If there’s anything the street loves, it’s good music. A Song doesn’t get crowned a street anthem until it has a major influence on the people who inhabit it.
Street Anthems are major game-changers for both the artists and the streets themselves. Slangs, Dance Routines, fashion sense have in one or the other been birthed from these anthems.
Artists like Daddy Showkey, Danfo Drivers, Terry G, Olamide, Naira Marley, Zlatan got their success from making street Anthems and in turn popularized Dance steps, slangs that people won’t forget.
Another example of this is Bella Shmurda who came into the spotlight in 2019 with his hit song, “Vision 2020” and hasn’t looked back since then. His value grew even higher in 2020 when he released ‘Cash App’ a song that pays homage to the ‘working boys’ of Nigeria.
The song became an instant hit especially on the streets of Lagos even despite the lack of Parties due to the ongoing Pandemic.
The success of the song could be attributed to two things; The Sound and the message. Over the years, one has seen Internet Fraud Culture and Music Industry intertwined in unholy matrimony.
This is why hearing songs glorifying ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ isn’t new or common. In fact, in 2018, Chinko Ekun‘s hit song, “Able God” contained questionable lyrics where the singer asked God to bless him but in an illegitimate manner.
While the lyrics of Able God were subtle in its approach, Bella, on the other hand, was open about it, the song could be considered a masterclass.
His opening lyrics which goes; “Ice on my neck, ice on my wrist, many nights I never sleep…” is a reference to the lavish lifestyles of Nigerian Yahoo boys and their taste for expensive Jewellery.
They are also known for working during the nights due to Time Zones and Time differences.
Another person who is also on his way to becoming a street king is Marlian Music act, Mohbad. The singer who is a label run by Naira Marley struggles to shine from the shadow of his boss.
However, things seem to turn around with the success of his collaboration with Rexxie, “KPK (Ko Por Ke). Just like Cash App, KPK also contains lyrics that praise Yahoo Boys only it’s a bit subtle.
Cash App and KPK have now dominated the streets thanks to their fast-paced, drum-heavy, percussion-based version of Nigerian Afro-pop sound.
Another reason is its catchy and relatable lyrics, for ‘Cashapp’, Bella references the mobile payment service of the same name developed by the Jack Dorsey-led P2P American financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company, Square Inc which most Yahoo boys are said to use for their operations.
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For Mohbad, he creates a lingo with KPK that has taken over the street adding his contribution to the ever-growing dictionary of the streets.
However, while these two songs are successful hits, they are not equal in a sense. Bella Shmurda has the advantage of early release as ‘Cash App’ was released first in August, then officially in October, on the other hand, ‘KPK’ was released in the first week of December.
The streams too also show a great difference between the two. On Audiomack, Shmurda bags over 16 million streams with ‘Cash App’ while Mohbad gains over 8 million streams on the platform.
On Youtube, Bella dominates again with over 1 Million streams on the Video in one week and close to two million streams on the audio in two months. ‘KPK’ which is yet to have a music video barely has 300 thousand streams on its audio almost a month after its release.
This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, Bella just has an advantage. The two songs shouldn’t be compared as they influence the streets in various ways.
Even with the current situation of the Lagos party scene facing challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the songs are still dominating the streets.
Bella Shmurda and Mohbad both deserve their flowers for creating one of 2020’s best moments.