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Friday, 25 February 2011

The Season of Love (Part 2)

Love is beautiful. That all powerful emotion that can move one, drive one out of one's mind: delirious, yet enjoying it; hurting, yet unwavering; arousing in one the most noble, the most pure, and the most naïve intentions possible; albeit a side effect of the most awesome feelings of exhilaration ever known to man. This, singularly, is said to be what separates us from other mammals. So much so, that even the coldest human heart has been found to fall prey to this, the overwhelmingly warmest of emotions...

And it is, it seems to me, nearly the most popular word in the world. Used just as frequently as it is misused; maybe used as frequently as the pronouns "I" and "you" (but they probably should not be competing because, technically, they are already the most popular vowels), and a lot of times it finds itself placed irretrievably and uncomfortably between them.

Love, we are taught from infancy, is ALL we need. Love will make EVERYTHING all right. In (nearly) every song, in (nearly) every movie, in (nearly) every sermon. Love! Even atheists, dishevelled and disappointed by the mysterious ways of the Almighty, jaded into disbelief in the impalpable Creator; still find space in their logical, calculating lives for this particular invisible, unexplainable force. It has become so omnipresent and omnipotent in our lives these days that it has been duly summarised that 'God is Love'. Although I wouldn't completely agree with the saying, I can understand why it is said: Everyone from prophets to prostitutes are all trying to attract people to come get some "love". With the way it is almost universally needed, nay worshipped, by any measure, it really can be concluded that "Love IS god".

That said, what do I really, REALLY know of Love?
Not much, it turns out. Each age, each phase of my life brings about a revolutionary revision of my thoughts and expectations towards it. And my (mis)conceptions are still metamorphosizing, if there is such a word.

I mean, as a nerdy little kid, after hearing countless bedtime tales of the underdog/servant ending up with the prince/princess, I started to believe that all I needed to do was sweep floors, wash dishes, do menial labour and generally be kind to animals, insects and the like, and my fairy godmoth- sorry, I mean my fairy godfather would appear and whisk me off to live happily ever after with my princess in a masculine adaptation of the Cinderella story. (Our parents? Geniuses! "Do all the house chores, remember to smile while you are at it, and you will get to marry beautiful royalty." Yeah, right.) Five years and a whole lot of broken dishes later, with no princess charming (or fairy godfather, come to think of it) in sight, I knew I had to change my expectations.

By the time I was in high school, a nerdy little teenager, my attitudes had changed somewhat. All the high school movies I had watched, showing the nerd (wow, like me!) getting the high school princess just by being his brilliant, semi-antisocial self seemed tailor-made for my particular situation. So, I kinda activated my geek mode, became an artist AND a scientist, made sure my extra thick glasses were always handy, made sure I knew all there was to know about everything there was to know, and made sure I graduated top of my class. Well, six years, 9 distinctions, a lot of extra assignments and homework (yet no girlfriend) later, it was clear to me that high school movies would not work for you unless you actually DID look like Josh Hartnett or Leonardo DiCaprio and only wore glasses in order to tone down your excessively glowing attractiveness, not because you really need them to be able to see a book barely 6 inches away from your face! (Just saying.)

However, by the time I got into university, my life changed. I was still little (at least, to start with) and still nerdy. But dammit, I discovered a gift: I could rhyme! And when I grabbed the mike I made all the girls go crazy! Like gooey, cooing, melting "take me with you" crazy!
Man, what would YOU do if it was you? I jumped on every stage I could find! (Even if it was a 'passing stage', second 'stage' of labour, rebound stage of a broken relationship; ANY stage at all, I jumped on it.) And that kinda gave me a steady stream of female 'fans' to choose a life partner from.

Only problem was, it was not only the book of fairytales that I'd read as a child. I'd also read a Bible, and for some inexplicable reason, I had left it with the notion that premarital sex was a no-no. I was gonna save myself (in other words, remain a virgin) for marriage, or at the very least, for true love!
(Yeah. True love. What the hell is that?)

Well, as time passed and I had had a lot of girls in my life but none of them really feeling any strong sense of attachment to me, I knew I had to find out what was wrong. Because, obviously, something WAS wrong: I mean, I will have a girl really feeling my 'steez', but soon as she'd had sex with a sharper guy, she'd disappear from my life, never to return. So with no where else to turn, I turned back to my bible.

Now the Bible is arguably the most 'argued-over' book in history, so don't get ME wrong or decide to agree with me just because I'm a great blogger and you are just, well, you. It is a book you should read, but pray before AND after reading so that the good Lord will minister to you through its words.
(In my defence also, I did not pray before OR after reading the bible on this particular occasion.)

So I rushed to my bible after being hurt that the latest girl that seemed to 'love' me had moved on to be with someone who 'makes love' to her. And I searched the 10 commandments. And I saw no sign of the word 'fornication' there! I could have sworn it had been right beside 'adultery', but IT WASN'T! I rushed through the whole old testament and all I was seeing was the isrealites committing 'sexual immorality with idolators'. That was the explicitly mentioned sexual sin, not fornication! And it hit me like a car with bad brakes, "Perhaps the sin is not to do with having sex in itself, but having sex with people under a covenant or an oath: either to their spouses or to their idols!"
(Let me also say that I did not get past the Acts of the Apostles in the new testament before formulating this particular theorem.)

Reeling in horror at what I had just thought up, I slapped myself in the face. Hard!
"How COULD you have even THOUGHT like that?" I thought to myself, "It's unforgivable, I tell you, UNFORGIVABLE!!! Just think of ALL the hot, nubile young ladies you allowed to get away UNMOLESTED! It's TOTALLY unforgivable!"

So (having allowed a reasonable amount of time to pass in which to forgive myself), I finally thought to myself:
"Okay, in order to keep true love, you need to have sex, right?"
"But if you're gonna have sex you have to do it right, right?"
"You can't make love to a girl and have her telling you that she's moving to some other guy who 'treats' her right (in other words, does her better), right?"
"So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn every move, every groove, every trick, every gimmick, every style; I mean, EVERYTHING in the book (and outside it) to make EVERY SINGLE sexual encounter with your girl a historic event in her life, right?"
"Okay, let's do this!!!"

(To be continued next week in the finale of "The Season of Love")

It's your boy,


Fly Fellow, y'all!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Season of Love (Part 1)

All over the world, there are only 2 holidays which send people into a shopping and gift giving frenzy: christmas and valentine's. Okay, perhaps I should have said "all over the anglophone, francophone and 'china-phone' world". Because in the Arabic speaking parts of the world, such frivolity is totally unacceptable: most arabs are allowed to partake in ONLY one pseudochristian holiday (if any), and Valentines day is, by a landslide, the more popular choice.

"Why?" You might wonder, "what appeal does this festival have over other more symbolic, more factual and altogether more wholesome holidays?" After all, one might think, Valentine's day is not even a 'real holiday'. Well, if you ask me, I'd say THAT is EXACTLY why it is more popular: You see, there's nothing 'holy' about Valentine's, and whatever it is that makes it special does not typically happen in the 'day'!

Personally, I think that the saying that "Sex sells" is absolutely true. And those who can't get it for free simply shrug, exhale, then buy it hook, line and sinker. (The notion or the action, whichever is more palatable to your sensibilities).

Maybe I am being a little too harsh to a holiday which has brought so much joy and happiness (not to mention financial benefits) to so many people. Officially, valentine's day celebrates love. And the vast majority of children beneath the age of 15 and females (of any age who were born into 'aje butter' homes) believe it to be so. Maybe that is why the Valentinian culture has been embraced worldwide; it caters to an insatiable need. A need to be adored, a need to be needed, a need to be loved.

Now, I am no expert on love (but sex? Like it or not, that is what I am a maestro at. An absolute prodigy, I tell you. Trust me, a trial would convince you!) ...Okay, I just had to put that out there (you never know!) but moving on now... Although I am no expert on love, I know for a fact that even the most cold-blooded killer has this feeling of incompleteness, this void which tugs at him or her, ('cos let's face it, women these days have taken the 'I can do better than a man' thing to a whole 'nother level), making them susceptible to Cupid's string propelled missile at least once in a lifetime.

And this season celebrates that vulnerability in a way that only Bill Gates could have dreamt up: by making someone smile all the way to the bank. Unfortunately, that person is not you!

In most of the countries where it is a legal holiday, (and even in the few where it isn't), valentine puts a lot of responsibility on the men. Don't get me wrong, it is hoped that on a special day like this, that the females will deem it fit to 'pay in kind', just as a token of the love they feel for their partner, but it is not a given. It is, really, a 50-50 thing. (20-80 if you are fat, short and ugly!)

The men, however, are expected (as a mandatory requirement) to pay (in cash or, at least, in credit/debit cards) for everything else: flowers, chocolates, presents, a dinner gown (accessories, thankfully, are optional), a dinner reservation, then dinner, then a movie, then a nice hotel room (especially if your 'bachelor's pad' looks as grotesque as a shoulder pad) and at the end, if the lady is so inclined, you're still expected to be good in bed!
"The whole works," ladies call it.
'The whole salary,' I call it!

The only country left out of this financial sadomasochism is Japan. Thanks to a typographical error at some point in the early 20th century when the brave Valentinian missionaries went to preach the good news of love and spending to the unconquered Asians, someone decided to write that 'females' were the ones required, nay expected, to buy the cards, flowers and candy for the males. And so, that is what happens in Japan; females giving gifts to us guys to celebrate Val's.

Can you imagine what that would be like? I can't. But I do imagine that it explains why the average japanese male is expected to live up to the ripe old age of 78.9 years! (compare with the Nigerian male life expectancy of 45 years for some perspective). Let me put it like this, if you were a japanese male and had such a wonderful valentine experience when you were 18, wouldn't you stick around for 60 (yes, sixty) more years for extra servings? I speak for myself when I say it: I would. No brainer.

It's not like I have too much to complain about, it's not like Valentine's day has been too hard on my pocket. Not in the least. Its just that it reminds me of things I want to forget. Because even though I know it is the most financially motivated holiday since the invention of Santa Claus, the rest of the world doesn't.

"You don't have a valentine?" a girl who I typically would find unattractive asks me. I consider her, deciding to look past the acne, blotchy stretch-marked skin and lazy eye. 'She's not so bad', I start to think, 'she might do, might make me look less pathetic if she was with me on Valentine's day. Let them attribute my poor choice to my poor eyesight'. Probably seeing the last glimmer of hope and desperation starting to simmer in my eyes, she continues: "Poor you. And I have to travel for my grandmother's funeral. What in the world are YOU going to do?"

I used to hear the saying 'I'm a lover, not a fighter' and I liked it. Because it gave one some good choices: be romantic or be valiant. Either way, you're a winner, y'know? But ever since I became old enough to be influenced by the spirit of St. Valentine, I have been given one choice only: Be a lover or a loser!

And even I am guilty of such a generalisation: "I want to visit an orphanage on Valentines day." a socially challenged girl I might have the misfortune of knowing might tell me. And at the back of my mind I'd go "Loser! No boyfriend, huh?"

And that gets me to the problem. I have an unnecessarily high standard for falling in love. My dream girl must be at least an 8/10 in a variety of aspects ranging from looks, to figure, conversational skills, taste in music, dance skills, table manners, temperament, sexual prowess... and the list goes on. There is even a portion for academic qualifications and work experience!

Now, the problem is not that my 'dream girl' does not exist, the problem is just that my dream girl, whenever I get to meet her, (and I have met her a couple of times!) has her own idea of who her 'dream man' should be. And it sure ain't me! As an adolescent, I was neither tall, nor dark, nor handsome. Upon entering adulthood, just when I thought I could heave a sigh of relief and say "look, at least I'm tall and I have got a real mean tan", the requirements completely changed!
Total package, the ladies said (which in other words meant 'rich, generous, and any one of the former requirements').
Total bullocks, I said (and that was in no relation to Sandra, the american actress)!

That is one of the reasons why I started this music thing in the first place. It gave me an outlet, a place to paint the world exactly how I wanted to see it. Beautiful. As long as a song I love is playing, (anything from 'Torn' by Natalie Imbruglia to 'With you' by Chris "the boxer" Brown) the world is great and I am flying without wings. But once the songs end and I'm brought down to earth with a thud, I realize I have to make it big.

So that I too can be rich and generous.
So that I too can afford to meet, get and keep my dream girl.
And so that I too can be caught up in all the extravagant silliness which is Valentine's day. Because, it IS about love, after all. How bad can it be?

By the way, I just decided to order "Japanese for dummies" so I can start studying Japanese, you know, just in case.

Because like I said, you never know!

It's your boy,

Fly fella, y'all!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In The Beginning...

In the beginning was the word, and it changed the world. It changed everything: "Let there be light, let there be life, let there be love." And that is how it all started: With words. Those mystical building blocks which, put together in different permutations and combinations, can convey a beautifully resplendent variety of messages to the reader.
Now, it might seem rather superfluous to be talking about the awesomeness of words in a blog. after all, everybody 'loves' to read, right? Wrong. Everyone might love Ray Romano, but not everyone likes reading (the verb, not the town!).
So, armed with that knowledge, I'd have to make my blogs (are they my 'blogs' or my 'posts'?) as short as my (lack of) commonsense and my (cheap @ss) blackberry curve 8520 (or is it 8250?) battery life would allow. I do feel kinda powerful, you know. With just a basic phone, a wonderful application (shout out to Bolt... em, something), and an internet connection, I can be a 'blogger'. I mean, some people do this for a living, man! Blogging! All I need is a few folk to 'like' my blog on facebook and, Boom! I would add the esteemed job description 'blogger' to my already variegated occupations (and that's when the big bucks start rolling in! lol).
And that is the direction that the world is headed, in my opinion. We are all being empowered. To have ideas, to have dreams, to have a voice and to have a dream of voicing our ideas! That is sooo wonderful, isn't it? A world with limitless information, opportunity and supply. So much that one might feel trapped in it. A worldwide web, so to speak.
Well, in my (now humble) opinion, with all of these voices and opinions being aired, EVERYBODY seems to be talking and no one seems to be listening (or, in this case, everyone writing and nobody reading)! A cacophony of disjointed ideas, repeated cliche-d aphorisms and vindictive polemics aimed at no one in particular. Making it harder for the skilled blogger who really, really has something worthwhile to say (y'know, someone like me) to be truly heard and understood.
And the truth is, the 21st century human being does not want to watch and pray. He wants to prey and be watched. He wants to be in the spotlight. At the very least, he wants to be in the spotlight for putting someone else in the spotlight!
And that kinda describes me. Not satisfied with the ecstatic pleasure derived by treating the unwell and the un-well off, (trust me, poverty IS a disease) I have been making music on the side for the past 12 years. I mean, in medical school, I spent a lot more time writing rhymes than writing dissertations, dissecting albums than dissecting cadavers, and being on stage than being in the theatre (you would think they were the same thing, right?) Honestly, I spent more time 'schooling these rappers' than I spent actually schooling. Although in my defense, I did invest a considerable amount of time and energy in the enthusiastic study of both beats (although it was without the use of a stethoscope) and the immediate post pubertal female breast (a very important part of the human anatomy, if you ask me!)
So after 8 long years in medical school... (If you spend 4 years in University, you get a Bachelor's degree, right? Well, I graduated a Bachelor of Medicine AND a Bachelor of Surgery. Two Bachelor degrees, please do the Math!) ...Well, like I was saying, I knew exactly what I was gonna leave university with when I graduate: A double Bachelors Degree Certificate, and a music video!
I had it all planned out. I knew that University would probably be the last time I would ever get so many young, attractive girls in the same place at the same time (especially as I had no plans of going to an Usher Raymond concert anytime in the, as-at-then, immediately forseeable future).
So I went on the prowl, recruiting as many 'video vixens' as my expert oratory (and meager funds) would allow (believe me, very few), visualizing and planning what my music video would be like, and counting my pennies (and my elder brother's), earmarking them for the history-in-the-making event. And as my final examinations neared, I only had one intention: To make a video that would get me airplay on the (then) newly founded MTV Base Africa. (And, well, it would be nice to actually pass my final examinations too, but first things first.)
So I had made my beat (myself), recorded my song (myself), mixed the song (myself, but did not have it mastered; I didnt know how to, and couldnt afford to have a professional do it), I had given it to the (then) fantastic and highly influential Cosmo FM in Enugu who immediately put the song on heavy rotation. As a medical student-slash-rapper-slash producer, I had a top ten song! I immediately started envisioning myself as a Label owner. Fly Fellow Records! Yes sir! And the title described me exactly (if you did not take my looks, my wardrobe or my finances into consideration). It was 2006, and I had conquered Enugu state. All I needed was to make a video that would get me on MTV Base, move back to Lagos, and wait. Because, like I had learnt from my Enugu experience, Talent wins in the end!
Dream on!
Well, I succeeded in making a video that would (really) get me on MTV Base (I am serious, they played my video), I succeeded in moving back to Lagos, I even succeeded in waiting (what has it been, 4 years now???) What I never, however, succeeded in doing, was actually succeeding. Because, you see, this was Lagos, not Enugu. And Talent doesn't win around here, money does.
And so my nightmare began.
But its 2011 and I am waking up, people! This blog is titled the 'best next thing' because, as far as Nigeria and Hiphop goes, that is what I am. And everyone following this blog will be my companions as I achieve that dream. I also might use this as a medium to vent every once in a while, but not to worry, we are together in this. I will share with you all my plans, my schemes, my aims and my dreams. I will even throw in a free song or two here and there (just not today, lol). So feel free to leave a comment and remember to tweet this and to tell your friends and to 'like' it on facebook ('cos remember, that's when the big bucks start rolling in!)
It's your Boy,
Fly Fella, y'all!