This isn’t the first time he had allowed his words get him into trouble. And I worry that it might not be the last.
Mr Eazi has a solid team behind him. How else can you explain his meteoric rise through the industry and success in such a short span? They are a proactive bunch, pushing him beyond his dreams and chasing every end to ensure that his growth through the music industry continues at a pace that is unprecedented.
But they can’t do everything or control everything. No matter the amount of laid out plans and carefully constructed moves, something would always go wrong. We are all fallible, and our flaws inhabit the little spaces of our behaviour. That’s why we can adapt to respond to times like these.
Mr Eazi’s team is responding right now. The singer has found a way to force himself into the bad books of Nigerians in his home country by his own hand. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Eazi earned the anger and derision of Nigerians when he took to Capital Xtra to denigrate the efforts of Nigerian artists who utilise Ghanaian elements in their music. And he has been roundly dragged for it.
Eazi made a bad move. The most interesting part of that video is that he was never put in a position to criticize his colleagues. He simply pivoted from a personal question about his rise in the industry, to a collective attack on Nigerian artists.
“Now everybody is using words like Banku, Shitor, Maami, Odoo, Sika. My guy, how come? How do you know Odoo? How do you know Sika? How do you know Maami? From where, what’s the connection?” Eazi said.
“It’s just like an American artist just rapping about something in the UK, and you know he has no knowledge of it.”
Eazi’s team is working overtime to remedy his mistake. Such thoughts can only be entertained in private conversations, but when they sneak out into the public domain then there’s a problem. Eazi’s team are working to fix that problem, and the results are out.
The first is via charity. Every person understands that charity is a powerful gesture which resonates with the good parts of people. Charity works wonders, and can genuinely gloss over some of the worst wrongs. Check out Pablo Escobar, who was once the biggest drug dealer in Columbia. He was able to hide behind his charity missions for the poor people of Medellin.
This move is simply to change the negative narrative around him, but as long as it puts money in the pockets of people who have lost everything, and lights up a corner of the earth, then it’s a great move.
The second move has been his decision to release the first of his international collaborations. Eazi has dropped ‘Leg over’ remix, which features Major Lazer, French Montana and TY Dolla Sign. The single is huge for his career, as it represents his first step into chasing global relevance.
These two moves, combined with a few interviews are the prescribed remedies to the situation in which he has put himself. Already he is occupying headlines again, but this time for reasons other than an ill-thought response to his interview.
For now, it’s working. The conversation around him is progressing to other matters, but he needs to check himself. This isn’t the first time he had allowed his words get him into trouble. And I worry that it might not be the last.