africa from the 70s until his death. He criticised the corruption of Nigerian government officials and the mistreatments of Nigerian citizens. He spoke about colonialism as the root of the socio-economic and political problems that plagued the African people.
Corruption was one of the worst, if not the worst political problem facing Africa in the 70s and Nigeria was among the most corrupt countries of the time. The Nigerian government was responsible for election rigging and coups that ultimately worsened poverty, economic inequality, unemployment, and political instability, which further promoted corruption and thuggery.
Fela's protest songs covered themes inspired by the realities of corruption and socio-economic inequality in Africa. Fela Kuti's political statements could be heard throughout Africa.
Kuti's open vocalisation of the violent and oppressive regime controlling Nigeria didn't come without consequence. He was arrested on over 200 different occasions, including his longest stint of 20 months after his arrest in 1984. On top of the jail time, the corrupt government would send soldiers to beat Kuti, his family and friends, and destroy wherever he lived and whatever instruments or recordings he had.
Even as all these were going on, Femi Falana (SAN) who is a human right lawyer was never stopped standing by him when the need be. He was the personal advocate for the late Kuti. He once revealed during a lecture organised by LEADERSHIP that the decision to allow his son take to music was due to his relationship with the late Fela. He said many people knew the Kuti Family because of the fame of his client. When his son decided to also take to music, even with the disagreement from his wife, he believed that he would be towing the line of the iconic musician who he was once his lawyer and today he hasn't disappointe anyone, churning out great songs with lyrical prowess.
Has Falz disappointed his fans?
Falz who describes his style of music as "Wahzup music" infused comic with the contemporary hip-hop in Yoruba accent. He is one of the most gifted rappers In Nigeria till date whose style has endeared him to lots of people. He's a master crafter in the art. And the message in his songs are always inspirational and potrays happenings around us.
But he has shown in his latest song that he is here to stay and would remain for a long time with the release of "This Is Nigeria," a song cry of what's happening in the country everyday. The visual directed by Prodigeezy has been one of the most trendy videos in Nigeria today.
The artiste shows his artistic prowess spitting out bars on the song making it interesting and captivating crazy punchlines.
He released it alongside a simple visual where he mimicks Childish Gambino's gesticulation. Falz boldness is one that must be commended by all quarters because most of the issues he raised in "This is Nigeria" are what the country is going through and lots of Nigeria artistes are scared to tell it as it is. The song talks about corrupt politicians who are well known but are left by successive government to walk free with head held up high. It also present the criminal Fulani herdsmen who are on rampage across the country killing people like chickens without any means of arresting and prosecuting them.
On the issue of SARS harassment and injustice to Nigerians, he presented a picture where young men are arrested unjustifiably for just sitting or having a chat while only the rich and affluent could free their children/ ward while the children of the poor remain in their custody or even die.
Falz also frowned on politicians and looters who are known but yet are appraised and called upon to contest for elective positions. He also pointed fingers at the police who he alleged in his song that they close by 6pm when people are in need of justice and security. Yahoo boys, the health system, kidnapping, lazy youths issues, recession, transmission, so-called men of God who deceive their members to donate huge sums for a projects ,setting up universities that the children of their congregations can't afford or attend.
"This is Nigeria, where everybody be criminal, politicians wey thief billions no dey go prison o, " a verse in the song said.
The song might seem to be controversial to the guilty ones but the bitter truth has to be told. "This is Nigeria" is a song cry to the government and Nigerians to do the needful and change to the better. There must be political will to do the right thing without fear or favour.
Falz's "This is Nigeria" is not just a song but a song cry for everybody to wake up and act now!.