The Wizkid-Seyi Shay Dilemma Decoded
In recent months, Wizkid has transcended his already legendary status of Afrobeats star to worldwide pop sensation. Much of this global curiosity could be due to strong endorsements by megastar rapper, Drake. Drake’s chart-topping single, “One Dance,” features Nigeria’s very own, Wizkid. However, this very song that has allowed Wizkid to make musical history is also a major topic of controversy.
In an interview on a Jamaican television program, Nigerian songstress, Seyi Shay, boldly declared that “One Dance” was originally Wizkid’s song and that Drake watered down the alleged original version’s Afrobeats cadence in place of the more mainstream, currently released version. Once the news broke, Wizkid quickly refuted Seyi Shay’s claim.
Although tweets have been exchanged and the dust on the situation has indeed settled, several questions and curiosities are still left unanswered. Below are questions that we all may have, but nobody seems to be asking.
Is Wizkid telling the truth?
Once the news of Seyi Shay’s statements reached Wizkid, his initial tweeted responses seemed unhappy in nature. The tweets read, “Don’t say what u know nothing about! #shutup!” and “She lied! (two crying smiley face emojis).” He seemed to be upset because he was blindsided and genuinely unaware of the root of these allegations. Wizkid’s answers were not vague or confusing, but very straightforward. His responses seemed to be honest and directly to the point.
Is Wizkid not revealing some details because keeping quiet is more beneficial?
Hypothetically speaking, if Wizkid indeed is the author of “One Dance,” he would likely be contractually bound to not speak on the situation. Seyi Shay’s statements would then place Wizkid in an awkward dilemma; he would have to either breach contract and state he wrote “One Dance" and thus be pitted against Drake, or deny Seyi Shay’s accusations. This song has allowed for Wizkid to rapidly move forward in the entertainment industry and earn international acceptance. Wizkid putting Drake under the bus would be a case of biting the hand that feeds you, which could pan out negatively in Wizkid’s favor.
Who are Seyi Shay’s misinforming sources?
While in Jamaica, Seyi Shay was interviewed on music channel, OnStage TV. She spoke on an array of topics, one of which being appropriation of Reggae music by non-indigenous cultures. The program host stated, “So the Dancehall artists in Jamaica; there’s big debate, this raging debate going on about Drake’s sampling of that sound.” Seyi Shay then responded, “The same debate is going on in Africa right now, that he sampled the Afrobeat…It was actually Wizkid’s song, so it’s not Drake’s song…Wizkid wrote it. Legendury Beatz and some other Nigerian producers produced it as an afrobeat song, and they stripped a lot of the music away and just left the rhythm. And the rhythm is what makes reggae, and afrobeat, and ragga, and African music sound so similar.”
Blessings to WizKid for giving Drake that One Dance track. Shit has taken over the whole world. pic.twitter.com/OXHvHCB6iv
— DJ Akademiks (@IamAkademiks) June 19, 2016
Seyi Shay’s claim that “One Dance” is Wizkid’s song was very firm and certain. After the situation was corrected by Wizkid, Seyi Shay explained via twitter that she had been misinformed. Her tweet reads, “I love wiz n I was just tryin 2 defend my bro. I stand 4 African music. I spoke based on 'Hear say' but I was mis informed... #Sorry #OOC.”
Who are Seyi Shay’s misinforming sources? Is it one person or a collection of congruent stories told by multiple people? Are these persons trustworthy, viable sources? Did these sources create such an elaborate story to pass off as fact or do they have concrete proof?
Is Seyi Shay defending a bigger issue?
Although Seyi Shay may have been misinformed with her allegations, does she have validity in wanting to defend African music? Although Afrobeats is a fairly new genre to several nations outside of Africa, it is rapidly gaining traction. This should be celebrated as a victory for Africa! Right? Well, several enterprises begin with promising intentions, but the original intent gets lost somewhere along the way. Imagine if the demand for the Afrobeats sound became so popular that it dominated mainstream radio, except the artists that are of the genre barely could benefit from it. For example, Black Entertainment Television (BET) was created to give black entertainers a platform to showcase their talents, but is no longer even owned by a person of color. BET at times receives criticism because the people that it was created to benefit are not necessarily portrayed in the best light.
Similarly, reggae veteran artist, Mr. Vegas, recently spoke on Dancehall artists not being able to benefit from their own sound and outsiders appropriating their music. Mr. Vegas specifically targeted Drake as the topic of his scornful rant regarding the appropriation of Dancehall music. Mr. Vegas claims that Drake heavily adopted a reggae sound on his recent, VIEWS album, but did not properly feature and credit the artists that served as major influencers of the project.
Perhaps Seyi Shay can relate to Mr. Vegas and wanted to express the notion that there is a fine difference between appreciating a genre of music and abusing it.
Will Wizkid and Seyi Shay’s relationship be affected?
It seems very likely that Wizkid and Seyi Shay will move forward in their relationship. Based on the tone and language used in Seyi Shay’s apology tweet, it can be assumed her motive was to defend Wizkid and not hurt his success. The notion of making an apology in itself expresses sorrow, and Wizkid seems to understand Seyi Shay’s intentions. His last tweeted response in regards to this situation stated, “Love my girl Seyi Shay regardless.”
— #SEYIORSHAY (@iamseyishay) June 19, 2016
Also, neither addressed the other by their respective twitter handles, which alludes to both sides having a mutual respect for the other and not wanting to debate back and forth. The intent of all tweets seemed solely to clear the air and shed truth on the misunderstanding. Perhaps now all that is needed as proof of Wizkid and Seyi Shay’s good standing is a 2016 collabo!
PS. The original song that Drake’s “One Dance” is based from is called “Do You Mind” by Kyla and produced by Crazy Cousins.