Modenine vs Muna? I feel so sorry for Muna…

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Munachi "Muna" Abii - MBGN 2007, rapper, OAP

by Hauwa Gambo

Many weeks ago, a colleague of mine Chi Ibe wrote an article about Don Jazzy and how he honestly felt, despite being the man’s fan, that the producer can’t make it without D’banj. As I watched in sympathy, Don Jazzy’s fans rose from the east, west, north and south and descended on the young man.

Beyond what many saw as the unfairness of the piece (and indeed, on points such as Don Jazzy’s looks, I had to agree Chi was looking for trouble), there was a simple, scary reality: it doesn’t matter what Don Jazzy has done, and you do not have the right to your opinion, leave him alone; we love him and so you cannot criticize him.

That is the pot of hot soup that former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Munachi Abi now finds herself as the video of her spat with Mode on the ‘Don’t Break The Beat’ TV competition goes viral.

(Read the story HERE)

The way I see it: the only ‘person’ this incident was positive for was Nokia. Before this spat that has made its way into all the major sites, I didn’t know what the show was about and not many people watched it – so the guys at Nokia have Muna to thank. However, neither Muna nor Mode got it right.

Of course, we can all agree that Mode is seen as a rap legend; especially considering that the ‘Lyricist on the Roll’ award at the Hip Hop World Awards (now ‘The Headies’) has now been re-christened the “Modenine Award”. It doesn’t matter that many in the mainstream don’t know his name or that he probably will never be a commercial success; if anything, the fact that the man has been in the trenches for so long with no victory in sight has added to his legend.

Muna, on the other hand, is a struggling rapper who has done no more than cameo on songs and dance in videos since she won the MBGN crown.

Give round one to Mode.

In this matter, however, I see nothing wrong in what Muna did. Ryan Seacrest has been known to butt in when Simon Cowell speaks (in the past) on American Idol, and across the world on reality shows, part of the drama has been as much friction between judges and between hosts and judges. What Muna did was great television, and after all said and done she is a rapper and she has a right to speak.

Modenine took it too personal, and I think it is a shame that many have forgotten there are ways that a man who has reserve and wisdom should speak with a lady in public, whether he is a legend or not. If he disagreed with Muna, he should have said it and moved on. Insisting that she is a “disrespectful little girl” reflects poorly on his character.

Some of the comments on another site capture it succinctly for me:

lol. Yeah, what she said was wrong, but all she said was that she does not agree. Its her personal opinion. Mode should just have realized and left it. Mode knows rap, i agree, but she just stated her own opinion. Its a free world. She didn’t say that in a context that meant that mode does not know rap, she said it because it was her own opinion. What then happened after was just rubbish. If you have issues, you settle privately, not calling each other out on stage. Where’s the professionalism? What’s done is done, they should settle and give us more good music instead of beef.

Mode 9.. over reacted……ok he is the oldest rapper with nothing to show 4 it….. no BET no MOBO only local awards….Mode 9…. no be by over size tee shirts and p caps be hiphop oo cos when it comes to punch lines in nigerian hiphop Mode 9 is probabely NO.5…………..no be who rap 1st rap pass!!!!!….. Go n make Money joooooooo
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And sadly the naija respect card is used wrongly again. Host/Judge banter is not new to showbiz, mode9 did not have to react the way he did, his tone and choice of words suggested an attack, she only disagreed. A good judge (especially for TV) should be able to take snide remarks intentional or otherwise and make light of the situation for good TV not create an awkward atmosphere because you are trying to sooth your ego of being a seasoned listener of hiphop…For me, Mode9 is at fault here, watch his reaction…it is too aggressive, and you can’t try to use tone to bully a woman, especially one in rap, the natural instinct is to prove that she can’t be bullied…respect doesn’t mean someone cannot disagree with you my naija people…

Come on, Modenine – is it every battle you must fight? How is the fact that a girl spoke her mind belittle you in any way, even if she sells boli in Ajangbadi? Everyone is attacking Muna now because, you know, it is easy to hate a pretty girl who is trying her best to make a mark when no one really likes her, but after all said and done, Modenine’s tantrum was also in really bad taste.

Does that mean I think Muna should sit pretty and let the criticism wash off her back? Hell no!

Unlike Chi, a journalist whose job (when writing opinion, that is) is to speak his mind, Munachi’s job is to succeed as a Nigerian artist, and to do that she needs the likes of Modenine and the goodwill of his friends and colleagues. It does not matter whether you are right or wrong.

And on the matter of right or wrong, when DJ Jimmy Jatt, Jesse Jagz and the commenters on sites far and wide seem to agree – in public, no less – that you are in the wrong, babes, it doesn’t matter what you and I think about freedom of expression – go to Mode’s house, lie on the floor and beg him, and both of you should drop bars this week.

The bible says wisdom is the principal thing. Babes, clutch your bible to your chest. Begin to beg.

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Comments (12)

  1. Get your facts right. This doesn't happen with Simon and Ryan. She was wrong.

  2. U guyz re jst not on point ….ur verdict ere z bull crap tot u had it goin b4…so mode shld jst kip mute abi…ur site z so dodoish(dodo is 4 fools u knw)….muna z a bitch 2 disrespect da legend himself…i mk it knwn 2 d public dt ur site z crappy…ish

  3. I'm sick of all these pretty face bitches who got more cleavage than talent. What she did was blatantly wrong. The organisers hired you,Muna cos you got a pretty face n all. They don't need your half ass opinion cos if they did,your no talent,half ass rap skillz wud have had you seated as a judge. I don't think you wud have pulled that off if Don Jazzy or any of them big catz was the judge. Bitch,stick to the script!!

  4. To be truthful and objective, Modenine deserves much more respect, much more.

    Disagreeing in such a way was incorrect, "pass the mic" was rude.

    MBGN is a title conferred and the bearer should exhibit more admirable and praiseworthy demeanour with those below and above her, as a national icon and as a music person.

    When I heard MUNA I was trying to recall, but Modenine, by Nigerians cannot be mistaken.

  5. The day hard core rap gains recognition in Nigeria is the day the likes of Mode9, XO, ElaJoe etc will be appreciated. In any case what Muna did was wrong and the fact that Ryan or any other foreign host does it doesn't make it right…She had no reason to call a judge's decision to question in the presence of everyone…people talking about Mode not being a commercial success and stuff make me ask myself whether she'd have done the same thing if it were 2face, DonJazzy, Eldee or Dbanj in the judge's chair…

  6. Come on bro!!! Muna was being extremely disrespectful especially with dat "pass the Mic" bullshit!! u sabi hw e d pain when small pikin especially girl dey yarn anyhow to big Bros…4 public on top!!!!! Haba na!! 4get dis hiphop tin o! We r africans. Even in Hip-hop, loyalty n respect is highly valued! I doubt I'll ever like Muna as much as I used to.

  7. whenever Mode says anything "rapwise" is awful…….it is awful.
    How dare Muna try to talk to hime like that in front of a camera.Do u know how many mix-tape and albums Mode released?…………how many song(s) has Muna release yet?pls help Muna to respect her "fathers" in game or get her development arrested.

  8. and she just begged

  9. Noted Hauwa. Your feminist bias shines right through.

  10. Well written piece. I share your view about Muna having an opinion, but she was employed as host and not judge and while she had a right to her opinion, as everyone else, in this situation, it didn't count and it wasn't needed. No need to get job specs mixed up. She had a duty to be professional ie DO YOUR JOB and no more.
    You also chose to refer to American Idol, Ryan Seacrest and Simon. Ryan had friendly banter with Simon, JLo and the black dude whose name i don't remember now over the years, but for Ryan to tell Simon that a contestant he had just said was awful was actually good and that he disagreed with him? and to keep maintaining that point saying that he also had an opinion and please "pass the mic" No. Never happened in the history of Idol. Couldn't have happened. (And if it did, what Simon would have said would be much worse than Mode 9 said. )Now, Ryan may have said "Why did you say that was terrible, Simon? I actually thought it went fine. Paula what do you think?" That's different and that's being professional while voicing your opinion.
    As someone on twitter said, what if the MC/ host on the day she won MBGN had chosen to disagree with the judges that chose her?
    The comment about her clutching her bible made me smile! I totally agree. she needs people in that industry, 'stronghead' no go pay her 🙂

  11. Guy lock up abeg… What she did was wrong jare.. Hw dare u criticize a judge @ a competition claiming u have opinions..she was a bloody presenter n notin more at d show soo her opinions didn't matter… Bsides twas modo's integrity that was at stake.. Dude knows about rap soo chic shld hav shut up n kip her say 2haself

  12. I have never commented on a YNaija article but I think I'll do so now. Just two words: ON POINT! Start to finish, one of the most objective write-ups I've seen in recent times.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail