Yemi Alade is a woman, and she is successful.
Having worked from obscurity to her present success in the music industry, the singer who is popular for her ‘Johnny’ single, has constantly raised the bar for herself via hardwork and branding. She is Africa’s darling, having penetrated the continent via strategic marketing of her music.
There’s hardly any corner of the black continent that does not respect and adore Yemi Alade, and that in itself is success. She is extremely busy these days, and chasing business and charity commitments as she flies between countries to earn her money and improve on her business.
But she still had the time to go record the video above. In that video Yemi Alade began by criticizing music critics who attack her lyrics (or her lack of lyrics), telling them essentially that they are incorrect about their opinions on her music. She attacks them for their unprofessionalism and lack of anything better to do with their time.
“They don’t do any form of research, they don’t listen to the artist songs, then they just say shit’, she fired.
And then she played the gender card, which was a wrong move: “I’m smiling to the bank, be there questioning my lyrics, but you will not question the lyrics of the boys. I’m really upset about this kind of thing. I just really think that people don’t know when they are actually biased gender-wise. They don’t know when they try to pick on females. Enough is enough, you all just shut up.
“If you are going to really be checking people’s lyrics, and if you are going to be a so-called critic that you call yourself, then check the guys’ lyrics too. Don’t be on no females case. Who are you?”
Well, we are music critics, and we are not going anywhere, Miss Alade. No where.
First, you are an artiste, criticism of your music should be appreciated and encouraged. Music criticism which is ‘the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres’, is an endangered art due to the lack of many credible authorities in the game.
For an artiste to be criticised, it means they matter, and their art can connect, so it has to be of the highest quality. Yemi Alade matters for obvious reasons, and although she is flooded with love and appreciation, her lyrics still need a lot of work. She is getting what she deserves. Song-writing on her two albums (“King Of Queens, “Mama Africa”) has been unimpressive. She fails to see this, and when she is pointed in the right direction, she lashes out.
And as for the gender biased accusation? It’s nonsense. The ratio of top Nigerian male musicians to females is gigantic, and going by the numbers, more men get criticised than females. She is playing a card that has no relevance in this matter.
It’s OK—and inherently human—to be affected by the opinions of others. And it’s a genuine reaction to defend yourself, but your defence should come from self-worth and an assurance that your craft is in its best possible place. Not throw up the gender card.
Nobody is criticising Miss Alade for her gender. She is being deservedly called out for the work she has created, and that’s fine by everyone, except Miss Alade, of course.