Vulgar Lyrics in Nigeria’s Twenty-First-Century Popular Music: St. Janet and Olamide (Badoo)
Vulgar lyrics represent a dimension of popular music that has attracted little scholarly attention, especially in Africa. Often described as part of decadent subcultures, vulgar music represents the realm of the socially unwanted and suppressed. In Nigeria in particular, the vulgar music of St. Janet and Olamide contains aspects of what many morally normative consider to be in the realm of explicit and often immorally offensive; its lyrics emphasize penile penetration, the compulsive attraction to and exoticness of women’s breasts and vaginas, as well as forbidden intimacies and justification for spousal infidelity. Even though the vulgar songs of St. Janet and Olamide (Badoo) are censored, they are widely played, are featured in shows both in Nigeria and internationally, and their lyrics enjoy overwhelming support from their fans precisely because of their vulgar language. It is against this background that the study examines St. Janet’s and Olamide’s vulgar music as a dimension of popular culture with overwhelming fan support despite official censorship. This chapter problematizes St. Janet’s and Olamide’s reconstruction of male dominance in heterosexual relations.
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