Oct
05
2017

M.I. Abaga | "Ashes" (Aluu 4)

Tribute song to a tragedy
M.I. Abaga | "Ashes" (Aluu 4)

"4 young men died at the hands of a lynch mob on the 5th of October 2012. Whether or not their deaths will mean anything, or fade out of our minds as just another meaningless tragedy, is up to us and what we do from here on. I hope this song captures that message. Nothing would be worse than for a death to mean nothing” – MI Abaga.

The Aluu 4 was a necklace lynching that involved four young men, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekena Elkanah, all students of the University of Port Harcourt. They were all lynched after they were falsely accused of theft in Aluu, a community in Ikwerre local government area, Rivers State, Nigeria on 5 October 2012. M.I. Abaga wrote Ashes in response to this tragedy. 

This song is a piece of artistic accomplishment. Expressive vocals with a backup that offers an ethereal feel. The lyrics are deep, easy-flowing, poetic and thought-provoking. The intro leads well into the song. Sparse and tasteful instrumental arranged dominated by a drum, and interspersed with a violin to simulate groovy tranquility. The artist is as ingenious as the producer, and they both have presented Hip-Hop lovers with a masterpiece.

 

"Ashes" | Lyrics

We were down a sandy beach,
All night talking to your mouth’s words.
Tell me where you would like to be.
Tonight don’t be afraid to dream.
Lean on the fire for a while.
Cause in the morning it’ll all just be ashes on the ground
Instead it be them, let it be me.

Since I will die inevitably,
Then let it be, that it be said
When I am dead: some other was free, some other was fed
Some other, not me, was able to see
That long as we live inside a country where no one is safe,
No one is safe.

We only evade, try to escape
The imminent doom
But closer the date looms.
It comes for all.
If we must go, then at least,
When we fall…
When we’re all ashes…

If I am slain, let them forever remember the name
Some other should gain.
When we’re all ashes…
Because of my pain. Because of my tears because of my scars
Some other should gain.
When we’re all ashes…

The reason I’m gone. Let it be told, let it be known, and turned into song
When we’re all ashes…
If I die alone. Let it be more than dying alone, the reason I’m gone.
The reason I’m gone.
Instead it be sleep.

Let it be hate, let it degrade.
Let it be deep.
Some other should weep
Some other should keep

The memory of
The way that I died
Maybe a change, some other can try
At least we can lie. At least we can hope
At least we can say
tomorrow is better, it wont be today
Some other can pray
Some other can fight

The wrong done to me some other can right.
Then maybe my death can save some other life
For then I would gladly give another life
When we’re all ashes…
Let it be worth
Let it be so some other can live. Let it be birth.
When we’re all ashes…

As I am hurt
As I pass, let it be last, let it be first
When we’re all ashes…
Don’t let them forget
The only regret is that we relent. We all should repent..
When we’re all ashes…

If I die alone,
Let it be more than dying alone. The reason I’m gone
The reason I’m gone
Feels like I stood there watching,
the pain the brutal torture
And added my silence to the violent screams
of "Burn and torch 'em".

How do you earn misfortune?
Or does it come unbidden?
If life’s a painted portrait,
Who puts dark colors in them?
If there’s a God in heaven,
Surely he’s weeping now.
As all the blood is shedding
As all His people drown.
God help us all.

Rest in peace Chidi.
Rest in peace Lloyd
Rest in Peace Tekena
Rest in Peace Ugonna
Rest in peace to the Students murdered in Adamawa state.
Rest in peace to those two young girls.

 

  • Written and Produced by MI Abaga
  • Opening sample from ‘Words In The Fire’ By Patrick Watson
  • Poem written by Jason Abaga.