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Effects of Naija music on young, adults

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Music no doubt plays an important role in the socialisation of young people, particularly the young adults. The Nigerian music industry has been quite laudable in this present time for providing lovely and mature music, which serve different purposes and sooth various listeners, irrespective of the increasingly disturbing presence of what could term commercial noises. However this is not the direction of this subject.

The focus here is on content or message. To what extent do our artistes pay attention to content, and what kind of content message is being passed on in the songs that are being released in this contemporary period of earnest desire for rapid fame and wealth?

It is believed that valuable and quality-specific music is committed to developing its listeners. If one tries to reflect on the contemporary music industry, one would be left with the question of whether what we listen to is content-based.

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Nigerian music industry is filled with all manners and genres of music that one way or the other has effects on the young adults, particularly on their behavior, schoolwork, social interactions, and mood.

Present almost everywhere, and easily available through the radio, various recordings, the Internet, and other new technology formats that allows these young adults to hear it in diverse settings and situations, alone or shared with friends.

Many of them are unaware of the lyrics they are listening to due the danceable tunes and the influence it has on their daily activities. These young adults’ preference for certain types of music could be associated with certain behaviours, and this behaviour as they listen to some of these Naija tunes are of utmost concern as most lyrics have become too explicit in their references to drugs, sex, and violence, particularly in certain genres.

The perceptions and effects of music-video messages are important, because research has reported that exposure to violence, sexual messages and stereotypes, and use of substances of abuse in music videos might produce significant changes in behaviours and attitudes of young viewers.

While Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Afrobeat music tells a lot about ‘suffering and smiling’ among many Nigerians, while the leaders live in opulence, most lyrics today are nothing to write home about.

Recently, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) raised alarm over a popular music video that was being aired in Nigerian TV stations. The music video, Fans Mi by multiple award-winning Nigerian music act Davido also known as Omo Baba Olowo (O.B.O), generated a lot of controversy among many Nigerians as it showcased drugs and guns.

According to the NDLEA the musician through the music video could be encouraging young adults into the business of drug trafficking as clearly highlighted in the video.

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For YBNL kingpin, Olamide, his Shakiti bobo dance style is like a bug that has bitten both the old and the young, that anytime the song is being aired, they swing their body left and right, push forth their head and raise one leg. However, his Story for the gods did not go down well with many listeners, particularly the female folks, who alleged that the song encouraged rape and drug.

Research carried out to assess the reactions of young male adults exposed to violent rap music videos or sexist videos, showed that the participants had increased probability that they would engage in violence, a greater acceptance of the use of violence, and a greater acceptance of the use of violence against women than did participants who were not exposed to these videos.

This does not mean to say that music is bad for our young adults and should just be thrown out of the window. However, the kind of music most Nigerian artistes churn out today has a potential to affect the well-being, literacy, intellectual development and of course creativity of these young adults as it create feelings that affects their behaviour.


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