Have you heard DJ Enimoney’s biggest club banger?
It is simply called ‘Diet’. With assists from rapper Reminisce, singer Tiwa Savage and hype-man Slimcase (originator of that catchy phrase ‘Saint Sami Ganja’), this infectious song is a praise song for codeine.
Yes, codeine, that same chemical substance derived from opiates.
Yes, that same substance found in cough mixture because of its antitussive effects.
Yes, that same substance that kills in overdose.
The song has a catchy call-and-response chorus. The call is varied, but the response is constant, “On a codeine diet!”
Watch the video and you will find a gleeful Enimoney bandying a syrup bottle.
If ‘Diet’ is the song for the restless party scene, Olamide’s ‘Science Student’ is more tempered. Both songs come from the same stable, YBNL Records. Both songs are pointing us in one direction—drugs.
It was the great American poet Allen Ginsberg who wrote in his famous poem”Howl” that he watched the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness. This is a subtler image of what is looming in Nigeria.
The millennials in Nigeria are disillusioned. Substance use has become succour, as well as a way of life, little wonder our contemporary music valorises this tendency.
In the past, allusions to substances like marijuana, alcohol, rophynol and codeine used to be more obscure. These days the allusions are more brazen and the reception of these songs is rapturously enthusiastic. You may find yourself rocking to these songs inadvertently and innocently enjoying them before the lyrics kick in.
Olamide’s ‘Science Student’ is a case in point. Ever a chronicler of contemporary times, Olamide has been called out in the past for valorising date rape and for his incessant misogyny, both implicit and explicit.
Here is an alibi. It is arguable that Nigerian contemporary music is currently wading through its Gangster Rap phase. Hard life in our own climes may not require loaded guns, crack cocaine and Hennessy as totems.
Laptops, Baby Mamas and a cheap high will do.
Olamide’s ‘Science Student’ describes the experimental nature of our millennials who are trying to fix their cheap high. Be assured that our students, the leaders of tomorrow, are putting their knowledge of stoichiometry to good use. The absence of herbs is the catalyst for the quintessential chemical reaction below:
Flunitrazepam or Rophynol(Blue coloured) + Codeine Phosphate (Black or Brown coloured) = Omi Gutter (Green coloured)
Of course, one does not need the caution of a chemist to know what Omi Gutter does to the senses. Olamide’s ‘Science Student’ only gives credit to those deserving of it. Those who can dare to perform home-based chemistry to medicate their woes and anguish. Those who have chosen to tackle the failings of our society by living in their own substance-induced bubble. Those who have given up on themselves and accepted that pertinent Pan-African reckoning that the beautyful ones are not yet born.
If the staggering statistics as well as the anecdotal reports on the rising spate of substance abuse is anything to go by, Nigeria might very well have a drug epidemic in evolution. But, expectedly, Nigeria is busy dancing the Shaku Shaku of oblivion!