A few weeks back when former Ekiti governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi went to Ekiti to a campaign, many were shocked when Fayemi, who is a serving Minister during the course of his speech made use of the word Shaprapra, which is a very popular slang many young people now use. What shocked many is how Dr. Fayemi, who wants to be the next Ekiti Governor, and who is renowned for his serious and intellectual approach to issues, began to lace his speeches with street words and slangs to enable him convey his message to his constituents.
He is not the only one. So many politicians have adopted new street slangs to convey their messages. Many of these street slangs can be found in the lyrics of popular Hip Hop and fuji music acts like Olamide, Small Doctor and Co., Gone were the days when deep, inspirational and meaningful lyrics made good music that rocked parties and clubs in Nigeria.
Now, there is a change that boarders on decadence. In the last five years, the social scene has been witnessing a different feature as street songs have taken over the music industry and some of the hip-hop acts go as far as creating a dance step for their songs. Really, it has been working for them. An example of those, who have unleashed more than two street songs alongside dance steps to complement the songs is Olamide.
On his part, Slimcase has taken the groove to the street lately since he dropped his hit single, Osozondi. From the streets of Ikorodu, to the bright lights of Lekki, ‘Oshozondi’ singer’s, Slimcase, is taking the Nigerian street songs to the world. One ‘Shaku’ at a time. 9ice was the cronner of the popular “Awon temi Shashe,” which literally means “my people who are running things.” It was a slang that was popular on the streets of Lagos Mainland. It referrs to people who are doing dirty jobs with laptop computers. Slimcase stumbled upon the art by chance in 2011.
His friend, whom he refers to as ‘Beat by Sars’, was the first person to ever record his vocals for a song in Akoka, in a dingy studio near the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG). Back in 2017, Nigeria welcomed a relatively new artiste, Small Doctor. The singer was announced by his street record, ‘Penalty’, which found a way to cross into the mainstream recognition, and accelerated the popularity of his brand.
Small Doctor made music with a very interesting sound, which was firmly rooted in South African House, but with less emphasis on percussion, and more on intrusive drum beats. ‘Penalty’ shot the singer to prominence, where his stock meteorically grew . By the end of the year, it featured as one of 2017’s top record.
Olamide later utilized that ‘street sound’ and formula to create ‘Wo’, a record produced by Young Job, which stylistically obeys all the rules of Small Doctor’s successful record. ‘Wo’ would become the dominant street song, heading into the holiday season, and into the New Year.
But away from the mainstream music industry, new songs following that specific sound were dominating the streets. Songs such as Mr Real’s “Legbegbe”, Idowest’s “Omo Shepeteri” (featuring Slimcase and Dammy Krane), Slimcase’s “Oshozondi”, Zlatan Ibile’s “My Body” (featuring Olamide) and others are attention catchers.
Backed by a dance style called, ‘Shaku shaku’, the songs were growing and attracting attention. The Wobe sound is primarily a cross breed of the South African House and Qgom sound. It’s a hybrid which focuses on the heavy drums as its most distinct feature. Percussion, if it ever makes it into the record is limited, with the arrangement designed to make the drums emphatic enough to sway people and induce them to dance.
That’s the sound that Slimcase is utilising to rise beyond his station in Nigerian music. “Shaku shaku has been around for a while on the streets, but nobody paid attention to it,”Slimcase says. “It originated from the Mushins and Ageges of Lagos, and no one knew how to tap into the sound for the dance, “until he dropped this song entitled: ‘Oshozondi’, and showed them that it could vibe a dance to this song. It created a standard for them, which showed that this sound really goes with the dance. It made me prominent. I didn’t start the dance, my song created a platform for the dance.” Another word on the street is the Codiene diet, which was from tbe hit song featuresDj Eni Money , Tiwa Savage, Reminisce and Slimcase. The song is a hit street song and the word codiene diet has gone viral.
When you hear people say Osa Pra Pra the response is Osa Pro Pro. It simply means something or someone is nice , beautiful, glowing or on point. It’s a street.
Omo Science student has been on the street for a while now , which simply means people, who mix different drinks and drugs to get high. It is from Olamide’s latest hit track Science Student. In the song is also a street word Kosewe Kosegbo.
Dakolo Si Dakoto Si is from the Song Idi Rapata by Reminisce, Dakolo Si Dakoto means having marathon sex with a woman in an aggressive way.
Ji Ma Sun is also a steet word usually used by Slim Case. Most people use it for those hustling and sleeping on duty. Most people now refer to Iphones as Egbegbe. Egbegbe is from a song by Ido West, Slim Case and Mr Real. In the song Iphones were referred to as Egbegbe style.
Have you heard people tagging someone as “Jagaban? Jagaban is a slang or title which means the boss. The slang can be used in any field. Jagaban of politics, music, oil & gas, fashion to mention a few. For some, the word Jagaban is for influencers. someone who can influence other people’s action and decisions are called Jagaban. The slang becomes more popular when “Davido” used it as a part of his lyrics in his singles.
Olamide Baddo can be tagged “the lord of the streets” and slangs. His singles has produced most of the slangs used in the society. Pepper dem Gang is simply used by people that want to oppress other people with money, sexy shape, good looks, good cars etc. Some set of persons tag themselves “Pepper them Gang” because they want to make other sections to notice them. The Pepper them Gang are mostly attention seekers and they want to be noticed. It was firstly used for ladies who love to “dress to kill” to impress and oppress people. But it is surprising that these days, we have guys that are “Pepper them Gang”.
Slay Queen and Slay Mama are slangs common to the female folks. A slay queen depicts a beautiful lady with necessary curves that would make a man look twice. Slay Mama are used for sexy women that are mothers but can be mistaken as a single lady because of their curvy shapes “Omo to Sabi” and “Ja pa” are also common slangs that are trending in the society.
“Omo to Sabi” was generated from Slim case Oshozondi Omo to Sabi means Smart and Intellengent person. It is also for ladies that are sexually active or men that are involved in shaddy deals. It is used in different context. “Ja pa” on the other hand is a slang used among boys that are always on the watch out for police officers, state securities, for one act or the other. The word “Ja pa” means run for your life or “find a means of escape”.
Baller is another slang that came in another context in Niniola’s Maradona. The single Maradona depicts “baller” as a player. It means a man that has several sexual partners. In that hit single, Niniola gave the picture of a “baller” playing ball to different directions i.e a man having several sexual experiences with several ladies. Baller to some mean spender. Someone who spends more or shows off and spends lavishly.
Gbera is mostly attached to small doctor’s singles hit. Gbera is a Yoruba word which means get up or rise up. It is mostly used to awaken people that are relaxing in what they do.
Dbanj, and slim case Issa banger came with the slang “Sanawole”. Sanawole in Yoruba simply means come in with lightening. Many atimes, it is used for high smokers that come enmasse to club with heavy smokes. It refer to people that arrive at events with so much entourage, lightening and fireworks. This are just few out of many more slangs in the streets.