SHAYBO and “Dobale”

Shaybo is a Nigerian born rapper raised for the majority of her life in South London. Through her braggadocio style lyricism she has risen to mainstream success. Gaining collaborations with artists such as English R&B singer Jorja Smith and American rapper DreamDoll. Holding true to the hip hop ideal of representing the place you were born or raised in lyrics and/or videos. Shaybo refers to herself as “Queen of the South” referencing South London. In many of her videos you will see her wearing a very noticeable chain with those words, adding another layer to tie her to her background. However repping South London, she does not shy away from representing her Nigerian culture and heritage.

Her visual choices in her song “Dobale ” released on October 15, 2020, showcases how she sees and wants her Nigerian but more specifically Yoruba culture to be represented. The video starts out with an elderly woman braiding her hair in traditional garments. Then we cut to multiple shots of other women and Shaybo wearing traditional African outfits as well. Adding to the meaning of the song the word Dobale is a ‘gesture of respect’ in Yoruba culture. This song is doing just that by Shaybo in the lyrics making sure that everyone respects her and her walk of life.

Shaybo is using her voice in this song specifically to establish her dominance and credibility as being a top tier person to not mess with. Many female rappers take their music as a chance to break stereotypes and use their voice as a form of feminism. In the lyrics she addresses that she has money and respect from the streets by gaining it and coming out of the ghetto. Also making sure to note that her power is so impactful she has men fighting for her. But not expressed in a way that makes the man her savior but more about her having control. Shaybo is like many other female rappers of this time pushing forward gender equalities in the hip hop industry. This song in particular presents herself as a representation to women to be strong in who they are and be okay with calling the shots.

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