To be honest, it was just a few days ago while browsing for indigenous Sierra Leone music on Apple's iTunes that I came across Emmerson Bockarie's much talked about music Kokobeh from his latest Album Home and Away. For any musician from West Africa to have a new album on iTunes is a real feat and a recognition by the electronics and music giant of real talent and fittingly, I duff my hat off to this worthy Sierra Leone musical ambassador.
The reason why I had not had much interest in Emmerson's new album in spite of a healthy respect for his past efforts was because I read Reverend Kabs Kanu's epic take down of the recent album even before I had heard the music. Kabs Kanu described Emmerson's latest effort as rubbish, thrash, poor and tasteless with lyrics that were simply put, infuriating, not my words, but the exact words of this man of the flock of Christ.
|The great Music Critic Kanu|
However, when I saw Emmerson's new album on iTunes, something did not quite seem right. If this music was as tasteless as the good reverend had described and the music was from a musician from Sierra Leone of all places, what was it doing on iTunes? Coincidentally, while pondering this irony over in my mind, I happened to read my college mate Sheka Tarawallie's more objective piece about the album, rejecting the message in the music but praising the musician. Of course Shekito accused Emmerson of tribalism. But that is vintage Shekito, he has been accusing people of tribalism since Jesus Christ turned water into wine. Just read his Torchlight Newspaper and count the number of times tribe is mentioned. Even in Fourah Bay College, if you had met Shekito using the toilet and told him you wanted to use it, he will come out, look at your face and accuse you of tribalism. He was just a plain nice guy with a tribalism obsession.
So yesterday I logged into my iTunes account, bought and downloaded this much talked about, derided and ridiculed album, connected my iPod Touch to my Bose speakers, took a cool drink of Diet Tonic Water and relaxed to listen to the terrible music and boy, did the reverend disappoint me!
For a reverend who is supposed to have a choir in his Church, I sincerely hope Kabs Kanu has no role to play in the music section, as truly the fellow lacks the ability to tell a note from a chord and that's a fact. Kabs Kanu, trash, are you kidding me? The Reverend may tell me that he doesn't like Emmerson's message, especially when it is critical of his paymaster Ernest Koroma, but to say the music is rubbish and tasteless made me wonder if Kabs Kanu was not one of those unique individuals blessed with an ear that can find the croaking of frogs musical but the voices of humans irritating.
Even with all the propaganda he spews on a daily basis to the All Peoples Congress gullible, I did have a degree of respect for the good reverend. The reason being that I went to Methodist schools where we were taught to take the title of reverend very seriously. It is only when you come across people like Kabs Kanu that you truly believe the statement, "hustlers come in all shapes and sizes." This guy was just a plain old hustler with a bible. Simply put, Kabs Kanu's takedown of Emmerson is one of the most nonsensical pieces I have read in a long long time, the irrational effort of a hustler trying too hard.
Now some of us are mere bloggers, and we are prone to writing whatever comes to mind. I have never been a journalist, claimed to be one or been the CEO or editor of anything. But some of these dickheads claim to be serious journalists and want the whole world to believe this. For Reverend Kanu to write such a myopic and hopeless skewed and subjective piece is simply beyond me.
What I don't understand is that these guys have already tried to portray Ernest Koroma as the best leader since King Solomon, the world simply did not buy the crap. So why go further with this level of bootlicking, to get the pope to declare him a saint? No, as they say, he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Now let's come to the real crux of the matter, the accusation of tribalism. Emmerson who has always sang against the exploitation of power since his "Borbor Belleh" or "Swegbe" days, songs critical of ex-President Kabbah, was never a tribalist. Now that he is critical of Ernest Koroma's Presidency he is now suddenly being accused of tribalism. If it were just Shekito doing the accusation, who would mind. But suddenly all the big APC "agbagbas" are up in arms accusing the fine artist of tribalism. The important question is this. Why do the paid agents of the Sierra Leone government always accuse people of tribalism whenever this government is criticized? Is it a case of old people feeling uneasy when dry bones are mentioned?
If you criticize me and I say you don't like thieves, does that not imply that I'm a thief? If anytime you criticize this government you stand accused of tribalism is it not a tacit acceptance by the government that it is based on tribalism? If you criticize Segbwema Moi and he says you don't like ugly people does it not imply that Segbwema Moi is ugly?
What Kabs Kanu should realize is that his sycophantic rant about Emmerson has no effect whatsoever on the perception of Emmerson as a great contemporary Sierra Leone musician. It is the sales of Emmerson's music and people's appreciation of it that matters. Let Kabs Kanu talk about 1960s Freetown footballers and we will listen, but his assessment of what is good and bad music is a topic sane people should not pay attention to. What I will advise Kabs to do is put this album in an iPod and hit the treadmill. he needs to lose some of that weight.
|Does this Guy Know Hardship?|
Honestly, as to hardship in Sierra Leone who do you really listen to, Kabs Kanu who is lying here in USA getting fat out of the Sierra Leone people's sweat just because he has a close relationship with a President who is addicted to superficial platitudes?
Look at this guy and tell me when was the last time he faced hardship in Sierra Leone. If you tell me, then I am the pimp with the Bible. Kokobeh!
Just enjoy the Music
Just enjoy the Music