People tend to forget one important fact
as far as music is concerned: it is hinged on culture. And culture is an expression of a people’s beliefs,habits,values and world-view.Critics have often impugned Cameroonian and African musicians because their songs are replete with people’s names.To them,this is a bad thing which should be erased in order to make Cameroonian music in particular and African music in particular more attractive to the world.We must note here that this view is a bias perception of music because it doesn’t consider the fact that music originates from culture.Since every culture has its specificities,music from a particular culture MUST be different from the others.Consequently, if Cameroonian music is heavily infused with praise-singing and references to people,it is because in our culture, music was equally used to sing-praises.Thus, this trait is a contemporary manifestation of our cultural values.Furthermore,apart from the cultural raison-d’etre of praise-singing ,one can add the fact that musicians as artists,on the same scale as writers,need some space to express gratitude to those who supported them.And before you say that can be placed on the c.d cover,remember that almost nobody is interested in the cover.They want the contents and punctuating your lyrics with benefactors’ names is a much resounding tribute. Critics are many and unaware of the fact that praise-singing gives African and Cameroonian music its uniqueness just as rap music is famous for its vivid and sincere depiction of ghetto life.Our music cannot be unique by always genuflecting to foreign appreciation of us.Should we add that there’s a certain talent,finesse and creativity needed to come up with a good song that merges praise-singing and messages.Feel free to disagree. It is very convenient to label Petit-Pays as a praise-singer but if its easy,others should praise-sing their way to the top as he did.