Home / ENTERTAINMENT NEWS / Do musicians love controversy? Okyeame Kwame shares his thought.

Do musicians love controversy? Okyeame Kwame shares his thought.


Which makes news, when the proverbial ‘dog bites a man or when a man bites a dog’? Or perhaps why should the ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ stories receive attention than the seemingly positive ones? But for how long does the ‘negative’ news or content thrive, and to what extent can it survive the test of time?

“Most people are so affixed with online activities that it is almost impossible to get their
attention offline, unless a big bang is created to startle them offline, or an engaging activity is introduced online to continuously engage them.” – Abraham Ohene Djan; C.E.O of Ohene Media

Today, the content industry including: websites, TV, music, stage plays, cinemas etc. are constantly in need of exciting and relevant information to keep its operation active. However, much emphasis is placed on that one information which is widely shared, ‘’controversy’’; a prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion.

This may include the many times we screen grab wrong spellings on WhatsApp and share with friends, how Tictac trended on social media when he said ‘’you remember me of….’’ instead of ‘’you remind me of…’’ when he was addressing on the floor of the Ghana Music Awards and oh! when I took to social media to write ‘’The opponent are not playing fairy’’ instead of ‘’fair’’ in a Blackstar march during Brazil 2014; I certainly was the most talked about at the time.

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We have also witnessed ‘’beefs’’ between artistes both in past and present times that sparked up controversies over a period of time. The famous 2Pac and Biggie Smalls beef, Meek Mill and Drake fighting over who is an authentic rapper, Jay Z and Nas beefing over what many assumed as imitation of similar beat sampling, flow stealing and swagger jacking, Obrafour picking up on Reggie Rockstone and Lord Kenya claiming he (Obrafour) is the best rapper amongst them, Ofori Amponsah’s return to music, Shatta Wale and Samini beefing over who is king of Gh dancehall music among a host of other issues.

These issues start as natural conflicts and later given prominence by the media which is eventually picked up by the artistes as a business tool.

Nonetheless, controversy as comes as two major types: positive and negative. However, both types have their biting effects. Positive controversy takes a lot of planning and targeting and creativity to score but negative controversy on the other hand, is so easy to create. It covers a range of issues from infidelity to nudity, morbid videos of war and death, insult, family and ‘’diss songs’’. These issues are quick to grab people’s attention.

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However, one group of people who milk this kind of controversy is musicians. Lately, we have witnessed a barrage of ‘’diss songs’’ in the industry plus artistes making statements that bring attention to personal brands and songs. Most music videos lately also portray nudity as nude videos on youtube are widely watched than decent videos.

The argument here is that, when a story with a negative connotation is published, it will be discussed heavily but an issue of statistics on say hepatitis would be ignored. This is why musicians find negative controversy as a perfect business tool, producing songs and making statements that generate heated public discourse.

But it is important to note that, controversy contributes to the building of reputation for musicians with a consequential impact on the entire industry. The image we as musicians create for ourselves go a long a way in affecting our career. I recall entering a corporate setting not quite long ago to seek sponsorship for one of my upcoming events and for the first thirty minutes of our deliberations the Marketing Manager told me he was scared of dealing with me because of the general perception that musicians are controversial.

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So think of it this way, with negative controversy, you can increase your following and gain relevance. However, this is only for the short run. Have you thought of what would happen to your brand in the long run? Yes! you might stage more programmes to achieve notoriety but improperly managing this could be a ground for the precipitation of negative reputation both online and offline for an artiste.

Have media persons, including those on radio, TV, bloggers and the other group of people who breed controversy thought of its effect on private content, blog, media and the industry in general? Well in settling the score, I think that we can create exciting contents with huge shareability but we will have to wake up and turn on our creativity as musicians

Credit : Okyeame Kwame

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