Law & Policy, Music Business

Celebrity Blogger Linda Ikeji Explains Why She Took Wizkid’s Threat to the Police cc: @Pepsi @Pepsi_Naija @Essencefest @Drake

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Celebrity blogger Linda Ikeji has shared why she took Wizkid’s threat of assault to the police, and she echoes every sentiment I have ever made on this issue on this blog.

If you follow this blog, you know I am no “respecter” of faces. When a Nigerian promoter, writer and professor Onyeka Nwelue called for the lynching of Ice Prince because he was an alleged no show at a concert in Paris, I said it was very dangerous, criminal and should not be tolerated. It wasn’t because I liked Ice Prince’s music (I am not a fan) or that I hang out with the folks at Chocolate City (I don’t). It was because it was WRONG to make such terrible statements inciting or calling for violence against another human being.

With Linda Ikeji, the same thing applies. Over the course of five years of having this blog, Linda Ikeji has become a popular blogging topic on AML due to her actions and the reactions by those she gossips about. I have had a clear difference of opinion and conclusions on Linda’s actions where I have said she most likely could be liable in the nearest future for defamation, challenged her on the continued infringement of other people’s content, and how she has handled information that has proven very detrimental to others, among other things. The links to my coverage on Linda will probably fill at least an entire blog page if I were to list them. I believe this has led to a categorical refusal by Linda Ikeji to share extremely valuable content I publish here on AML with her audience. I have sent Linda press releases soliciting her to use her platform to share these exclusive content that typically cost a arm and a leg so we can collectively educate our people, our entertainment industry and our artists. She has refused to share. Imagine the likes of Linda sharing such powerful content to change the mindset of Nigerians, help Nigerians value intellectual property of others, among other things. Again, Linda never publishes anything I send. Do I care? No. Will that make me applaud others that threaten violence against her? No. Like Linda says in her write up below, she has supported Wizkid for years. Me too.

I have supported Wizkid from the onset. First on my platform at Ladybrille. I even put the boy on a cover (I think his first U.S. cover). On this platform, I have too and on the backend in the entertainment industry stateside, I have too. On AML, I have celebrated and documented almost every success he has ever had and his rise to global fame. However, I will NOT support violence against any woman, period. I don’t care whether a man or woman advocates for such violence and whether the person they think should be victim of violent acts is liked or not. Who freaking cares? Like who cares?  It is irrelevant whether Ikeji likes me or I like her or whether she is hated by many because she does her job pretty well as a gossip blogger. Who cares? That is not the issue. Stick with the issue. Did Wizkid call for violence. Yes. Is his act illegal? Yes. Should there be consequences to his action? Yes. Wizkid crossed the line and again shame particularly on people who are so caught up with the intense hate they have for Linda Ikeji that they fail to see the big picture.

LadybrilleWizkid

Again I applaud Linda and again, I am disappointed with Nigerians who should know better, especially women, publicly affirming that Wizkid’s threat is okay and that Linda Ikeji “deserves it.” Shame. I am also disappointed with Nigerian popular media platforms that have chosen to keep silent rather than use their platforms to make clear their stance against violence. I hope these platforms will pivot and at a minimum report the fact that Linda has filed a police complaint against Wizkid.

In case you missed my prior writings where I called for Pepsi and Essence to pull the plug on Wizkid for his threat, click the highlighted links to get to the stories. I am also adding a video clip on how the average Nigerian man sees the role of a woman in that society to further emphasize why Wizkid’s statements inciting violence is dangerous.

Finally, to brands doing business with Wizkid and Wizkid, Linda has a powerful platform. I believe over 10million visits per month if not substantially more. When people now type Wizkid in Google, the search results will likely bring up a headline or stories that include his threat of an assault against her. Pepsi, Essence, Tinie Tempah, Sunday Are and any brand or persons doing business with Wizkid, if you have kept silent because you were all about the money, you can no longer keep silent. Advise your client and/or artist to issue a public apology for his actions because his actions will affect your bottom line, guaranteed. Also, if you are a true music business head, then you know or should know that Wizkid collaborating with Drake where he sings the bridge to the now popular song ‘One Dance,’ further underscores why he should apologize. He is now on a global platform and his actions make him susceptible as a potential defendant, as well as you and your brands depending on how your brands are attached to him. He has money, you have money. Lawyers love that and so do potential litigants if your client or talent injures a Plaintiff who decides to fight him all the way through the legal court system whether here in the U.S., UK or Nigeria. In this instance, Linda has chosen the criminal court route and charges are yet to be filed by the Prosecutor’s office. But there is also remedy through the civil court system. Brands and individuals wise up. This is not a joke or something you can or should ignore. This is global music business and is very much  about your money and also doing the right thing. Get your talent to get his act and house in order. Start first with him issuing an official apology.

WizkidEssenceMusicFestival
-Ms.Uduak

By the way, this is NOT the first time Wizkid has done this. It is becoming a pattern and practice. He did this in the SAEON dispute where he said on video that he would “beat” Saeon over the alleged contract dispute he had with her. He also had a dispute with Samklef addressed it and did not threaten violence. For the female artist Saeon, he threatened violence. “This matter if we talk am too much, I fit beat Saeon for this camera.”

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/africamusiclaw/AML022SaeononWizkidContractDispute.mp3″]

Saeon EP

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Linda Ikeji Explains Why She Went to the Police

“I’m sure many of you have read that the police is now involved in my issue with Wizkid. Yes, I reported his public threat to me two Sundays ago to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and I want to explain why I did it! Please pay attention and keep an open mind.

I’ve read a lot online from people saying I don’t like Wizkid. Even Wizkid himself thinks I don’t like him. Why he or anyone would think so is puzzling to me to be honest. Apart from his achievements after he started insulting me online a few weeks ago…everything else, every succees Wizkid has recorded in the last 3/4 years is on LIB. All the awards, all the record breaking feats, his sold out concerts, his foreign magazine features, and collaborations, everything that has built him up to the young man he is today is on LIB. Please verify! Search my blog. Please continue…

I was a huge Wizkid fan. The only song I danced harder to than his ‘Dance For Me’ track was Fuse ODG’s ‘Antenna and Kiss Daniel & DJ Shabzy’s Raba. So, no, I had no dislike for Wizkid. But about a year ago, I noticed his indirect snide remarks at me…and when some other music star beefed with me, Wizkid showed his support and made disrespectful comments. That was when I noticed he had issues with me… but that didn’t stop me from writing about him and celebrating him.

Now to the issue at hand. When I reported that he was served quit notice at his Lekki home, I stated fact and I didn’t write it out of malice. It’s not everyday you get exclusive stories…and I’m sure any other blogger who got the story first would also have published it. So, there was no beef, I was just doing my job. A day or so after I wrote this story, Wizkid went on my instagram page to call me names and lied that I slept with some director of his…which I have said before is 1000% lies! But the insult and lies is not why the police is now involved.

Here’s the thing; You can insult me, insult my family, call me any names you like, even lie that I slept with your forefathers…but don’t threaten me. If you threaten me, I will act!

I read people online saying that I reported to the police because I am scared of Wizkid. No, my darlings, I am not afraid of Wizkid. Though I do not take his threats lightly. I went to the authorities for two reasons…and please young boys of our generation, pay attention to what I am about to write below.

You see, violence against women and threat of violence against women is not okay. Threatening harm to someone in a public space is a criminal act in every country of the world, including Nigeria. I bet some of you didn’t know that, yeah? You can not publicly threaten someone with harm. You will only get away with it if your victim doesn’t report to the authorities. If they do, you will have a case with the police and I promise you, the police take these things seriously.

I reported this case to the authorities because I want our young men to know this is not okay. You should not raise your hands on a woman. You shouldn’t even threaten to raise your hands on a woman. Wizkid wrote that he would send his 16 year old cousin to beat the shit out of me. Letting Wizkid get away with it is basically telling our young men that this is okay…and it’s not!

After Wizkid made the threat to me, I saw a lot of teen boys hailing and applauding him. To them, this was okay. If their idol can threaten a woman with harm, and use derogatory words, they also can do it…and that’s how the circle of abuse of women continues. Women being called ‘smelly pussy’ trended online for a day or two! Little boys were happy to use the words. Sad!

It is appalling to me that anyone, especially women, would cheer Wizkid on. When he wrote RIP Linda, I saw a few young girls write same, laughing. This is not a laughing matter. It doesn’t matter whether you like me or not! This is not about Linda Ikeji. This is about abuse of women which has eaten deep into our society, so deep that it has now been accepted as normal. Men do it all the time and get away with it. So many women are battered by their husbands and they refuse to speak up because of the stigma. They refuse to seek help because they are afraid of what people will say. I am sorry, I am not one of those women. I refuse to be victimized. And as long as I have my voice and my platform, I will speak up.

We women have to come together to lend a strong voice to the plight of women in our continent. When we see a woman being physically and mentally abused, let’s act. Let’s speak up. Let’s not laugh and say she deserves it. If we continue to keep quiet, the circle of abuse will continue. And one day, You, yes You, will find yourself in the receiving end of a thundering slap, followed by heavy blows. If not you, then maybe your daughter? Let’s condemn violence and threat of violence against women! This is not acceptable!

Young men like Wizkid, a father of two young boys himself, should never advocate violence against women. One day, he will have a daughter, how would he feel if another male threatens to put hands on her or even calls her a hoe?

I can’t count how many times Wizkid called me a hoe in his rant against me. That’s what boys do. When they get into a fight with a woman, they try to slut-shame her. Smelly pussy, hoe, ashawo etc. You call a woman, who gave another young woman, whose real name she doesn’t even know N500,000 just because she said she would rather work by carrying cement than prostitute herself (yes, Blessing Nicholas got N500k from me), that’s the person you call a hoe? When your mind is so warped you can’t differentiate between a woman and a hoe, then this is what happens. Except you drive to Sanusi Fanfuwa at 2am to pick up a prostitute, who proudly describes herself as one, then you shouldn’t call any woman a hoe.

Even Tupac who was a well known thug could differentiate between the types of women he dealt with. When asked in an interview why he called women bitches, he said people shouldn’t confuse things, that he wouldn’t address a mother or a sister the way he would address a bitch, that the bitches were the ones he dealt with in the clubs who behaved like one. He reiterated that he respected women!

In more civilized countries, Wizkid would have lost his endorsements and spent the next year or so apologizing and being in the fore-front of promoting anti-violence crusades against women. It took Chris Brown years to get back on his feet after his assault on a woman. Up till today, he doesn’t have any major endorsements and some countries still deny him entrance into their country i.e Australia for something he did 7 years ago. Yes, violence against women is serious!

And there’s the case of incitement. When you have power and influence, you have to be careful what you say in public. Because you have such power, something you say can influence your followers. A fan can commit acts that even you may not support or might not even condone. But because it came out of your mouth, they think you mean it. So it is irresponsible to say things that might be inciteful. In Law, you can be held responsible when people act based on what you said in public. Tupac was charged to court and indicted after some thugs killed a police officer. The thugs went to court and mentioned that their idol encouraged violence against LA police officers in a song where he said ‘Drop a cop’. So, we folks with some measure of influence should be more careful with our utterances. People are watching and listening!

The second reason I filed a police report is to encourage other women in similar situations to do same. My dear ladies, if a man threatens to puts hands on you, and you feel the threat is real, report to the authorities. Don’t wait until he does it. What if you don’t survive it? If he’s picked up and may be charged to court (yes, you can be charged to court for making threats…it’s a misdemeanor with a prison sentence), then he will think twice before making threats against you in the future or any other woman for that matter.

I went as far as I did for me and for other women. This is to pass a strong message to our young men that these kinds of behaviour towards women will not be tolerated. Should not be tolerated. If you assault or even threaten to assault a woman, the law will come after you if she chooses not to be silent. Women, don’t be silent. Let’s break the circle. For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of our daughters, grand daughters, great grand daughters and all other women that will follow them.

And that’s really all I have to say in the matter. Thank you guys for reading

And to Wizkid fans, please be rest assured that I wish him all the best in life. He will continue to grow from strength to strength (as long as he doesn’t endorse violence against women) and his light will never diminish. God brought him to this level and will continue to keep him. I have nothing but love for his craft and hope that one day, we will put this behind us.
God bless him, me, you and everyone else in the world
Cheers.

Oh and by the way, I’m starting my vlog series soon. #excited!”

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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1 Comment

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    I said it before–these so-called musicians and record labels are nothing but small boys with laptops. There’s no Clive Davis, or LA Reid, or Jimmy Iovine to reign them in, and show them how to act professionally. When was the last time we saw Drake threatening anyone–man or woman–in someone’s comments section? It won’t happen, because he’s a real musician, working within a real music industry. And if he did do something like that, there would be consequences.

    But are we really surprised by Ayo’s childish, offensive behavior? In recent years, we’ve seen him socializing in America with the likes of Chris Brown and Wale. Those two are some of the worst possible influences on a weak, impressionable, still-developing mind like Ayo’s. If he keeps learning from people like them, we already know how this story will end for him.

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