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9ICE : Talent, Style and Bad Press

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Taking a cursory look down memory lane, Great men are touted to be great not because of the talent which they exhibit alone but because they make grave mistakes and even after been written off would always manage to rise above water and shut their critics up.

Abolore Akande aka 9ice means a lot to different people. To many, he is a very talented songwriter, lyricist and singer who is also very down earth. To another set, he is talented but they have a problem with him because he doesn’t ‘flow’ with the time. The fact that he has refused to join the bandwagon of musicians who go into the studio to spew rubbish and sing about booze, sex and women and who try to imitate the Western style of talking, singing and dressing has also gotten him into hot water with some others.

After the release of his 3rd album (TRADITION), he had a marital problem and so the cracks began for him. The Album itself was not bad as it is very rich in lyrical content and definitely one for the matured minds but still mad media conspired to ‘kill’ the album. As a result of his problems with his wife, he lost so many fans who were unimpressed by spats between himself and  his wife on Twitter. Then came his beef with Rapper Ruggedman. All these led to a fall in his stock and here, the media saw the chance to finish him off.

Perusing through blogs then, I was always disappointed with many Popular bloggers who came up with stories that they couldn’t substantiate; all in a bid to diminish his worth in the view of right thinking people. One popular blog accused 9ice of fighting physically in public but yet, this blogger couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence nor did he satisfy the doctrine of AUDI ALTAREM PATEM(Hear the other side). A radio station in Ibadan claimed that 9ice was postponing the release of his double albums because he was broke.

The worst was one I saw on a certain guy called ‘MONK’ in his column which was published in November 2010. In the article, he claimed that 9ice was finished and should hang up his microphone. The writer displayed his ignorance and emotions when he claimed that 9ice had released a double album after Tradition and that they flopped (That was in 2010). I was miffed when I saw this and I had to ask friends if 9ice’s double album was out and no one has seen it, ironically, the Albums were just released a whole year after writing that Maliciously intended write-up.

2011 was hell to fans of 9ice as the media had written him off. On December 7 2011, while I was in class awaiting my Civil Litigation Lecturer for the day’s lecture, I saw on twitter that the double albums (Bashorun Gaa and Versus) were out and my heart skipped. I was unsure if the Albums would make sense; not after the Nigerian media had almost turned me against him. However, the reviews I saw on twitter were massive as people were rating the album an average of 4 stars over 5. I couldn’t wait for class to end as I bolted to Obalende and then every vendor told me that the ALBUMS HAD SOLD OUT.

After the massive entry of the albums into the market, one would expect the Nigerian Press to ‘hype’ them in their little way but many of them refused to even acknowledge the release of his albums. The conspiracy continued.

Many of the websites are still trying to downplay the success of the albums. On the 6th of January, a story emanated from or something where it was written that 9ice moved out of his House into Ogba and did that to severe contact with his associates. The unknown writer went ahead to state that 9ice was not ALIST and that Davido and Wizkid was better. That story, titled “9ice moves out of Ogba home, plans Solo Concert” caused some uproar on Twitter and some notable websites circulated the story and spread the false assumptions.

To the issue of who is A list and who isn’t, the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitor applies. 9ice is up there with the Crème-de-la-crème of the Music industry. His albums have been platinum and he has won major National and International awards. Comparing him to Davido is worse as Davido has no album to date and I have never even heard his song.

I am sure his music and the success of his albums is an answer to his critics. He sure doesn’t have to reply them. Whatever is incessantly attacked must surely be so good. However, I am still expecting or that ‘MONK’ of a guy to either affirm or deny that story published in November 2010. Meanwhile, affirming it would be a volte-face on their part while denying it would ensure that their Credibility is at its lowest ebb.

All I am saying is that the Nigerian Press should not sacrifice sensationalism for credibility. Learn to say things the way they are and not the way you want them to be

Ayokunle Odekunle, a Graduate of Law is a Student of the Nigerian Law School and can  be reached on [email protected]


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