Covers of bands CDs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last time I bought an album was Halima Namakula’s ‘ekimbeewo’ album which did come on a cassette many years ago given that it’s not often that I walk through music stores most times I usually browse through them on my Mozilla of course with the hope of finding a free download link here or there and if I so happen to find none I usually throw a tantrum at how the effort just blew my precious bundles. So when I walked through the music section at Nakumatt stores I happened to come face to face with Ugandan music album CDs and there was everything from Jose Chameleons to Blu*3 even 80’s albums from Bongole were on display all marked 15,000 Ugx roughly around $6. So when I did recently I expected an improvement on the packaging, labeling of the CD’s the material on the disk well that’s a topic for tomorrow but looks like nothing has changed from the days when a DJ had with the aid of a pen was manually rewinding a cassette to track 1. The packaging today still has the back yard box wrapping embossed in low resolution photo that makes up the album art.
Comparison with the other highly priced dollar quotations on albums from the likes of Beyoncé at a staggering $50 would be blasphemous but one thing stood out on the CD covers was despite it being low quality there was a marked absence of the ‘explicit content/lyrics’ black and white stripe signs that was somehow looking like a trade mark on the international artists albums unlike the local artists and use that word with pun intended given our artists even with the shortage of lyrics on their songs can’t help but insert in an insult aimed at his purported haters whatever that means.
Funny though was the fact that a random listen to the songs on local radio don’t they count as explicit content or it’s too local to be referred to as explicit. Take for starters the common ‘messe’ song by the only captain who too happens to be a dollar all the word play runs around one theme that needs to be kept away from the kids how flipping how can parents in habiting one room palaces prevent the little ones from picking on it when they sing their lungs sore doing the dirty. Around the neighborhood kids create a choir like atmosphere once they start singing along to some lewd lyrics from a song say tujjanjawaze which literally mean ‘let’s have sex’. Captain dollar re-wrote the poetry book referring to the vagina as a rat that needs beating forgetting we live in a region where it’s a thin line between domestic violence and getting freaky in the bed and the bearing it would have on an innocent child.
Then comes up the queer case of Bobi Wine’s song that purportedly got banned or that’s the way the explicit content labeled is implemented. The song was satirical tale about a one Jennifer Musisi the Kampala City Ed under the excuse it was a public nuisance and was inciting violence she has not mented enough on our Lord Mayor. What terms did they use to come to such a judgment given tomorrows future leaders are busy getting brain washed with all sorts of lewd lyrics flung at them without a window or excuse of protecting them to save the least?
However the album makers or regulators that is if they exist aren’t entirely to blame at all given not many Ugandan artists make full length albums and those who go down that trail the albums look more like demos than actual full albums with their 6 track playlists while we are still waiting from exclusives from the likes of Red Banton and its now coming to 10 years mind you despite having a note book thick of singles. How do you place the explicit sign on all the random quick fire songs that come from these briefcase record companies mushrooming everywhere given the only time I hear album is when some random guy is screaming about the album launch of the year yet I can’t tell a single track off the track list. Half the album launch goers can’t even tell half the track list of the album launches they do attend in their skimpiest of clothes no wonder when Maurice Kirya does make a launch we all arrive late because its plot to make an album launch not a celebration of the ones art given every track played on radio is an album in its own right.