More Nigerian 419-Scam-Related Pop Songs

I posted yesterday about 419 scams and a pop song related to the topic, and after a little more poking around, I found a talk discussed here, in which a few more 419 scam-related songs are mentioned. Here they are:


The first song “Yahoozee,” by Olu Maintain, while the second is “No More Yahoozee [The Reply],” by Harri Best Moradiyo. Both songs seem to be related to the travails and legalities of being a 419-scammer, in roughly the same way that being a business exec is glamorized, or criticized, in the American media.

Which gives me an idea for some deep-future story I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to writing…

Also, a weird news story about the performer of “I Go Chop Your Dollar”… seems the like the same lawlessness that was the subject of the comedy of that song also worked out badly for him personally, though he was soon after freed.

2 thoughts on “More Nigerian 419-Scam-Related Pop Songs

  1. (cross posting from LJ!)

    Wow–I enjoy these songs in so many ways. The article you linked to last entry, about “Yahoo Millionaires” was the first place I had heard that phrase, and here’s “Yahoozee,” same idea. What I like is how “Yahoo,” originally a word for a loud-mouthed ignoramus, thanks to Jonathan Swift, got transformed into Yahoo–the Internet company–but here goes back to something like its original meaning, only with a shade of ironic delight.

    “I Go Chop Your Dollar” was maybe the third-ever African music video I’ve ever seen? (I’d seen a couple by Youssou N’dour). It’s just cool to see modern urban culture in a country that normally only makes the news here for stories about violence or environmental disasters. Plus, I always thought when people said “Nigerian internet scams,” that they were saying it sort of like people used to say “French disease”–in other words, just as a vague pejorative. I remember the first time I ever was exposed to one–it was when I was in Japan in the early 1990s, and a Japanese friend got a fax with the classic scam laid out: Nigerian ministry of this-or-that, etc. But I always thought that even the Nigerian part was just made up–I didn’t realize that in fact, scamming really is a big deal in Nigeria! So your past entry, this entry, and all the associated follow up has been fascinating and eye-opening.

    The second of these two videos seems to be set in England? That’s fascinating too–looking at the overseas community, the expat/emigrant population.

    These two seem to conform to the motif of “I’m powerful and cool because I have money/Dang, no one respects me anymore because I don’t have money anymore” which you get a lot in rap (and in folksongs, for that matter). “I go chop your dollar,” on the other hand, seems more a straight-out trickster song.

    Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed this–suddenly Nigeria is that much more three-dimensional for me.

    (Glad to know that Nkem Owoh ended up okay, btw!)

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