Monsters You Made – Burna Boy × Chris Martin (Song Of The Day)

Off his Grammy-winning album, twice as tall, monsters you made is Burna Boy finally taking center stage as the one who speaks truth to power.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not his first foray into shinning a floodlight on the misdemeanors and atrocities of the Nigerian government and their co-conspirators and colonizing predecessors. Instead, this is the first time he successfully grabs the ear of the world and gets them paying rapt attention.

Borrowing the talent of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Burna Boy as is characteristic of him, is not shy in addressing the monumental failure of Nigeria and Africa’s ruling class.
Without quoting President Buhari, I can see his face each time I hear the line “you turn around and you blame them for their anger and rage”.

How can you blame corruption on the ruled at the expense of the ruler, when your whole election campaign was built on the premise of fighting the corruption of the former ruling class?
In six years, every economic indicator has retrogressed and you consider yourself a success. The country you lead has gone into a recession independent of the rest of the global economies. Twice.

If that is not enough to make you bow your head in shame, then what is?
Maybe the fact that your currency is now almost 300% worse off than when you became president.

Or maybe because after condemning the kidnap of about 276 schoolgirls under the last administration, school abductions have now become a cottage industry under your government.
Just maybe what will make you ashamed is that a highway that leads to the nation’s capital became a kidnappers haven while a former military general was the president.

Either way, the ruling class wants the populace to be ashamed of what they have become.
Burna Boy’s warning though is that they should be ready for the repercussions when the monsters they made are ready to feast on them.

On the second verse, I still don’t get why the education syllabus across Africa still fails to be decolonized.
In Nigeria, not only are the subjects failing to keep up with the times, large knowledge gaps were created originally.

I did history as an elective subject in secondary school. Of about 450 students in the art department for my year, less than fifty of us signed up for history.
By the second term of SSS2, I stopped offering history as a subject.

I would like to give a political or philosophical reason for my stance, but it was actually because of a bit of laziness and nonchalance on my part. Along with a minor disagreement with my history teacher. (She was actually my favorite teacher in high school.)
In the meantime, I had access to newspapers from as far back as five years before I was born, and all of the early nineties.

In the one and a half years I did history, we spent time discussing pre-colonial Nigeria, European incursion into Africa, as well as a bit of other African kingdoms.
Government classes were dedicated to every precolonial constitution Nigeria ever had. I can still remember their names, but I won’t give them the honor of listing them here.

Not once did we discuss events around Nigerian independence. We never touched on the pogrom that happened before independence, events that led to the first coup, or response to the coup.

We could have dedicated more time between history and government to learn about the Nigerian-Biafra war, failure of leadership, and the resulting bloodshed.
All these years later, Mungo Park still discovered the source of the Niger river, although he was led there by the locals.

Using the words of Ghanian author, Ama Ata Aidoo to wrap up Monsters You Made, for me, is more impactful than anything Diddy said on the album.
Her quote dated back to 1987 is an honest critique of Africa’s relationship with the western world.

In my opinion, no African has said a word more true than this.
All of these years since she uttered those words, nothing has changed. Instead, we are discussing the maltreatment of a ¼ black lady by the royal family of England.
And a big baby is walking out on TV after asking if the royal family that used to own black people as property across four continents is racist.

The message in monsters you made might have gone over people’s heads. But I know when “the youth, or the next people coming after us” come to “continue” as prophesied by the man quoted at the beginning, “monsters you made” will be one of their rallying anthems.

Monsters You Made Lyrics

If the government refuse to develop the region and continue the marginalization and injustice, the youth, or the next people coming after us, I think, will be more brutal than what we have done

[Chris Martin:]
Calling me a monster, calling us fake
No way, no way, no way
Calling me a monster, just ’cause we say

[Burna Boy:]
We’re from the block where it rains
Where we create barricades
Keep opposition away
That’s why we are strapped with the K’s
Don’t get kidnapped from your place
Cuz it could happen today
Not knowing how to behave
That is a sign that you may
Just loose your life what a waste
Your body found in a lake
You fucked around and the fisherman found you drowning for days
You know we come from a place
Where people smile but it is fake
How could they smile if you look around they are surrounded by pain
I’ve seen the sky turn to grey
It took the light from the day
It’s like the heads of the state
Ain’t comprehending the hate
That the oppressed generate
When they’ve been working like slaves
To get some minimum wage
You turn around and you blame
Them for their anger and rage
Put them in shackles and chains
Because of what they became

[Chris Martin:]
Calling me a monster, calling us fake
You make the minotaur the dinosaur wake
Calling me a monster, just ‘cause we say
No way, no way, no way
Calling me a monster, make no mistake
That there’s only so much that you can take
La di da do di da do day
We are the monsters you made

[Burna Boy:]
I bet they thought it was cool
Probably thought we was fools
When we would break all the rules
And skip them classes in school
Because the teacher dem teaching what the white man dem teaching dem European teachings in my African school
So fuck dem classes in school
Fuck mongo park and the fools
That said they found river niger they’ve been lying to you
Aint no denying the truth
See what I’m tryin to do
Is draw the line for the mothers crying we’re dying as youths
Come walk a mile in my shoes
See if you smile at the truth
See if you digest your food
That’s when you might have a clue
Of what the fuck we go through
Your fucking lucky if you
Live through the day better pray that God always staying with you
Aint fucking safe any day the reaper‘ll be coming for you
We need a change and it aint no way ima take an excuse
My niggaz finding a way
Or fucking smile in the grave
This is the price that you pay

[Chris Martin:]
Calling me a monster, calling us fake
You make the minotaur the dinosaur wake
Calling me a monster, just ‘cause we say
No way, no way, no way
Calling me a monster, make no mistake
That there’s only so much that you can take
La di da do di da do day
We are the monsters you made

[Ama Ata Aidoo:]
Since we met you people five hundred years ago
Look at us, we’ve given everything
You are still taking
In exchange for that, we have got nothing
And you know it
But don’t you think that this is over now?
Over where?
Is it over?