The Shuffle: Why Nigga Raw’s message on “Obodo” is still relevant today

Nothing has really changed

By the middle of the 2000s, hip-hop rendered in local tongue had begun to gradually glean improved production and quality. Rappers like Lord of Ajasa, 2 Shotz and Big Lo amongst others were forerunners for hip-hop, a sound with barely a niche following at the time. Theirs was an era where accessibility was important for the music, thus they settled for the use of comedy for light social commentary and party-themed music built off easy-to-stick rhymes.

On “Obodo” off Nigga Raw’s 2005 album, Right & Wrong, however, the rapper does more than just funny bars or a pidgin-set hook. Though, the track ironically features, infamous stand-up comedian, Klint Da Drunk, the rapper uses the track to address some of Nigeria’s problems matter-of-factly. Opening his story from a police brutality experience, he tracks the Nigerian reality through national financial insecurity and corruption.

Agreed, songs decrying Nigeria’s socio-economic state have been released through the years, but Nigga Raw’s “Obodo” is still relevant today due to its nuanced approach. Instead of pretentiously glossing over important details, both Nigga Raw and Klint Da Drunk humanise the message of the track, speaking from experiences instead of syllogisms. It’s a common man approach that works without feeling forced, in part due to authenticity grounded by Nigga Raw’s Igbo-spliced lyrics, but also because the days may have passed, but Nigeria is still the same.

Stream “Obodo” via Apple Music below