Falz is still shaming sex workers in his new video for ‘Talk’ and we are tired

Barely two weeks into 2019 and Falz is already out with a new song and a video to boot. Titled Talk, Falz plugs into his usual shtick – music as social commentary on our political and cultural landscape so much so that his songs have been publicly carbon-dated to the legacy of Fela. It was fun then, and refreshing, when Falz bloated his songs with biting, resonating messages. And, as his celebrity exploded, problematic aspects co-joined to his art began to spill out.

One of them is the slut-shaming and devaluing of women who are into sex work, and although I have heard him say he doesn’t like prostitution on the political interview show On The Couch, his obsession is strange, inexplicable and quite frankly exhausting. The usual tropes in Falz’s music range from criticising corrupt politicians and unscrupulous religious leaders and young male fraudsters, but I’ll never understand why Falz routinely chooses to lump sex workers into that unholy bracket.

And in Talk, Falz’s shows his displeasure about sex work, using a video-game aesthetic that reads ‘Slay Mama’ and ‘Slay Kwin’ on a game screen, words which women have now defused and wholly reclaimed and embraced. ”Instead make you work you dey find Alhaji” Falz raps on the skeletal beat, ”You kon turn your body to cash and carry.”

That said, his obsession with what women do with their bodies is tied to the inability of men to view women as complete human beings, autonomous enough to make money from sex and how this disrupts the familiar hierarchy of sex relations. More to the point, his misogyny revolving around sex work as a financially empowering source for women is something shared with a lot of Nigerian men – that women can take the basic act of sex and commodify it and prosper. Comparatively, I doubt if Fela would be this tone-deaf even though the king of Afrobeat had his own peculiar issues. That Falz has refused to grow in the context of scrutinising his music vis-à-vis sex work shows he isn’t as revolutionary as he purports himself to be. And in 2019, he should know better.

One comment

  1. This is probably one of the most senseless post I have seen this year. Like I can’t even comprehend how senseless it is.

    A man sang about different issues in the society

    Political vices
    Religious vices
    Social vices of which Internet scam & prostitution is one but you choose to see him talking about prostitution has being a bad.

    A man berated
    Politicians for what they do with their political power
    Yahoo boys for what they do with their access to the internet
    Religious leaders for what they do with their congregation funds
    Community for how they serve jungle justice

    but you choose to see wrong in him talking about how ladies use their body money.

    Would you rather have him sing in support of it?

    No surprises though, songs of olosho and all is what fills our space.

    Note this though, just because it’s now common and almost a norm does not make right, it’s a bad act and even in the midst of all the entertainment galore, we still need to be conscious and aware of it as a vice.

    All in all, Falz himself has once said it

    People find a way to shoot so as to miss the message.

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