I Go Chop Your Dollar came out in the fall of 2005, and seems to be an anthem for the Lads from Lagos, the Nigerian 419ers. As Dibussi Tande says:

Nigerian artist, Nkem Owoh (aka Osuofia) released a song titled “I go chop your dollar” which ridicules Europeans and Americans who fall for these scams. Although the song is a satirical happy-go-lucky number, it immediately became the unofficial 419 anthem.

Watch the video.

Although the song may seem to be praising criminal behavior, criminal behavior has always been a source of entertainment, look at the popularity of the Godfather movies or the Sopranos TV show. This song captures a major social phenomenon with a very catchy and danceable song. I think everyone who gets email has received some of these 419 messages at some time or another. It is even possible to view them as a rather entertaining effort in creative writing.

The singer, Osuofia, Nkem Owoh, is a comic actor who has starred in a number of Nollywood movies, such as Osuofia in London. You can find more at iNollywood by searching for him by name. Naija Jams provides us some more information:

Prior to seeing the video, I was confused and didn’t know exactly what to think. I asked myself, “Have the 419ers taken over Lagos? Are they so popular that their praises were being sung on the radio?” Thankfully the video is out and after viewing it, everything became immediately clear to me. I’d like to share a few points:

  1. The artist on the track is Nigeria’s most popular comedic actor, Nkem Owoh
  2. Nkem is known throughout West Africa for his comedic wit & flawless delivery in films such as, such as: My In Law, Atinga, Ukwa, Osuofia in London, etc.
  3. He is often interchangeably referred to as the characters in his films – most commonly Osuofia.
  4. The song, “Oyinbo, I Go Chop Your Dollar,” is the title track from the comedy, The Master, starring Nkem Owoh as a scheming 419er.
  5. The song is intended to be a comedic accompaniment and title track to the film, The Master.
  6. If there was any doubt, lyrics like, “National Airport na me get am / National Stadium na me build am” (I own the National Airport / I built the Nigerian National Stadium (Surulere – Lagos, Nigeria)) clearly communicate this.

Hopefully this clarifies things for some viwers.

You can read brief descriptions of some of the common 419 scams and find the lyrics to the song here:

I Go Chop Your Dollar

I don suffer no be small
Upon say I get sense
Poverty no good at all, no
Na im make I join this business
419 no be thief, its just a game
Everybody dey play am
if anybody fall mugu, ha! my brother I go chop am

Chorus
National Airport na me get am
National Stadium na me build am
President na my sister brother
You be the mugu, I be the master
Oyinbo I go chop your dollar, I go take your money dissapear
419 is just a game, you are the loser I am the winner
The refinery na me get am,
The contract, na you I go give am
But you go pay me small money make I bring am
you be the mugu, I be the master… na me be the master ooo!!!!

When Oyinbo play wayo, them go say na new style
When country man do im own, them go de shout bring am, kill am, die!
Oyinbo people greedy, I say them greedy
I don see them tire thats why when them fall enter my trap o!
I dey show them fire

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