What an Insult to Sade! M.I., P-Square, Wale Nominated in the Same Category at the BET 2010 Awards?

Tope Esan  Founder and Executive Producer of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards (NEA) is not happy with the fact that a newcomer like M.I. and P-Sqaure  are nominated in the same category as Sade at the upcoming BET Awards. Tope, also a LadybrilleNigeria reader, sent this in to us. What’s your take? Do you agree with Mr. Esan?

“Hey Uduak,

How u dey?

While I am happy with the MI & P square BET nomination, it is pretty interesting that the Nigerian media is overly excited about this nomination and have not come out to criticize the fact that Estelle, Corinne Bailey Rae and Sade were nominated in same category- international category. To me, that is so flawed and quite frankly a slap in the face of an artist like Sade, I mean, common.

This is the case where we are all excited that BET has co-signed Nigerian entertainment and forgetting the bigger picture (the insult) on Sade. After how many years of competing in mainstream, BET goes and nominate her as international (artist), this is really an insult.

What’s your take?”

Following up with even more details he said, “

Disclaimer: This article is not to bash BET, as an Award producer myself, I know what goes through the mind of Award producers when planning an Award show- the politics, the egos etc. Just thought I get that out there first.

But when the 2010 BET nomination came out earlier this week, I was so happy for Nigerian acts MI and P Square for getting the recognition they deserve. As a matter of fact the BET recognition is very much aligned with what we are trying to do with NEA, to promote Nigerian Acts to international audience. So when I got the messages on Blackberry, my first thought was yeah, finally.

But immediately, I logged online to check the full nomination list, my jaw almost dropped. MI, P Square, Corinne Bailey Rae, Estelle and Sade in same category? Ok, the others we can ignore for sake of argument but Sade? Sade is now an international artist and Wale is not? I am shocked even mentioning both artists in the same category quite frankly, and no disrespect to Wale, the dude is talented but common now!

I am quite frankly surprised to read comments on all the online social media networks, all excited about the nomination and not addressing the insult and disrespect to Sade been in that category? Most American Award shows classify International Act as Artists who don’t have significant audience base in the US. Sade has sold over 50 million albums primarily in the US and has won numerous Grammy Awards and never been nominated as an international act even when such category existed within that Award show. At some point we will be reaching out to BET Award producers to get an input on why they feel Sade is an international act. Or maybe one of y’all folks can educate me on this one.”

What do you guys think?

I have not had time to digest all this because I am preparing for trial but will come to give my 2 cents, if needed.  I am curious what you all think. Insult to Sade? Or are you saying MI and P-Square are just as talented so why not? What about the Ghanian and South African artists nominated? Do the same arguments hold? I presume so. Just throwing questions out there to stimulate the debate.

I am curious to see what you guys have to say.

Thanks Tope Esan for at least raising the question. I think it calls for a healthy debate.

~Uduak Oduok

Ladybrille Magazine

Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.

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  1. D square says:

    are really done give a dam about sade been nominated as international act P square should carry that award ha ha LOL go P square we love u.that my boy

  2. pizz off says:

    mr tope u r an elder and at such much is expected of u when u open mouth n talk, cmon now. IF sade was to be nominated with rihanna or say miley of disney for song of d year in grammy would u be here vexing off like this? abeg if u know get better things to do, go call ur former mr international that idiot iceberg slim to talk about shitty things he talk in his music, to say u have d audacity to say no body take bet serious, swear i wish i was older than u id slap u back to the 80s, with all due respect. its an insult to sade u thinking she was insulted.

  3. lola says:

    Wow….so Tope are you by any means saying any musician Dubbed “international” is inferior?…because that is what i get from your it is an “insult” outcry….i hope people stop supporting your NEA because you have a huge load of colonial mentality going on for you…gosh only Nigerians will come out with such baseless arguments…RUBBISH



  5. IREBEBERA says:

    What a baseless piece of rubbish!!!!!!…..Sade is an ”INTERNATIONAL ARTIST” that is why she is there!! Sade is a British artist!!

    Some Nigerians can never be happy regardless, its a great honour for BET to recognise M.I. and P Square who are very talented artists!!!

    It means that we are getting closer and closer to where we want to be!!

    I pray that one of them wins and the icing on the cake will be if they get to perform!!!….am so happy for them…Lets concentrate on it and box this inferiority complex that is written all over the initial article.

    well done boys…..

  6. Amina says:

    I’m sorry but you might want to rethink that concept of the nominations being an insult. Sade was nominated for other award categories besides the International act. According to American standards, any artist based outside of the United States (sometimes even technically in the U.S. if I remember correctly some time back they nomintated a Hawaiian citizen in an awards international category even though that’s a U.S. state) is an international artist. It is about time that our artists started getting nominations outside of Africa for their creative contributions to worldwide music. We all agree Sade is a legend but it’s be almost 10 years. M.I and PSquare deserve to be on that list and either deserve to win!

    The only insult here is that 2face &/or Femi Kuti is not on that list!!

  7. Boondocks says:

    @Globe says it really well…If Carlos Santana was nominated in that category wud you even budge….

    @Tope this ur outcry removes huge points from ur NEA that you founded if this is the mentality to put towards creating ur list of nominees and appropriate categories…

    I also see pple throwing out her sale numbers…u r forgetting the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on her marketing or the appearances on Ellen, Letterman, GMA, and a host of other shows…the african acts nominated here did not have all that (yet BET still heard of them in this highly ignorant and stereotypical America towards anything African…go figure…those boys deserve every acclaim win or loose). Besides while there is no specific record, M.I.’s album sold 30,000 copies in 30mins…nw he did not just fade to obscurity afterwards, his demand rose, which means it is also safe to say his record sale did too…now @30,000 in 30mins, factoring in a slight decline, imagine how much might have been sold in one week? And if u want to say oh that is in Nigeria, ask urself how many did Sade sell in Nigeria, pirated or otherwise, then get back to me. If you even want to argue that the album prices matter, factor in the standard and cost on living in the two places..besides I believe BETs approach is impact on the international arena (mainly black, cos it’s the BET outside of America…weighing it like that, I can even predict the winner 🙂

  8. Boondocks says:

    Nonsense…what silly insult??? To say it is an insult is to say that being tagged international is an insult and somehow indicates inferiority or lesser quality. While Sade might be considered a music legend worthy of getting a lifetime achievement award which I believe she will still receive in the near future, she recently release an album and is nominated on that basis. She is a British based artist, and if you look into the details u will find that she probably doesn’t income tax in the US (so what is the stress). There are a lot of music icons the world over, but it is an American award ceremony and they need their own winning their awards (Nigerians should know that too well, always shouting support your own over the place). If MJ release an album the same award period Chris Brown released an album they would be in the same Pop/R&B category and judge on that current work regardless of MJs iconic status, and say maybe CB won or lost this supposed award, Im sure his joy would have been getting recognized alongside MJ. So please please please, all those saying it is an insult need to get off their high horses…Sade might be iconic/legendary/MBE or whatever but when it is all said and done, she is still an artist just like everyone in that category

  9. Belema says:

    you know what I am so angry i want to slap this guy across the face…nigerians never fail to fall someone’s hand….you know for those of us in america it is really hard to associate with you people with alll your negative energy….always looking for something to talk about …..dang men if u can’t see the raw talent someone like MI has and even p-square…i’m sorry…..since you can’t c its a yearly award 2 bad….its not like soldier of love came out in 2000….dis is 2010

  10. Belema says:

    OH MY GOD!!!!

    Nigerians can never settle down and be happy for their people….and why are you people so blind you carry rumors about.

    Make sure you note your sources before displaying lies….you all should crosscheck liers like these, sade was in the same group so what….didn’t you see she was also nominated for the centric award…which is one of respect….i can’t believe it after all this time, you guys never cahnge….its not a matter of age or experience….justin bieber was nominated against someone like nicki minaj…its the talent and output that decides.

    sade put out soldier of love a gret song….d award wasn’t for years past …. it was for their output in the past year….have respect for yourselves…..*hisses*

  11. M.I says:

    Well while i understand the sentiment that you are trying express.. what it ends up coming across as is actually an insult to p square and myself..

    I think at a time like this when Nigeria is struggling to assert our positive virtues on the international scene, every small step should be appreciated and celebrated.

    how dare they nominate us in the same category is the wrong statement.. I think its a good a time as any for the world to start to realize that when you look at the global contribution of black people to music every year. Nigeria and africa do contribute a lot

    my two cents

  12. TOPE i am totally in agreement with you ,Even though im a very good fan of all nigerian new age musicians, i dont expect to include SADE ADU to nigerian musicians, She is old in the business, we dont even see her as home base to help the youth in 9ja, HOME BASE IS HOME BASE and international remaind inter. let them, include her to FELA, SUNNY ADE, OBY, SEAL,DR ABAN,to mention few SHE belongs to those catigos.. E VIVA P.SQUARE,MI etc Africans awooooo.

  13. Lisa says:

    Tope you have some valid points but grammatical errors like using common instead of come on are really distracting.
    Ladybrille aren’t you at liberty to edit such errors where they distort/distract from the message of the original writer?

  14. razor says:

    Tope…..seems u lack a brain

  15. D-dot says:

    ok first off Tope, you do realize that BET is an american company based in America. now Rihanna is an Artist signed to an american Record label. anything outside of an American record Label or an american company, having a major influence on the American Market is referred to as an international act. When i first saw this article i was a pissed thinking, your love for Sade and all her success streamlines your thinking and makes you believe that M.I and P-square are sub-standard to her(Sade). well i hope thats not the case. P-square and M.I deserve that nod. they really do. comparing M.I alone, vocally, lyrically and everything else to an american rapper, (well na proper american rapper i dey talk here not soulja boy o) and you’ll see that they really deserve that nod.

  16. edson says:

    @Tope: i really do not comprehend your argument. Sade is considered in the international act category simply because she is NOT American and she is NOT BASED in the US, simple. Get that right. Whether she has sold a billion records is irrelevant. You mentioned Rihanna- yes, Rihanna hails from Barbados but she is based in the USA. so that reference should not have arisen at all.
    @Me: I am not sure Sade is a legend like u claim. Your ascription of a legend to her is very debatable. but that aside, P-square is a musical force that has swept across the African continent and beyond. As hard as one tries, that fact cannot be obliterated. Though a recent group, they have grown so rapidly and been so consistent that the Americans could not, but recognize them.
    That is laudable by any standards and we are very proud of them! Congrats to P2 & MI. We love you.

  17. iyke says:

    Tope is the one seeing the little picture. I beg him to see the bigger one.

  18. Me says:

    Even few weeks back fellow Americans have questioned BET’s criteria in some areas (Video Rotations, not playing black women video, been bias and all that). I understood what our Oga is ‘Saying’, P-Square & M.I should be very happy that they’ve been equated with a Legend– but anyways lets just watch and see.

  19. globe says:

    so at the end of the day its just ur opinion. but dont forget that the US is full of immigrants and as they really cant tell the nationalities of those who bought the cd…the next thing i guess will be her nationality. I really think u should think it through before coming out and making this public outcry. just my opinion anyway!!!

  20. Tope says:

    I don’t want to digress to other subject matter, my concern is simple- SADE should not be nominated as an International Artist since an artist like Rihana will never be classified as an international artist. Sade went gold (500,000 copies sold) in one week of her release here in the US, please tell me which other artist came close to the number on that list? it just doesn’t make sense for Sade to be competing in that category. I will be perfectly fine if she got a Best R&B Artist of the year not international category.

  21. globe says:

    its that simple! not american=international. and lets not forget she is just d lead singer of a british group. so dont make it so personal cos of her nigerian roots. would you complain if carlos santana was nominated as international? just move on i think sade should give themselves a pat on the back for their relevance in 2010. M.I and P square well done too!!

  22. Bola #1 says:

    If you’re not based in the U.S., you’re categorized as International regardless of how popular you are. That’s BET’s method

  23. ultimatej says:

    Mi,Psquare,Wale n sade were NOT nominated in the same category.
    I dont know y Nigerians always feel the need to spice a story up n not support their own, rather than fishing americans n british citisens who av ties wiv nigeria thru decent.
    In the World Music category. WALE is not nominated!!!Wale is nominated in the New Artist group and to BET Wale is not World music.He is from Washington DC, only that he has Nigerian ties.aNd if BET puts them in the same catergory say thank you,thAt they are even there.World Music is very large for 2 nigerians to b shortlisted u should b proud.
    The SADE story, she is a grammy award winner she has had her moment.Now her come back has landed her in the same category as the new comers, thats no insult .that is 2010 for u.and she is rest of the world because she is from the Uk but also has ties with Nigeria.
    K.naan is from canada,but he was still linked to his somalian ties where he his orinally from.
    The M.i n P.square impact is so much n BET recognises that, its high time you recognise that too n stop delibr8in on who is suppose 2 b where n y.Anoti anoti alele e……e no easy oooo eeee

  24. Jide says:

    @Tope I totally agree with you.

    @Uzo You state that Sade is not American so she should be classified as an international artist, okay agreed (check!). Is she a musical legend? Check! Has she sold millions of records? Check!
    BET shouldn’t be nominating SADE at all, instead they should be honoring her with a life achievement award. She has earned that much. This is exactly why no one really takes BET seriously in America, it is a huge blunder on their part and they need to apologize to the great Sade.
    And as for her new album, it sold 500, 000 copies in its first week of release in the US. Even US juggernauts such as: Usher, Alicia Keys, and co, with all the publicity and media hype didn’t have opening as good as hers. (I’m an Usher fan by the way) So is Sade a big deal? Check! Did BET make a huge mistake? Check! check! check! ………………..

    I’m not trying to act like Mr smarty pants here or anything like that, so don’t miss quote me. As much as I am happy for Mi and Psquare, and desperately hope that one of them wins the award. Mentioning them in the same category as Sade like Tope said, “is totally an insult.” That alone is a life achievement award for both parties(Mi & Psquare), and I’m sure they know that bit.

    @Tope you made some good points. No disrespect to Mi & Psquare, we are proud of their achievements and we hope they succeed. But the truth, and facts should never be toyed with.

  25. Bola says:

    I say to each his own! the thing about the music industry is that the race is not to the swiftest. Though it is good to have longevity in the industry the down side is that the Janet Jacksons, Toni Braxtons and Mary J.Bliges of this world will be graded with the Lady Gagas,Justine Biebers etc of this world! Its a bitch right? But I say congrats is in order.

  26. dude_103 says:

    i do not think BET made a mistake by classifying Sade as international. Sade is a British artist and as such is recognised as international . Rihanna on the other hand is American based and should not be compared. You should all be happy that Sade is getting this nomination in recognition of her music comeback.

  27. What an Insult to Sade! M.I., P-Square, Wale Nominated in the Same Category at the BET 2010 Awards?

  28. Tope says:

    @Uzo- I get the “she isn’t American” thing, but neither is Rihana who hails from barbados and she’s been nominated for Female R&B categories amongst other categories she’s been nominated for. So why is Sade different? It’s not fair to her or the other acts in that category quite frankly…just my thoughts!

  29. Uzo says:

    Not sure what Tope is going on about, but I figured they put Sade in that category simply because she isn’t American, 50millon copies or not!!

    So which category does Tope expect her to fall under? Besides Sade did well in the 80s or is it early 90s? Can’t even remember. I am not sure how her new album is doing but is can’t be anywhere what Diamond Life or Promise did for her so really your arguement holds no water.

    Lets see who wins

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