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Why the fuss over Emesse?

A scene from Captain Dolla’s Emesse music video. PHOTOS BY  EDDIE CHICCO

A scene from Captain Dolla’s Emesse music video. PHOTOS BY EDDIE CHICCO

Call it an abrupt obsession, call it a musical epidemic that has engulfed the music fraternity, one thing is clear, Ugandans are obsessed with lyrical vulgarities.  A clear example is the recently released Emesse song by hitherto unknown Captain Dolla. It has gone viral.

Not a minute passes on Facebook without a status update making mention of the song. For the past week, putting the Nebanda issue aside, Emesse has featured in most tweets and retweets. Even for those whom the song is completely new, there is a coercion to find out about it. Youtube downloads in the past week have rotated around the song and the hits continue to surge.

Even entertainment websites known for mp3 downloads bowed to pressure and uploaded the song in their libraries. The fans demands had dictated and influenced.

So how did we get to this point? A flashback to the past, shows that it’s not a new phenomenon. Back in the early 2000s when Lord Fred Ssebata a Kadongo-kamu singer released the sensational Doole Yo’mwana song that became a hit all-over the country, the few who interpreted it as vulgar were termed as randy.  It was not long before the media council swung into action and banned the song, it was also rumoured that Ssebata had been banned from the music scene for more than a year.

Years later, Mathias Walukagga made an entry with the Namboole song, asking a girl “to go to Namboole stadium to play a soccer game with him.” But since Ssebata and Walukagga were already established artistes, not many realised the magic in releasing a song laced with sexual innuendo.

However out of nowhere, a certain Master Blaster released a song titled Emboko and gained celebrity status. This acted as the confirmatory test that masked porn once infused in a song can make one a quick name in the music industry. And the songs are synonymous with easy-to-sing choruses based on everyday items and surroundings. It’s not a rarity to find a child singing Emesse or Eddy Kenzo’s Sumbusa.

Talking of Sumbusa, though for many it’s just question marks on the song, it takes a sober mind to realise that the song was crude in the sense of the lyrical composition. May be, you did not listen to Eddy Kenzo speaking of eating the sumbusas with yoghurt. It is a bedroom fact that this is the ejaculation process being hinted on in this case. Okay supposing you did not hear him sing that, since when does one require permission before eating a samosa? Since when did eating a samosa become a crime that one begs not to be reported to the home authorities?

And using the sexual innuendo formula, Captain Dolla made a landing with Emesse. It is a song, so rich in description and narrative. It speaks of a lady pleading with her husband to hit the rat in the house. The husband describes how hits the rat using a mutayimbwa (steel rod) and he goes ahead to let the listener know that it’s a daily activity that transpires every night in the marital bedroom. But the chorus in this song lays it all bare, it’s sang in a way that symbolises the bedroom moaning process.

It is all clear that the artistes have discovered the trick to make it big in no time. They may not release a Gangnam Style hit, but they know what appeases the fans. Anything that hints at a sexual scene is bound to make one’s song sell. So to any upcoming artiste, the stage has been levered, go home, think of a few indirectly obscene compositions, give them a catchy beat and chorus, sit and watch yourself rise to fame.

And before we throw stones at the artistes composing these songs, we the fans need to take the blame for making them massive hits and cheering to the obscene lyrics.  From the ridiculous to the truly obscene, we’ve had it all in these songs.

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