. .Musicians all over the world pass through a lot because of the fame they enjoy. Most of them, though from humble backgrounds, are constantly under the scrutiny of the media. Consequently, at one time or the other, their private life is made a public issue due to scandals or controversies. Anthony Ada Abraham looks at the lot of some Nigerian male musicians who have experienced ridicule due to their fame.
Many people consider Timaya as an arrogant person, though a good musician. He came to the spotlight about three years ago, but has since been involved in many controversies. The star recently admitted that he has a dual personality, like most people think. In his words, people see him from different perspectives. Some believe he is arrogant.
"We are naturally actors. Some people can go on stage and act as if they just sniffed cocaine, but they do not even drink alcohol. Some people may not be able to do what you are doing unless they get high. That does not mean that you too would have to get high before you do that thing. The way I act, especially in my videos, gives people the wrong impression that I am a bad boy. However, I just like the look. I am not trying to paint myself white. I do not even want to create a good boy image for myself. I am not out to impress anybody; there is nothing you do that will please everybody. I like to live my life. In Nigeria, if you are outspoken, people will tag you rude. If you do anything to me that I do not like, I will confront you. I also expect you to do so to me if I do something you do not like. Some people say Timaya cannot speak good English, but when they listen to me, they are stunned. Just because I sing in pidgin does not mean I am not educated. I feel bad because I was not used to such cruel words, but now, I do not even mind posting nude pictures of myself on the newspapers. It only makes me more popular. When people see me and think there must be a rifle with me all the time, I just laugh. However, if you try to kill me, I will kill you first. I can't wait for you to kill me and then go and serve a jail term."
In saying this, Timaya simply shows that even the case with Empress could not weigh him down.
Earlier before the Timaya versus Empress imbroglio, it was the trio of Faze, 2Face and Black Face in 2004. Before the effect of their debut album was beginning to wane and rumour was rife that the trio was back in the studio to record a sophomore effort entitled, Sold Out, one of the trio, 2Face had other plans. He was on the verge of launching his solo career at the expense of the group he cofounded.
Despite denials and counter-denials, the crack soon appeared in the wall and they began to drift apart.
"Going solo is something that I have to do. I have always told Faze and Blackface that I would have to do this some day. My only fear now is whether Nigerians will accept me. Yes, as a member of the Plantashun Boiz I was already a brand. The question is, 'Would they accept the transformation from 2face of the Plantashun Boiz to 2face Idibia?'" he had confided in a close pal.
While Blackface took the news of the break-up with philosophical calm, Face was bitter! He packed his pain into a track entitled, Faze Alone, a reggae in which he expressed disappointment and took 2face to the cleaners, insisting the latter had betrayed him.
However, the very forces that made 2face soon went into reverse thrust. The fame attracted women in droves and Innocent Idibia could not but…! With the irresistible looks that could kill, these girls were not only attracted to him; they were ready to do anything for a roll in the hay.
It could be said that though the album, African Queen made him, it was also the bedrock of his fall! Many women were at hand to become his African Queen.
With a number of women claiming to be pregnant for him, 2face, who had once been linked to two actresses, Vien Tetsola and Caroline Ekanem, raised the bar when he got three women pregnant at the same time!
It started with Sumbo Ajaba who has two kids for him, and later Pero Adeniyi, who had a daughter and a son for him. Another lady,Annie Macaulay lost his pregnancy to a crash. However, today, she is the proud mother of his daughter, Isabella.
This triggered a series of negative reports in the media depicting the singer as a flagrant skirt-chaser.
Overnight, he became the butt of jokes as comedians cashed in on the situation to sell themselves to the public. The name Innocent became a synonymous to bed-hopper.
In an attempt to take advantage of the negative hype, he did a song, Enter The Place, as if he was urging ladies to really enter and have a taste! He went on to release an experimental album titled Unstoppable but it was a massive failure.It faced distribution and sales problems.
Little wonder, the star's fortunes began to dwindle despite getting sustained airplay.
As the controversy gained momentum, 2face parted ways with Kennis Music and set up his own label, Hypertek. In an interview, while justifying his decision to quit Kennis Music, he declared: "For me, this is about personal development. Hypertek is a move I have to make."
His fans were not left out in the effort to get the star on the track of sanity. On the Internet, a concerned fan recently posted: 2face Idibia, AIDS is real!
Overwhelmed by negative press, 2face had diplomatically apologised to Nigerians, saying that he was sorry for his misconduct. However, he insisted that he was only being human. He even announced plans for a wedding, but refused to disclose who the woman was and to this day, his marital status is not defined.
In an interview at the height of the scandals, he had stated: "I know people's expectation of me is obviously not having kids from different women, but the fact is that I love my kids, and I am just going to take care of them. I am going to turn any bad situation to a positive one."
Rather than distance himself from his many women and kids, he stuck to them and at any opportunity, told Nigerians how much he loved them. In 2008, the negative press became hell bent on putting him on his toes.But he simply dismissed it. In a recent collabo with MI he warned; "If nobody talks about you then you are nobody."
In another development, the controversy surrounding 9ice, Ruggedman and Toni Payne was in the media for so long. The gossip has been that Ruggedman caused their break-up, but recent developments have made fans believe this with a pinch of salt. 9ice and Ruggedman had a cordial relationship until the former had problems with his ex-wife.
In the social network site, Facebook, Ruggedman noted; "I have been called all sorts of names for something I did not do. Fine. People misunderstand but when they play judge and jury without finding out facts, it hurts. Nevertheless, time will tell. Time to shut the rumour mongers up for good. I have had enough. I asked 9ice to clear it up but he has not. I want this cleared up once and for all". Mr Alapomeji dropped another video from his second studio album Tradition. The video, No Be Mistake (directed by Akin Alabi), has most people saying the song is an attack on Ruggedman for breaking his marriage.
Terry Amanyi Gabriel, a.k.a Terry G, a fast-rising producer and artiste is another dude you can always remember whenever controversies are mentioned. Whenever confronted on the various controversies surrounding him, he would only say; "People see another image on television and when they see me on stage, they see a mad guy. Now, it is not about singing any longer. People need to know who I am. There is a big difference between Terry G and Gabriel. Gabriel is a very shy and good person, who will never forget his roots, even if he is a secular musician. If you are in the public domain, act like a leader. My mum is a deaconess while my dad is an elder in the church. All the things I do outside, I do not do them at home. Tell me why I will not be responsible. If I do something crazy, my parents may even die. Nobody expects me to be stupid. This is an opportunity to say thanks to God. I always worked for celebrities before now. I know what it meant to be a celebrity and I know how to manage it. Sometimes, you do not plan controversies; they just come up because of the events that occur in your life. Some of the controversies are accidental. They are things you did not plan. Somebody may invite you to a show and if you fail to reach a compromise and therefore miss the show, that becomes a scandal. It is not as if I did anything bad. If you do not have opportunities, there will be no controversies. I thank God for the opportunity.
Similar to him in controversy is Wande Coal. This top Hip Hop sensational artiste is battling with the scandals surrounding his nude pictures circulating on the internet. It was gathered that The Bumper-2-Bumper crooner, who is said to be so bitter at the breach in their contract, went to Don Jazzy and poured out his mind on how Mo'Hits has not been forthcoming on their agreement. Unfortunately, Don Jazzy, according to an inside source, felt so insulted that Wande, whom he claimed to have brought from Mushin to Mo' Hits, could be so bold enough to demand for unnecessary royalties from him.
For Eedris Abdulkareem, however, controversies did not stop when he became a focus in the media by fighting or wanting to fight the rapper 50 Cent when he came to Nigeria. He received great criticism both from Nigeria and the international scene, even his song Nigeria Jaga Jaga received negative reactions from the past president. He said once in an interview:
"In a country like ours, where you sing a song like Nigeria jaga jaga and the president comes out on National TV to say that it is the father and mother of the musician that is jaga jaga, this means my message got to the president and the truth is bitter. I felt that if I told few members of the press what went wrong, not everybody will write the truth, so I decided to come out now with The King Is Back, which tells my story.
I went underground to cook the soup very well and bring it back so that people can taste the truth."