By ‘Tunde Aluko
I had just logged on twitter on my lunch break, reading through my timeline, re-tweeting and trolling as many followers as possible, then I saw a congratulatory message to a ‘new kid on the block’. He had just won an award, the felicitations were flowing in accordingly too TILL I SAW WHAT HE WON… ICON OF INDUSTRY.
I love this young artiste being congratulated, I have in different capacities lobbied for him to be part of events and shows I have been part of. This young cat, as at the last time I checked had no album to his name, a few singles here and there until he signed on to a new record label and was featured for 30 seconds in what can contest for a song of the year… GREAT.
For too long we have seen and read publicists, bloggers and entertainment writers in a bid to justify pay cheques classify artistes; new, old, retired and rejuvenating as ‘Legends’, ‘Icons’ and other overrated titles. Just so we are all clear like the military and other parlance where there is hierarchy and order, there are starting phase for everyone, entertainers included.
STARLET Officer Cadet
SUPER STAR Major
LEGEND Brigadier (aka 1 Star)
Major General (aka 2 Star)
Lieutenant General (aka 3 Star)
ICON General (aka 4 Star)
I had to dig up my cadet training manual to bring us to speed as to what is obtainable in the rank and file of the Military. It is a good thing to aspire to the highest capacity of your field of endeavour, it is also a good thing to ascend accordingly so we do not see revolt.
Having established the foundation, can we all agree to address everyone in the entertainment industry (musician, producers, dancers, drummers, video directors et al) as appropriate? If you have ever had to address a military officer with a title above or below is official ranking amongst his peer, subordinate or senior officers, he is quick to point out your error (closest instance recently, we saw duo of Skuki, vehemently refused to be tagged in the New comer category in the Nigeria Entertainment Award years after winning the Hip Hop award similar category.
Every ‘tutupatu’ danceable beat is now credited to a ‘World Class’ legendary or Iconic producer, sorry if your moniker is not LEGENDARY it is an insult to lay claims to the title Legendary when you can’t be mentioned in same breathe as the great Laolu Akins. The wizardry skills of brilliant new age producers like Don Jazzy, Cobhams Asuquo, I.D Cabasa and many others in their league are in proper classifications are Super Star producers.
Dear ‘legendary and Iconic Artiste’, headlining shows, great reviews, chart topping singles, one or two ‘banging’ album(s) doesn’t earn you that title and getting a plaque certainly doesn’t confer the status, like the military apparatus you need to rise through the ranks duly paying dues except you are our own knight of Nigeria, Sir 2face Idibia, Femi Anikulapo… your claim to Legendary can be likened to a coup, the next time you are addressed or awarded an ICON, search through these names, king Sunny Ade, evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, sir Victor Uwaifo etc are you sure you have earned your STARS? Time to fire your publicists, turn down the award nominations and rise properly earning your STARS, you have been deceived way too long!
Tunde Aluko is a trained software engineer before entertainment started paying the bills, he currently produces The Teju Babyface Show and writes for Bubbles Magazine when he is not overseeing Business Development, he tweets with @tundealuko.
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