Olamide’s Story for the gods: An Exposition

Mo ti mu dongoyaro (dongoyaro, dongoyaro)
And monkey tail (monkey tail, monkey tail)
Aro bami gbe claro (claro claro)
I want to do sina today, sina today

She said she cannot wait o
She said its getting late o
She said she want to faint o
Ah, story for the gods

Now she saying mo r’ogo
O ti kan mi l’apa o
O ti kan mi l’eyin o
Story for the gods, the gods o

Olamide’s Story for the gods is a jam and a half!

It’s also a terribly, terribly inappropriate song.

The song was released a few months ago and like everyone else, I got taken with the melodies and rhythms. Top notch production. I’d hear it come up on the radio while driving and turn the music up. It would turn up on my music playlist and I’d leave what I was doing and zone into it. My jam. Dude’s lyrical dexterity, the way he bandied the words together, his now-typical mesmerising english and yoruba flow. Madness. The many lingo I couldn’t relate to because they were either too street or too deep for me. Those didn’t really matter.

Or did they?

One day, I zoned all the way in and felt the need to know what dude was actually preaching to me in this awesome song.

I was distraught.

It’s interesting that this song is still a hit on the radio while Olamide’s labelmate and protegé, Lil Kesh’s Shoki, which was released after Story for the gods, is getting banned. What is the NBC looking at? What is their criteria for the suitability or otherwise of a song to be aired on radio or its visuals be viewed on tv? They claim Shoki is a street synonym for ‘quickie’, but very few people knew this and it is not a subject matter of the song; whereas…

Story for the gods glorifies narcotic/alcohol influenced date rape.

Let me translate the chorus for you as literally as possible:

I have drank dongoyaro (a local herbal drink)
And monkey tail (another local herbal drink, sometimes used as an aphrodisiac)
Madman, give me the claro (a local slang for weed)
I want to do sina today, sina today (sina is street lingo for adultery or fornication)

She said she cannot wait o
She said it’s getting late o
She said she wants to faint o
Ah, story for the gods

Now she’s saying “I’m in trouble”
“He has broken my arm o”
“He has broken my back o”
Story for the gods, the gods o

“Story for the gods” is street speak meaning “what you’re saying is of no worth or value”. Other iterations you may be more familiar with are “You’re yarning dust” or “Story for tortoise” or “Bull shit.”

Now you know what you’ve been singing or humming along to all this time. What does this make you feel?

Dawning realisation? Anger? Shame? Befuddlement? Denial? Disgust?

What are your thoughts? Perhaps I’m mistaken about something or the other. Or perhaps I did not do the translation justice in some way.

Leave a comment.

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19 comments on “Olamide’s Story for the gods: An Exposition

  1. afrovii says:

    Nah, this is a reach. You cannot analyse the song part way, you need to start from the very first bar.

    Also, the chorus borrows from famous Yoruba artistic love making refrains, “ibadi mi ti wo, o shè mi l’eyin, o ti kpa mi o” etc. Listen to Fuji music and watch Yoruba films, these words are regularly exchanged in comedy scenes when talking about sex. Clearly, the song is about alcohol infused bravado and sexual prowess, but date rape? Nah. I’ll do a rejoinder.

    Like

  2. rachel says:

    I just learnt a new word ‘claro’. Lol
    Well some of us know the meaning of the songs but we still dance to it anyways. They say it’s the beat that matters. (. _ .)

    Like

  3. bharyour says:

    I’ve not heard the song yet. But Olamide is a dirty boy, no surprises there.

    Like

  4. The first time I heard Story For The Gods (SFTG), I did not know it as story for the gods neither did i link its lyrics to Olamide.
    Perhaps, one begins to get the underlying message in Olatoxic’s expository when we view SFTG’s not as enlightened or Lagos party people, rather as, average Nigerians living in a not too urbanized environment.
    7 weeks ago i was in Kwara state for a family function. On my way back into Lagos, I stopped to say Hi at the home of my cousins in Ilorin.
    On my way into the house, I heard one of the street boys happily & repeatedly chanting ‘i want to do sina today’. This was my first encounter with SFTG’s & I remember thinking ‘na wa o.’
    As I was being entertained indoors, the house help, on her way out to fetch water chants…‘I want to do sina today.’ I was perplexed. Then I thought: whoever did such song needs urgent reorientation.
    I assumed at the time that it was a local community artist who recorded the tune and I felt rural communities could do without such artists which probably would reduce cases of ‘unplanned child births’.
    Thoughts of my cousins house help mingling with the energetic street boy with its attendant result comes to mind.
    I arrived Lagos only to find out 10 days later that the crooner was our very own Olamide.
    SFTG’s is a jam and a half but the values it espouses is -10 and a half. With such street following as Olamide commands, the implication spells more disaster than fun for us as a Country because, when a value emanates from a corrupt source, peoples thinking and conscience can become so twisted without their realizing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sirkastiq says:

    OMG!!! Ijo Sina means dance of fornication?
    Curse you Shina peters 😩😩😩

    Like

  6. […] read Toixc’s views on the joint and I kept shaking my head like, […]

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  7. […] you’re wondering what I’m on about, please read Tokunbo’s piece here, and Tola’s […]

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  8. Oluwatomiwa says:

    But that’s no surprise, most of the hip-hop songs today are all full of dirty lyrics, and sadly, a huge percentage of the youths have come to love it.. I really think it has come to stay cus that’s what sells, how many will NBC ban?

    Like

  9. qreamy says:

    Sigh!

    This is quite unfortunate.

    It pretty much goes to show how disconnected we Internet folks are from the real world.

    I had this discussion on twitter when it was brought up and due to my conclusions, I delved further to do what I call a street research. Initially, I understood the point being put across, but then again I had to examine the artist, his target audience and our expectations.

    Olamide is a “street” artist. By street I mean ghetto. As such his audience are the people of the ghetto, So I asked them about this date rape theory. I asked women I worked with, most said it doesn’t allude to rape. I also asked females from the ghetto (Ojuelegba and Bariga) and I got a very real shocker. The lady I discussed it with asked me if I had been to the live performances of Obesere, Pasuma, Saheed Osupa and St. Janet. I wondered why? She took care to explain that they have worse lyrics….even those expressing misogyny and the likes. She however said she attends these shows and loves those artists.

    It was pretty enlightening.

    Now, let’s be clear. Olamide does not make music for elitist folks like me and you. He does not make music for people with Internet and data plans. He does not make music for people who live in high brow areas of Nigeria or even it’s suburbs like Surulere and Yaba. Olamide makes music for the GHETTO. For Bariga, For Mushin and the likes.

    And in this Hoods, there is a sense of responsibility. It may not be like ours. It may not be admirable. But there is a sense of responsibility.

    When a fight breaks out in the Ghetto, you hear people say things like ‘Iku lo ma kpa’ya e’ – it’s death that will kill your mother. Yet when he goes back home, he will still prostrate to that fellow’s mother. Point is, in the real hood-hood, they talk shit….they talk a lot of shit, and they know that is where it stops.

    Olamide’s Story for the Gods is a song about sexual bravado and at the same time bluntly cajoling a girl to have sex.

    In our side of town, we don’t confront a girl and tell her how we are going to ‘fuck’ her (pardon my french) but in the ghetto….IT IS THE NORM….she will still insult you for your approach….but as I found out….she won’t be offended.

    Olamide is a Ghetto kid. Who makes Ghetto music for the people of the Ghetto. Placing him on a pedestal is on you and having expectations of his art is on you, not him.
    He really doesn’t seem like one to care about your analysis or even boycott….in Olamide’s world….you do not matter, as long as the Ghetto loves it, it’s a hit record to him.

    So let’s focus our efforts at maybe getting an artist to make an anti rape song, rather than thinking an artist like Olamide would make a song about rape, he’s not dumb.

    F.

    Like

  10. AO says:

    I agree with most of your posts Tkb (yes I call you that in my head) this is the second post I am disagreeing with (the first is sort of personal) lol maybe when next we bump into each other I may tell you what that is.

    First off, I love the song, but as a yoruba girl who I think is quick on the uptake it took me about two secs to figure out the chorus and all I could think of is this is just dirty and “wrong”. I feel it is morally wrong and shocks the conservative, educated, christian in me and I cringe as I listen. However that is the whole point, it is shock value, it is bragging, it is the yoruba version of street game and I totally agree with F’s post above, you should listen to some Obesere and you would probably faint BUT, that is not to say I listen to Obesere *tres innocent face*.

    Anyway, sometimes I feel as christians we are, for want of a better word (very) “sensitive” to the negativity in otherwise harmless albeit careless words and though I believe strongly that words are life and we should be careful how we use them I also believe we should not take them out of context. In this case the context is his situation, his audience, his environment, and his intent which I believe is purely entertainment and not promotion of “date rape” (all the things F said). We are sure to find a lot wrong with the implied meaning in the song when we take the words out of “his” context. Heck there are parts of the bible that if we examine out of context we would find a lot wrong with.

    Anyway, I do believe in filtering what I let into my mind and if that is what you get from the song then by all means keep it out of listening range

    Liked by 1 person

  11. enajyte says:

    Let me get one of my Yoruba friends to interprete for me cos if it’s what I’m reading here, I don’t see the date rape exaltation.

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    • moh says:

      i don’t know where he got his analysis. its a song about s*x but not date r**e o!!!!!its the sexual stimulants they drink the girl was calling him, she is horny and after he took the stimulants and had s*x she had more than she bargained for!!!

      Like

  12. baddo says:

    anyway we still love olamide….we love story for the gods
    note lil wayne talks dirt than him

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    • anonymous says:

      Talkin abt d lyrics of SFTG,I see notin bad in it conpare to wat the Fuji musicians do sing and even sum of d so called hip-hop acts…dats what we like in Naija let’s support him..if u’re a die-hard xtain pls keep off such muzics and leave we d ordinary xtains to enjoy d muzics..if any one want to talk abt “Dirty lyrics” den u’ll also av d Politicians to tackle they startd dis so we emulate dem.

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  13. lagabaja says:

    [smh]
    Ignorance is a serious disease…. and judging by the entry and several comments, we have an epidemic on our hands.Fueled by your sheer ignorance of your ignorance, you have found a man guilty of a crime that was never committed.
    [smh]

    Like

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