What celebrities think about the prevailed violence in the music industry

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Following recent violent fights connected to popular star in the entertainment industry, MBU talked to a few celebrities to pick their mind on why violence has prevailed in the industry and what can be done about it.

Case in point: Last week, Uganda Police started a hunt for Goodlyfe singer Weasel Manizo, real name Douglas Mayanja, who is accused of fighting with his shamba boy Baker Kaweesi who is currently languishing in hospital with a fractured leg.

Many other legendary singers have also been severally involved in fights amongst themselves and with the public/fans.

Below are opinions from different stakeholders in the local entertainment industry on the issue:

Dre CaliSinger

Why has violence prevailed?

Violence has prevailed because of disrespect being that our industry has no regulators. For example, at primary level, there is a lot of serious disciplining that goes on. When you get to secondary, the punishments are lighter. At campus, it’s almost impossible to find that a student has been disciplined by beating. By the time someone gets to campus, they’re expected to be mature.

However, our music industry doesn’t have such admission levels. Someone leaves home and immediately joins a camp regardless of their age. Some of them are adolescents who will disrespect just anyone hence the fights. So violence has prevailed because people do not respect each other. The disrespect is growing.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

It doesn’t show a lack of law and order in the country and neither does it show that celebrities are above the law. It’s not only the celebrities that fight but because they are in the limelight, they are easily exposed. It is does not show a lack of law and order. It shows lack of organisations and the level of indiscipline in the industry. Police has done its job because each time there has been a scenario, it has taken over to solve the case.

Dre Cali and Weasel Manizo

We all should know the level of humanity that we command so as not to overestimate the respect we deserve.

Dre Cali

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry?

It is partly not necessary, and partly necessary. Sometimes people need to be put in line. At times these fights erupt from jealousy because of the nature of our industry. You could be doing exceptionally well and people will try whatever is possible to pull your music down. When they’re unsuccessful, what they’re left with is to just beat you up.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

Streamlining should start from us the artistes. If we can find a way of creating discipline and respect among us in addition to understanding each other; between artistes and managers, and artistes with their fellow artistes. If I met another artiste, I don’t have to like them to show them respect. I can appreciate their music. We all should know the level of humanity that we command so as not to overestimate the respect we deserve.

Also; a quiet person has no regrets. If we can all learn how to think about our actions before we take then the the future van be free from fights.

Aydee Ddumba (Ngoni) – Artiste

Why has violence prevailed?

Violence is not a prerequisite to become an artiste. It is solely a character, a personal way of dealing with situations.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

If you look at the characters involved with violence, you will find that nearly all of them idolise musicians who have a history of the same. And therefore when you copy a lifestyle, unfortunately it comes with the vices too. That is why none of the ‘violent’ characters can put up a sustained fight if their opponent decided to challenge them.

Aydee Ddumba

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry? (i.e: The top 4 music brands in the country over the last decade; Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio and Weasel, all gained popularity for their talent but also for their beef/fights)

My response to this relates to the one in 2 above. Amazina amakoppe… In some cases you, however, will find that the ‘beef’ in reference is just chicken talk. A war of words does not equate to violence.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

Grooming is an important factor in the shaping of a character. I guess that is the root. There are so many other artistes that have been in nasty situations and resolved them without violence, the people in reference are just a drop in the ocean and do not justify the statistical implication that the music industry is a violent one.

Nince HenryArtiste

The Weasel case is unfortunate. However, I personally believe that every action is a reaction to an action. That’s the reason why there’s a legal system that was created to determine the fairness of the reaction to the stimuli. So I don’t judge man. I really don’t! People do terrible things and we look at the superficial reaction and end at that but as I said it’s unfortunate. The legal system will decide.

Why has violence prevailed?

The music trade both locally and internationally is as human as any other trade in society. The factors for the continued existence of terrorism in the world are as questionable as those for the persistent maternal deaths or domestic violence or police brutality etc. Artistes fight like lawyers or doctors do. Whatever the case it’s a bad thing!

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

No one is above the law. The law is law. We cannot break law We only break ourselves against it. And violence cases are not an indication of lack of law and order in the country. It’s a representation of individual indiscipline or misconduct among people from all kinds of identities.

These cases represent individual character flaws or problems. They don’t define the industry collectively.

Nince Henry

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry? (i.e: The top 4 music brands in the country over the last decade; Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio and Weasel, all gained popularity for their talent but also for their beef/fights)

I like the structure of this question. “For their talent but also for their beef/fights.” Yes it is sometimes a necessary evil in the world of social prominence. Any negative news draws attention to the subject which attention can be used okuyisawo kyotunda and if kyotunda is genuinely enticing, then you will make sales and deal with the dirt later.

The popularity contest works like that too though. However today it is a bit difficult to convince the world that news of you having beaten some man in a bar last night will get you genuine acceptance. You must be good!

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

We all have concerns in our behavioral makeup that are messy and not in congruence with everyone’s expectations and preferences at an individual level. So these cases represent individual character flaws or problems. They don’t define the industry collectively. Let the individuals deal with their sh*t.

James PropaLocal Editor, TIDAL

Why has violence prevailed?

It has prevailed for two reasons; It’s the established and better positioned that inflict it on the vulnerable and broke, most times. With the corruption in the police system, if you are rich or famous, you can easily use it to your advantage and that’s what happens for most of the cases.

Secondly, its the drug abuse and lack of counselling and mental healthy services close to the celebrities, sometimes people who have had fame and feel like they have lost it can get very aggressive.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

The violence and cases that just disappear in thin air are a problem that stems from a much bigger problem in the police system, corruption. Celebrities like other powerful people in society can easily compromise the system to have their cases dropped. The younger artists need to understand it is a very costly process sometimes and morally draining.

James Propa

Let them fight for healthy things like streams, endorsements, record deals and the like which will pull in more revenue to the industry and stop them from becoming beggars.

James Propa

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry? (i.e: The top 4 music brands in the country over the last decade; Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio and Weasel, all gained popularity for their talent but also for their beef/fights)

Violence is not tolerated in any modern society across the world, and it’s because of violence that we lost Mowzey Radio. It’s time we look at alternatives other than using violence for fame. If the older ones could build something out of violence the current generation can use other ways to pull attention to the business.

We all just need a mindset shift and stop living in the past, you don’t want to be the artist to set the “Vybz Kartel” kind of precedent, violence can get really ugly sometimes. Let them fight for healthy things like streams, endorsements, record deals and the like which will pull in more revenue to the industry and stop them from becoming beggars before the government and the public.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

On the side of the industry, we need mental health professionals to work closely with the industry. This will greatly help with the problem of drug and substance abuse. On the other hand the police should officially look at the entertainment industry as an influential group in society and give better help to the victims while continuously monitoring the high risk individuals.

Ronie on Dis One – Producer

It’s really too bad that the artistes who would live as an example they are instead doing the opposite. Drug abuse and alcoholism and luck of respect for humanity maybe the cause of it all. Some of them think they are above the law because most of their wicked behaviors go unpunished

Melissa Mulungi – Singer

Fre solutions, I do believe we need more mental health facilities, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and safe spaces which are accessible that cater to such cases because a lot of times the anger stems from past trauma.

Melissa Mulungi

Also there seems to be some sort of general frustration among a lot of artists. I think it might have to do with the work that many of them put in and the lack of returns.

Artin Pro – Producer

Why has violence prevailed?

I think the kind of violence that prevails starts from our community settings. For most societies in the land for instance, kids are beaten instead of being taught what’s right and wrong, in schools, homes, etc. It would need more than a prepared mind to fight this kind of setting when one is big and old.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

It’s a question of extents, but definitely where violence is high, already law and oder is on trial. However I don’t agree that celebrities act above the law, I mean we know cases where celebrities have been summoned to the books of law.

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry?

I believe we know nothing until we learn different. Personally without violence, I’ve made it this far and am still rising. Probably that should inspire someone to go preach peace.

Whoever can, should do good. Peace is a language; for people to learn it, it should be recited more.

Artin Pro

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

I really don’t believe in blame games. That thing is a loop – it never ends. Whoever can, should do good. Peace is a language; for people to learn it, it should be recited more. Violence is a language if not recited. I think you can relate. Nothing will beat bad deeds like having more good deeds.

It will take time for sure but best believe, when more positively motivated talents make their way to the music scenes, that kind of energy will reduce.

Flex D’PaperRapper

Why has violence prevailed?

In my perspective, I think it has kept going on because little has been said about the continuous violence or light shade on it. People aren’t told how it’s bad for the industry and also for personal lives as a whole especially by the main stakeholders in this; from us the artists ourselves to the media, and more. If we had already started talking about it earlier as a serious issue and not just bringing it in form of news maybe it would have reduced.

I mean we don’t want it to later on be like America where gang rivals rap about each other in songs – and all that – and later on even bring it to physical shootings. So I think such forums of you talking about it is important already.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

Yeah, I think there is some laxity with the necessary offices meant to keep law and order. Because maybe they also take artists as “artists”, you know the sayings of “that’s how musicians behave”, generalizing everyone as the same which isn’t true.

Flex D’Paper

The corporate brands fear to associate with acts that are mixed up in violence and that messes up the cheese.

Flex D’Paper

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry? (i.e: The top 4 music brands in the country over the last decade; Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio and Weasel, all gained popularity for their talent but also for their beef/fights)

I don’t think it is at all, at the end of the day we are all humans and our egos will clash from time to time but world over, generally, it’s music battles and maybe the online back and forth as well as wars between fans on the socials etc. So I think even we in Uganda can compete with music and not physical altercations.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

I don’t think anything can beat talking about it widely. Discouraging it within media especially showing the artists examples of those who have lost lives because of the violence.

Show them how this also messes up the bag. When we are always in this, the corporate brands fear to associate with acts that are mixed up in violence and that messes up the cheese. We need to slow down also on the hard drugs, that has been a major one that has also caused this.

Van Data – Singer

Why has violence prevailed?

There are many reasons from different angles;

  1. Artists are provoked a lot so they react.
  2. Some artists abuse drugs which end up controlling them and leading them into violence.
  3. Status. Being an artist and having a status makes people sometimes think they control everything.
  4. Media gives more attention to the violence than the good deeds.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

Being a known person, not even a celebrity, sometimes gives people power to think they control the world. Everyone wants to be a friend to a celebrity, even people in the security. Most of the times we get away with a lot of nonsense we do.

Van Data (extreme right) chilling with fellow artistes Kent and Flosso

Also, money and influence plays a big role in people getting away with violence in Uganda regardless of them being celebrities or not.

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry?

Somehow media plays a big part in this because they never report about good things but rather negativity and to keep your name in people’s heads, the media has to be talking about you so for a long time, violence has been used as a platform for news making and media embraced it.

It is also copycat thing. Artists think it is a trend. They want to be like Biggie and 2Pac or the Westcoast and Eastcoast fights.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

If media ignores whenever these fights happen they will stop because c’mon, Weasel beats the house boy and it runs in the media for a month? Why wouldn’t a young artist who also wants to feature in the media do the same for the sake of being talked about?

Also if artists can equally be treated like any other ordinary man by the law, this could stop but most artists are exempted which gives them a go ahead to be violent. Heavy, serious charges should be put in place for this to stop.

Abryanz – Fashionista

Why has violence prevailed?

This industry was built on beef by the top three. It wasn’t built as a whole industry. It was built on “Who is better? Who is bigger?” which caused both the fans and artistes to always fight. The foundation of the industry has been fighting, it has not been about winning. That’s why you see that when a big artiste wins a major award, fans who aren’t in his team don’t celebrate it as much as they should because that’s the foundation.

Take an example, in Nigeria, despite the existence of these teams, the industry comes first not the individual artistes.

Does it show a lack of law and order or is it a case of celebrities being above the law?

I wouldn’t say so but yeah; to some extent it does, to some extent it doesn’t. We have seen so many stories about artistes misbehaving onin bars, on the road, and they still go untouched. They’ve done so many crimes but because they are big artistes and these police people are their fans, they just get away with it. That affects the industry.

I feel like at some point, the industry has to be reset entirely, just like you reset a phone back to factory settings

Brian Ahumuza a.k.a Abryanz

Abryanz

If one artiste committed crime and went to jail for it, even just for three weeks, such crimes would stop happening.

Is violence a necessary evil in the industry? (i.e: The top 4 music brands in the country over the last decade; Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Radio and Weasel, all gained popularity for their talent but also for their beef/fights)

Exactly this is what I’m talking about. This is the problem, this is what is affecting the industry today. It might have worked for those guys but it was a wrong foundation for the industry.

Fans follow what their celebrities do. It is sad that this is how they broke through but again, the media is partly to blame, the fans, etc.

What can be done to streamline the industry’s future free from fights?

I feel like at some point, the industry has to be reset entirely, just like you reset a phone back to factory settings and start afresh. And this applies to all the key players; the fans, the artistes themselves, the producers, and the media which fuels these fights with the desire to publish negative news because they believe it’s what sells. Everyone has a big role to play. If we really want to see this entertainment industry go farther, we all need to do something about it.

We throw it back to you the reader, what is your say on the issue?

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