Flames’ war of words pushes the envelope
By Observer News - Saturday, July 17th, 2010
How far is too far with the lyrical and very personal war that has been waged between Oungku of Red Hot and Onyan of Burning Flames since the original outfit began coming apart at the seams 12 years ago, is the question some people are asking.
There have been songs about craftsmanship; about who has the better voice, the better arrangement, and the rush. In fact, sometimes it wasn’t even clear what the grouse was. But the fans lapped it up, and the deejays served up the music and fuelled the controversy.
This time around, though, the family war is flirting with the law, particularly in Oungku’s Woottup, a response to Onyan’s Bullbud.
In his song, Onyan declares, “You mash up de family … is time you get a beating/you are now overbearing …”
He also suggests some skullduggery with an international record label and calls his brother spoiled.
And then he says, “Oungku, come fu you licking.”
But what Oungku does, rather than comply or return in kind, is to pour oil on the fire.
Over the years, we’ve associated Onyan with baby food. He even sang about it in his own voice, and it was he who declared that he “ain’t beating no old drum tonight.”
But more than an insight into his big brother’s dating proclivities, Oungku goes for the jugular. “A dirty old man, a rotten old onion,” he charges.
That’s not all. He goes on to give his brother a “woottup for serious crimes.”
We’d be mad to repeat the allegations.
What we can say is that Oungku does call his brother “a failure lost in time.”
As a caution to self he sings, “No, Oungku, no, don’t stoop so low.” And then he ignores his own advice and gets right into the sewer.
The music in both songs is sweet for days, to use local parlance, but it’s a shame to jam to them, to perpetuate this bloodletting between brothers.
This would have been the 25th anniversary of the Fab Five. Bands come and bands go, but this rancour? Someone needs to tell the factions the time has come to move on.