Our Song of the week!
The first use of the word “sexy” as an adjective to describe a person or thing that was sexually attractive was sometime in the thirteenth century. I am going to assume that European nobles couldn’t handle the utter appeal of women in robes and belts and corsets that they had to add the “y” suffix to fully express their admiration. You just had to be there. Over time, the word has grown to be applied to a variety of things, gaining a somewhat sketchy reputation in the process. In the typical traditional Nigerian setting, “sexy” is the enemy; an umbrella name for all those things that are sinful and strangely exciting. Be good girls, not sexy girls, headmasters and headmistresses cried in schools across the land. Pastors repeated this mantra from their pulpits, condemning sexiness and all it goes hand-in-hand with. Nollywood, that age-old enforcer of traditional “values” did its job by villainizing the “bad” girls in short skirts, high heels, and “spaghetti” tops. Good old toxic masculinity didn’t even let us call men sexy, but it’s okay - “bad” boys was an adequate synonym. Think of Jim Iyke in his head warmers, sunshades, and baggy jeans - that was the epitome of waywardness.
But life is a funny old cycle of learning and unlearning. As a generation whose biases were fueled by such messages grew up, they realized that the evil men and women who, driven by greed and corruption, wrecked lives and impoverished people wore suits and layers of agbada, not spaghetti tops and sleeveless jackets. They understood that sexy was just confidence, and a willingness to forge one’s path despite the pressures of society to conform to its stifling traditions and rules. Funny enough, this took us back to Nollywood, but with different lenses this time. Suddenly, the baddies are our heroes and the aesthetics of retro Nollywood culture have become a mainstay in our style and music. Led by online communities such as nollybabes, and yungnollywood, these flicks have become a major influencer of pop culture. Pioneered by artists such as Santi, BOJ, Lady Donli, Amaarae, and Odunsi The Engine, music in Sub-Saharan Africa has effectively turned these ideas into sounds, diverting from the mainstream, and creating a whole new frontier of music.
It is this resurgence that PSIV and E.V.E draw from on their single “So Sexy.” Produced by Zolo, the bouncy tune is inspired by Y2K and 90s Nigerian film culture and aesthetics and is a potential cult classic on the alte scene. As the promotional videos on Twitter and Instagram show, the song immediately brings to mind scenes of parties and throwback rocks, old nolly-style. With PSIV’s laidback style on a relentless hook, and E.V.E’s stellar verse, “So Sexy” is a sultry number that makes you channel your inner baddie, and lures you to get up on your feet and dance:
“All my bad bitches get down on your knees
It's a hot girl party, so it's a 100 degrees
Room is full of hotties, and we packing all the steez
Won't you come and get this loving,
Baby, I got what you need”
It has been a swell year for PSIV on the Nigerian drill scene, with his debut tape Welcome To The 234 racking up both streams and critical acclaim. But while he is a poster child for Nigerian drill, his musical palette and ability remain broad and extensive, and he insists that he is not one to be put in a box. E.V.E on the other hand is making a return to music after she paused to focus on other ventures, including her acting career as well as her job as a radio on-air personality. Wherever she goes, however, one thing is sure: she remains for the girls and women - like her assist on “So Sexy” confirms.
Stream “So Sexy” below.