Will Toni Payne, Ruggedman grace 9ice’s concert
3/9/2012 12:28:34 AM -
Let's take a trip into the future; precisely two days from now. It is early Sunday evening. The stars are gathering, leaving a bright halo on the Lagos skyline. At the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, music lovers and stars from all walks of life are also gathering, with their own halo bright enough to light the national grid. It is the Bashorun Gaa Versus concert, the first solo concert of trado-contemporary singer, 9ice. Time is now 8pm and the hall is packed full. Then, the microphone crackles into life as the host, Funke Akindele of the Jenifa fame bounds on stage; does a few comedy skits which throws the hall into fits of laughter, and announces the first performance of the night. Silence. Some shuffling is heard behind the stage. Silence again. And then, the microphone bellows with the melodious voice of 9ice singing, Atewo mo bala, A o mo eni to ko, We spit in pidgin awon kan n wuko, You better show where you belong, Ruggedy Baba opomulero mo ja lekan sha ma wo won ni iran
Imagine? No doubt, those who know the history of this song would gasp and stare in bewilderment before breaking out into a shriek. The feeling will be understandable. Entitled Opomulero, a Ruggedman song featuring 9ice, this was the introduction 9ice needed to kick-start his chequered career. The song earned 9ice a Hip Hop World Award statuette and a groundswell of fans from Lagos to Lafia and everywhere in between. 9ice would go on to became a bona fide music star, even bigger than the man who first gave him a template to soar. Not forgetting that it was Ruggedman who introduced 9ice's estranged wife, Toni Payne, to him. This much the controversy-prone rapper elucidated in his acerbic reply to 9ice's earlier disses in the heat of their infamous fallout. In the song, 'A Word is enough for the 9ice', off his Untouchable album, Ruggedman recounts how he gave 9ice his break in the music industry, introduced him to the woman who would later become his wife and mother of his son, Zion, and sums it up thus, 'In short, I gave you life.' Back to the present.
So much has happened between then and now. 9ice and Ruggedman's fallout has been very well documented. They have taken themselves to the cleaners and back. They have recorded tracks after tracks filled with expletives for and against each other. In spite of that, Sunday is the biggest day in the episodic career and life of the Ogbomoso, Oyo State native. It will be graced by many of his colleagues and friends in the entertainment industry, while those he had collaborated with in the past like 9ice, Tiwa Savage, Banky W, Lord of Ajasa and a host of others, will all hit the stage with him. Fuji music star, K1 De Ultimate, who featured on 9ice's Versus album will make a special guest appearance. Even ID Cabassa who produced his breakthrough album, Gongo Aso, but who he fell out with at the height of his fame, will be storming the concert with all the Coded Tunes crew where 9ice used to belong.
In view of this, it would not be out of order to pause and ponder and ask whether 9ice's former collaborator-turned-adversary and Toni Payne will put aside the pains and hurt of the past and grace the concert? This poser becomes even more profound in view of the fact that until recently, Toni was all over twitter, promoting the BGV concert to her thousands of followers. With a strong online presence, it did not take too long before everybody caught the concert fever. However, she has been silent in recent time, prompting insinuations that she might not attend the concert. A source close to the entertainment enthusiast cum artiste manager says, 'Toni is not happy that 9ice is not giving her the deserved dues because she reckons that nobody in 9ice's team has the kind of presence she has online, a power she has used effectively to promote both 9ice's new album and the concert. As such, she feels she deserves more recognition than she is getting in the overall scheme of the concert.' Another source says Toni might be persuaded to attend because just like Tuface and Annie Macaulay's surprise engagement, a surprise might be in the offing for her.