Falz lashes out at artistes who promote internet scam and crimes
Pissed by the recent development in the Nigerian music industry, where some artistes are fond of glorifying frauds and other crimes, singer Falz de Bahd Guy has voiced out his opinion on musicians that encourage such practices.
The rapper reacting to Gongo Aso crooner, Abolore Akande well known as 9ice new song titled Living Things, said: “You are an entertainer in a position as a role model to younger ones coming up and in your musical record you are greeting all the yahoo boys, you are greeting all the fraudsters, calling their name personally, hailing them, wire wire mo fe cha che. All this culture you are making the young ones think it’s cool to do it, it’s not; you are destroying our future,” he said.
He add, “As an entertainer sing about something that can help our life, paint a picture, tell a story, don’t glorify fraudulent behaviour it’s not good. The glorifications of Internet frauds have no place in our music, but it exists as reality because where there is fame, dirty money is attracted to it.”
Reacting to Falz take on the song, the Street Credibility singer explained he is neither glorifying fraud nor encouraging the youths to take to crime, adding that he is only trying to paint a story of individuals going about their daily duties and dutifully earning their pay.
“It’s not about promoting fraud so to speak, It’s about someone who wakes up in the morning and needs to go and earn a living. It’s not negative, it’s positive, you just have to be in that realm to understand what the song is all about,” he said.
The US police recently apprehended Singer Dammy Krane on allegations of credit card scam. Upon his arrest, seven fraudulent credit cards were found on him. Although he had been granted bail, a trial is set to occur and there is likelihood that he might go to jail, as his friend Sinzu is already in jail for the third time due to theft.
Dammy Krane is the latest to get caught on internet scam activities, which is popular among Nigerian musicians and people linked with the music industry. It is believed that the music industry always attracts dirty money, and has a special relationship with cyber fraud, which has never been a new issue.
Internet fraud has always been in Nigerian music; its romance with the entertainment industry was made valid and a part of the culture when singer Olu Maintain released the street anthem, Yahooze, one of the most received pop records in the 10 years.
The song, which was dropped in October 2007, was an ode to internet fraud well known as Yahoo Yahoo and its perpetrators ‘Yahoo Boys’. Till date, you can still hear the phenomenal hit in the streets, bars and nightclubs as played by the DJs.
In 2008, Kelly Hansome’s Maga don pay employed a similar formula and knocked off Yahooze to become hit in town. The song stuck to the basics of the former, celebrating extravagant living funded by the proceeds of cyber crime.
The lyrics of the song read: “My Maga don pay, shout halleluia…” The victims are called ‘Magas’ and the process of successfully defrauding them is referred to as ‘Hammer’. When enough money is made from a victim, the fraudster is said to have hammered.
Kelly Hansome and Olu Maintain have independently come out to deny any direct involvement in cyber-crimes, granting interviews to debunk consequential rumors of their singles.
“It’s kind of strange how you would think that there is more attributed to my success, fame, and wealth other than my music. I studied accountancy in school, so I’m from a background of doing the show, and not doing the blow. I have capitalized on my fame and fortune to open other doors to other arms of business ventures in life and it has paid off, and it’s still paying off,” Maintain told Pulse in an interview in 2014.
On his part, Kelly Hansome, defended his single in 2008, with detailed explanation. “It depends on how you want to look at it. Maga is an acronym for Man And God Always. God will use man to bless you, so that man is your maga. And when they say I talked about ‘system’ in the song; the world we live in is an ecosystem, and na magas dey control the system.”
Also, some artistes had in recent past reference cyber-crime in their songs. Though negative, it has grown to become a generally accepted part of pop culture in the country. Some of the artistes include Olamide Adedeji aka Baddoosneh with his ‘Prayer for clients’, Davido and Xclusive’s Wole, Reminisce’s 2mush, and more recently, the raving Penalty by Small Doctor.
In effort to disabuse the minds of the public, particularly the youths, some stakeholders in the industry — Banky W, M.I Abaga, Rooftop MCs, Omawumi, Modele, Bez, and Wordsmith in collaboration with Tech Giants Microsoft in 2010, kicked back with a campaign for the country under the aegis of Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN).
The campaign through its objective, sought to re-direct the energies of those who engage cyber frauds to positive use. 25 young people who were involved in ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ were rehabilitated and trained with life skills, employability skills, Information Technology and more.
The campaign with its theme song, Maga no need pay produced by Cobhams Asuquo, featuring an impressive line-up of A-list artistes, who came out to support the push for zero cybercrime, spread far more than any other move could do.