Rwanda: Hip-Hop Star Jay-Polly Sorry for Clash With Journalists
Troubled hip-hop artist, Jay Polly, has come out to publicly apologize to the media for insulting some of the local showbiz journalists who broke news of his alleged imprisonment in Kenya recently.
Jay Polly visited Kenya and Tanzania on business and while he was away, a local journalist posted news that the “Ndacyariho” star was briefly thrown behind Kenyan bars after being nabbed trying to use forged travel documents to find his way to England.
Soon after returning to Kigali, the fuming Jay Polly was hosted on one of the entertainment shows on Flash FM where he used insulting words to fight back the journalists, especially pointing a figure at showbiz presenter Ally Soudy whom he blamed along with a couple of others for “trying to bring him down by reporting wrongful information”.
He used words like “…..empty cylinders” to describe such journalists a thing that rose a surge of anger between him and the media, mainly radio presenters; some of them vowing to delete his music from their computers.
One of the journalists mentioned by Jay Polly but who preferred anonymity says, “Artists chase around radio presenters when they are still underground, to be promoted.”
“They can be so nice at this stage and do any good thing to have their songs promoted but when they luckily make it, they forget who put them up there not knowing that they can be brought back down,” he said.
Salus Radio presenter Emma Claudine Ntirenganya posted a comment on facebook, “I should not say the journalists were right but he should have used another way of expressing his frustration or criticisms about the allegations. He should learn from the experience of guys like Tanzanian artiste Mr. Nice who had made it internationally but disappeared from the music scene immediately when he started to mess with media practitioners.”
Jay Polly however notes that he made the controversial statements out of anger but meant no harm.
“I was just very annoyed when I made the comments but honestly I am not the disrespectful kind of guy and some of those are my good friends too; we have worked together for so long and so we should not let such events ruin vital relationships,” he noted.
Jay Polly also refutes reports that one of the journalists insulted, Jean Paul Ibambe, has taken him to court to answer the charges of abuse.
Who is the saint, who is the sinner?
Though Jay Polly is pushing to end the conflict and would do anything to make the journalists forget about it, he too has a point to stress on the conduct of some of them.
He notes that, for instance, some of the media practitioners want other side benefits like cash from the artists and when this does not happen they try to bring them down at whatever cost.
“Whoever got me clearly understands that the journalists I meant to talk to are those that have propaganda to bring down some successful artists using media. They are the same guys adding fuel to this saga and making it a general concern to win and make Jay the victim,” he further explained.
“They, for instance, try to solicit bribes and when one does respond, a grudge is born. That is why some artists have good projects that are not publicized and those with the questionable ones get ample attention and support.”
He also slams journalists who over interfere with the private life of the artists. Jay Polly was recently exposed when his picture with his partner, half naked in the bedroom, was posted by one of the journalists.”
Don Pacson, one of the top showbiz radio presenters and hip-hop composer/ singer says that much as journalists should bring out all little details about singers, they should discern what needs to be known to the fans and what is private.
“Artists should accept the fact that they are famous and every little detail about them is hot cake for sale, but at the same time journalists should not over interfere with anyone’s life- for example there are things that can tarnish one’s image like sex tapes and which don’t build society,” Pacson noted.
Pacson however adds that some artists don’t understand the fact that they are public figures and don’t want to be in news, especially when it’s controversial.
“If you piss on the roadside, you should not expect the journalist to turn it around and say that you used the washrooms. And, they don’t tend to know that they are public figures; when they mess up and it is aired out, they open war on whoever put them to light.”
Jay Polly’s surge has just overshadowed Tom Close’s recent assault on a photojournalist and a writer of one of the local tabloids, who reportedly had been tracking the R&B artist and taking photos of him and a girl at Camp Kigali grounds.
Tom Close reportedly punched the journalist and later encouraged his companions at the site, Ally Soudy and Jay Polly to help him drive the journalists away.
The singer also had a run in with Deejay Adams who in his shows exposed some of the artists that pirate beats including Tom Close on his song “Ubuziraherezo” in which he used the beat of African- America artist, Taio Cruz.
Tom Close entered the studios of Adams’ radio throwing all sorts of threats though Deejay Adams is always conceited too and would never be scared to let go.
Alice Ishimwe a former journalist and follower of showbiz events in Rwanda says, “Like the Tom Close issue, I would think that he almost violated the rights of a radio presenter who had the proof. It is probably out of disrespect for these individuals (journalists)….”
“The artists tend to think that the only role of the journalist is to play the artist’ songs and host them in a live show when they are launching albums, or organizing own concerts but not to show the tail side of the coin.”
She notes that Adams too sometimes exaggerated and talked like he was just trying to put to shame the artists. “He sometimes uses an abusive language. Both sides have a lot to work on in conduct and professionalism if they are to keep the industry afloat.”
Outside Rwanda too, Chris Brown once burst of studio furious and almost crashed glasses in the backside after being pissed off in the show. Eminem has punched paparazzi before, Naomi Campbell was in court more than once for assault of journalists, Yung Buck stubbed paparazzi….
At more dramatic sagas, some celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Arnold Schwarzenegger had their marriages broken because of paparazzi footages that exposed their secret relationships that had been closed behind curtains.
Sure, stories that actually make the showbiz more interesting than some other political columns can never be got easily. It has always been asserted that journalists should give some space of privacy to celebrities and strike a balance wherever, and the later too understand the ‘politics of fame’ instead of fighting back when their other side of lives is thrown in papers.