Friday, April 10, 2015

Musical Disgrace

We grew up on kinder pop music. Lyrics could be followed, they generally made sense and told a decent story. Even then, our parents cringed when we bumped to 'Dance the Kung-fu,' rocked to Michael Jackson's 'Off the Wall' and jumped to Marley's Reggae. They were trapped in their era of waltzing to old Jim Reeves melodies and Miriam Makeba's 'Malaika.' I started to appreciate their perspective when I too cringed through MC Hammer's sounds and the violent lyrics of very popular rap artists of his time. In those days there was very little Pop music produced on our local scene . I kept hoping that the world would regain its ear for meaningful melodies and that our local music would gain pop status. Uganda eventually got its pop scene when someone automated musical instruments and priced them well within the reach of many including the villagers of my home town.
So recently I had the misfortune of listening to an artist from Western Uganda making his debut (and I hope his last attempt) at 'Pop.' The lyrics lament kids that are disrespectful of elders and castigate children for greeting their grandmother with 'Whazzup Nyakwe!' It took me a while to figure that Nyakwe was the hip abbreviation of Nyakwenkuru (grandmother!) From start to finish the song is full of contradictions and mixed messages crudely corrupting my mother tongue with broken English. The song's only entertainment value is its hilarious lack of logic as the singer stitches together unrelated lines that rhyme only in his dreams. Automated instruments have made it possible for untalented individuals to slap together a few lines and create melodious atrocities that they call music. There ought to be a law! 

At 50 I know that music technology has progressed faster than talent.
feeling irritated.

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