Friday , May 13 2022
The sprawling youth and high impact of Homecoming 2022 [Pulse Event Review]

The sprawling youth and high impact of Homecoming 2022 [Pulse Event Review]

Highlights from the event include;

  1. Rema’s first performance, just one month after his unveiling as a MAVIN Records act. Amidst a few lookalikes, wearing dreadlocks and ski masks of different colors, he distinguished himself with the authoritative line, “Hello everybody! My name is Rema!” He then took off his ski mask to the adulation of many. 
  2. Skepta performed ‘Shut Down’ with regular energy, while allowing the audience to breathe high energy back into him. 
  3. La Meme Gang and Joey B performed ‘Stables,’ just before Odunsi, Prettyboy D-O and Santi flooded the stage, while being welcomed by the largest roar of the night. 

Due to the high reps of the 2019 event, Homecoming 2022 came with high billing. At the end of a three-day showcase, the grand finale, which was held at Harbor Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, outscored the lofty points of the 2019 edition.

Still highly populated by youth, which is young enough to make a 29-year-old journalist feel out of place, this year’s edition underscored the importance of creating an avenue where young Nigerians can party into the night. Even though the gates opened around 5 pm on Sunday, April 17, 2022, Nigerians kept pouring in till the event ended around 4 am the next morning.

Ladies and gentlemen, a heavy downpour ensued around 10 pm, and continued till around 3 am. Yet, there was heavy traffic around the entrance to harbor point, which was bad enough to make certain superstar artists walk inside the rain, just to make their respective scheduled performances.

In the same vein, certain parents brought their wards to the venue, waited in their cars while the heavy rain slammed their closed doors, turned on their heaters and slept off. Such labor of love underscored the importance of such an event, from parents who are open to breaking the unfortunate curiosity that often leads sheltered children astray.

More importantly, the event also means that we have a whole generation of Nigerians, who have been exposed to concert culture from early on, while watching their heroes perform. The performances were also mixed; Central Cee, ArrDee and Black Sherif thrilled young Nigerians, who sang their songs back to them verbatim.

Niche heroes like Teezee also enjoyed their moment.

In the end, these kids deserve all the enjoyment that they’re getting because they represent a reported whooping 70% of Nigeria’s premium music streaming demographic. In other words, a chunk of young Nigerians are paying music lovers, from whom artists make money. It was an important study for this journalist to see their attachment to the music.

It’s also not a surprise, considering 53% of Nigeria is under 19 years old. A lot of them are slowly helping Nigeria to change our crooked consumer behaviour, while sacrificing money to produce purchasing power.

Were will not touch me in Jesus’ name

A poignant moment of the night came when Santi’s record, ‘Final Champion’ blared through the speakers. Despite the flaws of his album, anybody with a pair of good ears understood that he hit the bullseye with that record. Suited for rage on that level, the record opens with tentative riffs, just before the infectious rhythmic drums merge with inaudible, yet infective pre-chorus, which then leads to the catchy chant, “Were touch me, were touch me…”

Just as DJ Obi hit play on, ‘Final Champion,’ there was a loud cheer from the venue, while certain kids who were on their way into the venue ran towards the door, nearly overpowering the guards, just to soak up the moment.

This writer hopes that a video is shot for the record. Odunsi missed a key window with his own rage records, ‘Body Count,’ and ‘Wicked Sexy.’

But before then, Wanni and Handi, a group of twin female DJs thrilled the audience with a divergent range of tunes, which gave this writer a culture shock, and offered insights into how music consumption can impact a generation.

When they played Lil Wayne’s ‘A Milli’ and Busta Rhymes’ ‘Arab Money,’ the silence in the building was deafening, and rightly so.

Some of those kids in that build are in their late teens or earliest 20s. Some of them were barely five years old when those records were the biggest things for younger millennials, who were in University or in Senior Secondary School.

In the end, there were still reported cases of illicit psychoactive drug consumption. Let’s be realistic, that’s a core part of concert culture from across the world. And organizers can only do so much. Unfortunately, things also keep the energy going.

But the organizers might want to take measures to reduce the easy access to these drugs, not because they affect the event, but because certain dramatic parents might sue the them, if something were to happen to their underage ward, who might in fact be the perpetrator, due to an inherent lack of self-discipline.

Those parents won’t want to listen to any arguments that their kids might already be habitual drug users. What might help is simple;

  1. A search for everybody who enters the venue, just to fulfill all righteousness. 
  2. Alternatively and more effectively, there should be a terms and conditions angle to the ticket purchase interface, which amongst other things, provides a disclaimer, which absolves organizers of any liability related to substance consumption. But since underage people can’t enter into a contract, there should be another provision that even though underage people can attend events, it is assumed that anybody who purchases tickets is of age. 

Nonetheless, kudos to the organizers, there were no open hawkers of molly, as we often see at other Nigerian shows.

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