Meet the late Alaafin’s son, Adetona, TILLAMAN, Nigeria’s top hip-hop artist who promotes culture, national unity with music
By Bode Durojaiye.
The sound and definition of Nigerian pop music has changed massively since it became a notable component of worldwide mainstream music.
The global exposure of such young artists would be a more accurate measure of the quality of Nigerian pop, not because its globalisation is considered a validation of the genre – the validation occurs when the music organically develops a following on the Nigerian streets.
Rather the globalisation of Nigerian pop would be an extension of the flame of joy and hope as Nigerians know it, a testament of our ability to endure and a gift to those desperate to endure through their own adversity.
The success of these artists in penetrating international borders will be a major victory for a people often marginalised across international borders for always being takers and never givers because the crossover of culture has always aided the crossover of people.
And nothing aids the crossover of culture more than the crossover of art.
For black cultures, the crossover has occurred mostly via music. The musical styles, slangs, and dressings of genres such as jazz, reggae, dancehall and hip-hop have expanded the influence of black cultures over different periods.
The manner or styles modern music follows is a perplexing profusion which is mostly contemporary or reflects certain cultural norms.
Nigerian music is incomparable to other African countries in terms of cultural output, social connectedness and internet influence. The country’s artistry remains mystery to others and simultaneously, the most fervently adventurous audience.
The country’s performance in music is sterling locally and globally even though artists from other countries might put the same efforts or use the same tools, Nigerians have taken music beyond its basic purpose; “music for the soul” to a means of survival.
One of such young talented Nigerian hip hop star that is making the wave both locally and in the diaspora in the promotion of cultures through music is Prince Adetona Adeyemi, popularly in the entertainment world as TILLAMAN.
Prince Adetona Adeyemi is a biological son of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba ( Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111.
TILLAMAN ‘s Brand of music is distinctly different as showcased to the world that music is cultural, and that all Nigerian cultures have their respective music.
TILLAMAN’s music came into being due to the fact that despite the promotion, development and sustenance bids of several artists, scholars and concerned authorities, the teeming Nigerians both locally and in the diaspora are yet to be roused towards and properly educated, sensitised and re-oriented on and towards indigenous music.
It is against this backdrop that TILLAMAN emerged to call for a change in these regards.
TILLAMAN also properly, constantly and adequately promotes, and projects Nigeria’s image positively, promote unity, oneness and mutual coexistence through music in the globalised Western hostile village, and allow for culture continuity and national development.
In an exclusive interview with FREEDOM ONLINE on why he chose to promote culture and national unity through music , TILLAMAN said, ” If you’re like us, music is everything. It’s a huge part of our lives and to be honest, we’d probably be lost without it. But do we realize just how much of an influence it really has on us and our cultural identity?
“Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. It acts as medicine. It’s like a time capsule.
There’s nothing quite like a song to capture what was going on culturally at that time, and like a time capsule, it’s captured for eternity. The slang and language usage are so indicative of the times, and you can probably recall exactly when a song was made based on what is mentioned.
“The mentions of current fashion trends, technology, popular foods and celebrities are some of the most telling, and they eternalize key parts of our culture that might otherwise be forgotten. We can thank music for reminding us of the cultural trends of yesteryears”.