Of Ribaldry, Portable, Obesere and Kollington

Of Ribaldry, Portable, Obesere and Kollington

Sunday, March 27, 2022 11:00 am

Kollington, Porable and Obesere

By Oladeinde Olawoyin
Portable’s coitus-soaked homily in his  Neighbour single brings to the fore yet again the place of ribaldry in Fuji-tinged sounds. The inclusion of Small Doctor, whose obsession with Fuji remains quite fascinating, elevates the discourse from the realms of conjectures.
Yet, unlike Naira Marley before him, the self-acclaimed Werey Olorin is merely reinventing the wheel—-his hauty theatrics and needless braggadocio notwithstanding.
In the realm of ribaldry, very few artistes would outshine Fuji artistes of yore. And among this legion of lewd merchants, General Kollington Ayinla stands out in lyrical inventiveness and in-your-face savagery.
 Ayinla, lyrically irreverent as ever, once boasted in a memorable line: “Awa la koko je’su awe o…o dudu…!”
A self-styled ‘General’ in the studio as well as the other room,  Kollington took his obsession with the female organ to another height in the middle of an epic fued with his estranged partner, Queen Salawa Abeni, by making overt references to their sexcapades, with a kiss-and-tell description of the latter’s female organ. In retrospect, the artistic subtext of Kollington’s musing isn’t difficult to decipher: how else do you flaunt your curriculum vitae as a tested ‘General’ if you do not regale everyone with tales of your conquests, both physical and coital, in the theater of war in faraway Abaji, and, of course, in the ‘other room’ at nearby Alagbado?
Interestingly, Kollington wasn’t all alone in the vineyard of ribaldry.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, perhaps the most perceptive artist the genre has ever thrown up when we dissect their arts on the basis of lyricism, flirted with ribaldry too. But Ayinde, self-conscious and brilliant,  couched ribaldry in the language of morality; and he made it so veiled. Indeed, a less discerning fan of Barrister could innocently preside over a family meeting, preach morality and other societal virtues to everyone present, and support his moral crusade with lines from Sikiru’s covertly lewd lyrics.
Such was Sikiru’s genius.
All elements of Fuji sounds essentially drift between ‘Saje’–a mixed bag of undiluted ribaldry and street slang–and àlújo, up-tempo dance tracks. And somewhere in between, there are moral anecdotes, often recorded in rhythmic verses.
Although he’s often erroneously considered the progenitor of ribaldry in the Fuji genre, Abass Akande Obesere only elevated it to an art form. Ribaldry, whether subtle or otherwise, as Sikiru and Kollington have shown, is as old as Fuji itself. And in the years between Sikiru’s emergence and Obesere’s reign, there were some notable lewd merchants.
First, there was Akere Suraju, a.k.a Saura, whose hit, Bebe Isila, advises the partner, ostensibly a female, to help fan the phalus and, later,  anus. “Idi n ta mi, e bami f’ategun si,” Suraju once screamed in a recording studio that perhaps had a ceiling fan, even if there was probably no AC. It became an instant hit.
Then came ‘Larape Ilori Latifu, in whose dictionary a lady who understands the art of receiving money must, ipso facto, be skilled in the art of accepting ‘other things’, stuff meant for the ‘other room’. No free lunch even in Freetown, ‘Larape suggested.
Enter Comma Musbau Alani. In his 1990 (?) EP, a work that would later become a smash hit and by far his most memorable artistic output ever, he advises the partner to help ‘Gbe laga si logo’. When translated, it’s a special invitation, a solemn call on the (female) partner to help facilitate ‘insertions’, or more appropriately ‘penetration’, ostensibly coital, based on mutual efforts.
Alabi Pasuma, whose depth and genius pale into nothingness in the context of his own fixation on being seen as an ‘Entertainer’, would come around to breathe life into coital concerns. With Orobokibo, a creative mismatch of the much popular ‘Keep On Rocking’, corrupted as ‘Kiboroki’, he brought street lingo into matters of the bedroom. By the time he came out with the ‘Itan Baba Agbekanga’ escapades with an Omo Yati—which turned out as K1’s favourite—-he had registered himself into everyone’s consciousness, with his introduction of new registers in the dictionary of coital expressions.
But Abass Akande Obesere, not one to indulge in conservativism or political correctness, came and elevated what was more or less a fad to a distinct art form. He would later appropriate it,  ‘patent’ it as a sub-genre and hawk it across the world, garnering fame and fortune along the way. Perhaps in a bid to validate his ‘Omorapala’ moniker, he successfully ‘overthrew’ all of his predecessors and elbowed the rest of his successors off the radar screen, almost literally.

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