Something has been happening a lot recently on Twitter. And it’s the unnecessary comparison of new school artists. It might be counterintuitive asking people not to do that. After all, nobody should tell you what to use your platform for. But if you take your time to think about it, it hardly makes any sense. It only ends up creating enmity between artists and their respective fans. We should all endeavor to dead it. That’s not too much to ask for.
I saw a tweet comparing Omah Lay to Oxlade. My first reaction was to call the tweeter a nincompoop but I know better than to throw insults around on Twitter. [That’s not true. I derive pristine joy in insulting people]. Why is anyone comparing Omah Lay to Oxlade? What’s the basis for the comparison? Asides it being unnecessary, it was irrational to compare these two acts. It’s okay to have a preference. What you shouldn’t do is compare any two talented artists who share no similarities. It is proof that you don’t know your music well enough.
I have seen other baseless comparisons too on Twitter. I’m aware that these conversations are borne out of boredom. There are a million other things you can do. Allow these youngins collaborate and make beautiful music before you corrupt their minds with whatever agenda you’re trying to push. Within the four walls of your room, you can raise whatever comparisons among your friends and debate it out there. Bringing it to Twitter just creates friction between the fans and ends up affecting the artists, and in turn, affects music lovers because whatever chances those acts have to collaborate can be easily jeopardized. We have seen this happen a number of times.
I can understand if these comparisons were done to rappers. Rap is a competitive genre. As a matter of fact, one can safely say that the genre is chiefly driven by competitiveness. There’s a culture of battle rap to support this claim. Rappers all over the world are not unfamiliar with dissing themselves. Rap thrives in the presence of beef so it is quite understandable when these comparisons are made and the rappers have to battle it out to prove who is better. That’s something.
It’s not exactly same when it comes to singers. There’s no culture for that. It’s not unethical to compare singers. Don’t get me wrong. My argument is that it does nothing significant for the singers nor their art (unlike rap) so what is the point of making these comparisons? All you get is an endless thread of fans and people on Twitter going back and forth. It’s sometimes even worse than that because the fans take it up a notch and begin to say derogatory things to the artist and his craft. Then the artist has no choice than to feed into the beef that has been created.
I know it can be such a hard concept to grasp sometimes but artists are human beings too. We seem to conveniently forget that. Sometimes, we downplay all their hard work so as to fulfill obligations like winning petty arguments online. Artists have feelings and it hurts greatly to see when people just come online to compare them to their colleagues. It’s not too late to stop doing that. The Nigerian music industry is at a stage where it’s about to bloom into something magnificent. As music lovers and listeners, we are laden with the responsibility of extending support to the creators instead of pitting them against one another.
You don’t have to enjoy everyone’s music. That’s an unrealistic expectation. Just show your unwavering support to artists whose music you love. Promote and share their music with others. Resist the urge to compare artists on social media where conversations can easily spiral out of control. We need an industry that allows fledgling talent to flourish without anyone trying to dim their light.