Mr Eazi’s music may be a popular favourite among the Nigerian audience but the man himself has stepped on toes so many times that it might now be hard for him to convince his teeming fan base to maintain their loyalty.
We don’t know if it’s a loose mouth, a false sense of importance or sheer arrogance but whatever it is that has Mr Eazi constantly throwing his own country men under the bus needs to be tamed, and fast too.
It was only in January 2017 that the ‘Leg Over’ singer got Nigerians furious after he tweeted that the influence of Ghanaian music on Nigerian sounds “cannot be overemphasised”. He was right and many admitted that but they just didn’t want to hear such truth from a newcomer like Mr Eazi, especially one who at the time was yet to fully convince a fraction of the Nigerian audience of his ability to hold his own.
Months after that episode, Eazi went on to do the industry proud by earning himself a feature on Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ series. That came with an interview with Beats 1’s Julie Adenuga and a live performance on Late Late Show with James Corden. Clearly, Eazi had surpassed a lot of his contemporaries and had gained himself some bragging rights.
In a recent interview with Capital Xtra’s Ras Kwame, Eazi did it again. He assumed the status of a pioneer and brashly called other Nigerian artistes “copycats”. Although he didn’t exactly use the word, it would suffice in summarising his assertion.
Eazi said, “Now everybody is using words like Banku, Shitor, Maami, Odoo, Sika. My guy, how come? How do you know Odoo? How do you know Sika? How do you know Maami? From where, what’s the connection?”
As expected, he caught major flak for this and even got ‘Mad Over You’ singer, Runtown to respond with a subtle shade. YNaija Insiders also weighed in and here’s what they said:
This Insider who is an entertainment writer was quick to dismiss Mr Eazi. He said, “Eazi needs to calm down. He has, over time, proven himself to be condescending. His arrogance is misplaced and worse off, he has no filter. Forget Mr Eazi, he is Tosin Ajibade, a Lagos boy who went to Ghana for a few years and now he believes he is heir apparent in Ghana. Nigeria and Ghana have a music relationship that predates Mr Eazi’s career. Highlife came from Ghana and I think producer, Juls is the pioneer of this new wave. It was him who began to mix the 70s and 80s highlife with contemporary sound. Yes, Eazi accelerated the wave but that doesn’t make him heir apparent. He’s not as influential in Ghana as he claims. He’s just a small boy with no filter“.
This Insider who manages artistes shared similar views but thought it was okay for Eazi to say whatever he wanted just to seek attention. She said, “Mr Eazi needs to chill. This is not a case of cultural appropriation as the artistes he’s accused of stealing the Ghanaian sound usually make reference to where it’s from. See, music is universal and a musician can be influenced by anything. I genuinely think Eazi’s assertions are an attempt to seek attention and stay relevant. “Oh, I haven’t been talked about in a while…let me just go and say rubbish to get people to notice me again” And frankly, the people he’s ranting about are doing better than him overall”
An Insider who works closely with new wave artistes could not understand why many were quick to attack Eazi when he was simply speaking facts. “He may have been cocky about what he said but Mr Eazi reintroduced us to the Ghanaian style and we can’t take that away from him“.
“In my honest opinion, Mr Eazi is staring the death of his career in the face and he’s scared. That’s the simple reason for his misguided comments and overall simplemindedness. Artistes have moved ahead from “his so-called Ghanaian sound” and that was bound to happen because music, just as every other form of art, evolves. Mr Eazi can either sit down and be humble or prove himself a true artiste by going out of the Ghanaian box“, said another Insider.
These are the members of YNaija’s Pop Culture Insiders, not all of whom participated in this week’s survey:
Bizzle Osikoya (Bee Entertainment), Jim Donnett (TooXclusive), Ehiz (MTVBase), Timini Egbuson (Actor), Bayo Omisore (Platonique PR), Jide Taiwo (NET), Ayodeji Rotinwa (ThisDay), Edwin Okolo, Sensei Uche (City FM), Joey Akan (PulseNG), Timilehin Bello (Media Panache), Edward Israel (Chocolate City), Uche Briggs, Oreoluwa Peters (Double Seis Entertainment), Ubi Franklin (TripleMG), Eromo Egbejule (The Guardian), Freeze (Cool FM), Godwin Tom (Godwin Tom Company), Asa Asika, Dotun Kayode (Cool FM), Femisoro Ajayi (BahdGuys Entertainment), Lekan Olanrewaju (Mnet), Latasha Ngwube (AboutThatCurvyLife), Funke Babs-Kufeji (ThisDay), Isioma Osaje (Agency 106), Jola Sotubo (PulseNG), Tosyn Bucknor (Top Radio), Tosin Ajibade (Olorisupergal), Ifeoma Areh (WildFlowerPR), Foladele Falana (TV Continental)