HAS ‘’THE HEADIES’’ AWARD LOST ITS CREDIBILITY AS NIGERIAN’S FINEST? – BY OGUNLEYE OLUWAKOREDE
The Headies awards (formerly Hip Hop World Magazine) came into recognition in 2006. It is aimed at recognising outstanding achievement of legends, top artiste and young talent of the Nigerian music industry. As at 2006, there were few noticeable award shows in Nigeria. The Headies award has been a very attractive masterpiece loved by most artistes in the country. This award show has been controversially tagged as ‘’Nigeria Grammys’’ by few. Fans and Entertainment critiques have raised question on whether this award has reached the height of being likened to the biggest Music award show in the world which is the Grammy award.
Few award shows are critically acclaimed, especially in Nigeria. Even the best of award shows do not please every viewer, artiste and media but it should focus at reducing public controversy especially after the award show so that it won’t generate bigger problems even in years to come. Over the years, fans have witnessed artiste rise to fame and earn this gold plated Plaque. Artistes like Mode 9, 2Baba, Psquare, Tiwa Savage, Olamide and many more have made tremendous History in The Headies. Over the years, we have seen artistes and fans treat the award show with much respect but recently, artiste don’t give much recognition to the Headies award again like in the previous years. The 2016 was a significant year for this award show; it marked her 10 years of her existence of showcasing Nigerian’s best. The 2016 edition aimed at bringing close Nigerian music Legends and Stars to perform on a single platform. The general public expected a unique award ceremony that would glue them to their seat but it ended up with series of complaint from the fans. Many blamed the Hip TV Crew for poor management; others blamed the Artiste for the low turn up and these are the major reasons for the limited success of the 10th edition. Other remote causes were nomination list, event clash, celebrity feud and a few more.
The general public still wanted answers to the questions on why The Headies could not meet the hype in 2016. Fans complained about major artiste boycotting the award show due to their pride. I am not in the position to conclude for the invited artiste but with what I notice, the award show was scheduled wrongly. The award show was held on the 23rd of December, 2016 and some music concerts were held close to this time like the Olamide Olic3 and Artiste tour during the festive period of December.
Naturally, big award shows around the world are not held during the December festive period. Some are held between the months of January-March like the Grammys, Oscars, Golden Globe and Africa’s football biggest award show, Glo CAF award. The summer(usually during the period of April, May, June till the end of September)ushers in important awards like the Billboards award, MTV Movie award , BET awards, VMA awards and also The Nigerian Entertainment awards are usually held in September. Moreover, the show was planned on a weekday which could be a bit challenging for fans especially the working class to attend. So many things went wrong even before the start of the main show. There was a delay before the broadcast, poor Light and sound. People started using Social media as an avenue to show their displeasure which I hope The Headies management will take into consideration and improve. We can probably blame it on the fact that the award show was done twice in a calendar years for the first time.
Another issue brought up which gave a lot of controversy was the award nomination and winners. Issues on why Tekno should be nominated as a next rated artiste or Illbliss winning lyricist on the roll. There are few others but I am bringing out major examples to decipher what award nomination and wins can bring about. Over the years, some award categories have been controversial among fans and the media outlet. One would wonder that in the year 2000, Steeley Dan ‘’Two against Nature’’ bagged best album over Eminem’s ‘’Marshall Mathers LP’’ or when Macklemore bagged the best Hip Hop album award over Kendrick Lamar ‘’Good Kid, m.A.A.d city’’. There is countless controversial award nomination and win for decades but does not stop such award show from losing her credibility and respect. Some award categories are strictly for the fans to decide and most categories in the Headies are done this way. This method has its own default too because fans can vote based on sentiments, or engage in fraudulent voting. More important categories like artiste of the year, Best rap album, Lyricist on the roll and a few more should not only be based on the voters’ discretion. There should be an elite committee with Nigerian music gurus who will apply serious scrutiny. Recently, The Headies tend to be inconsistent with their Calendar and it has raised questions on why a song like kiss Daniel ‘’Mama’’ is not nominated. They can also show their credibility by opening platform for other genre of music like the Fuji, Gospel and Juju. The award show claims to be Nigerians music finest and it should endeavour to recognise some other genre so that its relevance can be proved for many decades.
entertainment, history and socio-economic matters. He has previously released
works like album reviews and content information. He is also a music critic and
analyst particularly on Nigerian music entertainment.