Month: June 2013

Boy Band Lovers Anonnymous

It’s the age of the boy bands once again, the coming together of 4 or 5 young men to fuel multiple industries of teenage girl themed products and memorabilia. It’s a beautiful and lucrative business no doubt and Corporate executives, market wizards and label heads are smiling to the bank thanks to the careers of One Direction and co.
But for someone like me it doesn’t make sense, or does it?

Justin's afro was rumored to be the 6th member of the group.
Justin’s afro was rumored to be the 6th member of the group.

I, like most other heterosexual and fully matured guys above 25 find these boy bands annoying and see them as more plastic than most critics. Some other guys might actually adopt a more aggressive approach if they ever found themselves in a situation where Harry Styles’ name or which ever of his proxy clones in the group was brought up.
Yet, deep down we seem to have forgotten what we all were like growing up in secondary school.
Yes! You! Take a look back at your past and try hard (I know this will be hard but for the sake of this piece you just have to try), you N’sync/Backstreet boy loving, B2K jumping wanna be. Oya, deny. Lord knows Judgment day has a film reel of you lip syncing at least half of a West life album somewhere in heaven. We’re not all safe I tell you.

Saying you never listened to one boy band or the other will directly translate to you telling me you didn’t experience the earlier forms of MTV or didn’t have some sort of CD collection between Secondary School and University. Were you poor or Amish? Please.
It’s called an education for a reason.
But some of us took it too far sha, spewing lyrics, word for word from a boy band track on that love letter probably put you in a better position to score but what does that say about you now. plagiarist.

These Irish Lads confuse me. Aren't they supposed to look...drunk?
These Irish Lads confuse me. Aren’t they supposed to look…drunk?

Now we hide behind our ‘in depth knowledge’ in music, leaving out our pathetic attempts at choreography or ear shattering attempts to hit notes the law forbids us to hit.
Look. I’m not writing all of this as an excuse to whip out the VCD compilation of N’sync music videos or clean the dust off your lyrics note pad. I’m just telling you guys to chill with the bashing of the boy band lovers of today (well, there’s a problem if the said boy band lover is pushing 30 and still uses hair gel). All things being normal, we once went through that phase before we discovered JayZ and Nas or Yanni and Enya or Lana Del Rey and Mika .

I see some of you in the corner whispering “I’ve always been a rock fan from the beginning so what are you talking about…” … Binsh please. WE ALL LOVED THE BOY BANDS OF THE 90s.

These guys made black kids buy faded Jeans. I swear!
These guys made black kids buy faded Jeans. I swear!

If it’s too much shame for you, I’ll help you out. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now. Just tone down the physical show of disgust for Justin Beiber (yeah, I know he’s really irritating) and let the little grasshoppers enjoy their day in the sun.

On a philosophical level it’s clearly mass market exploitation that’s shameless on so many levels. For that I can say the same for Disney and Nickelodeon. There’s a market out there ready to be tapped. If I was them I’d probably do worse. Boy bands will probably always be with us, in one form or the other, or you all seem to have forgotten the Jackson 5.

They color blocked their way into racial equality bruh.
They color blocked their way into racial equality bruh.

In as much as the beetles were way more organic and well rooted in music foundations than these more recent incarnations, they too are essentially a boy band.

Where it probably all began
Where it probably all began

SO let’s drop the hate and adopt an ‘indifferent’ stance to the hysteria, well, that’s until some chic knocks over your beer. At that point you are permitted, by law to go ‘Ape shit’ as you wish.
While you do that, just know that little boy inside you who you’re trying so hard to stifle will always be a 90s boy band fan forever.


Losing Mr. S.

I’m supposed to write something here, about loss and what it really feels like but I’m not sure it’s such a good idea. Losing the one person who has been a constant in your life, one who has been with you from the beginning of your life till they took their last breath is hard to take, it’s even harder when that person is your Father.

In as much as I say it’s not a good idea, friends have advised that I let it all out, apparently I’ve buried myself in work and my studies, doing so much to avoid the topic.

………nothing seems apt right now. The words keep hiding, receding to the deepest recesses of my mind, now all that is left is barely enough, the words I manage to string together barely paint a decent picture….No one knows this pain I feel.

I remember the last time I saw him, I recall his typical White native attire, as we walked towards the front door, my brother waiting in the car, the engine running, not that he was happy to drive me to the airport.

I’m glad I gave him that last warm embrace. In as much as he would have preferred I stayed back in Abuja he knew I had to be in Lagos and he respected my wishes. Almost every week he would call me and we would have humorous conversations about a wide range of topics from girls to the Bible but there would always be laughs.

I admired how well he could hold a conversation with almost anybody, most of the time I found myself talking to him for long periods, losing track of time because he would usually engage me in almost endless thoughtful discussions.

He taught me how to love Family, how to be selfless, firm and when to compromise because I saw him do these things at great expense to his own happiness and well being. He taught me the true meaning of loyalty.

There was a period when we both couldn’t stand each other, when others feared our relationship as Father and son had become irreparable, I for one thought that was the case and I would steel my heart with so much rage. From nowhere the call or the gesture would come. This man who I was totally convinced didn’t give a care in the world, he really cared, he couldn’t stand not being with those he loved and he longed to always make us; his family happy and proud.

….I miss him, his heavy footsteps and occasional humming as he walked through the house checking if things were in order; he could be so thorough.

I have lost a Hero, friend, mentor and most of all a Father and no matter what I write here, nothing seems apt in expressing how much it hurts deep inside. To be honest I thought he would outlive us all because he in his own way always seemed larger than life. He touched people in so many ways he had become such a central figure in so many lives, knowingly or unknowingly. Yet again I say I am proud of Mr. S

….it’s hard to continue when the emotions keep flooding back, the pain begins to creep closer to a near physical threshold….

I don’t know how to conclude this. How can I tell myself that these words are adequate and paint a full picture? I know I can do better. I know I should. It’s such a drab piece, barely painting the actual picture I want you to see.
May be one day I will, maybe in some other medium or piece.

I don’t really care to be honest, I just miss my Dad.
Rest in peace Mr. S. Otunba Olanrewaju Owodunni Omokorede Soyebo (5th of April, 1957- 18th of May 2013)