Tiwa Savage came out of the hatch swinging. She had that slew of fantastic singles pre-Mavin, then a slew of fantastic singles with Mavin, but never really came through on the promise that made so many music faithful dub her Nigeria’s Beyonce. Then came that spell of bad form that started with Red, which she hurriedly made and released after a year away to have her son Jamil, scared into prematurely releasing music as Yemi Alade’s star began to rise and many began to rumour that she was coming for Tiwa’s coveted spot in the industry. It was quickly followed by the scandal of her marriage deteriorating in the public view, complete with accusations of infidelity and a husband that tried to commit suicide on the Lekkoyi Bridge.
Tiwa needed a break, and when she ignored the drama and focused on her music, they came in quick succession. First the deal with Roc Nation, then interest from Coldplay, then the Sugar Cane EP, which was Savage at her most jollof. Sugarcane’s high powered collaborations with Spellz, Wizkid and Maleek Berry showed us a more playful, arena ready side to Tiwa Savage and we lapped it up, and returned her to the much coveted wedding party circuit, where the bulk of Nigerian popstars make their fortunes. This is why it makes no sense whatsoever that Tiwa would risk throwing away all the goodwill she currently has by featuring on a song that, for lack of a better word, glorifies illegal drug use and abuse.
Tiwa Savage is one of four people on Dj Enimoney’s new single “Diet“. Reminisce and Slimcase round out the features on the song which is already a bonafide hit with 200,000 views in three days. It is important to note at this point that Enimoney is signed to Olamide’s YBNL records, which has been under heavy backlash for its music glorifying drug culture, backlash that led to Olamide releasing the ambiguous “Science Student“. There is no ambiguity with diet, where the chorus goes, “On a Codeine Diet” and an empty unlabeled cough syrup bottle is thrust at the screen. If that wasn’t enough imagery for you, there are dancers falling into purple lakes (a reference to Purp, which is also made with cough syrup and sprite). It is so off-brand for the pure, happy fun Tiwa Savage has fought so strongly to build, that even her tepid concessions to switching the song’s catchphrase don’t really absolve her.
We will have to see in the coming weeks how this single plays out for her (the song will most likely be banned), but however you slice it, Tiwa doing ‘Diet’ was a badly thought out idea and might end up damaging her image as a family friendly pop star.