Music across societies and over centuries plays the role of harbinger of social reforms and a presentation of prevailing practices. Musicians rarely create events, but influence the spread of events. Music in Yorubaland represents aesthetic cultural values of the people and thus plays roles beyond entertainment; it is a repository of history. From the 19th century, through cross-cultural exchange of the missionaries and the colonialist, reformed traditional Yoruba beats formed the core of popular music in coastal areas that spread hinterland. Since the 19th century, there were dozens of the genres of popular music contesting the rubric of traditional Yoruba culture. The 21st century witnessed the radical development of the much western-induced and influenced genres of music. Popular among them were Hip-hop and Afro-pop changing the dynamics of music through production of different artists with different contents and styles. These have actually affected the socio-cultural construct of Yoruba society. This study draws on the primary and secondary materials available to explain how the contents contribute to societal dynamics. The lyrics of some selected songs are considered as the major source of information of this work. This study found out that the contents influenced by cross-cultural engagement and prevailing societal practices have become a social concern to the fabric of traditional Yoruba cultural society. The contents of these music represents modernity and impact of globalization, but with overriding influence on the Yoruba identities, given a corollary representation of prevailing socio-cultural practices to Yoruba people within Nigeria, in diaspora and foreigners alike. Keywords: Yorubaland, Popular Music, Hip-hop, Afro-Pop
ADESINA, Jacob Olaoluwa
Adesina, Jacob Olaoluwa is a postgraduate student of the prestigious Ibadan School of History, University of Ibadan. Jacob holds B.A. History and International Studies from Osun State University, Nigeria. He is a seasoned researcher with keen interest on Cultural, Social and Africa History. Jacob has been involved in many books publication in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. Jacob has special interest in Music and Socio-cultural issues. He has served in many research teams for various research projects in Nigeria, United States of America and Germany. [email protected]
ADESINA, Jacob Olaoluwa

5 Replies to “Popular Music and Socio-Cultural Changes in Post-Colonial Yorubaland:”

  1. You did a brilliant job here, Jacob. I love the timeline of events in this work, which depict it as a well researched contemporary history project, with little reference to precolonial era.


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