Forget The Grammys, Let’s Talk About ‘Crown Of Clay’

Forget The Grammys, Let’s Talk About ‘Crown Of Clay’

By William Ikhianosimhe Orbih.


I should have done a piece on the Grammys, except that I don’t care about that award—maybe until the day that I win it (year 2067; even though, I would have to first learn how to chant the parts of Mass).

I should have done a piece on the Grammys, except that I am beefing the organizing committee—whoever they are—for snubbing some of my favorite artists throughout history. Just think about some of your favorite artists who have never won a Grammy.

I am thinking aloud, you may want to think with me. Think about Tupac Shakur and his arch-nemesis Biggie. Despite how much they revolutionized hip hop with their beats, lyrics, beef, and deaths, Grammy evaded them.

I heard it took Tupac less than a single studio visit to compose and record some of his greatest hits. That man was a box of poetry. Think about Bob Marley and Diana Ross. Think about Nicki Minaj, all her talent—and all her shape.

Think about Abba Gold and your fondest Christmas memories. Think about 50 Cent, and his evergreen album, Get Rich or Die Trying. How come it did not win 7 Grammys, even with all those back-to-back hits?

Think about Nas, whose song, ETHER, humbled Jay-Z for an entire year. Only God knows how many times Jay-Z looked into the mirror wishing for thinner lips. His record 21 Grammys still does not erase the fact that Nas once murdered him.

The fact that Kanye literally pissed on the Grammy last year and won it this year, and as a gospel artist too, is a mystery and marvel. Well, for my love for eccentric Kanye and his JESUS WALKS (one of my best rap songs ever!) I give up some of my beef against the award choosers. His recent award ties him with Jay-Z on record 21.

I should have done a piece on the Grammy, except that I do not think it has much to contribute to the renaissance Africa desperately needs and which my pen is committed to. It is undoubtedly beneficial to the careers of winners: Africa giant, Whizzy, Queen Tiwa, Femi Kuti. I am happy for them.

I am also happy that some of the songs being celebrated have rich pro-African themes. BROWN SKIN GIRL, for instance, is an eternal classic, celebrating the perfection of the black/brown African skin.

Also, no doubt, these winners have put Nigeria on the global (maybe American) map. These are things worth pointing out and celebrating. But there is no necessary correlation between these and Africa’s renaissance.

Forget The Grammys, Let’s Talk About ‘Crown Of Clay’
    Vector, M.I unite for ‘Crown of Clay’

    For Africa to be reborn, she must learn to seek and place self-validation over external validation. Nigerian artiste X winning over Nigerian artiste Y does not necessarily mean that X is better than Y. Often, it simply means that to some unnamed white ear, X sounds closer to the so-called “art ideal” of the white ear than Y. Do you get the point I am making? No further comment on this.

    Beyond these reasons above and the fact that I spent the weekend grading 32 papers, each averaging about 1300 words (I am a Teaching Assistant to one of the most meticulous and compassionate Professors ever), I did not get to think of the 63rd Grammy because something else caught my attention during the weekend. I am talking about CROWN OF CLAY, Vector’s new rap song featuring Mr. Incredible himself, M.I.

    Just so you all know, M.I is my favorite Nigerian rapper. No other rapper comes close—maybe Olamide, Phyno, and Falz the Bahd Guy. And just so you all also know M.I and Vector have been beefing, and M.I literally destroyed Vector’s past, present and future in his last year’s diss track VIPER. I am surprised that Vector is still alive and breathing (Biaaaaassss).

    It is obvious that they have put their beef behind them for a more honorable cause, that of calling forth Africa’s renaissance in their own little way. In my humble opinion, CROWN OF CLAY should replace the school anthem of all Secondary schools across Africa for the next one month or until the message sink into every young Africa mind. There should be some editing though; some of the contents are not so decent for young impressionable minds.

    Ignoring those needless additions, Let’s talk about some golden lines, first from Vector’s verse and afterward, from King M.I. Vector rapped: “I am Africa and blessed.” To be Africa is to be blessed. Right now, I am ashamed of the geographical expression called Nigeria, but not of my Africanness. I am from a bloodline of Black Kings and Queens. I am proud of my African heritage.

    Now to M.I. It is so special that his verse is dedicated to Africa’s “black queens who birthed black dreams from their black hips and covered us with black wings.” M.I also informs us that the ancestors are starting to speak more loudly. What are our ancestors telling us? “We are all sinners, but God was in us before they sent us on slave ships.”

    This needs reiteration. There was God in Africa before the advent of Christianity and Islam. Igbos have Chukwu, Yorubas have Olorun, Etsako people have Osinegba (the transcendent one). All different names for the one true God.

    Logically speaking, there can be only one true God. We may name him differently. Many may worship “wrongly.” Yet it is the one true God we all hope or attempt to worship. For M.I, “this means that our village is our holy ground. Our traditions and our names they all are holy sounds. The wealth [including our sacred traditions] that was in our continent was stolen up.”

    M.I did not leave without some brutal questions. Who the hell is Mungo Park? Some white-supremacist shit told us that he discovered the source of River Niger. How??? River wey our ancestors been dey fetch water from?

    We desperately need to reconsider, or at least, edit the history textbooks used in our Secondary Schools. We need to replace Mungo Park heroics with those of the likes of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Jaja of Opobo, Ewuare the Great.

    Finally, the chorus from Pheelz: “nothing shakes the strength of a black man [and woman].” This is so true. If black strength was not solid, slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism would have completely crushed it by now.

    Yet through all these, we Africans remain Twice as Tall. Of course, this is my shy way of saying congrats to #burnaboy aka OluwaBurna—Nigeria’s biggest winner at the recent award. I no dey beef am. As M.I will put it, “no beef on my mind or mohican”



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    HURIWA Wants Nigerian President To Take Steps To Cleanse NPF Or Else:

    Wed Mar 17 , 2021
    486 A prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned that targeted attacks of police operatives and facilities all across the Country may escalate unless the President Muhammadu Buhari genuinely, patriotically and statesmanly take verifiable, concrete, transparent and law based steps to clean up the […]
    HURIWA Wants Nigerian President To Take Steps To Cleanse NPF Or Else: A prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned that targeted attacks of police operatives and facilities all across the Country may escalate unless the President Muhammadu Buhari genuinely, patriotically and statesmanly take verifiable, concrete, transparent and law based steps to clean up the Augean stable that the Nigerian Police Force has since metamorphosed into. The Rights group said it was not in any way providing justification or endorsement of the coordinated attacks against facilities of the Nigerian Police Force by aggrieved citizens, but that it was worried that it is still business as usual at the top echelons of the Nigerian Police Force and the Central government as there is no deliberate effort to reform, reorganize, restructure and recalibrate the rotten institution of the Nigerian Police Force so the members and officers are forced to comply with the global best practices and adhere by the tenets and letters of the Constitution and the Nigerian Police Force Act of 2020. The Rights group recalled some of the following targeted attacks in many parts of Nigeria thus: "March 3, 2021 unidentified gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday killed two police officers in Cross River State, Nigeria’s South-south, bringing to six the number of officers killed in the last six days in the state. Four police officers were killed recently, on February 25, in Calabar, by some gunmen. The police spokesperson, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the latest killing, said the attack occurred in Obubra, in the central part of Cross River State. “We lost two of our policemen, one is being hospitalised,” said Ms Ugbo, a deputy superintendent of police. On Tuesday February 23 2021 At least two police officers were killed when armed men invaded a police station in Aba, Abia State. “An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and a Police Corporal were killed in the attack. On 19 February 2021 there was pandemonium in Effurn, near Warri, as gunmen again, killed a mobile policeman along the Airport Road and carted away his gun. “Another mobile policeman on escort duty was killed last week in a Church at Otor-Ogor near Ughelli and his rifle taken away. Details of the Effurun incident was still sketchy at press time, but when contacted, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the killing of the police officer. “On Feb 22, 2021 unknown gunmen suspected to be cultists attacked a checkpoint manned by a Police detachment of the Quick Response Squad (QRS) in Akwa Ibom, killing one Police Inspector, while others escaped in hails of bullets. “On February 6, two policemen were said to have lost their lives and scores injured when suspected bandits attacked Umulowo police division in Obowo local government area of Imo state. January 10, 2021 Gunmen on Friday night attacked a police station in Ebonyi State, killing three police officers. Two others sustained bullet wounds in the attack on Onueke Police Station in Ezza South Local Government Area of the state". The Rights group said in a statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director; Miss Zainab Yusuf that the Nigerian President has also compounded the spectacular public image FIASCO of the Nigerian Police Force by his recent wholly unconstitutional and illegal extension of the tenure of the office of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu even after he has reached the retirement age as specified by the newly amended NIGERIA POLICE ACT 2020 which the President Muhammadu Buhari personally signed into law. The Rights group said the message passed by the unlawful decision of the President in the tenure extension of the IGP which violates an extant law is that the institution of the Nigerian Police Force can as well remain as filthy, unpopular, undisciplined and the members could remain as unprofessional as most NIGERIANS perceived the Nigerian Police Force to be. HURIWA said the genesis of the attacks on the police is the general perception that there is a lack of political will to effectively resolve the dwindling state of discipline and professionalism amongst the members and officers of the Nigerian Police Force who are seen as persons who derive joy in the use of torture and extrajudicial killings of civilians. The Rights group said there is the urgency of the now for the Nigerian Police Force to be restructured fundamentally and all the bad eggs weeded off the police force making use of the recommendations to be determined by the different investigative panels on police brutality known as #ENDSARS PANELS. The Rights group however expressed regret that the police hierarchy seems lethargic and unperturbed about the proceedings of the judicial panels and has not compelled the indicted police operatives accused of extralegal execution of the citizens to appear before the various panels. HURIWA said the members of the public have been pushed to the walls by the systemic and systematic lack of professionalism and discipline within the Nigerian Police Force and made worst by the open defecation by President Muhammadu Buhari on top of the extant Nigerian Police Force Act by granting tenure extension illegally to a lacklustre IGP who has thoroughly undermined and compromised the National Security of Nigeria by failing to restore discipline and professionalism in the Police Force. The Rights group said the President Muhammadu Buhari must be put under pressure to begin to respect and enforce the Nigerian Police Force Act of 2020 because of the many good innovations within the body of the law. HURIWA recalled that the Section 4 of the New Act has extended the duties of the Nigeria Police beyond detection and prevention of crimes and protection of rights, lives and properties, maintenance of public safety, law and order; and the enforcement of laws and regulations to include collaborating with agencies to provide assistance to persons in distress, victims of road accidents, fire disasters, earthquakes, and flood, facilitating the free passage and movement on the highways, roads, and streets open to the public and adoption community partnership. The Nigeria Police Force also now has the duty to vet and approve the registration of private detective schools and private investigation outfits. The Rights group said the new Police Act as interpreted by legal experts has been upgraded to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force promotes and protects the fundamental human rights of persons as provided for by the Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, and other international legal instruments on human rights, The Police Force is forthwith expected to collaborate with relevant agencies to provide legal services to accused person where necessary [12]. HURIWA cited interpretations of some of the provisions as made by respected legal experts thus: "In order to further achieve this, the new Act requires that every Police Division must be assigned a police officer who is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner whose responsibility will be to promote human rights compliance by the officers of the Division". HURIWA said it was imperative that President Muhammadu Buhari returns to the path of respect for the law by appointing a competent officer to take o re the functions of the IGP since legally the person masquerading as the IGP use violator in the face of the law and the Rights group reminds the President that the Grand Norm of Nigeria provides in Section 214 of 1999 constitution stated thus: "214.-(1) there shall be a police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution – (a) The Nigeria Police Force shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly; (b) The members of the Nigeria Police Force shall have such powers and duties as may be conferred upon them by law; (c) The National Assembly may make provisions for branches of the Nigeria police Force forming part of the armed forces of the Federation or for the protection of harbours, waterways, railways and air fields. (3) The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with."

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