Author Topic: UNPOPULAR OPINIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING THE GENRE?  (Read 17514 times)

Matebu on: May 01, 2018, 03:11

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I thought since we sort of know where members stand with which artists/groups and music time periods we like, it’d be interesting to know opinions you have that aren’t of popular opinion. I think alternative viewpoints can make for interesting discussions/debates.

- People gave Werra crap for his singing abilities, but in recent years... there some times where I think JB is an overrated singer as blasphemous as it sounds. Particularly when I watch some of his later concerts. After TH and Internet, it seemed to me he wasn’t putting that much effort into his singing like he used to. Makaba really brought best out of him in the golden era Wenge 4x4 BCBG TT. I am well aware that part of the reason is because of the period of vache maigre he went through during the mid-2000’s.

- I think Evoloko Lay Lay was the worst leader/singer. I was a big fan of his dances like “Dallas” way back in the day, but his singing voice always seemed to be a cheap version of Wemba’s. In some songs his voice sounds like a whining child. He is good on chorus though.

His featuring on 13eme apotre was disappointing. Cindy was doing too much also.


- Koffi completely lost consistency after BEK. I struggle to listen (or want to listen) to just about all his albums post-2008, but I think most of us agree on that.

archos #1 on: May 01, 2018, 10:13

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 Jb's singing is discipline,he has completely dropped on that field,you'd be surprised probably to know except makaba another person who was not messing with him on that field it was amida,she'd keep a very close eye on him on concert days and days before she'd be capable to lock all doors when he rehearsed at home so he wont move until he completes like 6 7 hours of work while now he does what he wants when he wants and he said it himself  in a recent interview that he knows sometimes he is clearly out of  form and sings badly to his standards but it does not bother him because he is not for him anymore in a situation where he has to put extra pressure on himself to always be close to perfection so even if he has to eat peanuts and stuff like that which can affect voice before a concert he does it ,strange how he has become so open about his lack of motivation at times

Matebu #2 on: May 01, 2018, 18:41

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Jb's singing is discipline,he has completely dropped on that field,you'd be surprised probably to know except makaba another person who was not messing with him on that field it was amida,she'd keep a very close eye on him on concert days and days before she'd be capable to lock all doors when he rehearsed at home so he wont move until he completes like 6 7 hours of work while now he does what he wants when he wants and he said it himself  in a recent interview that he knows sometimes he is clearly out of  form and sings badly to his standards but it does not bother him because he is not for him anymore in a situation where he has to put extra pressure on himself to always be close to perfection so even if he has to eat peanuts and stuff like that which can affect voice before a concert he does it ,strange how he has become so open about his lack of motivation at times

That is quite interesting and tell how much Amida was a motivating factor during his prime. With the way things have gone between the two, I highly doubt he’d public admit her strong influence on his craft.

I also believe leaders in general have a tendency to gradually decrease the amount of effort they put into their singing once they’re an «artiste comfirmé». The expectations that were initially there are gone since their fans fully embrace them... unless the artist does something truly bad.

Tata Nkiadi #3 on: May 01, 2018, 19:50

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I thought since we sort of know where members stand with which artists/groups and music time periods we like, it’d be interesting to know opinions you have that aren’t of popular opinion. I think alternative viewpoints can make for interesting discussions/debates.
- I think Evoloko Lay Lay was the worst leader/singer. I was a big fan of his dances like “Dallas” way back in the day, but his singing voice always seemed to be a cheap version of Wemba’s. In some songs his voice sounds like a whining child. He is good on chorus though.


I thought i was the only one who thought Evoloko's singing is difficult to digest.

My Unpopular Opinions:

1) Lita Bembo
I never understood why people liked him so much.  To me he was just too over-the-top and animated, the precursor to Adolphe Dominguez.  Franco produced a Stukas record for his record label, so maybe he saw something in him that I still cannot see.

2) Tabu Ley was a selfish bandleader
Meeting him and spending a whole entire day with him was probably one of the greatest moments of my childhood, but the way he compensated his people in Afrisa was deplorable.  You think Werra was bad, try shipping your whole band to the US, don't pay them and then abandon them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

3) Not Enough Sebenes
With the successes of Fabregas, Robinio, Heritier and others, it looks as if Congolese music is making a huge comeback, one we haven't seen since Fally & Ferre left Quartier Latin for solo careers.  But here again comes the age old debate:  Where are the Sebenes?  What was once popular and literally took the music all over the world, is still absent from a lot of today's rumbas and if there's one, it's cut too short.  Generiques aren't enough. Non-Lingala speakers, especially white people, don't understand rhumba music. They want to dance to the guitars and that was these guys' tickets to Europe. These artists just can't seem to grasp that.

4) Vulgarity/Sex Appeal
Nearly 20 years ago, my grandfather from Matete, watched a WWE show with me during the Attitude Era while he was here in the States.  While watching the divas in lingerie prancing around in the ring, he said, "If women did that in Congo, they'll be in jail."  Fast forward nearly 20 years later and we're seeing and hearing more sexual innuendos than before.  When I was in Kinshasa in 2010, Ferre's 3eme Droight and JB's Mpunda was blazing the airwaves and the night clubs.  Although still popular, a lot of church goers found those songs to be improper.  Now female dancers are twerking in videos and song-writers are finding more clever ways to sing about vagina.  The music is no longer for kids.

5) Mabanga
I've complained about this subject numerous times over the years and I'm tired of talking about it.

In regards to my last bullet points, maybe I'm just an old fashioned 35 year old.

CM PRINCE #4 on: May 01, 2018, 20:06

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I thought since we sort of know where members stand with which artists/groups and music time periods we like, it’d be interesting to know opinions you have that aren’t of popular opinion. I think alternative viewpoints can make for interesting discussions/debates.
- I think Evoloko Lay Lay was the worst leader/singer. I was a big fan of his dances like “Dallas” way back in the day, but his singing voice always seemed to be a cheap version of Wemba’s. In some songs his voice sounds like a whining child. He is good on chorus though.


I thought i was the only one who thought Evoloko's singing is difficult to digest.

My Unpopular Opinions:

1) Lita Bembo
I never understood why people liked him so much.  To me he was just too over-the-top and animated, the precursor to Adolphe Dominguez.  Franco produced a Stukas record for his record label, so maybe he saw something in him that I still cannot see.

2) Tabu Ley was a selfish bandleader
Meeting him and spending a whole entire day with him was probably one of the greatest moments of my childhood, but the way he compensated his people in Afrisa was deplorable.  You think Werra was bad, try shipping your whole band to the US, don't pay them and then abandon them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

3) Not Enough Sebenes
With the successes of Fabregas, Robinio, Heritier and others, it looks as if Congolese music is making a huge comeback, one we haven't seen since Fally & Ferre left Quartier Latin for solo careers.  But here again comes the age old debate:  Where are the Sebenes?  What was once popular and literally took the music all over the world, is still absent from a lot of today's rumbas and if there's one, it's cut too short.  Generiques aren't enough. Non-Lingala speakers, especially white people, don't understand rhumba music. They want to dance to the guitars and that was these guys' tickets to Europe. These artists just can't seem to grasp that.

4) Vulgarity/Sex Appeal
Nearly 20 years ago, my grandfather from Matete, watched a WWE show with me during the Attitude Era while he was here in the States.  While watching the divas in lingerie prancing around in the ring, he said, "If women did that in Congo, they'll be in jail."  Fast forward nearly 20 years later and we're seeing and hearing more sexual innuendos than before.  When I was in Kinshasa in 2010, Ferre's 3eme Droight and JB's Mpunda was blazing the airwaves and the night clubs.  Although still popular, a lot of church goers found those songs to be improper.  Now female dancers are twerking in videos and song-writers are finding more clever ways to sing about vagina.  The music is no longer for kids.

5) Mabanga
I've complained about this subject numerous times over the years and I'm tired of talking about it.

In regards to my last bullet points, maybe I'm just an old fashioned 35 year old.
I 100% agree with everything you've said I also find that rhumba is ridiculously overrated,  the sex thing is too much and the mabanga just wow

Tata Nkiadi #5 on: May 01, 2018, 20:49

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I 100% agree with everything you've said I also find that rhumba is ridiculously overrated,  the sex thing is too much and the mabanga just wow

It's getting out of hand man.  I remember artists blaming Mabanga on piracy, but everything is on the internet now.  Even the poorest of the poor has a cellphone in Kin so they can access the music anytime without having to duplicate hard copies.  It's simply greed.  White listeners lost interest, once the sebenes were shortened or absent and mabanga became the music, prompting them to abandon the current music for Congolese oldies and music from other African nations.  With the absence of white listeners, comes the difficulty to obtain Schengen visas but once they obtain the Visas, performing isn't a guarantee (for ex. Les Combattants vs. Heritier Watanabe & Le Team Wata @ L'Olympia).  Add to that frustration, shady African promoters and my friend, you have the stigmas of Congolese music.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 20:52 by Tata Nkiadi »

mvulusi96 #6 on: May 01, 2018, 21:21

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Yes the poorest have cellophonres, but they can't watxh video's. Because it to expansive for them, since that they have to buy alot of mega's. Nobody in Kinshasa knows those internet journalists who are based in Kinshasa or the combattans who are making alot of noise on YouTube. If you go to Kinshasa you will diacover that they are bot informer about many things even about things who are gooing on in their own country.

Tata Nkiadi #7 on: May 02, 2018, 00:01

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Yes the poorest have cellophonres, but they can't watxh video's. Because it to expansive for them, since that they have to buy alot of mega's. Nobody in Kinshasa knows those internet journalists who are based in Kinshasa or the combattans who are making alot of noise on YouTube. If you go to Kinshasa you will diacover that they are bot informer about many things even about things who are gooing on in their own country.

Maybe so, but we can't negate the fact that these are real solid issues that aren't being addressed.  The point I'm making is that these issues are the reasons why the genre isn't as popular to the outside world as it once was.

Matebu #8 on: May 02, 2018, 03:14

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My Unpopular Opinions:
Quote
1) Lita Bembo
I never understood why people liked him so much.  To me he was just too over-the-top and animated, the precursor to Adolphe Dominguez.  Franco produced a Stukas record for his record label, so maybe he saw something in him that I still cannot see.

Yeah, he was supposed to be Zaire's Jimi Hendrix and his concerts antics were pretty weird. It was cool for me at first, but when I watch it now it's like watching Stino's Michael Jackson act... just tacky.

Quote
2) Tabu Ley was a selfish bandleader
Meeting him and spending a whole entire day with him was probably one of the greatest moments of my childhood, but the way he compensated his people in Afrisa was deplorable.  You think Werra was bad, try shipping your whole band to the US, don't pay them and then abandon them, leaving them to fend for themselves.
I remember hearing a legend that Ley composed over 1,000 songs and it wasn't until I was an adult I found out that he got most of his compositions from his musicians and proceeded to credit himself. For me that takes away artistic integrity... with TPOK jazz the public always knew who composed what.


Quote
3) Not Enough Sebenes
With the successes of Fabregas, Robinio, Heritier and others, it looks as if Congolese music is making a huge comeback, one we haven't seen since Fally & Ferre left Quartier Latin for solo careers.  But here again comes the age old debate:  Where are the Sebenes?  What was once popular and literally took the music all over the world, is still absent from a lot of today's rumbas and if there's one, it's cut too short.  Generiques aren't enough. Non-Lingala speakers, especially white people, don't understand rhumba music. They want to dance to the guitars and that was these guys' tickets to Europe. These artists just can't seem to grasp that.

I was listening to Aurlus Mabele earlier, the man used to have 3(!) generiques on a 1 disc album, with the rest of the songs being sebene songs... excellent sebene as well. He really spoiled fans in that regard.

I wish artists didn't take Tabu Ley's criticism of sebene music so personally... at that time he was getting senile because the 4th & 5th gen artists made danc emusic so popular and earning more money than the earlier artists. My opinion.

I agree sebene needs to come back in force, but the issue I have with modern generiques is that most of them are absolute trash.. either weak atalakous, overly sexual lyrics, or the lack of good solo paritions. So yeah it needs to come back, but only if it's good.

I also like my sebene with a real drumset... I don't understand why that became so rare in recent years.

The generiques on Ferre's QQJD are so crap to me, that I just skip them. I haven't even listened to them in full. Poor sound and same exact arrangements since Derangement (2014).

Quote
4) Vulgarity/Sex Appeal
Nearly 20 years ago, my grandfather from Matete, watched a WWE show with me during the Attitude Era while he was here in the States.  While watching the divas in lingerie prancing around in the ring, he said, "If women did that in Congo, they'll be in jail."  Fast forward nearly 20 years later and we're seeing and hearing more sexual innuendos than before.  When I was in Kinshasa in 2010, Ferre's 3eme Droight and JB's Mpunda was blazing the airwaves and the night clubs.  Although still popular, a lot of church goers found those songs to be improper.  Now female dancers are twerking in videos and song-writers are finding more clever ways to sing about vagina.  The music is no longer for kids.

I used to watch clips with my family when I was younger, now I just can't without being on edge. It's all about finding women with the biggest a**es.

Quote
5) Mabanga
I've complained about this subject numerous times over the years and I'm tired of talking about it.

In regards to my last bullet points, maybe I'm just an old fashioned 35 year old.

Through my listening of albums over the years, I pretty sure I can link the huge surge in mabanga to Wenge, because before that artists limited mabanga to the end of songs or after verses. Now nobody cares. I remember a non-Congolese friend asked me to translate  a song... and I told him it's just people names.. he then gave me a puzzled look. Aside from the Ivorian DJs, we are the only one's putting so much importance of mabanga.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 03:25 by Matebu »

Tata Nkiadi #9 on: May 02, 2018, 17:21

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2) Tabu Ley was a selfish bandleader
Meeting him and spending a whole entire day with him was probably one of the greatest moments of my childhood, but the way he compensated his people in Afrisa was deplorable.  You think Werra was bad, try shipping your whole band to the US, don't pay them and then abandon them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

I remember hearing a legend that Ley composed over 1,000 songs and it wasn't until I was an adult I found out that he got most of his compositions from his musicians and proceeded to credit himself. For me that takes away artistic integrity... with TPOK jazz the public always knew who composed what.

Very interesting rivalry Franco & Tabu Ley had.  To me Afrisa were one dimensional, while OK Jazz had members who came from other groups and were given freedom to write and compose in various styles.  Vieux Rochereau taking credit of his members' composition doesn't surprise me at all.  It's unfortunate.  While OK Jazz produced successful stars like Madilu System, Simaro, Dizzy Mandjeku, and Papa Noel, I can't name one successful artist from Afrisa aside from M'Bilia Bel.

On another note, Ley was the first person in my lifetime to open my eyes to the fact that while Zairean artists may sing songs praising their wives, offstage you wouldn't even know they were married.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 17:23 by Tata Nkiadi »

mvulusi96 #10 on: May 02, 2018, 17:37

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2) Tabu Ley was a selfish bandleader
Meeting him and spending a whole entire day with him was probably one of the greatest moments of my childhood, but the way he compensated his people in Afrisa was deplorable.  You think Werra was bad, try shipping your whole band to the US, don't pay them and then abandon them, leaving them to fend for themselves.

I remember hearing a legend that Ley composed over 1,000 songs and it wasn't until I was an adult I found out that he got most of his compositions from his musicians and proceeded to credit himself. For me that takes away artistic integrity... with TPOK jazz the public always knew who composed what.

Very interesting rivalry Franco & Tabu Ley had.  To me Afrisa were one dimensional, while OK Jazz had members who came from other groups and were given freedom to write and compose in various styles.  Vieux Rochereau taking credit of his members' composition doesn't surprise me at all.  It's unfortunate.  While OK Jazz produced successful stars like Madilu System, Simaro, Dizzy Mandjeku, and Papa Noel, I can't name one successful artist from Afrisa aside from M'Bilia Bel.

On another note, Ley was the first person in my lifetime to open my eyes to the fact that while Zairean artists may sing songs praising their wives, offstage you wouldn't even know they were married.

Sam Mangwana na who left in 1967 to create Les Marquisard recruiting Ntesa Dalienst and co. Also Paul Ndombe who went to create Afrizam until that Tabu Key & Franco went to kill his band, like they used to do to many bands of the 60's & 70's who were a treath to their hegemony. Which made stars like Ntesa, Kiambukuta, Ndombe, Kiese Diambu end up in TPOK Jazz
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 17:41 by mvulusi96 »

Tata Nkiadi #11 on: May 02, 2018, 17:58

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Sam Mangwana na who left in 1967 to create Les Marquisard recruiting Ntesa Dalienst and co. Also Paul Ndombe who went to create Afrizam until that Tabu Key & Franco went to kill his band, like they used to do to many bands of the 60's & 70's who were a treath to their hegemony. Which made stars like Ntesa, Kiambukuta, Ndombe, Kiese Diambu end up in TPOK Jazz

By the time Sam went to Afrisa, he was already wildly popular even before OK Jazz so I don't know if I'd count him. As for Pepe Ndombe, his success came from OK Jazz and Zing Zong projects and once Franco died, after he left Afrisa once again in the late 80s, he stayed with Simaro & Bana OK until he died so I don't think I'd count him either.  I still can't name an artist who went directly from Afrisa to a solo career and was successful.

masatomo #12 on: May 02, 2018, 18:18

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I would like to know if that famous Tabu Ley interview when he criticize the 4th/5th gen artists for doing too much dance music is in YouTube

Wenge1995 #13 on: May 03, 2018, 07:24

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@Matebu

Perhaps the recent trend of increasingly programmed music over live instrumentation is because it's cheaper to record and release. Half the battle of making music today is done by when you can program percussions, horn sections, and synths on the keyboard. Where back in the day, you had to factor in whether live horns would sync well with the guitars, keyboards, and drums. This means that music composition was the foundation of song creation, as opposed to improvising melodies on a keyboard or guitar partition then stretching them out into songs.

In order to conserve cost, reheasals were constant and music compositions of some of our favorite songs underwent many rewrites to get that sound just perfect enough to record. With a band set up of lead (sometimed mi-solo) and rhythm guitar, it required a dedicated team of studio engineers to properly record and sequence the music in respects to the bass player and drums.

This requires a lot of money, patience, and commitment which I don't think a lot of artist have nowadays in the social media era. It's all about quick output and even faster returns on investment, where as the past required time to create an album that could survive months on rotations because of the power of the music.

As far as lyrics go, maybe it's time for songwriters to reach into themselves and share songs about the things we all go through besides just sex...maybe fables of common life or songs about personal trials (big or small). Atalakus need to strengthen their craft on creating cries that get people to dance and admire their wordplay (incorperate different languages like kikongo and tshiluba).

Those are just my observations, but it seems we're all on the save wavelength.

Congolitude #14 on: May 03, 2018, 10:50

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@Matebu

Perhaps the recent trend of increasingly programmed music over live instrumentation is because it's cheaper to record and release. Half the battle of making music today is done by when you can program percussions, horn sections, and synths on the keyboard. Where back in the day, you had to factor in whether live horns would sync well with the guitars, keyboards, and drums. This means that music composition was the foundation of song creation, as opposed to improvising melodies on a keyboard or guitar partition then stretching them out into songs.

In order to conserve cost, reheasals were constant and music compositions of some of our favorite songs underwent many rewrites to get that sound just perfect enough to record. With a band set up of lead (sometimed mi-solo) and rhythm guitar, it required a dedicated team of studio engineers to properly record and sequence the music in respects to the bass player and drums.

This requires a lot of money, patience, and commitment which I don't think a lot of artist have nowadays in the social media era. It's all about quick output and even faster returns on investment, where as the past required time to create an album that could survive months on rotations because of the power of the music.

As far as lyrics go, maybe it's time for songwriters to reach into themselves and share songs about the things we all go through besides just sex...maybe fables of common life or songs about personal trials (big or small). Atalakus need to strengthen their craft on creating cries that get people to dance and admire their wordplay (incorperate different languages like kikongo and tshiluba).

Those are just my observations, but it seems we're all on the save wavelength.

Very good explanation, all this summarizes what Congolese music needs to regain the power it had before