Listen to Maka refix “The Story of O.J”

Time to build up, from the ground up.

JayZ’s 4:44 shook the world. But few songs on the album became a viral talking point quite like the album’s lead single “The Story of O.J”, which covers the gamut of topics relating to contemporary African American life; weaving complex quips about the value of wealth in black communities, the need to stunt on others, gang life and how it has decimated black populations. Aside from inspiring conversations about what we deem worthy and what we value as people of colour, The Story of OJ has also inspired a lot of black musicians to introspectively investigate the message that they project with their work. For Nigerian singer Maka Sam-Ejehu, it has inspired rage against the machine.

Maka takes the “Story of O.J” and reworks it into “Boxed In”, a treatise discussing the narrative of how Nigerians are viewed around the world. And there is much to talk about. Thanks to widespread advance fee fraud scams, violence from extremist groups and an emphasis on showing the worst of Nigeria, many Nigerian creatives find themselves pigeonholed into the stereotypical restrictions, much like the minstrels that JayZ references and reclaims on the story of O.J. Like JayZ seeks to reclaim the narrative around Nigeria through the singers, rappers and other creatives, whose work travels into the world and informs how we are seen.

“If your talent, my talent, our talents came together, we could be better…”

Listen to “Boxed In” here.

Edwin eats his rice and cabbages. Tweet at him@edgothboy

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