Is Linda Ikeji’s Grudge Against Wizkid Hurting the Afrobeats Movement & Culture?

In Music Business by Africa Music Law™4 Comments

In April 2016, Linda Ikeji indirectly discussed, on her blog, Wizkid’s refusal to acknowledge his second child from his second “baby mama.” Her reporting resulted in a very ugly/nasty behaviour by Wizkid including threatening physical assault on Ikeji.

After fans of Wizkid also joined in heaping insults and threatening violence against her, Ikeji,  rightfully engaged the Lagos State Police. The outcome was that Wizkid was forced to apologize and some other arrangements worked out by the police, that prevented his arrest and prosecution.

Since then, however, Ikeji has kept a grudge against Wizkid as demonstrated by her refusal to report any news stories about him, particularly his achievements that extend and propel Nigeria/Africa forward.

In case you are unfamiliar with Ikeji, she has one of the leading blogs in Africa, and also ranks on Alexa as one of the top 3,000 blogs, globally. Ikeji routinely covers news stories from all around the world ranging from celebrity, creepy, to gossip news, and everything in between.

When you have someone with such a powerful platform hold a grudge towards an artist that has wronged her, but apologized (albeit by police intervention), I believe the movement and culture suffers.

This is because some of Wizkid’s achievements are not just unique to Wizkid but for all Africans and Black people worldwide. They are for the culture.

For example, Africa Facts Zone summarizes Wizkid’s achievements in 2017 as follows:

“Wizkid’s 2017

1 ASCAP, 3 BBMAs, 2 iHeart Radio Awards, 1 Echo, 1 BET, 1 MOBO.

Grammy & Soul Train nod.

GWR.

Sold out Royal Albert Hall.

SFTOS on Billboard 200.

Tinie, Zara, Wale & Jeezy’s albums.

Come Closer, gold in Canada & Silver in the UK. Peaked at #58 (UK),#54 (CAN)”

Of all those achievements, Ikeji has reported zilch (0). Here is how Ikeji’s timeline of news on Wizkid has been.

  • From April 2016 to September 2017 (18months/1yr six months), Ikeji refused to report any news on Wizkid.
  • In September, she finally posted a music video by Shaydee ft. Wizkid. Presumably, Shaydee paid for the music video since Ikeji charges for music videos on her site.
  • After her audience challenged her about her holding a grudge, on December 1st, 2017, she published Classy DJ Exprezioni’s mixtape which included Wizkid.
  • On December 6, 2017, she promoted Flytime’s Rhythm Unplugged Concert which headline Wizkid.

How many Africans, despite all the creativity the continent has produced, have received the global recognition Wizkid has in today’s contemporary society?

Now let me be clear. Artists do not have a right to publicity on blogs. It is indeed very annoying and a major pet peeve for me when I see artists approach bloggers, myself included, with a sense of entitlement. Artists have their marketing budgets to promote their projects and should set aside funds for advertising on blogs. Bloggers should not be expected to provide free publicity to artists. (Bloggers you already know or should know to indicate “Advertising” or “Sponsored” posts when you are paid to promote any work on your blogs). If a blogger decides to do so, an artist should not think that gives them a right to encroach or limit the voice of the blogger, abuse or threaten violence for reporting other stories about the artist that the public has a right to know.

Wizkid did have a second baby from a second baby mama. So what Linda Ikeji reported was factual and true. Wizkid now has a third child from a third “baby mama”, his alleged manager and British brand consultant Jada Pollock.

However, 21 months later, isn’t it time for Ikeji to move beyond her grudge and focus on what is in the best interest of the culture, Nigeria/Africa et al?

-Ms. Uduak

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Comments

  1. If LIB doesn’t blog about Wizkid (which I really don’t blame her for, after all the insults & threats), Wizkid is still a global brand! In addition to this fact, other blogs/bloggers are still writing about him & to me, there’s little or no difference if LIB writes or does not write about him.
    Compliments of the season!!! x

    1. Author

      Compliments of the season to you too Toyeen.

      You have a valid point.

      However, even “global” brands, can and do become obsolete. And even global personal brands (celebrity artists in this case), can and do go from rocking stadiums with thousands to barely being able to fill up a club. Marketing/promotions/publicity does matter, and the support of your own African owned giant media brands does go a long way. Right now, it may not matter. In the long run, it could.

      At some point, Ikeji needs to go past the insults and threats (especially since he publicly apologized) and take a utilitarian approach that in the long run benefits the entire eco-system, including her.

      Thanks for your perspective.

      -Ms. Uduak

  2. I really don’t understand what you people are on about. What achievements has Ayo accomplished?
    So, he’s collaborated with some foreigners . . . so, what?
    He’s picked up some meaningless awards in some useless popularity contests . . . so, what?
    Where’s the classic album, though?
    Where’s the music that will make us Nigerians proud . . . the music that will last forever?
    So many people are impressed when a Nigerian is featured on foreign platforms, but what about us? Don’t you think we Nigerians are tired of hearing that same old faux-Jamaican drawl he spews all over his songs and the songs of others?
    Of all the musicians he’s supposedly signed to the laptop label, Starboy, over the years, how many have been successful in their own right? How many African artists has he included in his foreign endeavors? How many has he promoted in his high-profile interviews?
    Why are you people so blinded by what’s in front of you?
    Small-boy Wizkid threatens violence against a law-abiding Nigerian woman, but he gets a pass from public scrutiny because he knows Drake?
    All of the random women he has impregnated have been increasingly lighter in complexion than their predecessors, seemingly coinciding with his ascension to global fame, but we’re not to supposed notice? Are African women no longer desirable to the big-man global star?

    I’m not hating on Wizkid. I want him to do better, and I want the people/fans to expect more from him than what so many of them have been fooled into believing is greatness.
    Again, I’m not a hater, but I don’t care if you know Drake, or Jeezy, or if you’re cool with Davido. I want you, Wizkid Ayo, to stop painting
    sh!t gold and selling your people nonsense music. They’re so hungry for a reason to love themselves that they’ve started to believe the foolishness.

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