There are a lot of Nigerian songs I do not bother checking out or listening to when they come out, unless I am specifically recommended by a review of someone I trust their judgment in music. I'll listen to the oldies, 2Face and PSquare, and most of the female singers, but the male hip-hop artistes often lose me completely.
So the Story For The Gods single completely bypassed me till a friend brought it to my attention. Unfortunately, it was not in a good way.
Hello Myne, Please have you heard the song by one Olamide? Story for the gods? Please can you listen to it and tell me if I am over reacting? Am I dreaming or is he trying to glorify 'rape'? I cannot listen to the song but I have seen the lyrics and I am scandalised!
I looked for the song, and the video popped up first, I listened and asked my hosts here, who are Yoruba to help me translate some and it was not nice. The beginning of the first verse goes thus,
"O my God insanity/See your back calamity/Girl I want to have it/Do I need your permit/Oya whine it, whine It o/Money, we gat it, gat it o"
So it seems Olamide thinks his money gives him permission to command women to give him sex whether they want to or not. The chorus puts the nail in the coffin.
O ti mu do go Ya ro
Like monkey tail
Aro Ba mi wey Claro – Help me wrap claro
I want to do sina today – I want to sex today
She say she cannot wait o
She say its getting late o
She say she wants to faint oo
Haaaa Story for the gods
Now she say Mo Ro Go – Now she says i’m in trouble
O ti kan mi lapa oo – he has broken my hand
O ti kan mi leyin o – he has broken my back
Story for the gods, The gods oh.
When I searched for whether anyone else was saying anything about the lyrics of the song, I found this very great article on Sahara Reporters, by one Eseoghene Al-Faroq who breaks the song down further,
Mr. Adedeji begins his song by telling his fans how he took alcohol and weed and then he proclaims “I want to do Sina today”. The translator described “Sina” as a street slang for “fornication/adultery” but that is what he knows. Sina is how some Yoruba persons will pronounce “Zina” which is the technical term for fornication and adultery in Islamic jurisprudence. So he was not only boasting about fornication as a lot of his colleagues do, he was calling it a religious name to make his point clearer and more grievous.
The fellow goes ahead to narrate how the girl with whom he wants to fornicate with is giving excuses. He spoke of how she said she can’t wait, how she said it is getting late, and how she said she wants to faint, and he dismissed this excuses as “story for the gods” meaning he is not going to take no for an answer, he is not going to listen to her, he MUST do this today and nothing, not even the absence of her consent will stop him
In case that was not convincing enough he continues so that there will be no doubts. He narrates how the lady started saying he is in trouble, “he has broken my back, he has broken my arm” and he again dismiss this again as story for the gods, meaning not even the back breaking and arm breaking or the trouble he is threatened with will stop him from having his way with her. He MUST do this and he must do so by force. Oh God! Our people did not stone him, they did not even say please we do not want this; they accepted this obvious and heartless glorification of rape. What have we turn into?
By telling us her excuse yet insisting he must force her, Mr. Olamide is telling the world and teaching his fans one of two things. It is either she wants it but she is lying because that is how they lie, or ‘she does not want it’ must not be a good reason for “big boy” not to have it. You may think the latter is more clearly rape but ironically the former is even more popular among rapists; they assume the no of women mean yes. If a musician of his caliber endorses this then what happens to the millions of youths who want to do everything he does? When will they ever hear a “no” and take it as such? How many girls will be raped for this wicked orientation? And who will give them justice?
I can't believe only one person noted that Olamide's song was perpertuating the rape culture in the country. Just a few days ago, it emerged that Prince Daniel Okereke, accused of rape by a student at UniLag was actually a gospel singer. This is a man who is alleged to have raped several women, including an 11-year-old when he was a teenager.
What sort of culture breeds these sorts of monsters that give no respect to women and their bodies, and who think they can steal with impunity from women? And what sort of culture are we to allow people like Olamide to sing about his rape fantasies and get away with it?