Yaran North Side (YNS), a musical collective from Northern Nigeria have been doing good music over the years. With DJ AB putting them on the map, they have successfully gathered tremendous followership across various states in Nigeria. What makes their music sonically appealing is their enthusiastic rhythm and how they’re also able to relay socially conscious messages using the Hausa dialect as well as code-switching or code-mixing it with other Nigerian languages.
Why this review ?
We all have moments of wishful thinking right? Well, I do too, and moments like that gives me adrenaline rushes that at most times I cannot explain. I’m pretty sure most (if not all of us) have had times where certain things are appealing to us that we actually daydream about it or how we’ll act when we have it. Right?
In a new lyrical cypher jointly performed by a 10-man gang, the talented artists using Hausa expressed fantasies of the average Northern man. ‘Da so samu ne’ which easily translates to ‘If wishes were horses’, sees the rappers taking turns to tell listeners in very clear terms who their ideal women are. From those who love homely women to those who are generally attracted to slay queens (and boss ladies), the hilarious narratives of who their ideal woman is varies and is soothing to the listener.
Each of the rapper’s individual descriptions of an ideal woman reminds me of my love for Nigerian women I have fantasized about; those I have wished to have a perfect life with, but again: ‘Da so samu ne…’ A first look at the visual gave me an instant shot of nostalgia. It took me down memory lane in Jos where I grew up, and the Hausa folk songs we grew up listening to – not rap. The vibe and energy displayed in the video were reminiscent of my childhood and the joy of being teenagers again.
After dissecting the lyrical contents of each rapper, the stereotypical idea or notion about boys from Northern Nigeria having a generic type of woman becomes fallacious. Maybe it has gotten to a point where Northern boys or the Arewa boys – as sometimes called, have become more aware of a changing world where patriarchy is not holding and feminism and gender balance have become hot topics on the front burner of contemporary society.
Though innocuous elements of egoistic masculinity are manifested in their lyrics, one cannot deny the spontaneity of their creative processes and the success of the piece as a whole. But what is more intriguing is, how 10 guys area ble to squeeze all of this into a 3 minutes 35 seconds track.
A quick summary of their individual verses will give non-Hausa speakers a glimpse of each rapper’s thought thus:
DJ AB, claims that he likes a woman with a good attitude and who knows how to cook. And what will he do if he had that type of woman? He says he’ll support her and buy her a Toyota car.
Mr Kebzee sounds like a gold digger as he’s only interested in a Governor’s daughter. When asked what he’ll do if he got lucky, he says he will automatically become the son of a governor and it’s contracts and dollar bills all the way.
Geeboy likes an intelligent woman but like a typical Hausa (and Nigerian) man, he’s a little insecure of her intellect. On the flip side, he will happy because he’s sure of having intelligent children.
Zayn Africa loves a woman who loves her religion and who will also revere him. And like a standard Northern man, he’s going to buy her a Honda if he gets her.
Teeswagg likes a fashionista and a woman who knows ‘what’s up’. When asked what he’ll do if got one, he saysh e’ll become pompous.
Lil Prince loves a woman with cash to throw around (he should probably hit Lady Donli up). And when he gets his ideal woman, he just wants to be a baller without stress.
Jigsaw loves a woman with good hair and a pretty face like Halle Berry. Not to talk too much talk, he’s just going to marry her, period.
Feezy loves a woman who loves to have a good time, a light skin boss-lady who loves to chill. And when he finally lands a woman like that, he’s not afraid to spend lavishly.
Marshall loves a woman who loves to stunt and who will not give a hoot of care about other men. And when he finally finds such a woman, he’ll spend his money making sure she’s always good-looking.
And Deezell shows up like a boss to share his narrative by flipping the script because he’s already landed his ideal woman. And as a boss, his focus is taking his woman around the world.
DJ AB returns with a final touch and the song ends. Overall, this has been one of the best songs I have listened to from a group of young Northern rappers. This also demonstrates the existence of talents tirelessly pushing the culture to a higher level. The only shortcoming about this song is its gender bias, a feminine exclusion of views. I am sure there are female rappers up North – and of course all over Nigeria, that will end their voice to what they feel about the song and the portrayal of women in general.
Giving this an 8/10.
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