The Moral Instructions in Orezi’s “Cooking Pot” Video

The Moral Instructions in Orezi’s “Cooking Pot” Video

Bernard Dayo

Even before the video was released, the message in Orezi’s Cooking Pot was plain and clear—a post-digital, on-the-nose admonishing of elegantly wasted youth culture and all the disturbing vices that have wrought nothing more than damage. With Cooking Pot, Orezi has fashioned himself as a conveyor of the things we know but would rather not be reminded of. Soaked in afrobeat rhythms and arrangements, the track refreshingly casts off the trappings of materialism and swagger-void bling.

In the video, a portrait of cookie-cutter aesthetics and atmosphere, resurrects the memory of afrobeat icon Fela Kuti and his knack for offering socio-political critique. As the track opens, there’s a solo siren-like riff that pulses through mildly thumping beat. “Alcohol is sweet but if you drink am too much na problem,” Orezi sings, showing off Fela-esque gestures. The track’s treatment of alcoholism is gendered though, asserting that men alone indulge in alcohol and abuse it. “Waka waka baby,” Orezi sings on a loop, admonishing unbridled feminine sexuality and promiscuity. But the tone isn’t barbed or judgmental. If anything, it is positively instructive, pushing for the use of contraceptives and creating awareness on HIV/AIDS. Perhaps the strongest visual message in Cooking Pot is consensual sex, as shown in a scene where Orezi whips a would-be rapist with a cane as he forces himself on a woman in a room and then hands him a sealed condom, following the woman’s consent to have sex.

There’s a moment towards the end where the track sparkles with Orezi’s lone singing voice, a sublime shift in the sonic texture that winds out in quiet, peaceful glory. On the whole, Orezi delivers Cooking Pot as a metaphor for our numbing, anesthetized self-indulgence and excesses, packed with as much valuable wisdom as though coming from Fela himself.

Happenings Media