Pulse Opinion: Naira Marley Deserves Criticism for ‘Soapy,’ but There’s a Slight Complication


Soapy,’ a new single by Naira Marley and the viral dance it inspired causes a storm on social media. (Instagram/NairaMarley)

Marlians are a problem, Naira Marley needs to think about his career, and there’s latent hypocrisy on the part of Nigerians.

Music or any type of content is created for an audience. Through history, the power of content in sound, text or picture has influenced humanity in lifestyle for better or worse.

Music is related to sound and sound has proven to be near-peerless in how it parasitically lives in the mind of man, taking up space, driving psychedelia, and inspiring at least a miniscule of changes.

Good content influences pop culture and inspires altruism or other forms of good in humanity. When content like music inspires bad things, virality ensues. In the internet age, that’s not a good thing.

On June 28, 2019, Nigerian singer, Naira Marley released his new single, ‘ Soapy. ‘ It was his follow-up to ‘ Opotoyi ‘ – the single which was released while he was in EFCC custody. To both singles, there is a common ground; explicit content that inspires controversy.

‘Opotoyi’ explicity addresses the woman’s bum with lewd lyrics of base sexual adulation. While ‘Soapy’ never made any direct reference to masturbation, the word – like ‘roll dice – means ‘to masturbate.’ It came about with how boys use lotion or soap as lubrication to masturbate.fb_img_15619998495259239259312291.jpg

Riding on the infectious Rexxie -produced beat, the song sees an unrepentant Naira Marley make references to his time inside and outside EFCC custody. On the song, the sticking comes when the rapper talks about how people should dance ‘ Soapy’ in the various Nigerian detention centres and prisons.

He also talks about how unmarried people should dance ‘Soapy’ and not use omo (a Nigerian detergent) to soapy (masturbate). He was deft with it and knew what he was doing. The song was a calculated effort in line with Naira’s strategy with his past four singles. The strategy is simple; making controversial songs.

He knew what the word ‘Soapy’ meant to Nigerian millennials. He knew it was going to cause controversy. So what he did instead was say ‘Jo Soapy’ (which means ‘dance soapy’) anytime he referenced the word ‘Soapy.’ He also created a dance for it. He was using ‘Jo’ which is Yoruba for ‘dance’ instead of ‘Se,’ which is Yoruba for ‘Do.’

When you think about the places he said ‘Jo Soapy,’ they are places and instances with people crawling with a need to masturbate. Naira mentioned prisons, detention centres and also galvanized unmarried people to ‘ Jo Soapy .’ People in prisons don’t have internet, they can’t know Naira’s ‘Soapy’ is. How can they ‘Jo Soapy’?

The married man might know what ‘Soapy’ is, but why is Naira advising him not use ‘Omo’ to ‘Jo Soapy.’ Why would he need Omo – a detergent – to dance ‘Soapy’? Will it be poured on the ground so that he can moonwalk?

In essence, Naira was being deft. ‘Jo Soapy’ is Naira actually saying ‘Se Soapy’ – which means to masturbate. Naira was using a metaphor to telling people to masturbate. Naira was being coy with lyrics that he seemingly hoped would be controversial. Asides that, the dance Naira created mimics masturbation. The song’s art is also a liquid soap.

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Nigeria prides itself on morals and stamps on the topic of sex. But mostly, that is hypocritical.

Nonetheless, by Sunday, June 30, 2019, Naira Marley was subject to intense criticism. For one, Nigerians said he was promoting masturbation.

Secondly, some Marlians – Naira’s fanbase – were captured doing the ‘Soapy’ dance with a public impression of masturbation. It was disturbing.

On the issue of masturbation…

Masturbation has always been a sticking point in global sub-culture. On the one hand, medical professionals claim it is healthy and needed. We also realize that masturbating is better than rape.

But on the other hand, masturbation can be addictive. As we all know, addiction is bad for the mind. Excessive masturbation has also been said to negatively impact a healthy sex life.

Most Nigerian millennials might have started masturbating in their early teens, but topics of explicit sex and exposure to porn will never be healthy for a young mind. The risks are enormous.hqdefault

With Naira Marley starting the ‘Soapy’ dance which mimicks masturbation, his fans have made it go viral. Some of these viral videos where people dance ‘Soapy’ were also shot in public places were people of all ages could see that.

Yes, Nigerians are hypocrites about topic of sex. Yes, some of the people criticizing Naira Marley and the marlians masturbate behind closed doors. Yes, people will masturbate with or without the existence of Naira Marley’s song/dance and its crooked acceptance by the marlians. After all, Nigeria keeps coming up with insane numbers of porn consumption.

Those are all good points, but put the issue of hypocrisy to one side. Sex and everything associated with it should still be confined to private places. We are human beings, not animals. Sex is sensitive and highly triggering. The psychological effects of depicting sex in public places will have a negative impact on society.

For one, it will posit sex a something commonplace and will promote an entitlement to women’ bodies. For young and impressionable minds, it has a tendency to continue the scourges of rape, molestation and sexual harassment. We can’t have that.

Naira Marley and the marlians need to behave like sensible human beings. But I do not think ‘promoting masturbation’ is valid criticism. Masturbation has not be proven as something inherently bad.

Going forward…

Naira Marley has since said, ‘Say no to rape and yes to soapy dance.’ But stopping a scourge is more than word of mouth. Even with that post, Naira Marley has kept posting sensitive dance routines that explicitly or implicitly depict sex on his

Instagram page.

Naira Marley needs to start being responsible. ‘Soapy’ is already a lost cause that is destined to go viral, but Naira Marley needs to be responsible. If not for anything, for the one thing he cares about; his career. He seems to care about nothing else but making popular music.

Circa 2010, Nigeria witnessed the emergence of three acts; Damoche, Skally Mental and ZeeWorld . Their rise was so fast because their songs were an explicit lyrical celebration of sex.

They had hits, but less than a year later, their careers died, never to rise again. Controversy in relation to sex will give you hits, but people will move on faster than you realize and your star will become a fallen asteroid. When fans move on, they won’t come back to you.

Naira Marley is popping now, but it won’t be for much longer if he continues on this path. Sadly, selling him this narrative will be hard. He is seriously of the hottest rappers in Nigeria at the moment.

On the hypocrisy of Nigerians…

Every other day, Nigerians celebrate and enjoy sexually explicit content from foreign rap artists like

Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls and so forth.

We gulp them down and enjoy them with zero criticism. A lot of Nigerians happily sung along and danced to Blueface ‘s ‘ Thotiana.’ and Patapaa ‘s ‘One Corner .’ So, you have to understand when Nigerians claim there is double standard in criticizing Naira Marley. It is a valid line of thought.

While it makes the issue complex, it does not invalidate criticism against Naira Marley, Marlians, ‘Soapy’ and soapy dance. Naira Marley still did something worthy of criticism. Additionally, Naira Marley also happened on the home front.

It definitely is hypocrisy and partializing, but it definitely is not an invalidation.


Source : Pulse.ng

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