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Kizz Daniel proves his ability to move culture with raving song

Kizz Daniel. Photo Naija News Agency

Kizz Daniel has been on the cusp of greatness for a couple of years now, but there has been a missing piece. That piece seems to have been different things at different times. When he wasn’t collaborating with other artists — that seemed to be the missing piece.

Before he bypassed the G Worldwide firewall and started exposing his personality on the internet — that seemed to be the missing piece too.

While it is hard to place a finger on what exactly Daniel needs to move to the next stage, it’s clear that — in spite of all his commercial success — something is hampering the singer’s ability to truly have a big impact on the culture.   

Daniel has pressed on; he released “Fvck You” around mid-March and launched the biggest peer-to-peer music challenge in the country since MI demanded his fellow rappers to “fix up” almost two years ago. On his own challenge, KD did a roll call of some of his peers and accused his ex-girlfriend of running through them while they were still together. But rather than slut-shaming his former lover, as he’s been accused of, the pop star seemed to pick self-pity, singing ruefully: “Na you dey cheat, na me dey beg”.

This line is one of the few from the song that’s safe for printing. KD uses the “f” word an astonishing 43 times! Interestingly though, the explicit nature of the record hasn’t affected its popularity one bit.

In less than a month, “Fvck You” has become one of the most streamed songs in Daniel’s post-G Worldwide catalogue; that level of profanity might be a radio DJ’s worst nightmare but it doesn’t really matter on the world wide web.   

Although Kizz Daniel doesn’t actually name the ex in question, there are enough dots on “Fvck You” for busybodies to use and connect. The first dot was Daniel’s high-profile relationship with R&B singer Chidinma Ekile, which seems to have fizzled out as unexpectedly as it came about. Could the record be Daniel’s account of what happened? The second is contained in the line: “Shebi na me dey find sisi yellow”, which seems like a perfect match when you consider Chidinma’s skin complexion.

Benny Ark took the bait. The controversial City FM OAP soon got on the radio and claimed that Daniel’s new song was about the former Capital Hill star. But Chidinma was having none of it. She immediately threatened to sue Benny and demanded an apology, he obliged. Chidinma then proceeded to stay as far away from the increasingly popular challenge as possible.       

However, that didn’t stop “Fvck You” season — there are now over 1,000 remakes of Kizz Daniel’s song floating around the internet. Entrants include pop stars like Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay, rap legends like Sarkodie and MI, veterans like Pasuma and Ruggedman, comedians like AY and Broda Shaggi. Even American rapper, Uncle Murda joined in. Participants typically reuse Young John’s now iconic instrumental, trim their version to a single verse, add their own twist to Daniel’s storyline, and record a compelling music video.

Just like KD’s original record, a few of those responses have stirred up their own controversies. For instance, Tiwa set tongues wagging with lines about a baller, “Mr. Living Da Loca”, who’s living above his means. But Tiwa herself would suffer the most brutal takedown yet when, seemingly out of nowhere, ex-Choc City singer Victoria Kimani subliminally accused her of sleeping her way to the top and blocking the path for other female artists once she got there.  

Another female artist who caused ripples for a different set of reasons was Simi. Her “Fvck You” entry contained the line “O ro pe mo kola ni”, which is a Yoruba metaphor that compares tribal marks to stupidity. Representing the tribal mark-wearing community, popular model, Adetutu OJ, got triggered by the line and let Simi know she was “disappointed”. The newly-wedded singer felt the heat, apologized and took her remake down.

The “Fvck You” challenge has metamorphosed and is now wreaking more havoc than Daniel probably envisioned. Although, especially as he transforms from a sheltered heartthrob to a self-styled Fly Boy, I doubt the singer is complaining.

The moment has actually grown bigger than Kizz Daniel and his Fly Boy Inc. Whereas the singer’s original version took shots at an unnamed ex, other artists have redirected their anger to other targets. One of the most notable redirections was done by Ruggedman, who used the opportunity to speak on a topic as poignant and timely as police brutality.  

Unsurprisingly, Kizz Daniel is set to cash in on his increased cultural value. The singer is scheduled to embark on a UK tour later this month and ticket sales seem to have received a significant boost.

The ex-GWW star is now around 40 tickets short of selling out the 2,750-capacity Indigo o2 arena; a feat that will place Daniel in the same company as Adekunle Gold and Tiwa Savage, both of whom did so last year.

With a number of hit songs under his belt and with two high streaming albums in his catalogue, Kizz Daniel has already proven that, at least commercially, he belongs in the top tier. But now, with the kind of impact that “Fvck You” has had, the popstar has shown his value to the culture as well.

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