In literary world, artistes are sometimes referred to as prophets. However, this axiom does not necessarily put artistes in the realm of prophets found in holy books.
But literary critics often argue that the abilities of writers, songwriters, poets, recording artistes among others to use artistic expression to create conscious awareness about things that are happening in their environments qualify artistes as prophets.
Besides, it is believed that like the old prophets, writers and artistes also use the same tricks to convey their messages. The tricks, according to literary critics, are lofty rhetoric, apocalyptic imagery, biting satire, lyrical evocations, and subversive irony.
This, perhaps, explains why Lloyd Toku and Ugonna Obuzor, two of the slain University of Port Harcourt students qualify to be called prophets, at least, in the literary world.
Lloyd and Ugonna, apart from being cousins, also found a relationship in rap, a music genre, which was made popular in the United States. As upcoming artistes, they both won a rapping contest organised by Silverbird Television in Port Harcourt, Rivers State a few years back.
With the laurels, families and friends had thought it was a matter of time before the duo make a foray into the entertainment world.
Encouraged by the laurels, Lloyd and Ugonna recorded a mix tape title ‘Heart of the city.’ This, according to a source in the music industry, is called awareness tape – meant to create awareness among music lovers about the promising young men.
The source said such tape might later form part of an album that the artistes might record and sell to the public.
The mix tape, which is now available on the Internet, shows that it was performed by Yetty, Lloyd (also known as Big L), and Ugonna often referred to as Tipsy.
The lyric of the mix tape says: Aint no love in the heart of the city/ I said, aint no love in this part of town/ Aint no love in the heart of the city/ No aint no love in this part of town.
The verse one of the tape says: I’m in a race with minimum time to waste/ With that said, I’ve got to pick up the pace/ The chase is on/ We got our war faces on/ Cos we’ve been on the wait for long/ Growing up in the city like PH Where wrong is made to seem right/ We embrace the street life /Cos, there is no love in the heart of the city /How can the seeds grow when the garden is weary?
The slain men drew inspiration for this song from an album also titled ‘Heart of the city’ and released on September 11, 2001 by the popular American rap artiste, Jay Z.
Speaking in an interview posted on a popular blog, Linda Ikeji, Michael Lestart, also a student of UNIPORT, recalled how Lloyd and Ugonna were selected to represent Port Harcourt at a musical contest moderated by Vector, a popular Nigerian artiste.
Like their song says, Lloyd and Ugonna were not allowed to grow because they grew up in a city where “wrong is made to seem right.”