First off, this isn’t me trying to set a straight record straight. It’s just me trying remind everyone that the record is straight and ain’t nothing bending it. Ssssh.
A video of some American (you really can’t be sure they’re not Nazis, anyway) DJ’s trash-talking Wizkid, started making rounds online. But it’s not the first time someone will try to put dirt on Wiz.
But really it is the first time foreign music heads show something less than respect for Afrobeats. You don’t slander Fela, or Africa or Afro. You don’t call us shithole countries, like Trump. You don’t just do that.
It’s bad enough that Wizkid was dragged, but that “there is no face of Afrobeats” is not just a racist comment, but a Nazi propaganda. What does Hitler have to do with any of this any way? It’s just a bunch of guys who don’t know what they’re saying.
The year is 2014. I just recently acquired a radio, was my dad’s before, but he wasn’t using that stuff anymore. And I didn’t have a phone. Radio Continental, Top Radio, RayPower and Cool FM, were my go-to’s. If there was no music playing, ain’t running my battery on shit.
Then one day, Summer of ’15, maybe, I tuned in to one of my stations and I heard Wizkid playing. I stopped tuning, placed the radio where I’ll hear it clearly and started vibing to the song. Then I heard a foreign voice song “I’m feeling good tonight, this thing got me thanking God for life, I can’t explain it…” It was a little guy I “might like, called Drake”.
May sound bizarre, that was the first time I heard Drake. The next time was “One Dance” I checked it out cause it had Wizkid on it. Later on, I became a fan of Drizzy (I still am.) BUT, if in 2015, wouldn’t it be extra stupid to say “if not for Wizkid, nobody knows Drake here”, even though it was true for some of us? My guess, it is a stupid thing to say. Because people that are not me are actually listening to Drake. I know that because I made my research.
But what does it take to do a podcast, these days? Just a voice, a mic. Research isn’t. Brains isn’t. Manners isn’t. Respect isn’t.
Wizkid has always been the face of the new Afro. A feat he has achieved by grinding, making connections, disappointing us, changing his vibe, trying out new sounds, being an abridged version of Bob Marley and Fela, at the same time. How many compromises? Four white DJ’s on a podcast can’t change anything.
He started by winning the BET Best International Act, in 2012. Long before Drake happened. I didn’t even have my radio then. And there is no way anyone that’s not myopic won’t see that he has not only become the face of Afro, but also the King of African Music.
Come to think of it? Why were they talking about Wizkid on their podcast to an audience who they think don’t know him or his music? Either it’s a stunt, or they just didn’t know what they are saying. Both don’t look good.