Original Content on Arts and Entertainment

RJZ Chose A Short Route To Fame By Sticking To The Hackneyed Rule Book On Stunts

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When the internet goes into frenzy mode, which is usually off some controversial subject involving someone with online clout, opinions are submitted by all kinds of people. The views stretch from strong and spirited to humor laced ones; and from accusatory to defensiveness. When two ladies took to the timeline to accuse the young rapper, singer and designer, RJZ of infidelity on Saturday, their ‘revelation’ became cud for everyone with an opinion to feed on via accusations, defense or sharing their own tales about the issue at stake.

But, for some, including myself, I knew the ‘storm’ caused by the allegation was nothing but a staged gimmick. This member of LaMeme Gang was drawing attention to himself and what was to come: a new song.

On Monday, he released his latest, ‘Not Yours’ with a strong ‘I am a player’ theme. The song carries a smooth RnB feel – lean in production and melodic in tone. The lyrics speaks of a man boastfully confirming his infidelity to his girl without any sense of regret. ‘I’m with you, but, I’m not yours’, he sings. Once he moves out of her sight, he is at liberty to cheat on her with other girls. ‘Not Yours’ is his attempt at validating his cheating ways.

The song is basically about being reckless with the emotions of girls; something that feeds into the trope of toxic masculinity and patriarchal construct; where a man becomes an eligible candidate to flirt and have sexual relationship with numerous women without any judgment from society, like a conferred badge of honour. They mostly hide behind the ‘I’m a man’ excuse. RJZ put it better: ‘I move to girls when I’m colder/wey I no dey like when I’m sober/I be married to the night life…clubbing be my life so don’t tie me down right now’. And on the second verse, he makes it clear that, he’s a ‘pick and smash’ kind of guy.  Like Lil’ Kim aptly observed on Christiana Aguilera’s song ‘Can’t Hold Us Down’, a man can have many girls but a girl who plays around is considered to be a slut: ‘’If a guy have three girls than he’s the man/ He can even give her some head, then sex her raw/ If a girl do the same than she’s a whore’’, Kim raps.

Listening to the song again reveals something else: the thinking of many young men. RJZ declares how he has no time for marriage (which is understandable. Marriage isn’t for everyone) since ‘I be married to the night life…clubbing be my life so don’t tie me down right now.’ And that, he doesn’t ‘need love, I need your company’. These factors are therefore license for him to pursue rendezvous with other women, even if he has confessed love to someone.

The twitter storm, as envisaged by RJZ and his team, was profitable. By yesterday, the song had hit 21,000 plays on Soundcloud, a feat he wouldn’t have pulled successfully without the gimmicks. This morning, the song was almost hitting 30K plays. This reminds me of another stunt pulled by singer Mayaa for her beautiful, soulful ballad ‘You’. Days before the release, she tweeted pictures of herself and ‘her guy’ in cozy situations, drawing a lot of interest from people. One of the pictures ended up as the art cover for the single. And of course, the number of plays was remarkable.

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I have had cause to write about how crude and unsophisticated some of these antics or stunts could be when it came to artists building anticipation for a new record. We have heard of the likes of Ofori Amponsah choosing to put death on himself; Nana Borro employing a shameful stunt to sell records. It has even emerged that, New York rapper, Takashi 6ix9ine had himself jumped on to create buzz for his new single, ‘FEFE’ with Nicki Minaj. Point is, when it comes to artists looking for ways to draw attention to themselves or their creativity, ‘out of order’ is not a phrase they consider. They are willing and prepared to do anything and everything for that ‘win’.

RJZ may have scored big with his antics. As at today, the song had 30, 000 plays on Soundcloud alone. He has announced the release of its video as well. At least, the visibility he was after had been reached. But, the question to ask is this: will he be happy to see his daughter get her emotions trampled on by a guy as he is projecting in his song one day? It is all fun and games until the gun is pointed at you or someone you truly love or care about. Yes, it’s just music and he may not even live by the lyrics of the song. (Cue the ‘I’m not my lyrics’ caveat). RJZ may be capturing a certain sense born from observation and locker room talk. But, then again, art imitate life and the opposite holds true, sometimes.

RJZ is a talent I consider vital to the LaMeme Gang collective he belongs to. If he’s not contributing lyrics as a songwriter, he is designing album art for some of his colleagues. His voice carries this soothing sensation that adds a layer of awesomeness to records he makes, whether singles or as a featured artist.

RJZ may have earned what he wanted with ‘’Not Yours’’. The real fact is, the win may be short- lived as not many shall remember the song, as proven overtime. He chose short term fame over his undisputable talent. No real winners here.

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