The twin wordsmiths Ghost and Tec, collectively known as Show Dem Camp have proven that with grit and diversity, rap can be a viable in Nigeria.
The balancing act of Show Dem Camp
With its pantheon-like disography of cult classics and alte vibes, Show Dem Camp is the reigning MVP of Nigerian rap music.
On the first day of the year, Tuesday, January 1, 2019, the rap duo have dropped a new mixtape, the fourth instalment of their 'Clone Wars' series with the subtitle ‘These Buhari Times’.
Long-standing fans of the ‘Bang Bang!’ brothers are aware of Ghost and Tec’s flair for social and political commentary.
For newcomers, it might be a weird turn for the rhyme slingers who since 2017 have blessed us with two breezy and calm offerings known as 'Palm Wine Music' and 'Palm Wine Music 2'.
The duality in their approach has seen SDC’s stock rise from being the choice of backpackers alone to the darlings of a niche and growing crowd.
The success of their 2018 Palm Wine Fest is clear evidence that Ghost and Tec have gone beyond the sphere of cyphers and intricate rhyme schemes.
With all that has been said about Nigeria Hip-Hop within the last couple of years (mostly bad), SDC has proven to be the exception. Their consistency and high-quality body of work has separated them from the pack of moaners and groaners.
Show Dem Camp has released seven projects in nine years, 'Clone Wars Vol. 1' in 2010, 'The Dreamer Project' in 2011, 'Clone Wars Vol. 2' in 2012, 'Clone Wars Vol. 3' in 2016, 'Palm Wine Music' in 2017, 'Palm Wine Music 2' in 2018 and 'Clone Wars Vol. 4' in 2019.
While the group might not have a stack of mainstream hits, their attention to pop culture and movements have gained them a cult fan base. Also, their penchant for dropping conscious music served as the foundation for Ghost and Tec.
The year 2013 would be a tipping point for SDC. The single ‘Feel Alright’ featuring brother-in-rhymes Poe and the singer with the smoky vocals BOJ would serve as a surprise hit for SDC.
The song, however, was slightly ahead of its time. The palm wine vibe would not be replicated again till 2017 when a fresh, young generation of acts who dared to seek a new sound had formed a sub-culture known as alte.
With this new tribe, Show Dem Camp was comfortable in further harnessing the potential of the palm wine music vibe. This approach has birthed two stellar projects which have found a home with listeners who mainly turned off to the sounds coming out of mainstream radio.
The success of Ghost and Tec serves as a reminder to Nigerian rappers that is okay to come out of your comfort zone of bars and create a body of work that will attract a new fan base.
In the Palm Wine Music, projects SDC sacrificed high-end lyricism for cohesiveness and relatability. Many Nigerian lyricists can borrow a thing or two from them based on this approach.
SDC, however, haven’t lost their heads to the intoxicating taste of palm wine. In these Buhari times, they have dropped another dope project to help their fans navigate the struggles of living in Nigeria in 2019.
Not many rap acts can balance the two extremes, good quality rap music and good quality crossover rap music. Ghost and Tec have however found the winning formula.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: