crashed frozen the accounts of its members and ensured that hundreds of thousands of unfortunate, unsuspecting people would have one hell of an unpleasant Christmas. If you are hip-hop fan and you invested in the scheme, then Headies nominee A-Q has surely captured the very emotions you feel right now on wax, like your favorite MC ought to do!
He released a song titled “MMM” last week and on there, the rapper from Abia state explained why he’s grateful to God for bringing the highly controversial Ponzi scheme into the country.
One misconception about A-Q – and 3 million other Nigerians that staked their financial future on Sergey Mavrodi’s Wheel of Fortune – is that they are simply a greedy bunch who want to reap where they have not sown. But on the contrary, studies have shown that investors in Ponzi schemes the world over aren’t one kind of person, there are actually multiple reasons why they do what they do. Some studies (like this one) even go as far as saying that an appetite for risk rather than avarice is the principle factor when investors in Ponzi schemes decide on whether to invest and how much to invest; I use the term “invest” loosely.
On the song – which brilliantly interpolates news reports from foreign media on the state of the Nigerian economy – A-Q fluctuates between seeing MMM as an investment, to seeing it as a means of survival, to seeing it with a good ole fashion big eye and long throat.
I’m out here paying bills
Bills, bills, bills, how much more I gotta pay?
Before I turn around, another palm is in my way like
A-Q, you fit borrow me a 100k?
2016 has been rough for a lot of folks, things are tight – “take home pay” is taking less and less people home but still entrepreneurs are being forced to dust their CVs and fall back to jobs that simply aren’t there to catch them. Being that he’s still looking to buy a Mercedes Benz just to flex in this economy, you don’t get the sense that A-Q is actually doing as badly as the song claims. The rapper evaluates investment options to use and support his lifestyle – ideas such as investing in a rap career that hasn’t yielded returns yet or letting out 1 or 2 of his properties to live off the rent or getting a new laptop and hoping that EFCC don’t come for your IP address when you go phishing on the web.
Besides Yahoo Yahoo, none of these investment options will give you 30% returns in 30 days, but in 2006, A-Q is the same person that put out a mixtape titled Maga Must Pay so you know he doesn’t exactly look down on those who make their money by robbing Peter to pay Paul. A-Q asks the rest of the country to do the same and not to judge how the money is made. But to act like there’s nothing unethical about MMM – a Ponzi scheme that’s guaranteed to leave a trail of suicides, brokenness and broken dreams when it collapses – is to agree that the value of money is somehow greater than the value of human life. That’s one of the reasons why the Redeemed Church of God (RCCG) member that turned a church branch into a recruitment center was torn apart on social media; even Jesus said not to make his Father’s house a house of trade, never mind a house for a trade that is considered immoral, if not illegal.
However, regardless of their feelings on MMM, a lot of Nigerians are gradually beginning to agree that the “common man” has a common enemy. There’s a powerful man that they perceive – true or not – to be the cause of the country’s financial problems, and his name is not Sergey Mavrodi. On the record, A-Q sounds disappointed with Pres. Buhari. He used to respect the president, a respect that grew when the Presidency -under Gen. Buhari’s rule in the 70’s – promised to look into A-Q’s late father’s untimely dismissal from public service. However, the rapper now regrets that he voted to give Pres. Buhari a second chance to lead the country in the 2015 general elections.
And I hate to admit it, I hate that I voted him
As much as I hate to say this, thank God for MMM
How else will people survive this government?
Problems on problems, feels like it’s devil-sent
Strong words, brave man. A-Q doesn’t shy away from expressing his views on politics and it’s refreshing to listen to an artist who isn’t afraid of the consequences of taking a political stance and the problems that could come with it.
The juxtaposition of God and the devil is important because the rapper is attributing the problems of the country to the devil but somehow feels that Mavrodi is Jesus’ long lost East European cousin. A-Q isn’t alone in this sentiment, with the country battling a recession, a lot of Nigerians felt that MMM couldn’t have come at a better time; surely God himself tossed down Russian-made parachutes to catch us before we fall deeper into hard times. But if they’ve played musical chairs before then they’ll recognize a similar concept at play here.
There are 4 chairs but 5 kids. The DJ plays the music for the kids to go round and round and they have so much fun that they even forget that they’re playing a game. Then the music stops, 4 lucky kids hustle for a seat and the unfortunate kid who can’t find a seat loses out… or hopes that there’ll still be chairs waiting for him when he comes back in January.