By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Candidly, I love music ‘beef’ – as it is part of the culture and has its advantages to the business, however, some fall-outs and altercations are simply meaningless, just like the one steadily forming between two highly respected musicians, Samini and Stonebwoy.
‘Beef’ are instigated often by natural feelings, feelings of angst, dissatisfaction and disapproval, so, it is normal for even brothers to fall-out and bicker; The Jacksons broke up, the Braxtons fought and P-Square broke up too.
In as much as it is understandable to have a Samini-Stonebwoy altercation, the imagination of what looked like a close relationship, a Mentor-Mentee relationship spiraling into a ‘beef’ seems very awkward, a situation that could have easily been avoided.
Artistes Don’t Talk Anymore
Social media came with its advantages to the artiste and the music but it killed one other virtue – the ability for artistes to engage one other with physical conversation, dialogue and squash any form of miscommunication that may exist.
Gone were the days when artistes had to physically meet in the studio to collaborate on a record, album or any other project. Not anymore. Artistes can now work on a full-blown album without meeting each other or communicating to each other.
Gone were the days when artistes had no option than to call the other if they wanted to relay a message directly. If an artiste wanted a feature from another, he had to pull a call through, if they wanted to do a tour together, there had to be a call and if they had any issue that needed clarification, one had to call. Nobody is calling anymore!
These days, social media has accorded a platform where one just simply tweet at another, tag them if they want a favour or want to send congratulatory message and when they want to call out another for varied reasons, they just send the jab via the platform.
Even with ‘beef’ – social media has killed the enigma of artistes going into studios to record ‘diss’ songs. They now send shots on Twitter, Live, Instagram and others.
In early August, Asaase 99.5 Radio announced a ‘sound clash’ between two of the biggest acts in Ghana, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale. Quite unexpectedly and unusual of him, the legendary Samini went on social media to express his disapproval of the supposed clash, claiming that, he deserved to be facing-off with Shatta Wale and not Stonebwoy.
Shockingly, he also took, what may have seemed like a friendly swipe at Stonebwoy, insisting that the 5-time VGMA Reggae/Dancehall artiste of the Year should have called him and sought his permission before agreeing to do the ‘clash’.
Then, in an interview with Asaase Radio, Stonebwoy went in hard on Samini. He talked about how Samini had no right to talk about loyalty, especially when he was nowhere to be found when he (Stonebwoy) had an altercation with Shatta Wale.
What shocked many was his assertion that, he has been giving Samini credit when in actuality, he didn’t need it.
Days passed, weeks went by and Stonebwoy got entangled in another fracas, this time, with Sarkodie’s Manager, Angel Town and indeed, he took a flak for his actions.
Again, unexpectedly, Samini dropped another video, responding to comments Stonebwoy made in his Asaase Radio interview, calling his former protégé a liar. He even touched on comments passed by Stonebwoy in a 2-month old interview done by Nana Ama McBrown on United Television and threatened to expose him.
Samini is a legend, he is highly revered and also seen as the godfather to Stonebwoy. His video on the Asaase ‘clash’ was highly unnecessary. His commentary on an already forgotten ‘beef’ with Shatta Wale was needless and his take on Stonebwoy coming to inform him of the project was confounding – it made no sense.
Stonebwoy is no more a protégé – he is now a ‘King’ over an empire of loyal fans. He owns a label and positioned as one of the biggest acts in the country and in Africa. He doesn’t need permission from anybody to embark on a project. It’s like telling 50Cent to now go seek some form of approval from Dr. Dre and Eminem before he accepts to do a ‘Verzus’ challenge with Ja Rule. It is unfathomable!
Let’s assume Samini had a case based on whatever relationship he has with Stonebwoy, what he could have done was to place a call to his former signee to attain any form of clarity on the matter. If he was aggrieved, he could have ranted to Stonebwoy on the phone and the two could have easily fixed whatever misunderstanding was there.
His most recent video on wanting to expose Stonebwoy was of bad timing and highly inappropriate. Considering the fact that Stonebwoy’s issue with Sarkodie had him pinned, with commentators and observers lampooning him, Samini should not have overegg the pudding.
Samini’s actions, unfortunately, exposed to him to lot of backlash, something he could have easily avoided. He allowed many unscrupulous persons, who cannot hold a torch to his legacy, to disrespect him to the core. He was responsible for such a mess!
Clearly, Samini got things mixed up and shouldn’t have gone on social media to express any form of grievance over the Asaase Radio clash and when Stonebwoy was given the opportunity to respond on the same channel, he failed to be the bigger person.
Disappointingly, he failed to exhibit maturity, tact and discipline. He was presented with a glorious opportunity to make things right, turn the situation around and would have easily quelled the situation from exacerbating. He failed!
After seeing the first Samini video, Stonebwoy could have easily put a call through Samini and clarified, not in a way of looking meek, feeble or as a protégé, but to be the bigger person who still had reverence to that guy who was his godfather and gave him his breakthrough.
He wouldn’t have lost an ounce of energy, would not have lost any of his endorsement deals and surely wouldn’t have lost any fan if he had just ‘killed’ the matter with just a phone call. Instead, he let his ego and pride get in the way.
After the second video from Samini, Stonebwoy has been sending subtle jabs and ‘subliminals’, all directed to Samini via social media. Very needless!
Interestingly, Stonebwoy was not pleased and openly expressed his chagrin when his former recording artiste, Kelyvnboy was sending him subliminal shots.
The Influence of Social Media
Arguably, the best tool to come from the rise of social media has been the direct interaction with fans. It’s a known fact that social media has brought these fans closer to the artistes. In the music world, the use of Twitter, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram and more have bridged the gap between artists and their fans.
When you express your feelings on social media, you are making such expressions to the fans and you when call out another artiste, the fans of that affected artiste see it too. Such expressions generate attention and create conversation. Some may even tag such expressions on social media as clout-chasing.
Clearly, the affected artiste is under pressure, under the influence of public acceptance and in a bid not to look weak in the eyes of his fans, would respond in the same measure if not worse. It takes just few artistes built differently to not succumb to the pressures and influences of social media to act right.
Social media is powerful and has the potential to mar relationships, businesses and affiliations when not utilized the right way.