Nigeria: Drug Addiction in Music Videos - Who's to Blame?

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(file photo).
1 September 2018

From time immemorial, celebrities have used various kinds of drugs to enhance their performance. But why are security personnel attached to these celebrities powerless when it comes to drugs? Anthony Ada Abraham explores the answer to this question.

For centuries, musicians have used drugs to sustain their performance especially on stage, and listeners, on their part, have used drugs to heighten the pleasure from music. The relationship between drugs and music is also reflected in lyrics and in the way these lyrics were arranged by the musicians.

Some of these artistes are half the time, influenced by the copious amounts of heroin, cocaine, codeine, solution, shishas and "reefer" they consumed, as their songs sometimes reveal. People who pay close attention to them know for sure that they are different, when they do their music, from what they are, when they are not about music.

"When you see the likes of Olamide, you would be surprised at the display of drinks and hemps, even codeine is not left out, that they consume to perform," Jeff, a music writer said.

"Don't be fooled by country music's wholesome name. Country songs make more references to drugs than any other genre of popular music, including hip hop."

Under the influence

As every taker knows, listening to music while high can make it sound better. Recent research, however, suggests that not all types of cannabis produce the desired effect. The balance between two key compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiols, influence the desire for music and its pleasure.

According to a radom sampling, some cannabis users said that they experienced greater pleasure from music when they used cannabis containing cannabidiols than when these compounds were absent. Some even said when they consume SK, they felt more alive listening to music and even making one.

For those who have witnessed live band performances, the crowd and the singers are always in another world of their own. Sometimes, it is not about the song that is being played or the ladies that wiggle their butts, but the mood of the audience and the musicians.

Listening to music - without the influence of drugs is rewarding, can reduce stress (depending on the type of music listened to) and improve feelings of belonging to a social group. But research suggests that some drugs change the experience of listening to music.

Clinical studies that have administered Lysergic Acid diethylamide (LSD) to human volunteers have found that the drug enhances music-evoked emotion, with volunteers more likely to report feelings of wonder, transcendence, power and tenderness. Brain imaging studies also suggest that taking LSD while listening to music, affects a part of the brain leading to an increase in musically inspired complex visual imagery.

Pairing music and drugs

Certain styles of music match the effects of certain drugs. Amphetamine, for example, is often matched with fast, repetitive music, as it provides stimulation, enabling people to dance quickly. MDMA's (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (an ecstasy drug)) tendency to produce repetitive movement and feelings of pleasure through movement and dance is also well known.

Some Nigerian entertainers are known drug users both in real life and in their music videos. Some are not ashamed to post it on their social media platforms even with the hefty security men attached to them. Davido, Wizkid, Slimcase, Reminisce, Olamide (Badoo), 2Baba, Cynthia Morgan, Ice Prince, Tekno and other "Shaku shaku" champions.

"I wonder why security men are attached to these people when they can't check them on doing things against the law. They post themselves smoking cannabis, codeine, dancing and 'jirating' in front of these guys and nothing is done. They are even encouraged or assisted when high," KSmasher pointed out.

So the question is, who's to blame when these set of people are found wanting and nothing is done? Are the security men who are supposed to check these people left star-struck in the end that they can't do their duty? Are they like the untouchables who even though there are evidence to prosecute them can't be prosecuted? Questions and more questions.

When an ordinary boy on the street is seen with cannabis or any other ecstasy enhancement drug, they land in police net or even end up in prison. So what about these people who show it on videos and even pictures, can't they be questioned too?

The blame game continues as the situation is getting out of hand and more unsuspecting youths are falling into their traps.

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