I love musical beef but that was in the late 90s and early 2000s at a time when beefing was most relevant due to one’s curiosity to listen to the dirt one artiste was saying to the other and it was fun to listen to these artistes do battle lyrically.
In this time and era of show business, no serious-minded and business-minded artiste will expend his energy and resources on beef and it is for this reason that I was gutted and utterly baffled by the news that dancehall artistes, Iwan and Bandana are beefing. Really?
When some artistes are making big career moves; signing lucrative record deals and distribution deals, penning their signatures to well-paid endorsement deals and producing chart-topping songs and making resolutions on how to stay relevant in 2013 – the likes of Iwan and Bandana are disturbing public peace with some silly beef.
When artistes proclaim to be beefing, you surely will get some media firms giving it an undeserved prominence and most often than not, blow it out of proportion, giving the artistes some attention. Seriously, I do not recollect the last time I heard anything relevant from Iwan and Bandana, not to talk about hit songs and I surely do not remember the two of them making any meaning move in their respective careers, yet, they find time to address beef.
These guys have not produced hit songs for years, have settled in the doldrums for some time now and instead of worrying about how to get back to mainstream success, they are dabbling in some unnecessary ruckus.
With new, enterprising, hardworking and business-minded artistes making headlines with songs and profitable deals, artistes like Iwan and Bandana seemed washed-up, spent-forces and have no relevance.
Take Bandana (real name Charles Nii Armah Mensah) for instance: the last time he made any impact in the industry was with his ‘Moko Hoo’ single, a hit song produced way back, almost ten years ago after which he went into oblivion. Nothing has been heard of him apart from some disappointing singles which tanked woefully. Bandana used to be one of the most talented dancehall prospects and had a sellable branding tag; always clad in Ghanaian colours anytime he performed on stage. Poor management, lousy singles and some needless beef with some industry players ensured that his fledgling career was stalled. From the time ‘Moko Hoo’ was certified a hit song till now, we have seen an artiste like Sarkodie come out to produce two platinum albums, he won the most awards as a debutant in the history of the Ghana Music Awards and have won the topmost award at the same awards twice, 2010 and 2012 respectively, a feat only achieved by VIP. Did I even mention the number of videos he’s produced, the international award nominations he’s bagged and the others he’s won. All these achievements were realized when Bandana was asleep and when the opportunity presented itself for Bandana to resurge unto the scene in a big way, he fluffs it by engaging in some beef that doesn’t deserve any mention.
Looking at the CV of Iwan (real name: Abdul Razak Issahaku), it is most disappointing to realize that the proclaimed heir to the throne of Samini as the ‘King of African Dancehall’ slumped after producing some of the most-inspiring tunes four or so years ago including ‘Thanks & Praise’ under Bullhause Entertainment. Under the aegis of the label, Iwan was regarded as a promising act who was tipped to equal Samini’s meteoric rise internationally, but almost like Bandana, bickering with his label and ill-advice from hangers-on ensured that his career moved from sublime to ridiculous. Such a shame!
It is laughable to think that that these guys have not had major shows to perform at and when they are presented with the opportunity to perform at some minor shows, they grasp the opportunity and instead of using the platform to impress and weave their way back to recognition, they stand on such platforms and address their beef.
Yes, beef did propel the careers of many artistes, but that was 10 years ago when the media would promote such stunts and the public would buy into such gimmicks thereby propelling the careers of the artistes – and am sure Iwan and Bandana still figure that we are in 2003. Wake up guys!
In the mix of the cacophony between Iwan and Bandana enters Fiifi Selah, who made some attempt to make peace between the guys. Fiifi Selah, formerly called Scooby Selah is a former member of the group Sass Squad and also a former member of the group TH4Kwagees. Incidentally, the last time Selah produced a hit song was over ten years ago with TH4Kwagees and instead of thinking of how to produce another hit song, he decides to act the big brother and delve into some silly stunt and also generate some buzz for his dwindling career.
To say Fiifi Selah is talented is an understatement; the guy is arguably more talented than Mugeez of R2Bees as he can sing, rap, do dancehall and reggae to perfection. In fact, Selah still commands one of the best features in the history of hiplife on Obrafour’s ‘Asem S3b3’, as he chopped down his best lyrics ever on that track. After the dissolution of TH4Kwagees, Selah has struggled to attain an appreciable success with any song as he is ambivalent on what genre of music to do, hiplife, hip hop or reggae.
These talented guys should come to the realization that, beef is no longer relevant; no one cares about it anymore, it doesn’t sell records (Go ask 50 Cent) and it doesn’t get you shows and endorsement deals. It pulls you twenty steps back and puts you in a bad light. There’s new way of addressing beef now; do not dedicate a whole track and production tape to dissing another artiste over inconsequential stuff, rather – put out your best quality singles and put that diss song on the album if you have any, or do a line or two of dissing in a good song and leave it there.
Channel your energy and resources into making good songs that will get you the proper recognition which will open the way for you to get that international recognition, deals and the awards.