Music
Still via YouTube

Left: Still from Adeyemi Michael's 'Entitled,' Right: Still from Davido's '1 Milli.'

Davido's '1 Milli' Video Called Out for Allegedly Copying the Work of Nigerian Artist Adeyemi Michael

Some viewers have pointed out striking similarities between the artist's latest music video and the 2018 short film 'Entitled' by British-Nigerian filmmaker Adeyemi Michael.

Update 03/06/2020: The director of Davido's "1 Milli" stated, in an Instagram story from 2 days ago, that he was in fact "inspired" by Micheal's work and "always wanted to recreate his iconic shot," making direct reference to the shot of Michael's mother on horseback.

"Paying respect and homage to @AdeyemiMichael for the inspiration on this frame in the '1 Milli' video," wrote Dir. K in an Instagram story, that now appears as a highlight on his page. Despite the director's acknowledgment of the reference via Instagram stories, it is not clear whether Michael was asked or made aware beforehand. As of Friday, he has not been formally credited.

Continue for the original story:

Last week, Nigerian megastar Davido released the music video for his single "1 Milli," which depicted a wedding celebration between he and his fiancé Chioma Rowland. The festive video was mostly well-recieved upon its release, but now the artist is being accused of having copied the work of Nigerian-British filmmaker Adeyemi Michael.

Davido's music video, which was directed by Dir. K, features a ceremonial scene in which a middle-aged women, dressed in regal traditional attire, appears on horseback amongst a celebratory crowd. Several observers online noted that the scene bears a striking resemblance to Michael's 2018 short film, Entitled, which featured memorable shots of his mother donning traditional Yoruba attire and riding a horse through London's Peckham neighborhood. The film highlights the plight of immigrants and their ability to overcome, through shots that show Michael's mother as a regal and powerful matriarch.

Take a look at the short film below:


youtu.be

After seeing Davido's latest video, several fans and supporters of Michael's work took to Twitter yesterday to share side-by-side images of scenes from "1 Milli" and stills from Entitled, noting the resemblance between the two works and calling out the alleged plagiarism on Davido's part. Others have raised questions around intellectual property and the often vague lines around what is considered "paying homage" and outright stealing.


This isn't the first time that a high-profile artist has been accused of plagiarizing the work of another African artist without properly crediting them. Back in 2018, British-Liberian visual artist Lina Iris Viktor sued Kendrick Lamar after she claimed that her work was used without her permission in his music video for "All the Stars." A similar occurrence happened last year, when South African artist Petite Noire pointed out similarities between his short film "The Gift and the Curse" and Beyoncé's "Spirit" music video.

Many have advocated for more collaboration amongst African creatives on both big and small scales in order to avoid the issue, suggesting that Davido's team could've reached out to the artist as a show of support and solidarity for another African artist. A recent example of this being Burna Boy's recent GQ spread, which has been praised for the fact that fellow Africans were involved in all levels of production, from the writing to the styling and photography.

We've reached out to Davido's team for comment. As of Friday morning neither they nor Michael have addressed the matter publicly.

For more context, see Davido's "1 Milli" below.

youtu.be

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.