Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I caught Olu Maintain's Yahoozee video on the telly today - still a popular hit on the radio since its release mid-last year. As well as the ubiquitous song, Yahoozee is also a dance craze here. Olu Maintain has defended the song against the accusation of it promoting 419 culture. His defence seems to be along the lines of 'we all need to kick back with wine, women and song.' Yahoozee is therefore another way of expressing the ideal of living large. What do you all think - does the song promote fraud or not? As for the video, it is an amateurish take on a snoop-style video, complete with the predictable Hummer as backdrop.


Waffarian 4:56 pm  

Oh boy, at first I thought that song was just....what word...like a "satire" or "irony" you know...just a bit of fun about the whole 419 phenomenon...then I saw the video and I am not so sure anymore. All that dollar spraying....mba.

My own idea for the video would have been to show the different internet cafes with boys sweating under the heat, then somebody "making" it (here, they could still use the pictures of jeeps, money, drinks, girls, cigars etc) then police bursts in...then prison...then sufferhead....etc...then back to the internet cafes. You get the picture?

Taiye,  5:03 pm  

This issue was flogged on Funmi Iyanda's blog. The lyrics do not promote 419 at all. He said its about working hard Monday to Friday and owing it to yourself to live large at the weekend .....

It would be great to see you dance yahooze...

Allied 5:04 pm  

it is promoting 419.. simple as that

Omodudu 5:39 pm  

I detested the song and vid for a coupld of months. Then I had only heard 10 seconds bits of the second. Last month I listened to the whole song and dang I was hooked. It promotes 419 for sure, I hate that I am hooked on the chorus. But it is what it is. Snoop promotes crack, Olu promotes fraud. Oh bad behaviour and crime sells.
Now look what you did, I can not get the song out of my head. Picture the look on Mr.... when he catches me doing the yahooze dance step by the copier.

Moni 5:48 pm  

Naijajams posted on this several weeks back:

"In case you’ve missed it, Olu’s Yahoozee is the one of the songs given incessant rotation on the naija air waves. The video hit the web several weeks ago and with it came rave commentary. I had high expectations given some of Olu’s previous work as part of Maintain, but after watching I wondered what all the noise was about. It seemed like just another dancefloor track with very little else going on. The video could be a parody of a bad rap video. It reminded me of the brilliant and very funny video for “What They Do” by The Roots.

And if one video wasn’t enough, the remix version takes it to another level, complete with a blonde woman giving a Hummer a sponge bath! Wow."

"Olu Maintain may be slick and suave in his videos, but sit him down with the sharp women of Funmi Iyanda’s New Dawn, and… well, let’s just say lots of squirming ensues. I don’t get the sense he’s had to support his answers like this before.

Check out Olu’s awkward interview where he talks about chasing women, yahoozee the breakup of Maintain and more:

Taiye,  5:51 pm  

@ allied - where in the lyrics does it promote 419

It is about having fun man ... Pls watch the Funmi Iyanda clip where he spoke about this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6V8Nzjn8KU&feature=related

BTw, the ladies tore into him in the interview but its nice. Enjoy.

Omodudu 6:10 pm  

@Taiye, come on...loosely translated here...Some are on this earth to work, some are here to 'enjoy'. In the same frame throwing up Euros and dollars...We all know what he was talking about. The title of the track is Yahoozee...oh please

RJ 6:21 pm  

Stupid song if u ask me, but it has a hella of a catchy chorus. And yes my people, the blatant promotion of 419 is rather blinding in the video. Call the spade a damn spade, it aint no rake - where did the name yahooze come from?

bisola,  7:21 pm  

It is NOT about 419. Yahooze as a dance existed long before Olu Maintain released his single. If I am not mistaken, probably over a yr before he sang that song, people were already dancing the yahooze dance.

What Olu Maintain did was only to capitalise on the popularity of the DANCE and coin a song around it.

gungun 9:50 pm  

The song's definitely about 419 'fun awon to soji.' Funny thing is he played it for the president last year and yar adua was dancing away. Tis all word play but does it really matter? Olu is doing Olu, you do you

Fred 10:29 pm  

First, the music itself is catchy and good. I shouldn't say this was a surprise and I won't (too late!) but I enjoyed it.
Good production value as well, even down to Jeremy's hated Hummer parade. :-)
What you got against Hummers, doc?
I only wish these guys would stop outright mimickry and actually do something original. Enough with the fucking black rapper bullshit.

Jeremy 10:56 pm  

This Yahoozee thing is bigger than I thought. My sister-in-law tells me that people in Church have taken to dancing Yahoozee-style. The suits at RCCG do not approve..

Yahoozee for Jesus anyone?

Mr C 10:28 am  

I am of the opinion that dance is an expression of a people to their immediate environment. The whole concept of the dance (and the attitude behind it) appears to reflect doing something stupid, while trying to look serious; thus you stand firm as your hand move all over the place.

Notwithstanding, the dance sparks up this euphoric feeling in me; it gives me a sense of belonging into an ideal developed by my own people.
He did a very stupid video though.How can you be spraying dollars in Nigeria? I mean whats that all about? I don't even want to get started on the remix.

But I think yahoozee is a reflection of an emerging culture that encourages living large (a concept not well integrated in to the Nigerian way of doing things).
The attitude here is more about outward appearance than value added; wearing pinstriped suits and discussion global domination while your infrastructures collapse. As I said "Trying to look serious while doing something stupid".

Jeremy 10:36 am  

Mr C: very interesting comment. An alternative spin on the dance reflecting the environment is this: standing firm as your arms slowly spin in circles with pointed figures is the illusion of movement underpinned by the reality of stasis. Yahoozee is therefore the reflection of a listless youth, with no direction, no intention, no master plan, no resistance, no politics, no ideas. All the youth can do, while dancing Yahoozee, is to think idly about those who are living large out of fraud, and slowly consider the prospect for themselves...

Taiye,  12:08 pm  

Jeremy, that is a rather cynical response to Mr C's comment.

Have you actually heard it from the horse's mouth and watched the Olu Maintain Funmi Iyanda clip? What you dont understand is that Olu Maintain did not create the dance. People have been dancing yahooze long before Olu actually put a song to it, all the Olu guy did was make a song with a nice tune to take advantage of a DANCE that was already popular in Nigeria.

Jeremy 12:31 pm  

Yep Taiye I've seen the interview with Olu. The question to answer is this: how come the term/concept of Yahoozee was so easily applied to the existing dance form? My thesis is that the term/concept Yahoozee because it had the right cultural/contextual fit. Yahoozee as a dance AND as a concept applies well enough to the hedonistic apathy of Nigerian youth...

Anonymous,  1:13 pm  

On the same day that Jeremy posts about elections which has more of an impact on our lives, we have more concepts on Yahooze.

I know the Olu person did not create the dance because we have been dancing like that for a while.The questions we should be asking is that why was this dance called Yahooze & why did Nigerians so readily accept the dance & its name despites it 419 connotation.

nneoma 5:17 pm  

Yahoozee is not about 419 just as the Superman (Soulja Boy) is not about sex and ho's. And unfortunately both are very catchy...now I have both songs stuck in my head, thanks

Jack Slater 6:26 am  

Apart from having a stellar chorus the song is abysmal. "Everbody, take am easy...its all the benjamins baby"
wtf. I think the dude just made a song out of the word of the day. No thought behind it. He's not pro-419 or nothing, just sat down and said "hey wouldnt it be cool if we made a song with the word yahooze in it"?
And atrocious video as well. Like really really bad. Dope chorus though

Anonymous,  8:09 am  

waffarian- that would have been too literal, and really more like a government anti fraud campaign ad!

taiye- my thoughts exactly- love to see J shake hios groove thang and then (have the nerve) post it on you tube. question is j- how badly do you want to see this video you are begging for?

allied- when you watch a movie like say, oceans 11 (or 12, or 13) are they promoting various scams-aka 419 oyimbo stylee?

omodudu- i too was once like you. i thought the song had no artistic value, and the dance, was well beneath my dignity. well, you know what, fuck dignity. its a helluva fun dance, and with of all of the shit we go thru on a daily basis..why not? we should let loose, stop over analysing, dance, sweat, make love- and then get back to work ( hopefully not doing 419 in an internet cafe)

Uzo 8:13 pm  

Interestingly.....D'banj started the dance moves way before this silly Olu Maintain guy

Anonymous,  12:26 pm  

It is just a load of absolute crap.

rising star 2:11 am  

Jack Slater you made the most sense. Mr. Olu Maintain did just coin a song around the latest craze/ popular word and I don't think a lot of thought went into it.

The word Yahoozee is both a dance and 419 so it is quite natural to wander if Mr. Olu Maintain is a pro-419ner?

In my opinion the lyrics do not promote 419 at all but part of the video does though... whilst I can accept that the hummers, girls and dollars are all part of living large, what about the bling, cowboy hats and suits which we all know is the preferred dress code for fraudsters?1?

I really believe that Mr. Martins in a bid to put something together around this word was bound to "borrow" the known cliches. (Not very smart or creative)

The other thing I could not help but notice is that if the song was about the concept of living large which actually comes from the dance why did the dance not feature in the video or did I miss it?

Saying all that, it is a catchy tune that I absolutely love

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