It’s December, the final month of what has been one of the most chaotic years in the past decade and I couldn’t be happier. 2020 has been a rollercoaster and we’re all edging towards that point where the ride’s doing a bit too much with the twists and turns and we just want to get off. But even though it’s starting to feel like the worst may have passed and we’re almost in the clear, it seems as though everyone is stumbling through a tough week to get by. With a looming sense of general exhaustion, it wouldn’t shock me to hear that we’re all just burnt out from the happenings of this crazy year and the effects are beginning to manifest.
This column was initially created to offer a bit of catharsis from the tumultuous new cycle and the happenings of this year but when the protests hit states around the country back in October, we took a much-needed pause to focus on championing and highlighting the plight of young Nigerians during the End SARS protests. There hasn’t been much to offer our hot takes about in the past few weeks seeing as we’re all trying to make it to the end of the year unscathed and in one piece. Come the existence of the COVID-19 vaccine or not, life is still happening all around us and even more so now that the popular ‘Detty December’ season is upon us. But this December seems to leave little to be desired unlike the others, and now, it just might be one of the cleanest we’ve had in a while. Around this time, we’re usually gearing up for festivities, but with limited IRL communication and large crowds still a hotbed for the virus to spread, we’ve got more time to kill on our hands. That’s why this week, we’re back to bringing you our hottest takes of the week.
This week, I’ve hit pause on many things but I still found time to binge-watch Netflix’s Big Mouth, listen to some Lo Village on repeat and tune into some trending topics on Twitter such as the imminent collaboration from Enisa and Davido which sparked off a conversation about tap dancing for the white man, YBNL Princess’ rant online and JT’s old tweets. Here are my hot takes for the week along with a bit of Mean Girls humour for you.
What I’m watching on Youtube: How Far? with Mr Eazi and Temi Otedola
I haven’t been going down YouTube rabbit holes like I used to, and that’s not because there isn’t an overflow of content but that my attention span is way too thin at the moment to handle any more information. However, over the weekend, I decided to have a look at Mr Eazi and Temi Otedola’s latest podcast called ‘How Far? with Mr Eazi and Temi Otedola’ where they talk about everything and anything pertaining to life, their careers and relationships. I really enjoyed the couple’s debut episode where they both spoke about paying for dates, flying people out and who gets to pay for what. It was cute seeing how close they were in their relationship and the comfort levels in their friendship. I love Love.
What I’m watching on Netflix: Big Mouth
Big Mouth season 4 is out! And I spent my entire weekend binge-watching the entire season because I have no self-control (just kidding) but it did make for a very convincing reason as to why I had to stay in bed all Saturday. Now, I know Big Mouth is a weird-ass show but I like mindless tv that doesn’t make me think too much and I can just watch it to forget what’s happening IRL. This season, the kids of Big Mouth are still going through changes and learning what it is to be hitting puberty, it’s cute seeing things we went through back then but from a more exaggerated and comical angle.
This season, however, I was most grateful for Missy’s character, the only black girl in the lead roles on Netflix’s Big Mouth who in recent seasons had no plot that extended beyond the men in her life. This time around, we get to learn more about Missy and how she interacts with her blackness for the first time. This also comes at a time where behind-the-scenes, the actor Jenny Slate who formerly voiced Missy’s character stepped down from the role so that a Black actor could provide the voice of a young woman finally owning her Blackness. In the penultimate episode, the comedian, writer, and actress Ayo Edebiri takes over, coinciding with a time of real awareness and growth in Missy’s character arc. It was done so well and was probably my best bit of the show. Also, this season also health with topics of anxiety and depression, and as someone that also struggles with similar experiences, I felt seen (to an extent).
What I’m listening to: “Out the Window” – Lo Village
Earlier this year, I came across a cool DMV-based band called Lo Village on a Spotify playlist. Their cool raps punctuated by the r&b vocals of the lead vocalist Ama drew me to dig deeper into their music and I learnt two of the band members were actually Ghanaian. Safe to say since then, I’ve been keeping up to date with the group’s releases and was pleased to find that they have their third studio album on the way later this month.
Last week, they released the project’s second promotional single, an upbeat socio-political number called “Out the Window” where they explore Blackness in America from their personal lenses. They address the racial uprisings that took over this summer, following the brutal death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black people at the hands of the police. Here, both personal and political converge as they sing “I’m a soldier, I remain ten toes” reminding listeners everywhere that the battle isn’t over until we get justice. If you’re a fan of deeply introspective rap and killer hooks, then I’d definitely recommend this one. Can’t wait to see how their album comes along.
She doesn’t even go here
Over the weekend, I noticed that the name Enisa was trending and upon further investigation, I found that this was because the Albanian-American singer had sent out a call on social media for the remix of her latest single “Love Cycle”. Although many of her fans threw different responses her way, the response that generated the most buzz actually came from American rapper ABoogiewitDaHoodie who suggested that Davido appear on the remix. Trust Nigerians to flood her comments and stir up quite the buzz on social media, causing Davido to agree to this remix because the singer had used her platform to promote the End SARS protests that swept through the country back in October.
Let’s do it https://t.co/7F2miurmbT
— Davido (@davido) December 5, 2020
Not long after this, Nigerians continued to engage the singer by photoshopping her face until the bodies of women clad in vibrant coloured native attire and run up her streaming numbers that it her single entered the Top 100 on Apple Music. And it seems like since then, new achievements have been flying in for the singer who has now gained a ton of new social media followers as she thanked Nigerians on Twitter for all their love and support. Though it was alright at first, I did think she was overdoing it a bit with the tweets about Nigeria (I’ve just gone on there today and there’s a tweet from 7 hours ago about Nigerian jollof). And it’s not only her that’s done the most in this case, as Nigerians seem to have fully embraced her and invited her to the cookout when they’ve known her all of two seconds. I might just be hating, but think about it LOL.
Leave women alone
We all know that being a woman in Nigeria is hard but everyday I’m reminded further why this place is set up against us from the jump. In the past week, I have seen women insulted and debased online simply for living their lives and going through human experiences just as we are. Two days ago, the artist Temmie Ovwasa also known as YBNL Princess went on social media to talk about her ex-label YBNL and the label boss, Olamide, who she claimed allegedly stifled her chances of growth as an artist by withholding all the music and content she created for nearly five years.
Nigerians were not forthcoming with her sharing her experience and came after the artist for trying to drag Olamide, one of the most influential players in the Nigerian music scene today. It also didn’t strengthen her case that other new signees to the label such as Fireboy DML who’s music has endlessly come up in conversations surrounding afropop’s new vanguard. The comparison wasn’t fire judging that we don’t know the contracts between these artists and the label or what happened beyond the experiences that were shared by Temmi Ovwusa herself. It was made worse when I noticed Nigerians insulting Temmie as the cause of her failures pointing to her mental health struggles, her tattoos and coloured hair as the reason for her shortcomings. Profiling of this kind is exactly what we have been speaking so fiercely against this year, particularly during the End SARS movement. We’re no different from the older generation if we continually fail to approach situations and people with nuance and empathy.
Besides this, just today a viral video of three women dancing and smoking to Rexxie and MohBad’s latest single “KPK” was circulating on social media. These women, clearly close girlfriends were in their room, in lingerie dancing and smoking to the hit song but Nigerians online didn’t seem to agree with their actions. They were slutshammed and insulted, called all kinds of names because they were donned in tattoos and coloured hair and they dared to be women dancing and enjoying each other’s company, and worse of all, dressed the way they did without maintaining ‘decency’. I think its high time that we allowed women to make choices about their bodies without scrutinising them endlessly all in the name of decency. Men are never held to these higher standards of decency and they are never at the receiving end of being stripped by soldiers on the road, as has become increasingly popular these days. If this offends you then you need to stay out of women’s business. Period.
– Singer – YBNL princess drags her Ex record label boss – Olamide. pic.twitter.com/SRPkE3CCLR
— Postsubman (@Postsubman) December 7, 2020
JT is just as mean as her raps
The City Girls have always been the mean girls of rap and I don’t think people realised the gravity of such a title until recently when JT came under heat for her problematic old tweets from past years. At this point, it’s customary for celebrities to get their old problematic tweets plastered on the timeline as a means to reconcile whether the artist has done any growing or if they still hold the same harmful views. Public apologies have become increasingly popular and the notes app has been put to work this year but nothing prepared us for JT’s old tweets which saw the rapper coming for every and anybody on the planet if she didn’t like your face.
After being trolled online for her old tweets, the rapper eventually deleted her verified account and made a new account where she’s been freely tweeting up quite the storm. JT is the definition of the Unfriendly Black Hottie and her new account bio is all the proof you need, it reads ‘if you here to hate, leave now dirty bitch!’ It seems that the rapper is not apologetic about her past and she’s ready for all the smoke from trolls, critics, and fans online.
— JT. (@ThegirlJT) December 8, 2020
The other half of the fierce Miami crew, Yung Miami made sure that JT was not the only City Girl catching the heat and posted a disturbing tweet about pregnancy and motherhood that many fans online did not think was funny or factual, and actually irresponsible for an artist with such a big platform. Neither of the City Girls seemed to care as they went on to promote their new song and capitalise on the viral moment. That’s true friendship to me and I love it when women don’t take shit from anyone, this may not be the perfect example of this by a long shot but I, for one, will still be listening to “City on Lock” and shouting all the quotables from the meanest rap girls in the game.
.@tamimak_ is just trying to make it to the end of the year