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6 Ways Journalist Osagie Alonge lost credibility with his M.I Abaga #LooseTalkPodcast Interview

As we all know by now, Osagie Alonge, M.I Abaga, and the ‘Loose Talk Podcast” Show Episode 82 have been trending since the episode published three days ago. Osagie Alonge is a journalist, a Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at Pulse Nigeria, a western owned media company. Three days ago, he invited M.I Abaga for an interview with Pulse Nigeria’s ‘Loose Talk Podcast’ show after M.I rained abuses on Osagie and his staff over an open letter article written by one of Pulse’s music staff that he disagreed with. This is not the first time M.I has been abusive towards Osagie and his staff when he disagrees with their writings. See for example:

  1. Celebrities Behaving Badly: “Keep My Name Out Your Mouth,” M.I …
  2. M.I Abaga: Rapper reacts to Osagie Alonge’s #FactsOnly. Calls him Stupid.

In any event, as indicated above, the podcast interview has since gone viral with many, including industry influencers, concluding that Osagie was very disrespectful and unprofessional with M.I, and even incompetent with his understanding of what it means to report “facts.” I agree that Osagie was very disrespectful and indeed shared my view on the topic with the following article: M.I Abaga v. Osagie Alonge on #LooseTalkPodcast: A mash up of insults, huge egos, disrespect, manipulation and attempt to control the narrative. 

This article, however, focuses on addressing my media colleagues and outlines six ways I believe Osagie Alonge lost his credibility by letting M.I Abaga “play” him on the Loose Talk Podcast show. I hope it helps you avoid putting yourselves in similar situations. By the way, by “play,” I mean manipulate and control the situation and the host(s) to obtain the desired outcome M.I was looking for i.e. reposition M.I in a positive light while making Alonge and his staff look incompetent, disrespectful and unprofessional. Here we go:

6 Ways Journalist Osagie Alonge lost credibility with his M.I Abaga #LooseTalkPodcast Interview

  1. Osagie forgot his role as a journalist: Throughout the interview, you can see that Osagie forgot his role as a journalist. His tone was very rude, his body language very hostile, his language unnecessarily foul and in your face towards his guest. This was and is unacceptable. If you forget your role as a journalist or host when conducting an interview, you have lost control and it undermines your credibility. Don’t let a guest undermine your hard work and reputation because you forget your role as a journalist, even if your show is called “Loose Talk.”
  2. Osagie showed a lack of respect and civility towards his guest: As a general rule, when you host a guest, there are some basic etiquettes you should be aware of. For example, it is your turf and there should be no yelling matches towards you or the other way around. Maintain control of the subject, and the interviewee. You invited them, not the other way around. In this case, Osagie yelled in his guest’s face, talked over him, had hand gestures that was intrusive on his space and was just plain rude. This is unacceptable. If you invite a guest on your turf for an interview and you do not agree with what the guest is saying, you have an option to stop the interview, ask the guest to leave if you feel the guest is being disrespectful towards you and your staff or go off the record to sort things out, and then get back on the record to focus on the issues. Osagie failed to employ some of these basic journalism 101 tools. He just stayed on the record and became very rude and unprofessional. I mean, where did he learn that it was okay for him to get in his guest’s face and say, “Your flagship artist is Ckay. Who the F*uck is Ckay?!!” Really Osagie?
  3. Osagie forgot his role as a supervisor: M.I Abaga was very disrespectful prior to his visit to the Pulse ‘Loose Talk’ studio. M.I’s tweets on social media abused the Pulse writer who had an opinion about his work. He did not stop there. He took personal shots at Osagie as well. M.I was out of line and has a pattern and practice of being very abusive towards this particular team when they issue opinions he does not agree with. When M.I visited the Pulse studio, he continued with the abuse, but subtly, which included the way he addressed the Pulse writer and other statements he made. Osagie knew what M.I was doing but instead of controlling the interview to get what he wanted from M.I, he became defensive and in the process lost control, went on an emotional outburst, and came off as a very disrespectful host who was ill prepared.
  4. Osagie made it personal: If you have been following Africa Music Law, you will know M.I Abaga has simply been unable to handle criticism from the Pulse team. Anytime the team addresses his work, especially Osagie Alonge, M.I attacks and engages in name calling against the team on social media. M.I Abaga has on all occasions received a free pass from the public and his fans for this entitled and very rude behavior, except of course at Africamusiclaw.com. On this occasion, M.I did the exact same thing he always does. However, it appears when M.I showed up at the studio, Osagie decided it was time to pay M.I back. Getting in your guest’s face and yelling at him to tell him his album is “wack”, abusing the talents he manages, accusing him of “buying views”, and all the other things Osagie did was just very ugly and very personal. An interview is not a time to score one on your guest, even if you do not like the guest or they have been personally abusive towards you. You do that on your personal time. Also, if you are that bothered, why give free publicity to such a guest at your expense?
  5. Osagie forgot that M.I Abaga has been a celebrity much longer than Osagie: M.I Abaga has been a celebrity much longer than Osagie has and I think Osagie forgot that. M.I is used to being in the limelight. He has been interviewed by television, print, radio and digital media for almost a decade. He has had ample practice on how to talk in a live interview setting to media while appealing to his core fan base and industry influencers. When he showed up at Pulse, he had an agenda and despite the fact that he was very disrespectful on social media to a team that was doing their job, he knew to tone it down considerably and instead serve implicit forms of disrespect. He knew he needed to pretend to be in control and come off more refined. Osagie forgot these basics and attempted to rub shoulders with his “senior” when it comes to branding and promotions and he got played.
  6. Osagie let his ego control him: I am not sure if it is because he is now a managing director supervising other writers, or his show #FactsOnly on You Tube gets substantial views for a journalist doing commentary in Nigeria. Whatever the case, Osagie’s ego was larger than life. It needed to be deflated and M.I Abaga who has just as much of an ego, if not bigger, came on Osagie’s turf and spanked him. The spanking was not necessarily on substance but just on how to pretend to maintain your cool for the camera when you are in fact really angry. I mean what very busy President of an allegedly leading record label who also juggles the role of a brand ambassador and a recording artist, clears his calendar to go into a media office/studio to vent for almost three hours over an article by a writer he has said on social media he does not respect? Who does that?

Osagie was too eager to have M.I in the Pulse studio and too eager to tell M.I off. The problem is that it came at Osagie’s expense and has unnecessarily cost him a loss of credibility and respect by many (fans, media, and fellow industry heads) in the music business. If he was not driven only by his emotions and the need to command respect from M.I, he would have been very tactful and show himself to be more superior intellectually on the very valid points he was attempting to raise about M.I’s career, his inability to take criticism well, and the need for consistency as a trailblazer and game changer in the Nigerian and African hip-hop industry.

Thanks to Osagie, M.I has added a new title of the “cool, calm, and collected” guy. It certainly should help his sales if he drops an album before the end of the year or early next year.

Best wishes to these two.

-Ms. Uduak

Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website, livestream and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through its brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Benjamin David says:

    I think MI abaga did the right moves to clear the air. I stand with him on this. Osagie has no prove on must subjects narrated. Like his last album . An album that made 120kusd is huge. Been top 5 on ITunes after 3years is huge for a rapper. In nigeria for now, apart from Terry da Rapman. Nobody come close to MI.

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