Contemporary Nigerian Popular music: A Menace to National Development


  • Ogunrinade D O A Department of Music Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo



Popular Music, Music in Man’s life, Nigerian Music, Immoral Music, Good Governance, National Security


There is no gainsaying that most of the recent forms of contemporary popular music produced, packaged, made available for public consumption constitute grave danger and serious threat to moral uprightness in Nigerian society. This has exposed the Nigerian society to a wide variety of insecurity and violence. This is evident as seen from series of moral decadence and dissipation that infiltrated the lives of the citizenry - especially the youths (the leaders of tomorrow) ranging from, sexual abuse, money mongering, indiscipline, examination malpractice and indecent dressing to mention but a few. Music is a powerful tool and a force for mobilization which brings about either reformation or deformation of character due to the type of rhythm, melody, harmony and principally the lyrics of the songs. This paper examines the new trend of contemporary popular music in Nigeria with a view to assess its negative and pessimistic impacts on the character molding of the citizenry in Nigerian society. Live performances of contemporary popular music were observed and audio and video tape materials relating to the said music were also analyzed based on their educational  and moral values of such songs. It was  discovered that contemporary popular music as we have it today in Nigeria communicates vulgarity and coarseness to the listeners and this poses a lot of negative effects on the attitude of the youths. Musicians employ indecent words to attract the youth thus creating negative influence on the character of the leaders of tomorrow (the youth) to engage in various   debauchery.  The paper therefore, suggested that relevant agencies should be put in place to ensure that apart from entertainment, music should convey positive character building messages rather than music that egg on and motivate illicit acts. Likewise, musicians should compose songs in the spirit of societal reformation so as to impact moral virtues on the younger generation  thus encouraging holistic human development.


Adesokan, Z.A. (2002). The Role of Music in Mass Mobilization in the Nigerian Society. Journal of

Nigerian Music Education, Published by Conference of Music Educators in Nigeria, c/o

Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, (3), pp 92-97.

Adeola,T.A(2001) ‘Contemporary Nigerian Popular Music: A Tool For National Development’

Forchu, I.F(2009) ‘Nigerian Popular Music: Its Problems and Prospects in Development’

Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities,University press vol 10,no2

Liske, K.L (2001) “A Statement of Educational Philosophy and Professional Purpose”

Merriam, A. (1964). The Anthropology of Music, Evaston, Northwestern University Press

Keyes, C.L. (2002). Rap music and street consciousness. Urbana and Chicago: University of

Illinois Press.

Okafor, R .C (2005) Music in Nigerian Society Enug:. New Generation Books.

Ogunrinade,D.O.A, Adeyemi A. A and Oluniyi M.O. (2012) ‘The State of Music Education in Nigerian Secondary School Programme’ Journal of Educational and Social Research (Sapienza University, Italy) Vol. 2(3) September2012/ogunrinade.pdf

Proctor, P (2003) A New Song

Sarkar, M, Winer, L. & Sarkar, K. (2005). Multilingual Code-switching in Montreal Hip-hop,

Mayhen Meets Method or “Tout Moun Qui Talk Trash Kiss Mon Black Ass Du

Nord. Paper presented at the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, Tempe, AZ. Retrieved

October 29, 2008 from

Vidal, O. Augustus (2011) Yoruba folk music.Femi Adedeji(eds). Essays on Yoruba Musicology ,O .A,

U Press, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Vidal, O. A (2012) Nigerian Contemporary Music :Unity In Diversity?. Femi Adedeji (eds). Selected

Topics on Nigerian Music , O .A, U Press, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.