Falz, talking truth to power using popular culture

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Our elders have long said that if words are lost, it is a necessity to use proverbs in finding it. In their vivid introspection, proverbs and cunning sayings represent a surefire way to speak truth to power and hold our leaders accountable. Media moguls have long employed this means of speaking truth to power; via dark sayings and satire.
On the Nigerian music scene, it has been a while since we have seen a musician go full blaze against the authority. It is even much longer since we have had a single musician do it repeatedly; the Eedris Abdulkareem story comes quickly to mind. Perhaps, that was why there was a new level of excitement when Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz released the mildly controversial ‘Talk’ Video on Friday, the 11th of January.
Bearing in mind that his last video; an adaptation of Childish Gambino’s This is America was a hit both musically and politically. The video, shot in an empty warehouse quickly meandered through the basic problems the ‘giant of Africa’ is faced with. The video quickly sparked controversy, particularly in religious circles.
The release of talk left no prisoners prowling; from politicians, internet fraudsters, incompetent government workers to religious figures and everything in between. Falz left nothing to chance, right from the opening lines of the song, he took his swipe accurately. He digs up the feud with the Muslim Rights Concerns in the first line; the pressure group had an issue with Falz’s this is Nigeria’s Video.
Coming in from the popular culture angle, Falz made the best of the situation to pass his message across. To think that an entirely new video game prop was created for the video. That is a big one. Games are popular with the Nigerian youngsters, with many video games grossing millions of downloads on the android and apple stores respectively.
There are a lot of lessons to pick from the video; Falz has successfully used music in collaboration with popular culture in a bid to speak the truth to power. Much more, he has used the games and the caricatures embedded in it to avoid legal issues. That is a double plus, other creative artistes in the industry should take a leaf from the ‘talk’ video.
In all, Like Falz encouraged us all, we must keep speaking up. Remember say, “na me talk am o.”

– Adeleke Babatunde (LakezWrites)

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