Wizkid: Hearing Daddy Yo in “Pacific Rim” made me want to fight for Nigeria
I wanted to fight with John Boyega, side by side in my own Jaeger painted in Lagos colours with the full version of Wizkid’s song playing in our ears.
International recognition is worth its weight in gold for most Nigerians, So it is understandable that we reacted like we’d won the lottery when British-Nigerian actor, John Boyega ‘disclosed’ that Daddy Yo, the 2017 single by our favorite mainland boy, Wizkid, would be featured in the second instalment of the Pacific Rim series.
Yes, he may decide to try out a few foreign accents once in a while or refuse to come home for an entire year, but Ayo Balogun is a national treasure.
Over the past few years, he has been one of the main ambassadors of the Nigerian sound. Snagging a few minutes of play on one of the most highly anticipated action-fantasy blockbusters of the year was another step in that direction.
The Hollywood star had in December disclosed that “Pacific Rim: Uprising”, would heavily target Nigeria as a main marketing spot.
Boyega on his Instagram wrote “One of the most exciting things about producing Pacific Rim Uprising was the opportunity to influence the creative choices.
”So I put @wizkidayo song “Daddy yo” in the movie. Jaegers need afrobeats too!“
After months in the works (people call these things “rollouts”), the movie finally released on March 22 in Nigeria.
I definitely looked forward to seeing machines the size of skyscrapers beat monsters to a pulp, but even though I could play a couple of thousand nairas to hear music anytime I want, I really just wanted to hear Wizkid’s debut in Hollywood.
It lasted between 10–15 seconds.
John Boyega, the movie’s lead character, was at a crossroads between being a Philistine and ‘responsibility’ when he was narrating his reckless lifestyle.
The scene where the music comes on is like a montage of a party scene and the after party mess.
Daddy Yo comes on as we see Boyega ‘enjoying the life of his head”, and then, as quickly as it starts, it ends.
I was slightly pained.
A part of me expected that I would have the chance to get into the groove of the song, or at least, examine how the movie’s scene would interact with the music.
But the short cameo did one thing.
It made me identify with John Boyega as a Nigerian more than anything else, so when he went out in his Jaeger to fight the monstrous Kaiju, I wanted to fight with him, side by side in my own Jaeger, painted in Lagos colours with the full version of Wizkid’s song playing in our ears.
I reckon that’s what these songs do. A song like Daddy Yo creates a connection between you and the movie that makes you invested in it.
You may be tempted to feel like this means the world is paying attention to us like we did when Captain America brought his caped crusaders to Lagos in “Captain America: Civil War” and they are, but for the money more than how good the Jollof Rice tastes.
Nigeria has a population of over 150 million people. It is the single largest economy on the continent, which means for investors and businesses looking to explore their frontiers, it only makes sense that they market their products to Nigeria.
“Pacific Rim is very important to me because Pacific Rim will actually be the first movie that I have done that I would heavily target Nigeria as a main marketing spot,” John Boyega said, in the lead-up to the movie’s release
One unintentional effect of this, though, is that it heightens your sense of loyalty and identity. Hearing Wizkid’s Daddy Yo on a blockbuster with a Nigerian in the lead makes you… proud of your country.
For years, the perception of Nigeria in the outside world has been determined by Nollywood, Internet fraudsters and corrupt politicians.
Recently, our music and creative talents, in general, have done well to paint us in a better light, and after years of ignoring the obvious, the world is finally turning their heads our way.
So in many ways, even though Pacific Rim tanked at the Box Office and was panned by the critics, it was a very big win for Nigeria.