Selling Death

I remember the week the news hit everywhere that young rap artiste Dagrin, had passed on after an automobile accident. Everyone, even those who never heard the guy’s music acted like they were affected. Those who never heard his music before listened to it for the first time and began to make comments on what a brilliant and talented lyricist he was.

Soon guys in my office went ahead to buy his CDs from those selling on the streets and before you know it, it became what was being played in the offices. Whenever you drive through the traffic jams, you’d come across street hawkers parading his audio and video CDs.

Last week Friday, we had our monthly ‘village meeting’ (A TGIF thingy) in the office and they had a DJ over to play some music. I was shocked when I heard the DJ playing a Dagrin rap song that was actually performed live on a show on TV – Jimmy Jatt’s Jumpoff – where guest rap artistes had to freestyle to DJ Jimmy Jatts mixes on the console. That was never meant to be on CD but now it was.

Where am I going with all this?

I’ve always heard that in the world of nasty showbiz strategies, sex and violence sells. And this is no wonder with all we see happening on our screens in movies and music.

But I guess there’s one other thing that sells that people don’t really make mention of – except probably those who make money from it and that is – Death.

It’s amazing how death can increase sales and recognition of the late artiste in question. And we see it happening everywhere, where people cashed in on a celebrity’s death.

When Tupac Shakur died, his albums became repackaged; tracks that were never released before suddenly came out. His poetry came out on CDs and today he has sort of become a phenomenon.

Biggie’s post mortem album became a hit after his death and as well as the song that was sang in his memory by his then producer Puffy.

After Michael Jackson’s death ‘This is it’ was released and it was a smash hit.

Now it’s happening in the case of Dagrin. Artistes who featured Dagrin and who might be releasing soon should probably expect sales of their albums to go up.

I remember watching Teju Babyface’s show. They showed a pilot edition last week and it featured Dagrin in a performance then an interview with Teju. If we had ratings for TV shows as they do in the US, Teju’s ratings would have probably gone high for that show.

And the Jimmy Jatt jumpoff spin off on a CD, who knows? It might be Jimmy Jatt cashing in on making his cut from the death of the young crooner.

No doubt about it, death sells but it’s not the favorite option of any artiste hoping to hit the charts.

NB: I don't know if I'm the only one that noticed this but oddly enough, Tupac, Biggie and Dagrin all sang songs about their dying before their deaths. The songs in question all sounded like premonitions. Is there a jinx that if artistes sing about their deaths, they're sigining a death warant? Creepy.

8 Screamer(s):

Sugarking said...

lol. I was gonna say this before to all those posting about his death on Facebook before o, but decided to calm down. Before ppl wey no sabi me begin curse their papa

oluSimeon said...

yeah.. found it creepy.. that he sang bout his death,.. and i think.. they kinda know they'll die soon//

2cute4u said...

Share your sentiments. Reminds me of that guy that sang 'this place is not my home' he died too not long after that.. Makes you wonder.
Scary when you think of it..

Naijalines said...

Maybe it's self fulfilling prophecy but it is kinda scary. The one that's stayed with me is Left-eye of TLC - Real name Lisa Lopes.

She did a documentary just before she died, where she suggested she'd had some premonition but was not afraid of death. She was on a journey to disciver herself before it was too late. She had the journey. She died on her way back. It was not too late for the journey but it was over too soon.

Afrigenic said...

my sentiments exactly, death really sells and people are ready to cash on it big time

lol....e tire me o!...i didn't know the guy until his death & watched the musical video once without knowing the artiste...the rhythm was catchy...but i didn't know him nor pretended to be affected...i agree with sugarking o..pple can start to abuse someone if he/she does not join the bandwagon of mourners! likely.

Afronuts said...

@Sugarking…lol. Now we’ve said it!

@OluSimeon…hmm, maybe they had dreams of it too

@2cute4u…That’s Jimmy Reeves. Serious? I never knew that was amongst his last songs before his death

@Naijalines…Myabe. I never saw that documentary by Lisa left eye. What’s it called?

@Afrigenic…scary huh?

@Nittygritty…Yes oh my sista. people will do the darndest things for money!

Anonymous said...

Its simple...your confession will be your possession. The tongue has the power of life and death.Guess we all should watch what we wish for. Whoever wan vex make hin vex I don talk ma own!!