Zambian rapper Tiye P teased the release of his new single Party Harder like any other artist would, drop the artwork to provoke people’s imagination and accelerate the anticipation, and boy did he do that. The artwork of the song features a rework or parody of the famous Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci, in the original painting, Da Vinci wanted to capture the moment after Jesus revealed that there was someone among the 12 disciples that betrayed him which is why the people at the table are seen talking to each other and Jesus reaching out to introduce the Eucharist.
The artwork that embodies the song remakes the Last Supper painting by showing characters at a table seemingly having a party with the addition of a dancer on a pole and what appears to be women hanging out with the men. The artwork is incomplete because it shows the people on the far right talking to someone that is cut out from view.
The artwork received a lot of backlash from people all over the internet but most notably Jay Rox who came out to say, “I do not stand for the message that the new Tiye P artwork stands for. I am a Christian that respects and fears God.” Jay Rox handles the second verse on the song. To honor the peers (Slapdee, Reverb & Jay Rox) on the record and the masses, Tiye P altered the artwork of the song, the new one shows a bottle of Moet champagne with Tiye P’s name photoshopped on top of the brand name and images of the artists slapped on it.
Tiye P has long been known for going against the grain and posing his opinions with no fucks given, it is a side of him that many people have come to respect so the artwork might have been left field but not for a guy like him. Anyone that is conversant with him and his music knows that he is always thinking outside the box and wandering away in his own lane.
Was the rework irreligious? Leonardo da Vinci was not a religious painter nor a representative of any church, he was a great man that had a unique perspective and was fortunate enough to convey it by the work of his hands. The painting was his expression of the reaction in the room when Jesus said there was a betrayer in it, did da Vinci get his facts from the bible? Partly! But he painted it from his own point of view, a view that was 100% imaginary with the only reference being the last meal Jesus had with his disciples. Take for example how the renaissance painter settled for the characters in the image, most notably how far he went to get a portrayal of Judas the betrayer;
“THE LAST SUPPER'S JUDAS MAY HAVE BEEN MODELED AFTER A REAL CRIMINAL.
It is said that the look of every apostle was based on a real-life model. When it came time to pick the face for the traitorous Judas (fifth from the left, holding a bag of telltale silver), da Vinci searched the jails of Milan for the perfect looking scoundrel.” – Mental Floss
This really proves that da Vinci wasn’t looking at depicting what the bible said but by the colors and shapes in his head, to him Judas was a dirty, rough looking crook, but who’s to say that the actual guy wasn’t a good looking smart man that just made one very bad decision?
There are numerous theories that you can find online about the painting that co-relate with the beliefs that da Vinci had, which is why there have been debates on whether the person seated on Jesus’ right hand side is a woman or not which then in turn brings about the Mary Magdalene argument which is a whole diverse story on its own, all this is just to show that art is meant to be pondered which is why there is or should not be any limits to how far a creative can go with their contemplations. This then should license anyone to express themselves in any way, shape or form.
Tiye P gave in to public sensitivity and possible pressure mounted on him by the people that feature on his song because it was in conflict with their beliefs which just shows that he took an audacious step but wasn’t ready to face the corollaries of his actions. He started with something that was provocative and got everyone talking and in the end capitulated and gave everyone a rushed, watered and highly dumbed down image. A bottle of champagne is just a bottle of champagne regardless of whose face is on it.
The rapper went too far among people that let the first sensation they feel over anything be the thing that forms their opinion. Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t necessarily a Christian, he was a philosopher, a great thinker but far from a priest so the Last Supper painting wasn’t anything factual it was something that represented the man’s very vivid imagination, some historians say he didn’t even believe in the Bible.
Zambians need to resolve whether they want their artists to give them well thought out material or just sheer waffle that will vanish because of how easily forgettable it is. 20 years from now, people will talk about how a rapper named Tiye P was gallant enough to put out artwork that was a satirical version of one of the most revered paintings in the history of man, will a bottle of champagne with the rappers name on it make it to that conversation? Marinade on that for a while.
Tiye P has since apologized for the artwork:
DOWNLOAD "PARTY HARDER" by TIYE P featuring Jay Rox & Slapdee