Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 Headies:The Summary Of What Took Place at The HEADIES

Someone captured the 2016 Headies in these few words: “This may very well be its funeral.”

When Wizkid strolled in and attempted to hug Eva’s fiancé before hugging her instead and leaving the poor dude hanging, you couldn’t help but help the organizers bemoan the abject lack of A-list calibre guests. There couldn’t be a better illustration than Eva on the front row. The many empty seats were an eyesore and echoes in the hall got startling at times. But for what it’s worth, the organizers can console themselves with the fact that there just has to be a record of some sorts for the number of absent winners this edition spawned. Definitely haven’t seen this many in my over 30 living years.

Those watching Ayo’s Headies at home on Ayo’s HipTv have him to thank for making them understand their DSTV remotes better. It felt like a sound engineering course sometimes as audio and picture quality was so poor, you spent half the time adjusting and re-adjusting. That being said, lets skip to the awards itself.
Best Recording of the Year
  • Emergency-D’banj
  • Love Don’t Care-Simi
  • Pray For Me-Darey Feat Soweto Choir Group (Winner)
  • Orente-Adekunle Gold
  • Something Good Is Happening-Brymo
Dbanj’s Emergency had no business being on this list and when I first saw it, I thought he was going to clinch it because the arrangement that got him there might include him winning it. But it turns out that wasn’t the case.
There are a thousand other songs that deserved to be here in its place and if the Headies felt it ought to show him some love then it should have just handed him the Special Recognition award. I consider Darey’s Pray For Me a really great song but I think either of Adekunle Gold’s Orente or Simi’s Love Don’t Care should have gotten this. Adekunle was able to put together sheer magic over talking drums and guitar strings. Ironically, the song was produced by the same guy who produced the winning song-Oscar and mixed by Simi. Oscar deserves a best producer nomination for this song and he just might have won that category if he had this to complement Darey’s Pray For Me which he was nominated for.
Simi is a breath of fresh air and she is in tune with the basics; having a peculiar quality in a saturated industry won’t really count much unless it is being put to devastating use. She did just that on Love Don’t Care. The story telling in that voice was awesome.
Producer of the Year
  • Dj Coublon-Good Time And Raba Raba By Kiss Daniel And Dj Shabsy
  • Pheels-Pick Up And Lagos Boys By Olamide
  • Oscar Herman Ackah-Pray For Me By Darey Feat The Soweto Choir Group
  • Masterkraft-Fada Fada And Connect By Phyno
  • Young John- Mama By Kiss Daniel (Winner)
  • Legengury Beats-Baba Nla (Final) By Wizkid
I still don’t understand why Masterkraft didn’t win this. His songs with Phyno are the hugest of the pack and it’s hard to believe the voting public picked Mama ahead of them. Category specification says individual responsible for producing the most acclaimed song or album in the year under review. Mama can’t come nowhere near Connect and Fada Fada.
Best R&B/Pop Album
  • New Era-Kiss Daniel (Winner)
  • Wanted-Wande Coal
  • Sheyi Or Shay-Sheyi Shay
  • Nak3d-Darey
  • Klitoris-Brymo
The popular opinion is that Ayo and his goons set out to compensate Kiss Daniel for last year’s snub. But there is a price to pay for doing that- quality is compromised. Wande Coal made an album full of good songs with no outstanding one to stand out from the lot while Brymo seemed to have shed some of his invincibility on Klitoris. Darey didn’t quite meet up to his standards but Sheyi Shay made a quite amazing album. She had you in heart all through; whatever she tried, she wanted it to sound good to you. Sheyi Or Shay was light years ahead of others in quality.
Best Music Video
  • Mary (Sheyi Shay)-Meji Alabi
  • Emergency (D’banj)-Unlimited La
  • Soldier-(Falz Tha Bad Guy)-Clarence Peters (Winner)
  • Bad-(Tiwa Savage Feat Wizkid)-Sesan
  • Made For You-(Banky W)-Banky W
Quite frankly, I don’t think these were the best videos out in the year under review. These same guys (with maybe the exception of Banky W) made other videos much better than the ones they were nominated for. Unlimited LA  seemed to want to eat his cake and have it on Dbanj’s Emergency.-‘throwing back’ to the Fela era and still wanting to stay in present day.
Banky’s Made For You was a love story that had been told countless times with practically nothing to set it apart from the others. No extraordinary scenes or costumes, it was just plain and lacking a creative edge. He showed promise though and I sincerely hope he excels in video making too.
Soldier definitely wasn’t Clarence Peters’ best work on the list. But it won.
I feel Falz plans his videos and all he has to do is get a director to shoot them. Soldier was no different from Jamb Question, which was nominated last year but only that the latter was directed by Mex. The story telling was childish and there was nothing to commend the video for other than the quality of the song.
Meji Alabi did a good job on Sheyi Shay’s Mary though he could have done better. It was a dark video that tended to get too dark at times especially the scene where she was in a mask. The white fur coat was a really great touch and I wish I could say same for the black blouse she used. It erased the ‘bossette’ feel and if you walked in and saw her wearing that over a bowler hat in the last scene, she would pass for a mere ‘waka pass’.
When you make choices, it’s harder to defend videos than songs. Songs leave you many ‘outs’. You could cite sales or radio play in place of quality but not with videos because everyone sees what’s on display.
It’s really sad that Sesan had to watch a plaque he deserved, go for a second consecutive year and last year’s was even closer than this. That’s what hurts the most.
He made one of the best Nigerian videos I have seen in recent times in Tiwa Savage’s BAD feat Wizkid. It was just flawless. Bad was probably the only video worth being here and ordinarily, it would stroll hands in pocket all the way to this Headies. To be modest, Ayo and his crew need to start counting the votes well.
Best Rap Single
  • Eyan Mayweather-Olamide (Winner)
  • Asalamalekum-Reminisce
  • Jagaban-Ycee
  • Chukwu Agozi Gogi-Illbliss
  • Agu Ji Ndi Men-Aq
  • Show You Something-Boogey
The Headies can safely fall back on the ‘voting clause’ as far as this category is concerned. Baddo is the most loved rapper in Nigeria and a lot of people would vote him even if no song was attached to his name. But I laugh in Spanish if they expect us to believe our votes have been winning awards.
Eyan Mayweather will rank last if these songs were to be judged on merit. Jagaban deserved this Headie more than any of the songs. It swept across the nation in some style and birthed the start of an elaborate ascent to the zenith of naija rap.
Best Pop Single
  • Mama-Kiss Daniel
  • Final(Baba Nla)-Wizkid
  • Pick Up-Adekunle Gold
  • Osinachi-Humblesmith Feat Davido
  • Reggae Blues-Harrysong Feat Orezi,Iyanya,Olamide & Kcee (Winner)
  • Emergency-D’banj
  • Fada Fada-Phyno
  • Money-Timaya Feat Flavour
This had to be the tightest category of the night. Reggae Blues was a most worthy winner but I’m sure no one would have bated an eyelid if it went to Fada Fada or Osinachi.
Best Reggae/Dancehall Song
  • No Kissing-Patoranking Feat Sarkodie (Winner)
  • Body Hot-Praiz Feat Jesse Jagz And Stonebwoy
  • Jaga Love-Jesse Jagz
  • Olowo-Cynthia Morgan
  • Pam Pam-Ketch Up
  • I Like The Way-Timaya
Patoranking’s No Kissing was a really good song. Just that it just isn’t as good as Cynthia Morgan’s Olowo. Song is fire!!! It infects you when it comes on and is one to make you dance in any hall.” Ask about me for igboro”!!.
Whether or not Praiz’s Body Hot is reggae/dancehall is debatable but what is not in doubt is the fact that it was a really good song. One I would rather hand the Headie to.
Best R&B Single
  • Love Don’t Care-Simi
  • Made For You-Banky
  • Smile-Shaydee
  • Super Woman-Wande Coal
  • Pray For Me-Darey Feat The Soweto Choir Group (Winner)
  • Aduke-Tjan
Darey’s Pray For Me is a great piece of work, but sometimes I just can’t help thinking its getting more props than it deserves. This is a voting category and I sincerely doubt if Darey’s song was huge enough to be voted over these songs and even if anyone leans on the fact that a lot of people only listened to some of the songs when the nomination list was released, I don’t think anyone who did that would vote it ahead of Tjan’s Aduke. It was a fabulous song that had all the essential ingredients of R & B in it. After all the lectures on what or not songs of a particular genre should sound like, it all boils down to one thing-whether or not it sounds good to its listeners. Aduke was a classic.
Best Collabo
  • Reggae Blues- Harrysong Feat Iyanya, Orezi,Olamide,Kcee
  • Osinachi-Humblesmith Feat Davido
  • Wait-Solidstar Feat Tiwa Savage
  • No Kissing-Patoranking Feat Sarkodie
  • Money-Timaya Feat Flavour
  • Soldier-Falz Feat Simi (Winner)
I really think Reggae Blues deserved to get its second plaque of the night in this category. One thing this song alongside Humblesmith’s Osinachi had going for them was the fact they were hits that seemed to have penetrated everywhere across the nation. They were far more popular than Soldier which was more or less,a ‘Lagos’ hit. Either one of these two should have gotten the Headie ahead of Falz’s Soldier.
Next Rated
  • Tekno
  • Ycee
  • Mr Eazi (Winner)
  • Humblesmith
  • Aramide
Tekno criticized his choice as a nominee for this award and this necessitated a public clarification by the organizers. In response to the statement that he was a vet, the Headies told us it didn’t matter how long you had been in the game as long as you hadn’t released an album yet.He boycotted all pre-award activities required of nominees and this earned him a ban just days to the event.
Tekno was the clear favourite and his omission made it tighter. This category had been the most controversial over the years and this edition wasn’t bereft of it.
Mr Eazi is a great artiste with a unique sound but i’m baffled to no end as to how he beat Ycee to it.Its simply impossible to justify that.
Ycee made a monster hit in Jagaban and followed it up with Omo Alhaji which was stellar stuff as well.He made more hits, had more collabos and notched up endorsements (doubt if Eazi even has one). He was the favourite rapper’s favourite rapper to use that all too familiar cliché when Baddo named him his number one rapper.
A lot of people rate Humblesmith higher than they do Mr Eazi and you wouldn’t blame them for that. Mr Eazi is a breath of fresh no doubt-distinctive style that blew everyone but more than a year in (at least officially), Bankulize still remains the closest thing he has to a hit. Humblesmith’s original and remix versions of Osinachi were all hits. That is just by the way anyways.
Mr Eazi over Ycee?. Naaah.
Best Vocal Performance (Male)
  • Something Good Is Happening-Brymo
  • Smile-Shaydee (Winner)
  • Pray For Me-Darey Feat Soweto Choir Group
  • Gentleman-Ric Hassani
  • Super Woman-Wande Coal
Shaydee was the best choice. He put those chords to phenomenal use on Smile and I’m really glad he won and I really feel sorry for Wande Coal though. He did put in some great work on Super Woman.
Best Vocal Performance (Female)
  • Love Don’t Care-Simi (Winner)
  • Play Na Play-Omawunmi Feat Angelique Kidjo
  • Right Now-Sheyi Shay
  • Love Me-Aramide Feat Adekunle Gold
The organizers got it right in this category as well (vocal performance is non-voting).In as much as I think Sheyi Shay’s Right Now is the best song listed,I most certainly agree that Simi displayed the best vocal prowess on her Love Don’t Care.
Best Street Hop Artiste
  • Who U Epp-Olamide (Winner)
  • Bad Gang-Ajebutter Feat Falz
  • Jagaban-Ycee
  • Gbera-Small Doctor
  • Ko Le Werk-Koker
  • Customer Dada Ni-2t Boys Feat Seriki And Small Doctor
This was always going to go one way- Baddo’s. He blew up the slang and had everyone using it after he dropped the song. If we had a Nigerian dictionary, I’m sure Who U Epp would have been the last word added to it and maybe the first to be added in the last 10 years.
That having been said, I don’t think the quality of the song measures up to that of Ko Le Werk or Customer Dada Ni in the street hop context. Great slangs but they were also great songs. The fact that every rapper wanted to jump on Who U Epp after Baddo’s crew and close associates did helped blow a decent effort out of proportion.
Olamide was never one to worry about strategy and the sorts. It was just music and more music all year long. The one time he got ‘strategic’, it paid off handsomely. After his gang did their versions, everyone did same. It was the most remixed song of the year no doubt.
If it were up to me, I would hand this award to 2T Boys. Customer Dada Ni had the craziest concept I heard in a really long while and it’s the most creative song on the list. Koker did his thing in grand style on Ko Le Werk. I feel sorry for Ycee like I did for Kiss Daniel last year. Hard to think Jagaban didn’t get at least a plaque for all its quality.
Best Alternative Song
  • Gentleman-Ric Hassani
  • Something Good Is Happening-Brymo
  • Wait For Me-Johnny Drille
  • Pick Up-Adekunle Gold
  • You Suppose Know-Bez (Winner)
A lot of observers and critics usually get lost in their own little world before every award show. Everyone shuts out how much buzz the songs generated, the calibre of artistes that made them and just focuses on how good the songs truly are. In my little world, it was a walk over for Johnny Drille’s Wait For Me. Song is just so out of here…sumn like an Audemar telling Mars time. He should be bronzed for it. Wait For Me in a few words is-International quality.
I would place Adekunle Gold’s Pick Up second and the instrumental to Brymo’s Something Good Is Happening was top notch but then he opens by telling you ‘everyone is hustling and trying to be boss but if you listen hard you will hear the sounds of victory’. Highly contradictory. You hear those sounds when you are boss or at least aren’t just ‘trying’ to become one. After all said and done, I don’t I would ever hand this to Bez.
Best Rap Album
  • Eyan Mayweather-Olamide
  • Powerful-Illbliss (Winner)
  • Stories That Touch-Falz
  • Yagi-Lil Kesh
One of the non-voting categories where the organizers shocked you again by getting it right. Though it was obvious Illbliss made the best rap album of the pack,there was no ruling out a gift to Falz who was co-host and current rave of the moment. Illygaty tha Oga Boss aka Abrahamovich put together a splendid album in Powerful and I’m really glad he is getting the respect he deserves. Illbliss is quite frankly one of the very few cats the rap game owes some dues.
Lyricist On The Roll
  • Chukwu Agozi Gogi-Illbliss (Winner)
  • Asalamalekum-Reminisce
  • Jagaban-Ycee
  • Show You Something-Boogey
  • Agu Ji Ndi Men-Aq
  • No Matter What-Modenine
Here, we allowed the Headies choose and they failed us. The only good thing about Lyricist on the roll in 2016 was that Mode9 didn’t win it like a lot of us expected and since some other yardstick besides friendship was used (presumably quality) then it’s worth a good look. Illbliss’s Chukwu Agozi Gogi lyrically had nothing on all the other songs on the list. Pound for Pound, it is the whipping boy. AQ’s delivery isn’t always top notch but Agu Ji Ndi Men was one of those times he got it right; communicated really well. Reminisce is second only to my winner- Show You Something By Boogey. He flew us first class back to the ’90s with not a single element missing. He held you spell-bound and pulled you into the story he was telling. Real timeless  stuff.
To Mode9 and all the other purists out there-Hip Hop ain’t dead…*scratches*, this is how it should be done!!.
Hip Hop World Revelation
  • Ghetto University-Runtown
  • Yagi-Lil Kesh
  • Sheyi Or Shay-Sheyi Shay
  • New Era-Kiss Daniel (Winner)
There is no way in the world New Era is a better album than Sheyi Shay and if anyone tells me people voted it ,I will instantly demand proof because Lil Kesh is the most loved and popular of the nominees. He would clinch it on that basis while those who listened to all the albums would pick Miss Shay.
Album Of The Year
  • Stories That Touch-Falz
  • New Era-Kiss Daniel (Winner)
  • Wanted-Wande Coal
  • Sheyi Or Shay-Sheyi Shay
There are all good albums and somewhere deep within me, I think Falz would have gotten this if votes truly counted for the simple reason that he is the current industry darling. No one who has listened to all these albums would give this to Kiss.
New Era had a wider gulf between the good songs and the not-too-good-ones and what’s more? We already heard its two best songs about a year before it was released.
Artiste Of The Year
  • Olamide
  • Yemi Alade
  • Falz
  • Wizkid (Wizkid)
  • Tiwa Savage
It was 60-40 Falz even with Wiz’s Shabba featuring Chris Brown, Trey Songz and French Montana in the equation till you remember Wiz was on Drake’s One Dance and then a blow-past. Falz on Wiz’s rearview. Congrats Starboy, our most viable music export.
Song Of The Year
  • Final(Baba Nla)-Wizkid
  • Pick Up-Adekunle Gold
  • Osinachi-Humblesmith
  • Reggae Blues-Harrysong Feat Orezi, Iyanya, Olamide & Kcee
  • Fada Fada-Phyno (Winner)
Any one of Osinachi, Fada Fada, or Reggae Blues deserved to walk away with this and in the end Phyno’s Fada Fada was the lucky recipient. Fada Fada cemented Phyno’s status as unarguably the most versatile Nigerian artiste of all time. He became pop and hiphop royalty at the same time.
Special Recognition Award
No disrespect to Flavour but I think he has a few more notches to clear. There are more deserving recipients than I can count-OJB Jezreel (post-humously), Dbanj,Clarence Peters,P-Square to mention a few.
They really need to put their house in order.
This Year’s Headies has had a lot of fans wondering if it is the beginning of the end. Its been sad to watch its credibility wane over the years and though no ‘official’ gossip has been leaked as to why   it was boycotted by almost all the stars, it may just be because they are as aggrieved as the fans. No one can safely rule out a coming together for that purpose.
The biggest music industry in Africa deserves a much better spectacle to call its biggest award show.

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