Kizz Daniel’s #FvckYouChallenge Has Dragged Us Back

April 15, 2019

If the story of your life can be told in a series of popular hashtags, odds are the #MannequinChallenge was the first time you saw a song ride social media’s wings to Hitsville.

Building on the strength of a couple of hit singles, Kizz Daniel launched his #FvckYouChallenge sometime in March to promote his single “Fvck You” and stay at the top of your feed. In the days since he announced it via IG, the singer has reposted well over 30 entries.

In just less than two months, Kizz Daniel’s #FvckYouChallenge has become many things – an opportunity for underdogs and emerging talents to strut their stuff, a chance for familiar faces to re-assert their presence and proof of the music industry’s endless mediocrity and misogyny. Kizz Daniel has also managed to drag us back into the dark ages.

The premise of the #FvckYouChallenge is pretty clear. Kizz discovers a love interest’s sexual encounters with his colleagues and proceeds to drag her for her promiscuity (“Olosho come be your hobby”). This is a very familiar story.

Kizz Daniel’s video launching the #FvckYouChallenge

If art is about storytelling and expression, then every work should be inherently different. But that is not what happens in this case. Instead, most of Kizz Daniel’s peers only try to tell the story better than the man; even if that means going wildly overboard.

No one deserves handcuffs for this more than Chinko Ekun who takes it up a notch and describes a nymphomaniac. Chinko describes her escapades like a torture session, before suggesting that this person has had their genitals tampered with like a transsexual.

2/10 for lack of effort.

Ice Prince’s entry has a great opening montage that promises something more refined. What you get instead is everything we’ve come to expect from Zamani by now.

Ice Prince shows up in full music video persona and rhymes something with ‘bomboclaat‘ in the first four bars. It doesn’t change much from there.

3.5 for being a clone of his own damn self.

By now, you’re probably wondering if this #FvckYouChallenge is all about degrading sexually libertine women. The answer is yes. Some of the entries are so crass and self-indulgent that you wonder if Saint Janet, the queen of fuji parody. did some ghostwriting.

Take DMW’s resident rapper for instance.

Nothing about Dremo’s verse works. He manages to get verbally abusive at this imaginary babe before using the magic word – ‘prostitute’. The nadir of this very earnest disaster is a failed joke – Dremo thinks the babe’s face should be the new DMW logo seeing as she’s spent nights with all the members of the team.

We’ll assume Dremo somehow can’t remember the current face on the DMW logo is a little girl.

Skiibii’s second coming has blessed us with two hits in quick succession (“Sensima”, “Onyeoma”) but even that good fortune could not breathe life into his take on Kizz Daniel’s challenge – which is practically a more intense version of the original.

That’s not the entire story though. Kizz Daniel’s intentions may have been to turn this hashtag into an inanimate vehicle for his newest single, and as anyone with an Apple Music account can confirm, it’s working. The biggest beneficiaries, however, are the next rated acts using it to get noticed.

Challenges like this have unearthed waves of talent since Don Jazzy’s Enigma freestyle forced everyone with a pen and a notepad to drop a quick 16, myself inclusive. If there’s one artist whose entry makes you want to hear his music, it’s a hard draw between Cheque and Jujuboy.

“Now they know you meant it when you said “Fxck My Niggaz,” might be the standout line from Cheque’s freestyle, but within 60 seconds, the PentHauze signee is the only one who suggests he could have made a better song than Kizz Daniel did.

Jujuboy impresses nearly as much. He may not be one of the more popular next-rated acts but Jujuboy is as likely as any of his contemporaries to break the mainstream. His biggest strengths, melody and composition, are more than evident here.

Life after G Worldwide has been nice to Kizz Daniel, yet the strength of his run since doesn’t quite explain how big #FvckYouChallenge has gotten. It’s easy to forget that Poe’s lukewarm Triple Homicide challenge is only weeks old, and the last song to ride interactions to the top of the charts was Wizkid’s “Fever”.

Where Starboy’s last single relies on his star power, Kizz Daniel’s challenge works because it’s relatable. And that connection comes from raw, bare-bellied misogyny.

See, misogyny in Nigerian music doesn’t cry out from the hilltops like say, trap. It’s nicely tucked away in the middle pages, like the very common feeling that women come under the dominion of any successful musician.

Thanks to the #FvckYouChallenge, we can safely throw away whatever illusions we had of how progressive Nigerian hip-hop and music, as a whole, have become.

More than two-thirds of the best entries for the #FvckYouChallenge are done by men – an obvious outcome. When women try it, they make a worthy attempt to subvert the trope, except they end up staying on topic and doing some shaming of their own too.

Simi’s entry is a case for the unheard party. She assumes the role of this shamed slay queen. According to her, the only reason she’s getting all this hate because she just didn’t give it up. So she proceeds to shame the men too.

I’d rather not do this but it’s worth pointing out that Victoria Kimani single-handedly destroys any case for women as the voices of reason. Instead, she gives us more proof of the same high-handedness and sense of superiority that fuelled Dremo’s angry rant.

In a verse that’s more memorable for autotune that the human who used it, Vicky from Kenya accuses Ycee of stealing her verses, Tiwa Savage of sleeping around and blocking her blessings and everyone else for taking her love for granted. It’s hard to watch – ironic, given that this is the #FvckYouChallenge in its purest form.

The few musicians who chose to look at the bigger picture are the ones who expose the real problem with Kizz Daniel’s challenge.

Social media has changed music like nothing else in recent history. Virality has turned obscure singers into global superstars and unearthed the most unusual talents in the most unlikely places. It brought us closer to our faves and made them a part of our lives and vice versa.

But in doing so, it has exposed us to their less glorious moments, the brain farts that get fast-tracked into reality. Now we have front row seats to the regressive aspects of the culture that would ordinarily go on behind the scenes.

Your favourite rapper thinks women owe him sex.
Your WCW is an irresponsible crybaby.
Fraudsters and Nigerian musicians are part of the same value chain.
Your favourite singers are joining fraternities.

The irony of Kizz Daniel’s FvckYouChallenge is that it is exposed for what it is by an artist who is notorious for being self-indulgent and entitled.

Most fans of Nigerian hip-hop know Vector’s lavish taste for alliterative non-bars by now. His repeated use of “all of una” however, refers to the fact that this sex thing everyone has been talking about is actually a very interesting cycle, because if all of una know all the groupies’ wey don run level with all of una, who all of una day talk about? The answer is – All of una.

Kizz Daniel’s challenge has fulfilled its purpose, but in doing so, it exposed the soft underbelly of the industry by forcing uninspired artists to spontaneously make music on a subject that is too close to their comfort zone.

One minute, you’re happy that Nigerian rappers are finally fixing up. Then you realise the majority of them didn’t get the memo – it’s 2019 and slut-shaming the same women you’ve been sleeping with is not a good look.

Your favourite artist is a groupie too.

Segun Akande

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