Like Naira, Like Cardi: What is Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander
During the third quarter of 2020, if you switch on your TV on a random afternoon, on a random day, to a random Music TV station the chances that Cardi B’s “WAP” would be playing was quite high. If you tuned into any local radio station during September of 2020, you would have likely heard Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” – albeit in a censored radio edit format.
For those who don’t know, “WAP” stands for (Wet Ass Pussy) and it was a single that contained an incredible amount of vulgarity. If you’ve watched “WAP’s” video on TV, you must have noticed that the lyrics were punched so interminably that it might leave you wondering why TV stations were so dedicated to playing a song which two-third of the lyrics wasn’t suitable for TV. Despite its flamingly sexual message and highly provocative visuals, “WAP” was a regular on TV and radio stations. In fact, it peaked at No. 12 on TurnTable Top Airplay Chart (radio chart) and No. 5 on TurnTable TV Chart.
Fast forward to March 2021, Nigeria rapper and hitmaker Naira Marley linked up with South African artiste Busiswa and the result is a single titled “Coming.” If you’ve heard the single, I guess you don’t need anyone to tell you that “coming” is a homophone for you know what. While Cardi’s “WAP” might be described as an inquest into the mind and body of an excessively aroused woman. Naira’s “Coming” is a poetic analysis of the intricacies of sexual gratification which was captured by the incessant repetition of the phrase “I’m Coming.”
By and large, both singles contained an abundance of vulgarity that paints what we can all agree is a dirty picture. In a country like Nigeria where morality is overemphasized and even weaponized, it doesn’t come as a shock that music that contains sexual undertones are frowned upon by the authorities. Or perhaps, this is only the case for Nigerian songs.
While Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” went on to receive ample radio play and a ridiculously high amount of TV play. Naira Marley’s “Coming” was fingered by the authorities as a song unfit for radio consumption. The decision of the broadcasting commission to ban Naira Marley’s “Coming” because it broke its moral code while allowing “WAP,” an equally vulgar song to run free, should raise eyebrows. “Coming’s” ban appears to be another result of the double standard that is pervasive in every aspect of this country. To ban one and leave the other is tantamount to banning the local production of amoral contents while permitting the free importation of the same. It’s for all intent and purposes, a hypocritical act.
Nigeria shouldn’t make one law for its citizens and another for citizens of first-world countries as this would lead to mischief, inequality, and a perpetuation of the despicable principles of neo-colonialism.
The banning of "Coming" on Nigerian radio has barely hurt its popularity; it is the No. 1 song on streaming chart and No. 4 on the aggregate TurnTable Top 50. Nevertheless, if Cardi’s “WAP” is good enough for Nigerian airwaves, it’s only fair that Naira Marley’s “Coming” should be allowed to enjoy the same privilege, as what is good for the goose is good for the gander.