Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Nigerian 419 / US bailout satire here.

One of my co-workers, who is a f*$#king idiot, (dre if you see this you got owned, ilu :) ) has been chatting to a "hot woman" online for weeks before I convinced him he was being set up by 419 scammers. It revamped my 419 intrest and thanks to ghanamusic, I found a hiplife take on 'I go chop your dollar'. In case anyone is out of loop, chop ya dollar was originally a nigerian pop song performed by Nkem Owoh from the nollywood movie 'The Masters' written from the point of view of a 419 scammer and mocking the occidental mugus who fell for the schemes. As an northeast coast liberal with no small town or family values, its all robin hood / fair game to me.

At first I was gonna call out some Australian reporter for calling the scammers "internet gangsters" which sounded exaggerated/vaguely racist. But turns out there are crews who would love to be taken seriously as such. viola:

yahooooooo. wikipedia says yahoo is now slang meaninging to cheat. Which it was for a while. But now thanks to general yahoo celebrationry, it is now also, or more famously, a dance:

from this:

With 800+ youtube comments, lots of arguing about 419, his lifestyle, defending or railing against him. interesting stuff:
fatalpurity : i dont really get the money-tossing part...i know its unattractive to be the person that says this, but is this the msg naij people should be sending out? if people dont know what to do with money, abeg give it to the people that need it (not that the people in this vid have that kinda money to throw about) but others in general.its a glaring shame that shoes, rings, clothes, dogs etc etc appear to be worth more than a child's life to some celebrities (or other richos).

Essymee : I don't care what people think about Nigeria, we are always proud and I am one of the proud ones. What were you expecting in the video, people from the rural part of Nigeria or poverty? I am sure you have not being to Nigeria in years and never earned money or worked in Nigeria. Please be more objective and acknowledge what is good.

nubianbelle : i agree with essy, americans sing about crime, drugs and prostitution by justifying it as part of their culture...this song is about the struggles of young men/women in naija...its not their fault that they graduated with degrees and cannot find employment...get your priorities right and point ur fingers at the politicians

ash11x : A bunch of criminals celebrating their loot. No different from the leaders of their impoverished nation. I am ashamed folks actually like this song

emines01 : relax guys...after all we got 50 cents in the states...dey just havin a good time and putting evryone else in dat state...peace

Aihen020488 : while u guys r judging nd yabbing, dey r makin their money nd d actual yahoo boys r still doin their tin nd buyin hummers. u shud mayb start by judging d govt 4 nt providin jobs. dey r guilty of d same crime as d yahoo ppl nd even worse. these ppl 've 2 eat, at least dey r nt carring guns.

beautette : love dis song... but wats wit d dollar shit, its digrading,.... and i see dis all d time in naija films as well, i think its really stupuid 2 always see another country's currency in ur own country.. its pretty dumb period.... coming 4rm a naija girl.

MentalMindFork : im confused - what is yahooze exactly?
somethin1234 : lol i'm nigerian and i have no clue wat it means. i dont think it means anythin. i think its just a made up word for the song. its sounds cool tho. YaHoozze!!!
ajoke16 : its the online scamers hun..
BlackFistUpHigh : ok correct me if im wrong bruva , but i thought yahooze was a nigerian dance .
ajoke16 : it is??? well my friend, it's also a scamming thing!
moabite3 : no its just a frase like "just kidding"
moabite3 : it means they came from nigeria and finally made it to america
MentalMindFork : haha i'm ghanaian and i have no idea what it is!
9jaborn : if u r not nigerian or ghanian, y not ask properly abt the meaning b4 u say shit... listen carfully to the lyrics u might get the meaning if u understand 'broken english' ill give u a clue - fraud!

Tho i must admit as an internerd, I would enjoy seeing 419 scemes as a more common theme for naija/ghana hiplife and rappers. I'm curious if 419 scams a purely english phenomenom, making sense for pure numbers and the naija headedness? If so, pauvre frenchies for missing out on some great lit and the opportunity to laugh at a bumbly professor @ 3:30

In his defense, many share his view. When i would obnoxiously complain about having no internet in senegal people would scoff. The internet was still bascially seen as the pastime of 'bandits'(pronounced bhan-dee, similar to the word bandit/thugs but used in senegal from what i could fathom to mean anyone of dubious character, a term i heard most used applied to various ethic/relig groups, often as "fait attention au Tuaregs - ils ont bandits") Used primarily for porn, freakish e-dating, or scamming -like us before broadband. Using the internet in saint-louis is a bitch. yo, broadband for afrika.

ESP SENEGAL!! I keep wanting to post fresh mbalax clips, but the terrible quality and lack of quantity are KILLING. like everything and is for example things such as THIS! :


Boima said...

Were you wondering if the 419 celebratory phenom goes beyond Anglophone?

I heard that people thought Coupe Decale was all about 419 lifestyle.

Forgive my French, but Coupe means to blow/hit, and Decale run away? The interpretation was get rich by doing a hit and run on Europe.

Great post this one hits home, I feel like Africans in the U.S. when they try to get into business, sometimes these stereotypes filter in to people's minds, and just provides another path to discriminate.

Creator: Rachel Emmet said...

no, i was more wondering if frenchies get as much 419 spam as anglos do. i dunno if its a big part of pop culture like it is here. I also wonder if like macs get less viruses that anglophones get more spam?

yeah i guess coupe decale celibrates 'the 419 lifestyle' but ive never heard it put like that! I always thought the hit and run idea was more about expat 'were here to get money anyway we can' than 419 specifically, but it certainly falls under that umbrella.

The 419 comments brought to mind a lot of convos i had in senegal about complex relationships with hip-hop. On one hand being proud of ingenuity and creativity, another part worrying they were being misrepresented by american and African HH artists, an issue with expats im sure.

Birdseed said...



Abigail Bukai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.