The Shuffle: Revisiting Endia’s “Me and My Guys” for all the lost ones
RIP DJ Olu.
RIP DJ Olu.
On the first breath of “Me and My Guys” , Endia allows synths and drums to preclude his entry before asking: “Me and my guys dem, shey we go live long?”.
If questioning death is considered a sort of omen in this part of the world, asking if death would be delayed for long enough to witness the actualisation of dreams and aspirations, is downright negative thinking. Yet Endia’s existential hook for a song that could be presumed a squad anthem only comes full-circle when core themes of process and inner-circle support resurface elsewhere on the single. Process as a part of creative growth is highlighted when Endia sings of making “Music wey dem make them people start to gyrate/ cos when dem gyrate/ E mean say we dey penetrate”. It’s a cheeky way to describe how he and his crew study the market, but it comes with self-awareness of the slow but gradual journey to the fame and success.
The early years of an artist’s career are earmarked by uncertainties and doubts. But the hustle is especially tasking in Nigeria where newcomers are expected to thrive against odds of a faulty industry where music sales are low and radio alone determines the market. This is why “Me and My Guys” particularly rings deep in the light of DJ Olu’s demise. Affiliations and associations are vital to an artist’s becoming and the late DJ Olu, was an entrepreneur and producer who worked closely with Davido during his formative years in the game. His residency at a handful of London nightclubs gave him the chance to create platforms for many Nigerian artists to get their foot in the door of what later became a global crossover for Afropop—through the UK—in the years that followed.
It said that the top is a lonely place, but as Endia attests, the come-up grind ironically requires strength in numbers. Listening to “MAMG”, one wonders if the top is lonely because of backstage figures like the late DJ Olu, who like many lost ones are only around for long enough to assist the climb to the apex, and nothing more.
Stream Endia’s “Me and My Guyz” below.
Toye is the Team lead at Native Nigeria. Tweet at him @ToyeSokunbi