Earlier today, a video of rapper Falz The Bahd Guy surfaced on the internet, where he criticized “role model” singers who sang about internet fraudsters.

“You’re in a position as a role model to younger ones coming up, and in your musical record you’re greeting all the yahoo boys, you’re greeting all the fraudsters, you’re calling their names personally,” Falz said in the video.

This seemed like a dig at rapper Reminisce, who in his 2012 hit song 2mushh, gave a shout out to alleged Yahoo boys, Opa6ix and H-Money. 

“Shout out si awon omo ni Malay, wire wire/Opa6ix Baddy Oosha, Ijaya jaya”, and “H-Money, oracle ton mushe wole/iwo na wo awon ti mo ba toru wole.”

If you type Opa6ix in Google Search, one of the very first results is a post calling him a “Yahoo Big Boy”. H-Money, whose real name is Hope Aroke, was actually sentenced to  24 years in prison last year for a number of financial frauds.

Falz added “You’re hailing them. Wire Wire, mo fe sa she.”

This part seemed aimed at veterain singer 9ice, whose latest hit song, Living Things, has the popular intro “Awon t’emi sa she.”

Falz went on to say that these artistes were “making the younger ones believe that its good to do it.” He said that as entertainers, they “should sing about something that can help our lives.”

The most important questions to ask here are: how much influence does/should a singer’s lyrics have, and should a singer be held accountable for the effects of these lyrics?

The lyric of a song is the soul of a song, giving a shape to the body that is the instrumental. It’s the most important piece of a song, and so its content should not be treated lightly. It should carry a certain amount of meaning to leave an impact on the listener.

However, like spoken word and prose and all other forms of writing, a music lyric only serves to create an imagination, not act as an informational tool or guiding light.

Following the Rick Ross date rape brouhaha, MMG-label mate Meek Mill had said in his defense: “It’s imaginary visual. If a writer write about somebody getting raped in a movie, that mean he a rapist or he want girls to get raped? No, he just wrote about that in a movie.”

This ties in to the second question, if a singer should be held accountable for the lyrics of their songs.

Back in January, Vector Tha Viper had been accused of supporting rape over the lyrics of his club hit, What’s That. His reply:

By these tweets, Vector is obviously enraged that someone would think he endorses rape because of some lines in his song disregard the importance of consent before sex.

“After all of the flex and the stress you no go come to the bed, what’s that?”

To the artiste, he simply created a scenario. An “imaginary visual.” If the listener then decides to take the lyrics literally and create a whole new impression and meaning, whose fault is that?

It’s hard to however argue for Reminisce, as calling names takes it from being “fiction”, and is now actually a celebration of these fraudsters.

Falz is arguably one of the most socially-conscious in today’s Nigerian music, and it is admirable that he is trying to effect a positive change in the industry.

Do you agree with his statement though? Share your comments below!