Never one to shy away from controversy, acclaimed rapper Falz the Bahd Guy holds up a lens to the lives of native Nigerians in the shocking visual for This is Nigeria. The song is among an outcry of responses to the Grammy award winning song This is America by rapper Childish Gambino. Along with the original, many remixes were released with accompanying visuals highlighting issues that resonated with whichever community was being represented. Falz took the time to deliver some of his takes on the political, religious, and social climate of his homeland.
The video follows a similar format to the original, but starts out with a different message. He begins with a recorded message highlighting perceptions of the country specifically the financial hardship, lack of healthcare infrastructure, and corruption in the capitalistic system. All of which contribute to the “fraud and exploitation” he goes on to describe in the song. He then continues into the chorus changing the original lyrics to a somewhat haunting:
“Look how we living now.
Look how I’m eating now.
Everybody be criminal.” The last line in reference to the overwhelming distrust in the people the law enforcement officers show. By the time he gets to the second verse, he is calling out political scandals by name. Openly discussing the mismanagement of government monies, with the even more shocking lack of consequences for the people in power tucking away “billions and billions” of the people’s money. Visually as we move around the space, we see different representatives of the overlapping cultures all throughout the country with a group of hijabi women serving as his background dancers, while other men and women carryout colorful skits in the background.
On the issues of religion, he highlights the way that some religious leaders use their influence and power to manipulate their congregations both financially and in the case of some through sexual misconduct. All before circling back to the source of the corruption being the heavy policing and corrupted government structures.
He takes a stance against all these behaviors to intentionally shake up the status quo and challenge the political authorities. The video is a specialized and powerful line of imagery that give insight into issues that are plaguing more than just their country. Though specific and targeted at one specific country, the themes in this song/video transcend physical borders and connect the diaspora to a host of overarching issues.