AfroVII

Story For The Gods – A Deconstruction.

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There’s been a theory making the rounds recently, that the club smash by the rapper Olamide, Story For The Gods, is an ode to date rape.

I read Toixc’s views on the joint and I kept shaking my head like, nah….

As with most folk accusing homie of glorifying date rape, dude examined the chorus, which on its own can be rather misleading,

Mo ti mu dongoyaro, dongoyaro, dongoyaro

And monkey tail, monkey tail, monkey tail

Aro bami gbe claro, claro o, claro o

I want to do sina today, sina today

She said she cannot wait o

She said its getting late o

She said she want to faint o

Ah, story for the gods

Now she saying mo r’ogo

O ti kan mi l’apa o

O ti kan mi l’eyin o

Story for the gods, the gods o

Translation:

(first four lines)

I’ve been drinking (dongoyaro, monkey tail)

Pass me the claro (that’s weed)

I want to have random sex (probably more accurately, a one night stand)

Then:

Now she’s saying ‘I’m in trouble’

‘He’s broken my arm’

‘He’s broken my back’

Story for the Gods.

Now, you can see how that looks rather dodgy right? In isolation, the cries from said chick look like a plea for help from a violent attacker, right? You’d have to perhaps either (a) have a grasp of Yoruba to understand that this is not literal nor is it uncommon, if you listen to Fuji music or watch Yoruba, this is par for the course or (b) know that that misogynistic references to sexual conquests are not rare in Hip-Hop. This is essentially him of bragging that he ‘beat the pussy up’

Dude is telling the story of a wild night out, a night that ends with two ladies agreeing to go home with him, after he finished bragging on his money

O my God insanity

See your back calamity

Girl I want to have it

Do I need your permit

Oya whine it, whine It o

Money, we gat it, gat it o

Bere lowo Darlington, Darlington o

We go donate am for your like charity

Remember, he’s already admitted to being inebriated, so he’s feeling rather entitled, he’s rich and and wants her to dance, he’s holding, his friend Darlington can testify to his wealth and generosity, right?

O sha mo we dey to for the vine

Eru to gbe pon yi tun wa divine

Game yi awa la tu redefine

Awon tan get me wrong lan pe mi ni thug

But team mi strong and money mi long

Mi o fe mo boya o wowo bayi

I’m sorry mo ti nana bai

Translation

As you know, we do it for the vine

Your body is divine

This game, we’ve redefined it (in reference again to his willingness to spend)

Only those who misunderstand me would call me a thug

But, my team is strong and my money is long

I don’t care if you’re unattractive

I’m sorry, I am rather high

This him talking to the girl, after says he doesn’t care if she’s unattractive, he begs her pardon, perhaps after realising that is rather ungentlemanly.

The second verse opens with him asking to the chick in question to bring more friends, Oya pe Folake, Atinuke ati Dupe wa bami nu benz, Me and my friends k’ajo lo flex, am I making sense, in any case, she follows him home, we find out that her name is ‘Mary Jane’,

Mo ti je gbogbe ishe Mary j mo ti la

O tele mi lo’le kiakia mo fi ha

Bi mo shey n run mo lo pe mi l’Anofia

Translation:

I’ve spit game at Mary Jane, she’s on it

She followed me with a quickness and

I duly gave her the thing

She keeps calling me an ‘Anofia’ mid stroke

Then:

Ni Ilekun ba shi le, ase o mu Nofi wa

Lale yi, won daran

Translation:

The door opened suddenly,

So, it transpires that she (Mary Jane) brought Nofi

(Remember, he’d drunkenly asked Mary Jane to bring some girls he names randomly – Folake, Atinuke and Dupe –  and he realises he’s talking rubbish when he asks, ‘Am I making sense’? Mary Jane did bring a friend, Nofi but he was too zoned to realise.)

Sare shey aluwala, salamo

Bo ba n dun e ko f’ara mo

Cos lale yi, ma kanra mo

I’ll show you what I gat

No do yanga

Oya dide ma joko lori aga

Lo mo mi ka jo ma kuru ma ga

 Translation:

Quickly perform your ablutions and prayers

(by her name, Nofi – a yoruba version of the Arabic name, Nafisa, it’s obvious that she is a muslim, so it’s almost dawn and he’s asking her to do the necessary so they can get to it)

If it hurts, bear it

Because tonight, I plan to be aggressive

I’ll show you what I’ve got

Don’t ‘form’ for me

Come, don’t sit down

Wrap yourself around me

Let’s do whatever.

Now, these three lines below are perhaps the most contentious for those who insist the song has a more sinister undertone, than some harmless braggadocio from a young man having wild night out..

She said she cannot wait o

She said its getting late o

She said she want to faint o

But take it back to the second verse, when it’s almost dawn, the chick in question has been with him all night, despite her protestations that it’s getting late, her friend is about to join in their tryst, to me, this means, despite her protestations of being tired, she’s stayed, hence the ‘story for the gods’ line.

I find that this song is not about date rape,  that said, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading. A a lot of young men often think aggression is interchangeable with sexual prowess, a quick check on Rap Genius will show how common this kinda language is in Hip-Hop as a whole, this is one of the pervasive downsides of hip hop, the unchecked macho posing that often comes across as unthinking at best and down right masochistic at worst.

I like the song, if you understand Yoruba, you’d understand that dude’s wit and delivery is perhaps unmatched but I often cringe at how wet the song is with entitlement.

In any case, sip something, have fun, and remember, no means no.

Peace.

@AfroVII

This entry was published on October 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm. It’s filed under Music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Story For The Gods – A Deconstruction.

  1. Reblogged this on nostalgic words of future me and commented:
    As promised, Tola write a rejoinder to my ‘exposition’ on Olamide’s Story for the gods. I’m glad for that because her piece provides context by providing insight into the song as an entirety, rather than just a/the major part like I did. I’ve learnt many things from her piece.

    In spite of this though, I maintain many of my reservations. Some of which she shares at the end of her piece.

    Please enjoy.

    Like

  2. Reading the translations felt like someone was dragging a metal plate on the floor near me. *cringing*

    I go with “down right masochistic”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well written Tola. Although with the general discourse around sexual assault on social media, I can see why 0Toxic and some others may think it glorifies date rape.

    I don’t understand Yoruba, the first time I heard the song I thought he was saying something along the lines of ‘after spending money, you don’t want to spend the night with me’, but seeing as I do not understand Yoruba I didn’t come to any conclusions. So thanks for clearing this up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. KIRIGI on said:

    Great preview, i must confess! despite the fact am not a fan of you due to your political affiliation… But Tola, have you exhausted all other options of date rape by Badoo in that song ? Ve always thought about that…the contents is more like a confession to me (before) but seems you just convince or confused me… Either way, you got me.

    Like

  5. I really enjoyed your thoughts and expose on olamide’s “story for the gods”. Like you, I was taken aback by reports criticizing the song as glorifying date rape. Your expose from an insiders perspective versus others elitist views showcase the “danger of a single story”.
    The “date rape” narrative brings to mind, European ethnographers’ narrative of African customs they encountered in contrast to how a native may have reported or viewed it.
    Like you, given proper context, I did not get the date rape vibe from the song. I enjoyed it as an exaggerated report of a young man’s conquest. A little misogynistic, yes, with impressive lyrical artistry and catchy, intoxicating music .
    You said you were tired, that you were not interested, yet here you are moaning in ecstasy (of your own free will I presume), and just invited your friend nofi to join the fun at dawn? yeah….i call bullshit!
    Story for the gods.

    Like

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