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How Okada Ban Made Obesere’s 2014 Hit Song (Egungun Becareful) Became 2020 Anthem

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This is defiantly a big record in the history of music.

No music content in the hole worldwide had ever blow year and after the year of released, back then in 2014 this song is arguably one of the biggest song in the country and here again 2020 this song became viral to put the Legend Alhaji Abass Akande known Obesere back on the Map.

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Egungun Becareful Part1

Egungun Becareful Part2

Obesere The Omo Rapala

When Lagos State banned motorcycles, popularly known as Okada and tricycles (Keke Napep), the people of Lagos assumed that transporting was about to get more difficult. As they protested and begged that the ban be revoked, they also created funny memes and jokes. Obesere’s song, “Egungun Be Careful” was unearthed by the internet and the chorus of the song suddenly went viral.

People who had never heard of him suddenly knew who he was. Obesere who used to be one of the country’s top fuji musicians had suddenly become one of the most viral internet memes in the country.

The Okada Ban

Lagos State Government announced the ban of Motorcycles (Okada) and Tricycles (Keke Napep) on Tuesday, January 27 2020. Five days later, the ban was put into effect and it resulted in a series of protests. Commuters whose typical means of transportation had been banned were left to walk to their destination.

Some alternative have since been made but life hasn’t quite returned to its initial state in Lagos.

The band has not been changed and it doesn’t look like it would be repealed anytime soon.

Abass Akande, popularly known as Obesere has been in the music industry for over 35 years. He became famous for his lewd and controversial songs. He challenged all the stereotypes around Fuji and refused to conform to what was referred to as acceptable behaviour. Obesere, 55 created his own style of music, his own dance steps and created cult-like followership of fans.

He was unapologetically different and eventually caught the attention of the international world. He soon signed a deal with Sony Music. Obesere continued releasing songs that tested the boundaries of the Yoruba society in the 90s and early 2000s. Surprisingly, his uniqueness was what eventually made him stand out. He calls his genre of music, Fuji-pop; a hybrid of Fuji and hip-hop.

Obesere was blacklisted by many people who didn’t agree with his irreverent ‘asakasa’ style of music. Despite that, his following in places like the US and the UK has stayed strong over the years. He told the Nigerian Tribune, “Many people had waited patiently to see me over there because the kind of job I’m doing is God-given. He handed it over to me. It’s in me, I’m music, music is in me. It’s in my blood. I don’t copy anybody. So when I got to the US, shows were lined up for me that at a point, I had to beg the promoter to let me go back to Nigeria because people were already thinking I had made up my mind to stay overseas.”

Omo Rapala has released about 15 albums, including his 2009 album, “Revolution” that featured artistes like 9ice, Lord of Ajasa and Timaya. A true performer, he has also appeared in several movies like “Eni Eleni”, “Ero Sese Koowe” and “Ese Mefa Laye”. In 2014, he produced a movie based on his true life story after he had been falsely accused of rape titled, “Stop Sebe”. He featured actors like Akin Olaiya, Lizzy Da Silva, among other movie stars.

He was unapologetically different and eventually caught the attention of the international world. He soon signed a deal with Sony Music. Obesere continued releasing songs that tested the boundaries of the Yoruba society in the 90s and early 2000s. Surprisingly, his uniqueness was what eventually made him stand out. He calls his genre of music, Fuji-pop; a hybrid of Fuji and hip-hop.

Obesere was blacklisted by many people who didn’t agree with his irreverent ‘asakasa’ style of music. Despite that, his following in places like the US and the UK has stayed strong over the years. He told the Nigerian Tribune, “Many people had waited patiently to see me over there because the kind of job I’m doing is God-given. He handed it over to me. It’s in me, I’m music, music is in me. It’s in my blood. I don’t copy anybody. So when I got to the US, shows were lined up for me that at a point, I had to beg the promoter to let me go back to Nigeria because people were already thinking I had made up my mind to stay overseas.”

Omo Rapala has released about 15 albums, including his 2009 album, “Revolution” that featured artistes like 9ice, Lord of Ajasa and Timaya. A true performer, he has also appeared in several movies like “Eni Eleni”, “Ero Sese Koowe” and “Ese Mefa Laye”. In 2014, he produced a movie based on his true life story after he had been falsely accused of rape titled, “Stop Sebe”. He featured actors like Akin Olaiya, Lizzy Da Silva, among other movie stars.

In October 2019, award-winning singer, Niniola released a song titled “Omo Rapala” and Obesere said he felt appreciated that someone sang a song with a name he had been associated with. Speaking to Nigerian Tribune, he said, “I have been seeing hundreds of notifications on my phone, both on social media and as texts informing me of the new hip-hop song carrying one of the names people know me with over two decades ago. Anyway, I see it as a way of appreciating the concept and my brand. I was forced to listen to the song and it has a tone of how I got the name.”

Interestingly, Obesere also released new music the day the Okada ban came into effect on February 1, 2020, titled, “Skoro”. It was produced by Glorious Beatz. He is currently signed with Mayors Ville Entertainment, an artiste management firm in Lagos, Nigeria.

Conclusion

The long walks caused by the Okada ban helped reinforce Obesere’s “Egungun Be Careful” song as one of the most cogent memes of the early weeks following the ban. The song that advised masquerades to be careful about walking into oncoming traffic was accompanied by a funny video and it travelled fast. People could relate to the message of the song and found the video hilarious. Obesere’s video quickly became the biggest Instagram meme of February 2020.

Sometimes will go through inner pain that nobody could ever understand Unless we pour it out.

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