Welcome to the music industry, where there’s a huge culture of disrespect that never comes to the surface. It is a strong part of the culture, which exists in the career of almost every musician.
On the day Kiss Daniel signed with G-Worldwide Entertainment, he was chased out of a studio in Lagos, and water was poured on him. He was an upcoming artist, who simply wanted to put something down on the mic and get his music heard.
Kicking him out of the studio was one. Throwing water on him was disrespectful.
Welcome to the music industry, where there’s a huge culture of disrespect that never comes to the surface. It is a strong part of the culture, which exists in the career of almost every musician. It is generally well-hidden. It is deeply personal and negative, hence many people would rather not publicly admit it.
But every once in a while, we get to see some of it slip through the carefully curated public bromance and social media shout outs between celebrities. We get to see some of that underground action.
In previous years, we have been surprised witness as Don Jazzy and Olamide slugged it out. Wizkid and Linda Ikeji became friends of the police. Dammy Krane getting attacked by Wizkid. MC Galaxy was allegedly beaten by Davido and his crew. Burna Boy getting into all sorts of trouble. And the most rampant, people mistreating each other based on their perceived state of irrelevance.
Disrespect in the music industry comes from all angles. Everyone has either been a victim or a perpetrator. But as long as you exist, you either give it, or receive it. Most times, you are more likely to receive it, than give it. Only true assholes get to give it all the time.
The latest person to get it is Reekado Banks. The singer alerted the public of a severe case of disrespect when he called out DJ Xclusive for cutting him off a forthcoming record, without the courtesy of informing him. Reekado Banks had submitted vocals for a song by Xclusive titled ‘As e dey hot’. But it turns out Reekado Banks who contributed to that new hit, will not be giving the hit to the public, as e dey hot.
“No disrespect, but you messed up big time,” He tweeted at DJ Xclsuive. “How do you beg for a song, and take me out without telling me?” #MadDisrespectful.
There are lot of valid reasons why artists get cut off from songs. The history of Nigerian music can be recorded by simply talking and curating artists who missed out on the chance to be a part of great records. This happens for a lot of reasons, and many of them are valid.
But Reekado’s disrespect comes from the fact that he wasn’t informed personally. Instead, he found the news on social media, and so had to call him out on social media. Everyone has a story now. Thanks Reekado Banks. Thanks for dropping it ‘As e dey hot’.
But Reekado Banks and DJ Xclusive is the A-list of disrespectful behaviour. According to a local Nigerian phrase: It is still learning work. They will simply call themselves, work it out and will be fine.
The most painful of those are the ones meted out to upcoming artists. The life of an upcoming artists is very hard. They are regarded by the industry as the lowest on the food chain, and so they offer no value except to keep conversations going.
They are disrespected on all fronts. At studios, they are kicked out and sent on demeaning errands to prove their ‘humility’.
At concerts, they beg and pay promoters for a chance to open the show to empty halls. Sometimes, the halls will be so empty, that it will feel like a glorified sound check. That hurts them mentally and emotionally. Sometimes, they are bullied off their songs by producers, in collusion with top artists, who have more money to spend.
The worst is when their performances are cut off midway, to save time for more established artists.
And when they finally get a song, to get on platforms and spread the music is a huge problem. They go through another round of disrespect.
That’s why they get heady and vindictive the moment success shows up at their doorstep.
Every artist, off camera will tell you “I don suffer for this industry.” That suffer is usually disrespect.
Reekado Banks and DJ Xclusive are friends who are having an off-day. Tomorrow, they will be back to their regular scheduled programming of Instagram hugs and Twitter happiness. Heck, they might even be pictured sharing a cold one on Snapchat. They will be fine.
But true disrespect will never come to the news. Upcoming artists have no leg to stand on, hence they wait for their chance to blow…and disrespect others too.
Happy industry. Don’t forget to listen to ‘As e dey hot’.