Music

Rema's Sold-Out 02 Performance Sparks Controversy: Devilish Imagery or Artistic Expression?

Rema's Sold-Out 02 Performance Sparks Controversy: Devilish Imagery or Artistic Expression?
Music

Rema's Sold-Out 02 Performance Sparks Controversy: Devilish Imagery or Artistic Expression?

Rema's Sold-Out 02 Performance Sparks Controversy: Devilish Imagery or Artistic Expression?

Afrobeats artist Rema is once again receiving scrutiny after fans were unsure of the message surrounding his sold-out 02 performance.  

As expected of him, his performance included ritualistic-looking choreography, visuals of demons and skeletons, and even a figure that many are believing to be Baphomet, the bull-like deity that is commonly associated with devil worship.

Fans took to social media to quickly share their experience, many joking that they were moved to pray several times after watching the performance. Other ticket holders shared how they even left the premises when the singer’s artistic choices began going a step too far.

In the last few years, there has been an increasing light being shone upon certain imagery and messages understood to be ‘coming from’ Hollywood. The idea of devil worship and ‘selling your soul’ has become a very prevalent discussion in society today, a practice believed to be accessible to rising stars who can 'trade their souls' in exchange for infinite money and fame.

Consumers are becoming more and more vigilant in pointing out celebrities who seem to promote questionable messages. Singer Rema is amongst them, with fans calling out his artistic decisions for some time. In 2022, the artist was scrutinised for the cover art used in the release of his single, Time N Affection, which appears to be an upside-down building on fire with a cross, interpreted as a church.

For a while, content creators who are passionate about the alleged Satan-seeped media world have been carefully studying Rema’s music videos, pointing out certain sections which reportedly show corpses as well as other flashing imagery, believed to be meant to subconsciously target a consumer with evil messages.

Rema is not the only artist accused of such practices. Rappers Cardi B and Doja Cat and singers Sam Smith and Lil Nas X have all at times been accused of indulging in satanic rituals. In fact, more and more musicians are being called out by the public for showcasing devilish imagery in their work. This begs the question: at what point do these allegations become a restriction of artistic expression?

Artists have historically been known for pushing the boundaries of societal norms, and creating provocative and innovative work. Some Rema fans are confident that this is all his work is, an expression of art to which he should be entitled to project. Understandably, the satanic connotations are perhaps too blatant to truly represent a darker message. However, other fans are not impressed with this explanation, maintaining that any representation of 'evil' practices and messages is damaging enough, with religious fans maintaining that the normalisation of 'demonic art' makes a mockery of religion itself.

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