Singing a Funeral Hymn On Wo’s Instrumental; A Review of Olamide’s Science Student

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By: Amos Adejimi

[Analyses]–Olamide is known for two major things in the Nigerian music scene, coining new slangs and releasing hits. As usual, Olamide has given the street a new anthem – Science Students – and assignment – Shakushaku – to keep it busy. Well, the song is said to be an anti-drug abuse song which we shouldn’t just discard or accept without adequate scrutiny.

By recreating and – at the same time – adulterating a popular Yoruba maxim right at the song’s beginning– Àṣírí ẹ̀kọ, o ti tú ló jú ewé, Olamide leaves an impression of either a deliberate trouble maker or another drunk artiste who stumbles into Young John’s studio during a production session and starts free styling on the obviously hit content beat and after the unprepared blabbing says something like “John What’s up? This song go hit gan o. Make we release am na”. John says something like “anything you say baba” and there goes our best Anti Drug Abuse Song of the Year… “Oh! My God”.

The song’s beat is without doubt a great work of art and I mean it.  The beat’s base line is that type that gives owners of good quality head phones or ear buds maximum satisfaction whenever they play the song. Percussion is top notch and the synthesizer’s rhythm is obviously arranged by professionals. BBanks and Young John should probably be nominated for best producers of the year. Embedding qualities of a typical South African Pop beat into the song also gives it an almost universal appeal.

But lyrically really, the song lacks quality content. Most of the song’s lyrical content seem incoherent and sparsely related. Following the song from the first line, one would discover that the supposed anti-drug abuse song has almost no lyrics that discourages drug abuse. Like I mentioned earlier, it sounds like something a drunken or high Olamide would sing after getting high on any drug substance. The only lines that seem to have an undertone of discouraging drug abuse are lines 4 to 5 of the song’s first stanza.

Khadija se wo ni mo’n wo lokan yi

Iwo omo ti mummy ran lo s’Havard…

These lines can be likened to a bystander pointing out to a child that what the child is doing is wrong but is making no attempt to correct the child. We can conclude therefore that rather than speaking against drug abuse, Olamide is actually promoting it. Although this time, the promotion is subtle.

The ending lines of the song defeat to a large extent, the notion that the song speaks against drug abuse. He encourages his listeners to “nab” and “bam” drugs! Except of course, he has other meanings for the words “nab” and “bam” which I want to assume he does not. I also don’t want to assume he has a dictionary or that he knows the way to a dictionary website, so I will help him out:

What in any of these definitions suggests that the Wo crooner is discouraging his fans from drug abuse? When he orders his fans to nab/catch alomo, ogidiga and other chemicals, he is obviously not telling them to empty the solution in the Lagos lagoon. In fact, this is by far one of the songs of all time encouraging drug abuse.

While the song is a good vibe for a Friday night groove or a feel good moment, it is not in any way in the list of “Anti-Drug Abuse Songs” should someone decide to make such list. If Olamide’s claim that the song discourages drug abuse should be taken serious, then the song is like singing a funeral hymn on the instrumentals of “Wo”. Many will dance and forget the essence of the funeral in the first place. If Science Student has any evidence of discouraging drug abuse at all, the song’s beat defeats its purpose.

If Olamide really means business with his anti-drug abuse campaign, he should get into the studio on the day he hasn’t been a science student, put some positively life changing lines on paper, let them out and we can have another discussion about well, maybe, Arts Student.

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