Archive for the ‘True talk’ Category

October 21, Chude Jideonwo wrote a review. October 26, Ohimai Amaize wrote a rejoinder. October 27, Chude responded. And now, it’s the return of Ohimai. Is it just me or is this some real Hip-Hop ish going on in this here arena. Who will get ethered when it’s all said and done?

Seriously though, this is an important debate that relates to the current state of music in this place. Was Chude’s review really malicious? Was ID Cabasa’s album really that bad? Is Nigerian music (heck, music in general these days) really as good as we make it out to be? Do we truly celebrate mediocrity or do we fail to give deserved credit when due? Are we too sensitive or personal? Or is it that we are easily blinded and influenced? Whatever the case, we clearly have a discussion on our hands. Piracy is not the only problem with our music, the music itself is a problem. How do we move it forward? That is the question we should be asking.

Anyway, this post features Ohimai’s response to Chude’s response (read post below) to Ohimai’s rejoinder (read here) to Chude’s review (read here) on ID Cabasa’s debut album, ID.Entity. Let us know your thoughts on this whole fiasco, misunderstanding or whatever you want to call it.

A Journalist’s Demonisation of Dissent

By Ohimai Godwin Amaize

Knowing Chude Jideonwo, I am not surprised that my Monday Oct. 26, 2009 rejoinder to his review of ID Cabasa’s album of Wednesday Oct. 21, 2009 both published by NEXT newspapers has elicited malicious outbursts from him in what may be termed a hastily written and venom-filled counter-rejoinder titled “Help! There is in fact a crisis!”

The truth is there is no crisis. Grudges I cannot harbour; enmity I cannot afford. Indeed, a million friends are not enough; one enemy is too much. There is so much work to be done about the future of our generation; chiefly among which is the need for us to uphold the values of truth and integrity at all times regardless of the consequences. What I simply did with my rejoinder was to call critical attention to the destructive elements which characterised his review of ID Cabasa’s new album. Whether he has the right to write a music review was never at issue.

Not known for throwing wild allegations, I unearthed hard undisputable facts about his journalistic past which cast a shadow of doubt over the true intentions of his review of the ID Cabasa album. I didn’t conjure these facts. Chude, in the reality of his own past, created them.

All that one expected from such a promising writer was for him to disprove the facts I presented with his own dose of factual journalism. But no, he simply diverts attention and re-invents the wheel in a shifting goal post of wild counter allegations – all in a bid to discredit and demonise an articulate disagreement to his review.

In this counter rejoinder, Chude’s limited understanding of an objective album review is hinged on the sole idea that the directive to write the review emanated from his boss. But does this dispel the possibility of infusing his personal bias in the review? He himself admitted in the review that he listened to the album once. How could he possibly do a critical review of a thirteen-track album he listened to just once? Is this the new standard of journalism?

What is more? The young man himself confessed that he was under pressure from his boss to turn in the album review. What can one make of an album review that was hastily written under pressure in an attempt to beat the newsroom deadline? Can it be validly deduced that the reviewer did this review in his right frame of mind?

Taking this a bit further, beyond the creative liberties that characterise media practice, what really guarantees Chude’s competence in the review of music albums? Did he go to a music school? Is he a musician or a certified scholar in popular culture studies? What is the level of his competence in the Yoruba language – the language through which ID Cabasa’s album was predominantly rendered? Is it possible for a journalist who has just a basic knowledge of a particular language to do a critical to review of an album in that language?

Let somebody remind this young journalist that his so-called ‘gormless’ critics are probably not as sheepishly naive as to understand that commending a man one moment and condemning him the other moment does not always qualify as a gesture of objectivity. History is replete with examples.

In the twist of untidy logic, he declares that he was part of a process that crowned ID Cabasa Producer of the Year 2008. Very true. And we are also aware that a popular publisher of a national daily was part of the process that crowned Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, Governor of the Year 2008 – an award the governor later rejected and returned to its organisers.

The crux of this whole matter is too straightforward for anyone to resort to throwing diversionary tantrums and employing smear tactics capable of destroying cherished relationships and more importantly, sacrificing professional standards on the altar of destructive newspaper publications in the name of the right to hold opinions. No one is asking anyone to write favourable album or music reviews all the time. No one is asking anyone to celebrate mediocrity. What someone is simply saying is let’s do this constructively!

Nowhere in his counter rejoinder did he deny labelling ID Cabasa’s album with snide remarks like “a lazy effort”, “a muted disaster”, “a bad album” or to make matters worse, his infamous advocacy for the album to be “banished from the airwaves.” Is this tantamount to constructive or destructive criticism?

In the final analysis, journalists in an open society, are not demi-gods whose opinions cannot be subjected to constructive criticisms. A journalist who feels too big or lacks the temperament to tolerate and accept constructive criticism and then goes out of his way to demonise dissenting views is not ready for the job.

There is a prize of honour to earn in this profession. It’s more than just getting the job done. It’s about getting it done the right and honourable way. Dele Olojede did not write his way to the Pulitzer in this manner, not to cite CNN’s recognition of the literary prowess of Tolu Ogunlesi – all who are Chude’s colleagues at NEXT.

Ohimai Godwin Amaize is Creative Director at the Youth Media & Communication Initiative (YMCI), Abuja

Controversy on Steroids

Posted: October 27, 2009 in Blog party, True talk
cd

(Image sourced from lostateminor.com

“Help! There is in fact a crisis!”

Chude Jideonwo

Eight years ago, my path as a journalist started in the now defunct Tempo magazine – and, every week, I would have the privilege of being in the presence of men like Kunle Ajibade and Babafemi Ojudu. These were people who had their lives, families and businesses threatened and destroyed because they insisted on doing their jobs and telling the truth fearlessly where they saw it.

As time would go on, and I would ultimately settle for the exciting beat of lifestyle journalism, my foundation in Tempo would continue to give me perspective.

When I would write critiques and reports that are unfavourable to actors, musicians and celebrities and they and their cronies would respond with venom, at first I would get offended. But then I would remember that some have lost their lives and their livelihoods in this same field – and I would remind myself that, even though my writing has an impact in its sector of influence, all of this fluff really isn’t that important in the larger, grander, scheme of things.

So it was that, when a certain Ohimai Amaize sent a rejoinder to my critique of singer/producer ID Cabasa’s album and accused me, amongst other things, of lacking integrity as well as doing the hatchet job of a rival record label, I was deeply insulted that anyone – without proof, without facts, and without logic – would attack what little integrity I have earned.

But then I remembered: the young man’s raving is really nothing compared to what happened to the journalists in TELL, TheNEWS, or at Newswatch.

So, in the final analysis, the only emotion I could muster was pity.

Enemies everywhere

Yes, we have gotten used to governors and senators trying to deflect legitimate criticism with ‘they are working for my enemies’ and ‘he is a detractor’. But seeing a member of my generation, who is supposed to know a little about the workings of a free society and a vibrant media, boldly display such narrow-mindedness in dismissing criticism as ‘the work of enemies’ and throwing the word libel about so frivolously, it gave me such sadness. Pray tell, where then is the future?

It is unfortunate that we now live in a country where the personal is the political. We have lived through a politics and media which key players have consistently thrown candour and accuracy to the winds in the search of the economic bottom line. We have become used to a society where everything is done for some narrow selfish end. And it has messed with some of our minds.

Three weeks ago, the X2 editor called me to his desk and requested that I review an album. I looked through the pack of CDs he offered me, and said Í would take ID Cabasa because “he’s a great producer; his album can’t be bad” (a direct quote).

For more than two weeks, due to work load, I was unable to find the time to do the review. But, after exactly four reminders from the editor, I pulled myself up. I picked that album up with the best of intentions – with faith in ID Cabasa’s capabilities. To cut to the chase, it turned out to be a supremely disappointing listen. But some people wouldn’t understand this process would they? No, for them, it is simple: if a review is negative, its writer must have pre-meditated hatred.

So I ask: when, some weeks ago, I wrote a review of ‘Obsession’ (starring American singer Beyonce Knowles), saying some scenes were “without redeeming quality”, was it because her rivals had bribed me with a lap dance? And when I called ‘State of Play’ a “fantastic” movie, did Russell Crowe promise to buy me an i-phone?

‘Paddy Paddy’

Unfortunately, the gormless are blithely unable to appreciate how a person who has written glowingly of Dare Art-Alade over the years (so much that a radio presenter called him a ‘Dare groupie’) could one day turn a critical eye on him even whilst remaining a fan and a friend. They cannot comprehend that a writer who has bought at least five of Timaya’s albums is still able to highlight the singer’s flaws of character and professionalism. They cannot understand how a person who was part of a process that crowned ID Cabasa Producer of the Year 2008 can candidly critique his album as “under-prepared”. Such complexity is, well, too complex for them to grasp.

Like one of my senior colleagues told me, this is what makes creativity stink in this country. Writers don’t want to be edited and artistes don’t want to be critiqued honestly so they can do better. Everyone wants ‘paddy paddy’ reviews. They want themselves and those they love to be untouchable so they can keep churning out substandard material – yet we complain that our writers aren’t snapped up by major publishers and our musicians don’t get signed by international labels.

But don’t blame them. Please don’t. It is not their fault! This is what warped and corrupt leaders have done to some of our youth. They have robbed them of any sense of perspective! Any sense of critical reasoning!

It is the reason why some think that, because my life’s work involves celebrating and supporting young people, I should also celebrate mediocrity. It is the reason why the young man would boldly say a journalist should have first considered ID Cabasa’s album sales and brand equity before writing a review!

Babatunde Jose must be turning in his grave.

In one area though, Mr. Amaize was, thankfully, spot-on. NEXT has “come to represent a new brand of excellent journalism”. And the good news is that many of us are committed to continuing in that spirit of honest, earnest and incisive journalism that knows neither fear nor favour.

Some will do it at the risk of their lives and safety – and others, like me, only at the risk of hot air from certain elements who know no better. Very thankfully, the latter is a comparatively small price to pay for getting the job done.

Danny Glover, in Lagos, earlier this year (PHOTO by Queen Martins)

Danny Glover, in Lagos, earlier this year (PHOTO by Queen Martins)

Michaela Moye

Danny Glover is passionate about Africa and her people. One only has to prompt a discussion about the continent and the veteran actor-activist will not hesitate to launch into a discourse on his enthusiasms and optimism for Africa.

Born to parents who were active members of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), Glover has won the association’s Image Award five times.

His impressive resume includes serving as the current board chairman for TransAfrica Forum, a non-profit organization that focuses on conditions in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

He has been an ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1998.

In 1994 Glover took an 8-day tour of South Africa alongside fellow actors, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo, urging blacks to vote in that country’s first fully democratic national elections.

In an exclusive interview with NEXT, at Ikeja, Lagos, the actor spoke about his passion for the continent:

On his passion

“The first time I came [to Nigeria] I was 25. Since then, a lot of things have happened for me. There’s a degree of optimism [and] pragmatism that comes with wisdom and age. There’s also a diminishing of the romanticism we often have about the continent. The real issues need to addressed [and] talked about.

I was in Ethiopia in 2005 at a conference sponsored by the African Union, UNICEF and the Bob & Rita Marley Foundation – a symposium that brought young people together from all over Africa to talk about how they see the continent, what the future of the continent is and the roles they need to play in the future of the continent.

On Africa’s youth

“I’m always enamored with the fact that when we talk about this extraordinary continent of 54 nations, that it’s young people who’ve always led the march for change. It was young men and women who led the march for decolonization. It’s these people who have stood for the idea that they are the architects of their own future. In that sense, I’m always enamored with the renewal of ideas, passion … commitment. Young people realize that it’s their time to really provide us with another way of looking at the world.

The issues are monumental. If you go to most countries, including in Africa, majority of their population are young below the age of 20 years old. [We] have that reality hitting us right in the face on a planet with diminishing resources. How do we begin to conserve our energy, our resources? How do we begin to protect this fragile planet, Mother Earth?

All of these things are on the table of, not only those of us that are mature, but at the forefront, apex, of young people’s ideas as well.

On service and unity

“How do we talk about service? How do we talk about a new kind of love? Dr. [Martin Luther] King always referred to the idea of agape love. How do we transform our societies into life-affirming nations and communities of love where we are able to sit at table, break bread and carry on the discourse about peace?

Peace, as King would say, is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of justice.

Dro Ameh

On August 25, a bundle of Nigerian musicians will be going on a hunger strike, if they stay true to their words. I got a press release from Efe Omorgbe a week ago informing of this  decision, reached at a world press conference held in July: Hunger Strike to begin from the 25th of August and declaration of September 1st as ‘No Music Day’.

“Before the strike, there will be an important rally of stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry at the premises of the National Theatre, Lagos at 10.00am on August 25. ‘The rally will offer an opportunity to artistes and investors across the industry to network and devise strategies to frontally attack the piracy scourge that is plundering the Nigerian entertainment industry,” the press released informed. On September 1st, delegates representing the music industry would head to the National Assembly in Abuja as broadcast houses would not air  music between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm on this day.

The coalition that decided on the hunger strike and ‘No Music Day’ is made up of Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Nigerian Association of Recording Industries (NARI), Performing & Mechanical Rights Society Ltd/Gte (PMRS), Association of Music Business Professionals (AM.B-Pro), Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Music Label Owners Association of Nigeria (MULOAN), Gramophone Records & Cassette Dealers (AGRECD), Music Advertisers Association Of Nigeria (MAAN) and Audio /Video CD Sellers Association of Nigeria (AVCDSAN).

Their conclusion at the press conference reads as follows:

1. Set up a Governing Board made up of Nigerians of proven commitment and integrity to design and supervise the activities of the Nigerian Copyright Commission in accordance with the Nigerian Copyright Act as the records show that for more than five years, the Nigerian Copyright Commission has only had a Board for a period of a few months in 2005.

2. Direct the Nigerian Copyright Commission to immediately put on hold the process of approval of any new copyright collective management organization pending the IMMEDIATE convening of a stake holder’s conference on Collective Management to ensure that the process receives input from the stakeholders that will earn any organization emerging from the process the support of the industry.

3. Direct the Inspector General of Police to serve a warning to the traders at Alaba International Market in Lagos, the world’s biggest hotbed of piracy, that if within a specified period the traders do not clean up the market, the government will shut Alaba market down.

Days after I received the press release, I was with friend and an artiste who was checking his emails at my place when he got a mail informing him of the decision and request his support and after reading, he hissed at the decision of a hunger strike and convinced me with the reasons that followed his disgust at the hunger strike decision: “They all (referring to the coalition) sat down and saw hunger strike as an option to fight piracy,” he wailed.

Rumblings and lip service had being how far the fight at piracy had gone but recently, it looks like the entertainment industry particularly the musicians are finally ready to take on the issue with commitment, energy and willpower. History just has not had a tale of success with demonstration or even hunger strike. Remember Charly Boy who was militant in his advocate against piracy and held demonstrations and actions of such years ago with his ‘okada’ (motorcycle) bikers, he got good press coverage for a few days  and in addition, a trip to the police station. Still piracy today is big business.

I honestly believe that the entertainment industry is mistaken in their approach of trying to get the government to handle the issue of piracy on their behalf. The same government that would say “no more discussions with ASUU”.

Ponder over this for a while – Education gets shut out and lecturers are left to keep striking and you think the government would see a ‘small’ (piracy is in no way small) problem with the young,informal and inexperienced musicians as a serious problem that are comparing piracy to the education of the millions of Nigerian students at home as a result of the strike.

Here is what I see as a solution: our penalties against piracy are still stuck in the 17th century. How will a pirate really be detracted from piracy when the penalty for piracy is a token fine and ridiculously short imprisonment in the alternative? Paralyzing civil action is the solution, the pirates are known and getting proof to persecute them is obtainable.

It is an open secret that many members of the industry know who the big pirates are. The industry knows which replicating plants are involved in this and they know the ring leaders of the piracy club in this country. In case of doubt, it is easy to investigate this with private or public investigators to identify the major pirates. Once this is done, it becomes very easy to take them down in a legal way without much fuss and without any hunger strike of civil disobedience.

Take for instance 20 artistes whose works have been pirated by a known pirate suing him individually in different court jurisdictions across the country. If these same 20 artistes repeat the action against 5 different pirates at the same time, we will have 100 individual lawsuits against these pirates. I sincerely believe that ‘Multiple legal offensive’ approach will certainly provide more concrete and measurable solutions in the long run as opposed to the sensational but ultimately ineffective idea of having demonstrations and hunger strikes which will only be reported for a few days before everybody goes back to business as usual.

07025130202, droameh@gmail.com

Ed’s Note: People, we are really pleased that the copyright conversation is still going on – After reading this blog entry you can scroll down and check out Abidemi Dairo and Segun Balogun’s article on the same topic: ‘Release our ringtone royalties’

Have fun reading!

REVENUE GENERATION FROM RINGTONES, RING BACK TONES AND FULL TRACK DOWNLOAD FOR THE NIGERIAN ARTISTE (PART 1)

Michael Philips

Ring back tones and ringtones allow users to customize their mobile phones with music and other sounds of their choice, but there is one very big difference between them. Ringtones are played out when your mobile phones rings or receives an text message whereas ring back tones replaces the “bum” “bum” sound when you call someone and plays while you wait for someone you are calling to answer.

The Nigerian mobile phone industry is booming, with the country ranked as the biggest mobile telecoms market in Africa and 8th in the world.

The Nigerian music industry is also growing fast with international award winning artistes like Tuface, Dbanj, and 9ice hitting the scene with songs that have become street anthems in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

Ringback tones and ringtones are a big deal for the Nigerian music industry.

Consumers have shown that they are willing to pay multiple times for the same song in different formats — once for the full track, once for the ringtone and once for the ringback tone.

Research shows that mobile operators in Nigeria are able to monetize the same song three times with the ringtone selling for N100, the ringback tone for N100 per download and N100 for monthly subscription and the full track for N150.

The Research firm Multimedia Intelligence reports that the market for ringback tones will see revenue triple by 2012 to $4.7 billion.

The questions arising are these?

1. How can the Nigerian artiste participate fully in the value chain of mobile content business?

2. Is the Nigerian artiste knowledgeable on how to participate?

3. Do Nigerian artiste/ record labels have a mobile content strategy?

4. What are the challenges in royalties and right of use?

5. Who are these people called “content providers”?

6. What role does the Mobile Network Operator play?

7. How do we minimize the impact from DRM or piracy on mobile music?

There lots of success stories in the mobile content industry. Some are:

1.SOUJA BOY- sold over 1 million piece of ringtones.

2.Alicia Keys- sold over 500,000 piece of ring back tones of Hit song “ NO ONE”

There are real figures – with over 48 million mobile phone subscribers in the country indicating that Nigerian artistes can do the same.

For questions and comment please freely call me up on 08065477209.

Regards, Michael Philips

Ringtones

By Abidemi Dairo & Segun Balogun

The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has again accused telecommunication companies in the country of Copyright violation by using Nigerian music as ringtones for their subscribers without paying the required royalties.

And on June 1, the Deputy Governor of PMAN (Lagos chapter), Bvoo, led a group of representatives to MTN’s head office at Golden Plaza in South-West Ikoyi, to protest the use of members music as ringtones without compensation.

Bvoo said: “These telecommunication companies are stealing from artists. They are not encouraging us, instead they are giving us bulls…t. They make use of our works without payment.

“If you check phones, you’ll discover that 80 percent of these ringtones are homemade. These are works made from the sweat of hardworking Nigerian artists. They refuse to pay for the usage of these works either by paying the artist directly or paying the body acting on behalf of these artists,” he said.

He also stressed that PMAN is ready to do everything legal to protect the interest of its members. “We have woken up, and we are ready to take the bull by the horn. We need to be paid,” he said.

Andrew Okereke, the Public Relations Manager for MTN, however, countered that PMAN is just presenting a new proposal to his organisation.

“The truth of the matter is that on Monday (June 1) they came and after our discussions they apologised. We have been dealing with them via a third party initially but they are now requesting that we make arrangements to deal with them directly.

They are asking us for a new partnership and to that, we have asked that they write us officially. We are still waiting for their letter,” Mr. Okereke said.

The Truth about Royalties

“We have never dealt with them in person,” Mr. Okereke said. “There has always been a third party. We will just look into it and see if we can work in partnership with them.”

PMAN’s national president, Tee Mac also confirmed the action taken against the telecommunication companies.

“Yes we decided to seek legal action against these telecommunication companies. We believe that as a union and with the assistance of the law, we can get them to pay these royalties,” he said.

He also confirmed that this was the first time PMAN was asking to be paid royalties directly.

“Initially, they (telecommunication companies) made arrangements which they refused to honour with the Music Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), which is the body designated to collect these royalties.

The body now has cases against these companies for refusing to pay for the use of these artists’ works,” he said.

The Third Party

The chief executive of MCSN, Imayo Ayilaran, stressed that the organisation is also involved in legal battles with the telecommunication companies.

“As of today (June 4), the Federal High Court has just ruled in our (MCSN) favour for Zain to pay ₦100 million for copyright infringement,” he revealed.

He confirmed that the body initially had an agreement with the companies but has backed out because the companies refused to commit to their own end of the agreement.

“Initially, we had an agreement which we thought was a good faith gesture but it was actually bait from these telecommunication companies. They first promised to settle through their content providers who will determine how much was owed but they have never honoured it,” he said.

When NEXT contacted Zain, a public relations official declined to comment on the issue.

“MCSN is not a representative of local artists alone,” Mr. Ayilaran revealed. “We represent a global protection of music rights. Although we are not a member of PMAN, they will have our support and encouragement if they are fighting against copyright infringement.”

Listen to rapper/producer OB Jazz talk about the latest Red Man/Method Man collaboration, Black Out II

OB Jazz

Then check out the X2 Podcast – Listen to us yak on Bruno, Eminem and being the butt of jokes!

Photo: Ayeni the Great

Exterior view of the ICC Photo: HHW

Personally, I’m a bit tired of this Hip-Hop World Awards business but as work requires, something has to be documented. People crying foul all over the place, like they want blood! Well, what else did they expect from A Prize to Die For, eh? Don’t cry for me Maradonna. Dribbling @$$ muthafuhgedaboudit!

Pah!

Let me start by taking my hat off to the organizers for throwing together this awards package for the fourth consecutive year. Their commitment and dedication to honoring hard work (or their friends and personal favorites, as has been alleged) has to be lauded.

Now that that’s out the way, let’s get into this thing real proper-like (word to Hammer) so I can get back to more important things like ESPN.com. People have been screaming blue murder (what the heck does that mean, anyhow?) since the award ceremony held at Abuja’s International Conference Center on May 16. (View some of the feedback here). My thing is, doesn’t this happen after EVERY award ceremony? The truth of the matter is that everybody cannot be pleased all the time. The individualistic nature of human beings ensures that we agree to disagree. Opinions are like @$$ holes and EVERYBODY farts. With that in mind, I’m quite constipated!

Let’s start with the title; Hip-Hop World Awards. Hip-Hop World. At first glance, heck, 100th through millionth glance, what that says is that these are the awards for the world of Hip-Hop. Fantastic! So the question is… what are lounge singers (notice singers not lyricists, in case anyone has any Lyricist Lounge quip to throw in) and their songs doing in Hip-Hop’s world? I beg your pardon (like you’d really execute me) but that’s an intrusion… OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

Don’t get me wrong, some of this music is fantastic, it just doesn’t belong! Why should Klingons get nominated at the Human World Awards? Heck, Mr. Worf’s people is taking it too far, do you think Mufasa would get a nod at the Worlds? And we all know how much of a great king he was! The general consensus (unless, of course, you belong to this particular Hip-Hop World) is that the title is misleading. There is no problem with the categories (well, most of them but we’ll get there) really, the problem is with the name. As the Hip-Hop World Awards, let’s stick to Hip-Hop, please? If the genre’s pop and R&B cousins are making appearances, then let’s have a different title, no? Hip-Hop World speaks on its credibility and importance, so heck, call it the Credible & Important Awards for all I care but don’t throw a genre into the title that will end up confusing people! (A member of the team actually tried to use the Grammys as an example… You will behave!)

That’s the ‘title’ beef out the window, so let’s keep it moving. Since we have the categorical ‘defect’ in place, we have to work with it. Now let’s get into an award by award analysis. The major sticking points that have surfaced are Banky W’s ‘Best Vocal Performance (Male)’ win over Darey, ID Cabasa’s ‘Producer of the Year’ nod over Don Jazzy Again!!!, Etcetera’s ‘Recording of the Year’ win and D’banj’s award snub. Worry not. Inspector Doc will get to the bottom of this. (All the winners are in bold)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Photo: Ayeni the Great

9ice looks like he's got 'headie' on his mind. Photo: HHW

Unstoppable – 2face Idibia

The Entertainer – D’banj

Gongo Aso – 9ice

Talk About it – M.I.

Paradigm Shift – ModeNine

This is one award many felt should have gone to D’banj. While I’d say I agree, 9ice winning this award isn’t sacrilege. While 9ice’s album featured the hits “Gongo Aso,” “Party Rider,” “Street Credibility” and “Photocopy,” there is a serious argument that D’banj’s The Entertainer had Mo’ Hits. 🙂 Of its ten tracks, seven are bona fide hits, “Kimon” didn’t get enough of a push to make it the eight monster and while “Celebrate” and “If You Dey Crase” are decent tracks, they don’t quite match up to the other songs on the disc. Where 9ice may have an edge over the Koko Master is that his tracks are both thought provoking and entertaining, while D’banj explosively channels the latter. However, on “The Entertainer,” D’banj put paid to that argument by clearly spelling out who he is: ‘For those of you that think I cannot sing/…/that one na for your pocket/you don’t really have to sing anything at all/you know the good thing about being an entertainer?/haa! you can entertain them, let them move their body/you don’t have to make sense/…/I’m serious, you think I’m joking?/okay, watch this/skibbeedeebeedeebeedeebee sada pay da cha/who? Sami jana Fujikama Princess Anna-Vous/ha! Hooda machanabe brrrr dat sangabe brrrr get yo bullsh!t (gibberish)/microphone, psycho-phone, hooruweeeeee, psychopath/shee ree wee wee wit dat wee ree ree wee ree microstat/ha maka wack/hee niggeeree yak/hee ya (skkk kkk kkk).’ With that in mind, even though I see how 9ice could be awarded in this category, D’banj is my pick. No long t’in!

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

D’banj

PSquare

Timaya

9ice

Once again, the Koko Master’s subjects feel their master was hard done by. Again, I can see why Alapomeji’s favorite son was bestowed with the honor. As powerful as PSquare’s shine is, this category was really a two horse race. I will take my argument back to the ‘Album of the Year.’ These two were everywhere but I feel D’banj was more prevalent in the ‘year in review.’ (We can’t forget there was the coming out party for his Mo’ Hits All Stars as well). Two great, deserving artists, unfortunately, just one award.

SONG OF THE YEAR

“Fall in Love” – D’banj

“In Case You Never Know” – 2 Shotz featuring Timaya

Gongo Aso” – 9ice

“Good or Bad” – J Martins featuring Timaya & PSquare

There can really be no complaints about this one. Well, there are a few but this was the jam! While “Fall in Love” became the new Wedding anthem, toddlers to geriatrics (the Benjamin Button variety included) were all up on “Gongo Aso.” Heck, there’s even that popular youtube clip of some Greek dude zoning out on his guitar!

RECORDING OF THE YEAR

“Street Credibility” – 9ice featuring 2face Idibia

“Not the Girl” – Darey

Michelle” – Etcetera

“Can’t Do Without U” – 2face Idibia featuring Melissa Briggs

My question is… WTF is the point of this category, exactly? ‘Song of the Year’ don’t cut it? Uh… okay (head scratch). Anyway, “Michelle” is a really good song, sorry, recording but the argument is that it was recorded outside the ‘year in review.’ If that is true, then “Street Credibility” is easily a better song than the others in the category. Snap! I did it again. I apologize. Let’s try that one again… “Street Credibility” is easily a better recording than the others in this category. Now that’s better. Otherwise, Etcetera is indeed deserving.

(PS – Is it just me or is it sad that not one Hip-Hop song… AAARGGGGH! RECORDING, RECORDING!!! was nominated at the Hip-Hop World Awards? Just saying…)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Tee-Y Mix – “Kini Big Deal”

Don Jazzy – “Fall in Love”

ID Cabasa – “Gongo Aso”

Terry G – “In Case You Never Know”

Jesse Jagz – “Short Black Boy”

First of all, why are songs being attached to the ‘Producer of the Year’ category? It’s misleading time again! The rationale reads:

“The individual responsible for producing the most acclaimed album in the year under review. His CV for the year includes top notch tracks and production credits no one can fault.”

Okay. Not everybody is Don Baba J who monopolizes the production of his artists’ work, so that criterion is dodge. The CV criterion makes sense but the inclusion of single tracks on the nomination list is anothe head scratch. Anyway, let’s not dwell on these head scratches (unless you have craw-craw). Moving on. If Gongo Aso is indeed the ‘Album of the Year’ then it makes sense that its main beatsmith should win this award. However, the other nominees have pretty good catalogues too.

Cabasa also lent his skills to Lord of Ajasa amongst others, while Don Jazzy has his Mo’ Hits catalogue plus smash hit “Wind Am Well” and Tee-Y Mix was all over the place too from Naeto to Ikechukwu to Darey. Terry G had his personal work, tracks for Kemistry, Illbliss, 2 Shotz and others, while young Jesse is still building his catalogue. It’s a tossup really but I’ll lean towards Tee-Y for his cross genre versatility.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

“Bosi Gbangba” – eLDee (Alfonso Dormun) (view)

“Roll it” – PSquare (Jude Okoye) (view)

“Pere” – D’banj & the Mo’ Hits All Stars (DJ Tee) (view)

“9ja Boyz” – IGHO (IGHO) (view)

Not one of these videos is anything spectacular. They are all well shot but pretty basic. While “Bosi Gbangba,” “Roll it” and “Naija Boy” all employ a combination of posing and dancing in different incarnations, “Pere” wins for me for at least having a plot.

(PS – This needs to be renamed the ‘Jude Okoye Award’ as this is his third win in four tries. Was he nominated last year?)

BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL ALBUM

Gift & Grace – Timaya

Me, Musiq & I – BlackFace

Ichiban – Chakka da Souljah

My Shine – Black Solo

Uh… whatever you say homey!

BEST R&B/POP ALBUM

The Entertainer – D’banj

Unstoppable – 2face Idibia

Etcetera – Etcetera

Gongo Aso – 9ice

Mr. Capable – Banky W.

See ‘Album of the Year.’

(PS – Maybe Etcetera didn’t record the rest of the album like he did “Michelle,” eh?)

BEST RAP ALBUM

M.I. with one of two 'headies' on the night Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. concentrating on 'headie' Photo: werunthings.net

Talk About it – M.I.

Paradigm Shift – ModeNine

Second Turning by the Right – Lord of Ajasa

You Know My P – Naeto C

Definitely the best of the lot, although in fairness to Lord of Ajasa, I haven’t had an in depth listen to his album yet 😦

BEST COLLABO

“Street Credibility” – 9ice featuring 2face Idibia

“Le Fenu So” – Lord of Ajasa featuring 9ice

“Good or Bad” – J Martins featuring Timaya & PSquare

“E Fi Mi Le” – YQ featuring Da Grin

“Bush Meat” – Sound Sultan featuring 2face Idibia & W4

To be completely honest, any of these songs could have won this award.

BEST RAP SINGLE

“Safe” – M.I. featuring Djinee

“Talking to You” – ModeNine featuring Banky W

“Waa Wa Alright” – Kel

“Kini Big Deal” – Naeto C

Even though this category seems to be a foregone conclusion, it is the toughest so far. “Safe” has a simple, soulful beat that is relaxing and enjoyable. Couple that with Mr. Incredible’s witticism and it’s a hot song. “Talking to You” has a hard hitting beat and Mr. Capable’s ad libs and flow on the hook really lift this battle anthem. “Waa Wa Alright” is an impressive Hip-Hop anthem. The raucous chorus and old school flow employed by Ms. Kel make this one to wait for in the clubs. While these three songs are hot, the winner is fire! Every dance floor, regardless of location, is literally lit up by this banger. The ‘P’ is heavy on this one, Wallahi Tallahi!

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE)

Banky W. poses with his 'headie' and co-host, Kemi Adetiba Photo: HHW

Banky W. trying to get 'headie' from co-host, Kemi Adetiba Photo: HHW

“Not the Girl” – Darey

“Don’t Break My Heart” – Banky W.

“Michelle” – Etcetera

“Taboo” – Wande Coal

Ah! The main bone of contention. It is a touchy subject but I think the ‘Hip-Hop Peoples’ got this non-Hip-Hop category correct. Singing on similar subjects, Banky comes off as more sincere emotionally. While Darey gives a very energetic performance that commands your attention, the more laidback, scared and pleading Banky W. wins out in the vulnerability sweepstakes. While “Michelle” was well recorded, I guess the vocals didn’t quite match up, eh? Seriously though, the verses didn’t quite match the chorus’ intensity, so that lets him down. Wande Coal on the other hand is the human Auto-Tune. What he does with his voice is madness but this is not the song that will bring him vocal recognition.

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)

Omawumi accepting her 'headie' from Ego Photo: HHW

Omawumi receiving 'headie' from Ego Photo: HHW

“In the Music” – Omawumi

“Never Felt this Way Before” – Nikki Laoye

“Somewhere” – Waje

A decent little girl fight this is. All are competent singers but with Omawumi channeling 80s Whitney Houston and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, plus her Idols pedigree, she gets the ever-so-slight edge.

NEXT RATED

Omawumi wins a car key Photo: HHW

First, 'headie' now a GIANT vibrator??? Photo: HHW

YQ – “E Fi Mi Le”

MP – “Pasa Pasa”

Kel – “Waa Wa Alright”

Djinee – “Lade”

Omawumi – “In the Music”

Like the ‘Producer of the Year’ category before it, did this one really require song accompaniment? Anyway, Djinee is an agbaya for being in this category. Yes, he’s officially unreleased (as per award criterion) but, still… Agbaya! Moving on, at first glance, Kel & MP have impressed me most in this category. However, all I’ve had is a glance, so the outcome of this one is up in the air really.

HIP-HOP WORLD REVELATION

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING!!!

(If only that were the case, pah!)

M.I. flanked by Mama & Papa Abaga Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. tries not to think of 'headie' as he's flanked by Mama & Papa Abaga Photo: werunthings.net

M.I. – Talk About it

Banky W – Mr. Capable

Naeto C – You Know My P

Nikki Laoye – Angel for Life

Okay, now we’re abandoning the songs for albums? Ah well. If the ‘year under review’ (I can’t believe I had it wrong all this time. Maybe that voids everything else I’ve said, eh?) is the basis for this award, then of these nominees, this is Naeto C’s award. I say this because the ‘year under review” is December 2007 to December 2008. M.I. really started assaulting the airwaves in late 08 into 09. Last year, Naeto C had the whole nation asking, “What’s the P?”

AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Buffalo – “Bubble Your Bumz”

Tinny – “I Dey Kolo”

Dogg – “Can You Feel it”

Witness – “Zero”

Besides Tinny, I’m not familiar with any of these artists. I don’t know who should have won. Apparently, neither did Hip-Hop World.

(PS – Did you notice the song thing again? These guys sure are stuck in their ways)

LYRICIST ON THE ROLL

ModeNine – “Nine”

M.I. “Talk About it”

Lord of Ajasa – “Esa Lo Bade”

Da Grin – “Pon Pon Pon”

Ah! It’s the accompanying song again. I give up! Anyway, before I go into this, someone needs to answer a very baffling question for me… WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY ROLLING TO? Or from for that matter? Oh, I get it. Somebody was feeling lyrical. Ah! Tcheeew! ‘Best Lyricist’ or ‘Lyricist of the Year’ just wouldn’t cut it, yeah? Shame.

Anyway, Hip-Hop World should just get it over and done with and rename this the ‘ModeNine D!©k Riding Award.’ It’s a perfect four out of four for ModeNine at the Hip-Hop World Awards. Disturbingly, there’s no information on past winners or nominees on the official web site, so I can’t really weigh in on past nominees but on this shortlist, the ‘Short Black Boy’ takes the cake. Or should that be bread roll?

BEST STREET HOP

Chairman of Bobbee FC getting 'headie' Photo: HHW

Chairman of Bobbee FC loves 'headie' Photo: HHW

“Esa Lo Bade” – Lord of Ajasa

“Pon Pon Pon” – Da Grin

“04kasibe” – Zeez

“E Fi Mi Le” – YQ

“Collabo” – DeeBee

Help!!! Anybody???

HIP-HOP WORLD HALL OF FAME

Grand Master Lee and Phillip Trimnell

Uh… congratulations guys.

MISSING IN ACTION

In the “From the Jury” section of the Hip-Hop World Awards ’09 Special Invitation packet, four criteria are put down explaining the nomination process.

Criterion number four states thus:

“We also excluded songs that glorify scam, alcohol abuse, narcotics and promote wanton sex from this year’s Awards. These songs would have made the list if they had clean or edited radio versions and censored videos; hence, excluding them from our nominees’ list is our own contribution towards the development of a socially responsible music industry and the society at large.”

While this is very commendable, the final decision – based on some nominations – on which songs exactly fit this profile, is rather blurry. A monster hit from last year, Ikechukwu’s “Wind Am Well” was visibly absent. It should have received nominations for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Rap Single.’ (I would have said ‘Recording of the Year’ but I don’t know how well it was recorded). What exactly was so off-base about this song? Does it really differ from Mo’ Hits’ “Pere” or eLDee’s “Bosi Gbangba?” And what is Zeez’s “04kasibe” really talking about? That ‘four cardinal points’ story is a load of croc! And ‘my head, my heart, my thing dey go diggy diggy diggy diggy dong dong dong dong’ from MP’s “Pasa Pasa” (what the hell is that, anyway?) is PC compared to Killz’s ode to dancing honeys? Oh well! This especially sucks for Kelly Hansome, whose “Maga Don Pay” was musical napalm.

There are even more head scratches. 2 Shotz’s “In Case U Never Know” was nominated for ‘Song of the Year’ but didn’t even get a look in the ‘Best Rap Single’ category. How does that work??? And the eventual ‘Best Rap Single,’ “Kini Big Deal,” definitely, definitely had to at least be nominated for ‘Song of the Year,’ as well as the ever-so-spiritual ‘Recording of the Year.’ Why didn’t any of Darey’s videos get a ‘Best Video’ nod? “Carry Dey Go” (view) is too sexual, eh? Or just not good enough? “Not the Girl” (view) not the video? There are other loopholes in there but you have fun finding them yourselves.

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. A big @$$ nutshell but a nutshell all the same. My rant is through. There are those that will agree with me, those that will call me an utter twat and even those that will come after me. Been there. Done that. Own the Theme Park.

If nothing else, the 2009 Hip-Hop World Awards has opened the floodgates for serious, comical and unimportant discourse. I hope that the aftermath of 2010 is even more mad.

The definition of Hip-Hop is up in the air, really. I mean, Sisqo’s “Thong Song” took home the ‘Best Hip-Hop Video’ award at the 2000 MTV VMAs and 9ice also won the ‘Best Hip-Hop Act’ award at the 2008 MAMA with ZAIN (ahead of Lil Wayne and The Game no less). Go figure! Even our dear Hip-Hop World addressed this in their latest magazine. In the ‘Dead Curious’ section of the magazine, there were three 9ice entries to this effect:

· After picking the Best Hip-Hop artist of the year at, MAMA, shouldn’t 9ice hit the studio to record the rap version of his hit single Gon Gon Aso?

· How did 9ice beat American act Lil Wayne and The Game in the Best Hip-Hop category of the MTV African Music Awards?

· And come to think of it, how did he get nominated in the Hip-Hop category in the first place?

(All of a sudden, I have a really bad cough. I wonder why).

While our darling Hip-Hop is open to varied interpretations, she’s definitely “Not the Girl” Darey sang about. It’s a discussion ya’ll, so let’s Talk About it. This has been a presentation of A Prize to Cry For, so ‘here’s a tissue/stop your blood clot crying.’

Word to BIG.