The sixth edition of the Hip-Hop World Awards, now known as the Headies, held on the night of Saturday October 22, 2011 at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites. The arena had an ambience of excitement and glamour as different industry heads as well as celebrities arrived in style to grace the Headies red carpet.
The event ignored its 8pm schedule to kick-off a little over two hours late with an introduction of the hosts, Trybes Records boss, eLDee tha Don and Nollywood top actress, Rita Dominic. eLDee was tucked in a pilot-style, black and white striped jacket while Rita looked radiant in her red fish-tailed tube. Unfortunately, appearance was all the duo got right that night. They appeared to lack a working chemistry and Rita especially appeared nervous.
The Expo Hall was arranged in four different sections. Facing the stage, the regular side was the left wing of the hall, the VIP on the right and the VVIP in the centre. The elevated part at the back of the hall was reserved for cooperate partners. The class sitting arrangement was a scam on the VIP ticket holders as although they paid thrice what folks in the regular section paid for tickets, they gained nothing extra over them. If anything, the regular sitters had a portion of the stage aisle extended to their side so they even had an advantage over the VIP ticket holders.
Moving on into the show, the opening performance was announced to belong to songstress, Waje, but out came rap upstart, Olamide. Dressed in a hooded white robe, he rolled out his ‘Young Erikina’ with attitude deserving of an emcee. His mannerism and delivery over the live band was on point. He later lost the robe to perform the scorching debut single ‘Eniduro’, upping tempo while infusing the talking drum into the pronounced percussions.
The guff however continued that evening when the first award was given out. The presenters announced the award for Best Rap Single but the displayed nominations were for the Best Rap Album.
Top comedian, BasketMouth came on stage and with his first statement, cracked the crowd up. “This mic, na MI dem set am for?” he asked as he adjusted the standing microphone up to his height. He went ahead to take some other jabs at the crowd and the organisers before apologising for the Waje-Olamide mix-up. He then re-introduced Waje.
Waje came on stage in a Michael Jackson-style jacket with shiny patterns; her singing was top notch as she flaunted her prowess, hitting different high pitched notes. Muna, who was also present to reprise her verse in ‘So Inspired’, however added nothing to the performance.
Afterwards, the Federal Minister of Youth Development Bolaji Abdullahi dropped by; he lauded the organisers as well as other practitioners in the entertainment industry. “You are the reason Nigeria can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world,” Abdullahi said.
More sparks returned to the show when Beat FM’s Oreka Godis and Big Brother Host, Ik Osakioduwa came to present the award for Recording of the Year. They both mocked the tacky telecommunication promo by PSquare.
The hosts returned and brought boredom with them as well as an expected change of clothing; this time they were barely on the stage for 30 seconds as they introduced Sound Sultan. The singer had one of the best performances of the night. Clad in Arabian pants and a grey jacket with black shawl-like lapel, he kicked off with ‘2010’ over a reggae infused beat before switching to a Soukous infused version of his viral number, ‘Orobo’. He added flare to the performance as his dancers played out a skinny versus plus-sized duel. The two ‘orobos’ eventually won and practically carried the singer off the stage, leaving the whole crowd pleased and apparently well entertained.
When Olu Maintain and Kaffy, with her baby bump, came on to present the award for ‘Revelation of The Year’, they connected with the crowd more than the hosts did. Olu asked: “What’s up Kaffy, you look extra?” and later turned to crowd saying “[she has been] naughty”. (The first part was said in Yoruba).
The show stealers, however, were Sir Shina Peters and 2face Idibia. After the Juju maestro was surprisingly announced as the recipient of the special recognition award, he brought two dancers on stage and performed. The whole crowd screamed with delight and sang along all through his performance.
2face bagged three late awards towards the end of the show and his comments every time he got on stage cracked people up. At first, he poked fun at Don Jazzy who had gone on stage with him as he went to receive the award. “…Jon Dazzy is even here” he said. The kill was when he went to receive his third award of the night, he said, in Pidgin of course, “Una see Kaffy abi? It wasn’t me o!” joking about his randy reputation.
Others who gave good performances included Tiwa Savage; MI; Ice Prince and Brymo; Jah Bless with Ice Prince, Reminisce and eLDee; and the new pop rave, Wizkid who closed the show. Dr. SID’s performance was however blighted as he cut the performance few seconds in, after he couldn’t synchronise with the DJ. He stormed off the stage and screamed the ‘F’ word into the microphone on his way.