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
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.