Hot Takes: ‘Subaru Boys’ reactions, the new Oscars development & more
Extra, extra. Read Chibuzo's thoughts.
Extra, extra. Read Chibuzo's thoughts.
With the month of march in full bloom, I have found myself constantly overwhelmed by the amount of information I’m exposed to on social media and in real life. Everyday a crop of riveting or disturbing news finds its way into my feed and seeps into my day. Whether it’s a story about a corrupt politician who was busted, or news of the horrors going on in Russia-invaded Ukraine, or about a high-profile celeb being called out on Twitter, these days I find myself suffering from a pathological case of information overload. A holiday in Zanzibar, off from the chaos of social media would really slap right now, but sadly, I’m in the media business and staying on top of current happenings is the cardinal rule of the job.
Luckily I have a conduit through which I can let out pent up emotions and opinions. Our Hot Takes Column was crafted to get you up to speed with the current interesting and riveting topics in pop culture, and also offer out infamous insightful takes on them. From Motolani’s divisive article that seems to see him egg Santi and the Alté community to the couple of other topics that deserve a take, strap in as I take you on a breath-taking ride. Enjoy!
Since I completed the second season of HBO MAX’s infamous Euphoria, and Netflix’s enthralling Inventing Anna, I have found myself clueless as to what series to start binging on. Over the weekend, I settled on watching a movie, after hours of nerve wracking research, I settled on a movie titled The Power Of The Dog, it had off-the-chart reviews. In retrospect I regret watching it, and no, there was no Dog in the movie (yeah, bummer, I know).
It wasn’t at all a terrible movie, it’s one of those staid-yet-profound movies that go on to win Oscars to the bewilderment of everyone. It’s a painfully long, slow burn film with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead act. When the curtains metaphorically closed on the film, I was left shocked, shocked because I couldn’t still make out what the film was about nor grasp the full scope of the movie. If you love slow sedated films however, you’d love it. The movie explores concepts ranging from masculinity, alcohol abuse, to queerness.
Santi’s fresh release, ‘Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN’, has been the buzz of the media for a minute. As a music critic and an avid Santi fan I’ve spent the past couple of days soaking up the project. Since the release of his debut album, ‘Mandy And The Jungle‘, I had been craving for a new immersive Santi project, imagine the jolt of adrenaline that flooded my system when the project finally dropped.
I followed the album rollout avidly, the 30-second snippets on instagram, through to the piquant anime clips he released. So, even though no singles were dropped prior to the album’s release, I thought I had a lucid picture of what it would be like. However, the first listen was ironically jarring, it was totally different from what I expected it to sound like, it sounded vaguely otherworldly. Props to him though, he really went hard on the universe he promised to create, from the first track, the experience was immersive and palpable. The first listen was relatively uneventful, I plugged my earbuds in and let the songs play in sequence, the album started off really slow for me, I just kept waiting for something spectacular to happen. It wasn’t until “Final Champion” that the album picked up steam. The sonics of the project are quite complex and unique, so after the initial listen I gave it time to marinate.
So far, after over ten listens, I have done a one-eighty on many of my initial thoughts. Ironically, I now have five faves from the first half of the project I initially berated as slow. I also initially felt that some of the mixes sounded weird, I’ve warmed up to the sound now. Overall the fantastical Subaru World Santi created on the album has become more familiar, it almost sounds like the soundtrack to a movie (It would really slap if Santi releases a Subaru World anime series to accompany the album).
I’ve been hooked on the album for days now, not because it’s the best album in the world or my favourite, but because of the way it reels me into Santi’s fantastical world. I know comparisons are now said to be in bad taste but if I were to draw parallels between his latest cut and his previous album, I’d say that sonically Mandy And The Jungle has the upper hand—it’s easy on the ears and based on infectious minimalist melodies, Subaru Boys on the other hand shines for its cutting-edge inventiveness and the fantastical universe Santi built around it.
For years, several Women rights bills have been underway, moving up the ranks and looking poised to be passed into the law. On the first of March, which ironically marked the start of international women’s month, Nigerian lawmakers rejected all five bills. At the start of the week several women groups have taken the streets to express distaste over this happening, and from the look of things women across the country are poised to turn up the heat in the coming weeks. The protests have started taking effect as the Nigerian parliament made concessions yesterday, rescinding its decision on three of the five bills.
It’s hard to believe how patriarchal Nigeria still is in the 21st century. The lop-sidedness of power distribution is jarring, and this divide is one of the reasons Nigeria is still trapped in the conundrum of bad governance. We do hope that the protests succeed in upending the tide by ensuring the bills get passed into the law.
Constitution Review: @HouseNGR rescinds decisons on three women-related bills for re-consideration. They are the bills on citizenship, indigenship and 35% affirmative action for women.
— House of Reps NGR (@HouseNGR) March 8, 2022
The Oscars have caused public uproar over their decision to move eight categories to an hour prior to the live broadcast and pre-tape and edit in those acceptance speeches. This move has earned the prestigious award show serious backlash from fans and industry folks alike. Among the leading voices against this move is the legendary Steven Spielberg, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest directors of the past fifty years. Over the past week, the 19-time Oscar nominee has taken to various media to brazenly express his displeasure over the development.
This saga calls us as unified lovers of film to question the values of the movie industry’s prime award show. Are some categories more important than the others? The movie industry is one that is upholstered by collaborative effort, every piece of the machine functions to make the engine run, why then should some winners receive their awards before the main show, behind the spectacular audience that makes the award even more prized? Definitely the organizers have reasons for this move, perhaps commercial or logistic reasons, but are these reasons strong enough to upend the age-old tradition of the Oscars?
Kanye’s feud with his estranged wife Kim swivels a new arc. In the early hours of Sunday, Kanye West took to Instagram in a series of videos, accusing Kim of not allowing his oldest child North West to attend his Sunday Service, he harped on the reality of ‘shared custody’, and speaking on the realities of co-parenting and how the wellbeing and actions of the kids leans full-tilt towards the woman, even though the both parties are supposed to have shared control. He also berated Kim for allowing North West, who is just 8-years-old to have a TikTok account against his will.
While Kanye may have some legit grievances, it seems that his complaints have fallen on deaf ears and failed to gain him the sympathy he would have hoped. Kim, his ex-wife has been seen on many occasions commenting on how Kanye spinning incessant lies on their ongoing coparenting situation is hurting her, and by extension their kids. While we do recognise that talking about Ye won’t be complete without talking about his mental health struggles, we can also recognise when he is perpetuating harm on himself and his family. Divorce is brutal and its even worse when publicly displayed in a battle for custody. We hope Ye finds the help he needs and Kim, and the kids are able to move on from the entire ordeal.
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This week, the Academic Staff Union (ASUU) announced their decision to extend the ongoing warning strike by an additional two months, given that talks between the union and the federal government had stalled. The announcement cast a sodden amber gloom on students enrolled in state-owned universities across the country. The result was the full gamut of reactions, spanning the entire spectrum — from staid pragmatic assessments of the situation to Nigerians making light of the situation in their usual manner.
Amid the hubbub, students were encouraged by government officials to see the ongoing strike as an opportunity, ” to cultivate new skills”. While this take is not an entirely bad one, it does ring as deaf tone in a country where access to basic education is not a fundamental priority by our government. Nigerians have the flexibility to contort themselves to accommodate almost any situation by seeing every setback as an opportunity but when is enough ENOUGH?
In an ideal educational system, school is supposed to train students to a high level of proficiency in their desired course of study, this means girding them up with the required skills to be relevant in their preferred choice of profession. These students applied to a university to obtain the technical know-how and skills of the trade. The rhetoric of students taking advantage of the strike to bag up skills is a testament to the insidious failure of the Nigerian educational system.
— ASUU (@ASUUNGN) March 14, 2022
Black people have often gotten little to no respect within the fashion industry, with them working behind the scenes for generations as dressmakers. In modern times, black people are often still not valued in fashion, with aspects of black culture often appropriated or mocked.
This past month has seen some big and little wins for black people however. One of the most notable wins came with the announcement that 26 year old Trinidadian designer Maximilian Davis was appointed as the creative director of Ferragamo, a major Italian luxury house.
He recently withdrew from the LVMH prize of which he was a finalist, shocking many. The Ferragamo announcement made this more understandable. This however, coupled with Davis’s statement that he is putting his personal brand Maximilian on hold is a little worrying. The thought that he could be putting personal projects on the back burner in service of a larger company may or may not be too pessimistic.
Regardless, it is refreshing to see a young black person be put in a position of such influence in the industry. Hopefully this is a sign of even larger changes to come.
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