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Should we appreciate delays on nigerian musics?

We are a societyx of instant gratification. We want
everything now. Your next million, next
promotion, all of your career growth, the
achievement of set goals, even your next meal.
We want it all now.
As a child, growing up in the 90s, of all the dates
that we get excited about, Christmas made it to
the top of the list. We live for those end of the
year festivities, where the air becomes a bit dry
from the Harmattan (the dry and dusty
northeasterly trade wind which blows from the
Sahara Desert over the West African
subcontinent into the Gulf of Guinea between the
end of November and the middle of March
(winter)). It is our version of winter, and
Christmas made all of that cracked skin, dry
limbs and foggy air worth it. Totally worth it.
The meals become more accentuated with
condiments and meat, the streets are lit with
Yuletide paraphernalia, and you are more likely
to get a cash gift in this season, than at any
other point in the year.
But the wait for Christmas Day was the worst.
Time stood still on the 23 and 24 days of
December, as the hours became longer, and
everything moved slowly. But cometh the hour,
Christmas Day arrives, and with it, climax! But
now that age has made me an older human,
everything has become normal. At least I know
Santa Claus is a myth, and Christmas Eve is just
another day in the year.
In music, I found my mind going back to
Christmas when Wande Coal , released “Wanted”.
I became a child again screaming “Merry
Christmas” as I dashed to my computer to click
through the URL that contains Wizkid’s “Ayo
(Joy)” album. And when M.I Abaga decided to
unwrap his “Chairman ” album, I could hear the
silver bells ringing, and the air all around me
smelling of rice and chicken. I also did feel a
variation of this as I got Eva Alordiah’s “1960 ”
album. All of these projects made us wait. I had
to anticipate the release, and count the time
towards when it finally hits the market, and gets
into my hands (or these days, my computer).
The delay to get these project ran into years, as
time became stagnant, and we inched towards a
final release. Truth be told, for all the vitriol we
serve these people when they delayed in
releasing music, the anticipation made it more
fun and enticing.
It’s almost the same when anticipating a new
Christmas gift, or a new album from a great
musician. The way your world spins around that
project is amazing. And the disappointment
when you don’t get your dream present is like a
stab in the chest; deep, incisive and lethal. It’s
the same way you feel when the quality of the
album is not up to what you already have in
your heart. But that feeling of anxious wait as an
adult transports me through time, back to a
younger me, back when I clamoured for the day
when I will scream ‘Merry Christmas. So these
days, I appreciate the anticipation.
Waiting for music is an impatient business. Much
like hunger, it keeps you aware of a need to
consume art, to embrace a part of you that you
have left with that artiste. How many times have
we all yelled at Wizkid to drop it already, or
written about our unhappiness at Eva’s failure to
come up with an album? When Wande Coal
dropped, people screamed and dove for their
platforms, while the news ran wild screaming
that the king is back. Those moments are
priceless, and deserving of every inch of our
The time period between an album’s
announcement and the album release is the only
time you’re able to fantasize and create the ideal
project. Your mind is able to run to the ends of
the earth, daydreaming about the ideal project,
and creating the best sounds, lyrics and adlibs.
That fantasy becomes a dream with each
passing day, and you begin to wonder if it will
ever come true.
Wizkid, M.I, and Wande Coal made our dreams
become reality, took away what was a figment of
our imagination, and in its place, gave us a real
replacement. As each album began to sound
through my earphones, I became connected with
a body of work from an artiste that had made us
want some more, and all the changes that had
happened since the last project, or the lack of
changes. For us, it isn’t even about deciding if it
is all worth it in the end, but if the content here
would make you expect another one.
When Wande Coal released “Mushin 2 Mohits ” in
2009, I was only 18 years old, a hormone driven
teenager, learning about women, and listening to
a lot of things. Wande Coal’s debut album is a
Nigerian classic, which made us all for in love,
and we had to wait for 6 years to have a follow-
up “Wanted”. The new album was a let-down by
many standards, but it did enter conversations
about the culture, and gave Wande Coal a boost
in his career and attempt at resurgence. Wande
Coal came through with another album when he
was ripe for it. Even though the fans who truly
cared did not wait for him to release it based on
his time; they hounded him at every turn for it.
I come from a time of Psquare. Where albums
were a constant supply, and music was always
there, abundant and omnipresent. Psquare
always gave us music, with albums singles,
leaks and collaborations littering the airwaves
and propelling them to the height. Those people
inspired a lot of others, via jumping on waves,
appropriating existent sounds to benefit
immensely, and it always worked. Many other
artistes have followed that lead, and kept away
from starving their fans. Olamide releases singles
and gets featured on new music every other
week. He is right there in your head, a looming
presence on your playlist, and an active
performer at the biggest shows. You don’t
anticipate with Psquare and Olamide. You are
overfed, stuffed full of music until you stretch
your hands to the sky and beg for an escape.
M.I Abaga showed us behind the scenes while
we waited for him. He taught us that while we
demand for new music, artistes undergo career
growth and face tests off the mic. He showed us
his evolution from a legendary rapper, to being
‘The Messiah’ of the culture, and attainment of a
new professional position. The same thing too
for Wizkid, who was fighting for his freedom from
Banky W’s EME.
Listening to M.I Abaga’s “Chairman” album, you
begin to feel like he went to redefine his sound,
learnt the language of the streets, and gave us
another project which contained that new wave.
Wizkid brought on his party jams, and gave EME
a final body of work for them to benefit from,
even as much as 2 years after he departed. Eva
took forever to work on her music, and infused a
number of influences on “1960 ”. Most of them
deeply personal and immersive. That’s the
reason why everything makes sense. The artiste
gets to not only evolve their art and give it to us,
but also change who they are as a person today.
We waited for both the entertainer, and his work.
The path they have chosen to get to this point in
their career is worthy of being studied and
As a fan, and music enthusiasts, let’s enjoy what
we have from our musicians, and learn to truly
appreciate the process that truly makes up the
incubating time during the wait. Let’s embrace
our love for these stars, and take into cognition
that we are all a part of the same goal;
entertainment and fulfilment via art. The artistes
creates, we yearn, we desire, and we love. That’s
what we should enjoy. The delays, the
announcement, failed dates, dishonest press
releases, and anxious clamouring that keeps us
on the edge. All of these little moments count.
Because in the end, these are what sticks with
you the most, and provides a holistic experience
of fandom, that we can look back on and
reminisce fondly.​

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