Through Childartiste’s ingenious gravitas, Wizkid tells a simple story encoded in sublime messages in this music video. It’s a concise tribute to the past with a fantastic presentation of the present…
By Emmanuel Daraloye
On Tuesday, October 19th, 2022, Grammy-winning Nigerian superstar, Wizkid, released the video for his latest single, “Bad To Me.”
The Amapiano-inflected tune sees Wizkid coming out in a different genre. This will be the first time Wizkid would be trying his hand solely on the South African Deep House sub-genre.
The song which was jointly produced by P2J (Made In Lagos) and Sammy Soso is the opening track from Wizkid’s soon-to-be-released More Love, Less Ego album.
“Bad to Me” is an instantly arresting tune that shows Wizkid is charmed and fascinated by a woman’s body. As a further assurance of his support for her, and as a means of getting her love and attention, he promises to spend money on her, and even pleads with her to let him know if the money is more than what she needs.
Wizkid submits to the girl’s antics. From the first verse which is a nod to the “gin” he sips, it is crystal clear that he is in for a good time with the girl, and no one can stop him, not even the “bad mind.” “You turn me on, I no dey go I wan dey/ I no dey care, say the bad mind dem pree.” “Dem pree,” a Jamaican slang, signifies watching or close observation of something.
The hook is littered with a craving for touch and attention: “This kind, this kind love, yeah/I dey want for the night/ Make I know how you feel, how you want am.”
In the retro-themed visual for the song, the director, Childartiste (who has worked with the likes of Chris Brown, Future, Big Sean, and others) chronicled Wizkid’s time out performing at a party, his alluring female charms, and many other themes.
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The video gets underway with Wizkid adorned in a double-breasted green suit with his assistant (who is a secret lover) beside him. In another scene, a man carries a tea mug from the chef. An assistant director (AD) announces Wizkid’s arrival with a megaphone; the sound itches the ear. While at this, the scene shifts to the girl getting set for the show. In one of these scenes, a model straightens her clothes, and another one adjusts her flowing hair. It shifts back to Wizkid. An assistant briefs him about the stage setup. He’s not paying attention. He adjusts his suit; he wants to look good on stage, I guess.
At the fourteen seconds mark, a television host comes on. It’s all shades of vintage here. It’s possibly set in the 70s, with an analogue television and picture styles. But, then, there’s some touch of modernity, too. It shows Wizkid is a breed between the old and the new.
Adorned in a suit with a black turtleneck to match, the TV host announces the appearance of Wizkid on stage. He fails to fully pronounce the title of the song, and you only get to hear BAD with a stress on it, and the two other words fade away.
In the next scene, the two prominent features of the music video, “Big Wiz: The Star,” and “Show Runner: Secret Lover,” are announced via the teleprompter. This throwbacks to the real-life love affair between Wizkid and American show promoter, Jada P.
The dance instructor and make-up artist arrange and get the dancers and models in shape for the show. Men with tea trays pass through different routes before one of them finally drop a tea tray in the room of one of the models. Finally, the show kicks off with a smirking Wizkid positioning himself to entertain the audience. A different cut of the video is shown where a talk show host announces Wizkid’s appearance to a female audience who scream and clap.
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At 1:12, Wizkid appears on the talk show in which some girls call to ask questions bordering on his type of women. “What type of girls does Wiz like?” one asks. A Chinese lady and two black ladies call during the airing of the show, too. This scene shows the sexual and masculine appeal of Wizkid to different women.
At 1:28, the stage performance is shown to continue with Wizkid more excited, and the tempo of the song increased. At 1:37, the talk show host advises the show producer—who is one of the callers—to get Wizkid before the others did. Did she listen? The next scene plays that out.
The scene shifts to a mid-lit snooker room, with Wizkid and the model walking through. It quickly segues back to the performance scene where the audience is more invigorated. A smiling Wizkid hugs the model and talks to her. She teases him while they continue to straddle the snooker table.
By the time the video reaches its 2:56 mark, the pressmen around are already aware that Wizkid and the model are in a relationship. Their cameras click as the couple leave the building. They both smile and look unbothered.
In the closing scene of the video, Wizkid previews his next single, promoting his forthcoming album with two women outside what seems to be a book store reading a magazine that has the headline “More Love, Less Ego” with Wizkid’s headshot displayed on it. This scene could be portraying Wizkid’s desire to live a normal life like everyone else, away from the paparazzi of showbiz, fans and fanatics, and the constant desire to follow laid-down rules.
The failure of the two women to recognise Wizkid as he drinks from a tea cup could allude to one of his biggest heart desires: the ability to make music and still live his life the way he wants. The choice of different women in the last scene could also mean that the upcoming album would be full of various sonic influences, cut across borders, and appeal to different demographics.
Through Childartiste’s ingenious gravitas, Wizkid tells a simple story encoded in sublime messages in this music video. It’s a concise tribute to the past with a fantastic presentation of the present. Through this video, Wizkid shows the world – and proudly, too – why he’s loved by women of different races and colours.
Video Rating: 7/10
Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s Most Prolific Music Critic. He has over 450 album reviews in his archive.