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#ThisIsNigeria: Is MURIC’s Case Against Falz Worth the Stress?

Rapper Falz recently made a controversial release dubbed This is Nigeria, cover to Donald Glover’s smash This is America that garnered a massive critical acclaim due to the fashion with which the song tackles a bunch of mishappenings faced with the black race in America. I for one would say I expected a cover from a Nigerian artiste but I didn’t know who to expect from or what exactly to expect. Without prior hype or promo, Falz breezed in on us with an audiovisual rendition of the hit number and best believe the Wehdone Sir crooner came correct as brutally honest with his version dubbed This is Nigeria. In dissecting the audiovisual, Falz addressed core ills plaguing Nigeria ranging from the incessant spate of Fulani herdsmen attack, kidnap and peculiar problems faced with the Northern girl child, drug abuse, rigging of elections, suicide bombing, bribery, injustice, inequality and religious exploitation and many more.
In social media lingo, Falz ‘shook tables’ with just one song, a move a bunch of  Nigerian mainstream artistes shy from or rather not talk about for the fear of I don’t know what. Falz took the bullet for his contemporaries and embarked on a quest I deem dauntless for infusing these issues plaguing Nigeria into a song receiving so much attention worldwide, it does take more than series of tweets to show that you really understand what affects people who patronize your art; Falz tabled these ills at the appropriate time and with the appropriate song because if he had sang about these issues with a regular single release, you trust almost nobody will notice because it’s our forte to sweep contentful musical materials under the carpet under the umbrella of being ‘Afrocentric’ with our sound. I’m yet to understand that notion where these artistes believe meaningful and well thought out lyrics can’t be infused in an Afrobeats song because a lot of music put out there in recent time reek of mediocre and lackluster lyricism, a move I think is sometimes a product of laziness or nonchalance. You hear a lot of these artiste claim to be inspired by Fela but wouldn’t attempt half the moves Fela made for socio-political sanity through his music.
The internet was thrown into a frenzy following the release of the cover and you must be alienated to Nigerian internet if you think the song was unanimously embraced, of course it had its fair share of criticism and all that jazz but what shocked the devil out of me was the reality of people throwing jabs at Falz for ”stealing Donald Glover’s  concept”. I honestly felt more sorry than angry on realizing that some adult with internet privilege are void of what “cover” means relating to music in 2018. I almost wept for these ignorami.
Recently the news of Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC asking Falz to apologize and take down the video under 7 days or be slammed with a lawsuit on grounds of having Muslim girls dance shaku shaku with hijab in the video sparked rage in me. I believe a set of people under MURIC deliberated enough on this issue before putting this out. It’s sickening that none of the issues addressed in the video resonated with MURIC rather than shrieking over a group of girls just dancing in hijab and threatening a lawsuit especially when you get out there and see girls in hijab doing questionable things. In the words of MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola,
 Falz video is loaded with Islamophobia. That video should be titled ‘This is not Nigeria’. It is Islam-bashing. Nigeria’s video regulatory agency should therefore ban the video or ask the artist to edit it properly.
Saying Falz is Islamophobic in this context is really hard to understand but I see nothing but aestheticism. Religion is fast becoming a very bitter enemy to our growth as a nation and Muslims are becoming unreasonably touchy. It sounds rather unimaginable that you’re threatening an artiste over some triviality and ignoring the focal point of the art. If anyone should be riled even, I suppose it should be Christians. It may interest you to know that MURIC shot itself on the foot as so many people have come in Falz’s defence and have developed a not-so-nice perception about Muslims and withdrawing the case even doesn’t erase these thoughts imprinted in our minds. We hope they do better; look before leaping in coming indulgences.
It’s total waste of time for MURIC instead of taking the cue and project their rage into tackling the quota it’s religion contributes to the nauseating state of the country. Besides threatening Falz to apologize and take down the video is no case because going by the audiovisual, Falz simply reenacted all that already happening in the society, things we already know and see, things already in print and online, simply put; it’s just a mirror/reflection of the ongoing madness in Nigeria which most public figures scurry from. I see nothing but literal brilliance in merging these societal ills into one visual material, while we’re entertained by Falz for being a daredevil, the need of an urgent remedy is more evident than ever especially since Falz has been garnering encomium from international entities like Diddy, CNN, Aljazeera and more.

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