If 2baba did not intend for it to penetrate my heart, why should I allow it get me mad? It’s simply not that deep.
First things first. Let’s get this out of the way. 2face Idibia’s ‘Gaga shuffle’ is not a great record. Heck, it cannot even wipe the boots of ‘Holy holy’ 2face’s previous single.
How can you move from singing “I hope you holy pass Elijah sha…” to crooning “Oya oya oya oya, make we start to do the Gaga Shuffle”
How can you do that to yourself? You are 2baba; The greatest contemporary artist that Nigeria has had. You have inspired millions of people with your breath-taking career. You have broken boundaries and found new ways to push the art. Right now, it’s ‘Gaga shuffle’.
I understand that many people feel strongly about the record. 2face Idibia is a culturally relevant legend who has paid his dues, earned his stripes and led the way. His fans number in the millions, and that number includes me too. 2face can record himself farting loudly, put some drums on it and people will swear that the record is ‘Top 5 2face essentials’.
Already, I have scanned through social media and found fans standing on both sides of the divide. As many people that like the record, they are matched strongly by others who don’t enjoy the record. People are scattered on both sides.
I have stood with 2face Idibia all through the below-par album that “The Ascension” was. I sang along to not only the lead single ‘Let somebody love you’ ft Bridget Kelly. I spent nights convincing myself that ‘Jeje’ is the best thing since Fela created multiple interacting African rhythms and named it ‘Afrobeat’. I found ‘Diaspora woman’ a bit overstretched, but I carried the lyrics on my heart like a heartbreak scar.
And then the juice began to flow. ‘Coded Tinz’ is a dope pop record, designed to get us dancing. I understand that at this point of 2baba’s career he isn’t under pressure to keep making music. He has done it all. All he needs to do are pet projects to keep the flame alive and the culture moving.
And that’s why I am not mad at him for dropping ‘Gaga shuffle’. It is for the culture, something to cash in on the ‘Pon Pon’ wave. It is a project to generate conversations and keep him in the loop. It is not a genuine labour of love. It wasn’t from his heart.
One of the reasons why trends linger is because influential people join in the conversation, or in this case, the perpetuation of a music style. 2face Idibia is the latest in a long line of music stars to join the ‘Pon Pon’ wave.
‘Gaga shuffle’ was created using the ‘Pon Pon’ style that has come to dominate West African music, with Nigerians leading the charge.
‘Pon pon’ music is characterised by soft synths, which come mostly in pairs and accompanied by Ghanaian hiplife influences. The Dancehall and Hiplife music composition and style dominated Nigeria in 2017. The name ‘Pon Pon’ has grown, and slowly becoming a part of Nigerian music.
Numerous Nigerian stars have tried their hands at it with varying degrees of success. Davido, Runtown, Tekno, Wizkid, Phyno, Falz and many others all have made music utilising the records. Some of the biggest hits in the country have come from the style, and it has become a bit of a formula for making a pop record.
2baba has joined in with ‘Gaga Shuffle’. Gaga Shuffle is a dance tune produced by Dapiano. Its release follows the conscious ‘Holy Holy’. This time 2Baba is in the mood to have crazy fun as he sings on the hook.
“As I want craze, I want involve you for my craze...Oya oya, make we start to do the Gaga Shuffle. Start to do the Gaga Shuffle,” 2baba sings.
“2face came to my studio to record another song,” says producer Dapiano. “He heard the beat, and said he liked it. “It was as easy as anything else. It was the first thing that came out of his mouth that was the song. The entire song was recorded within 30 minutes.”
I will listen to the record. In fact, as I am writing this article, the sounds from my small speaker at the office carry his voice from my ears to my brain. But it won’t get close to my heart. It has no emotion, no essence, no soul. Money has been thrown into creating a video, and promoting it. But the real emotional currency was never invested in it.
So if 2baba did not intend for it to penetrate that deep? Why should I allow it get me mad? It’s simply not that deep.