Kwesta. Picture: Instagram
Kwesta. Picture: Instagram

Kwesta calls out BMW for using a reworked version of 'Spirit' without consent

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Sep 23, 2020

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BMW South Africa has come under fire on social media after the German car manufacturer released a Heritage Day-aligned advert that features music and visuals that are similar to Kwesta's hit song, “Spirit”.

The advert, which was recently published on BMW’s official social media pages, pays homage to the iconic 325is model, best known as the Gusheshe.

Local rapper Kwesta was not impressed with BMW South Africa for reworking “Spirit” and using visuals similar to the music video for the song.

The song, which features Nigeria-American rapper Wale, samples the 2010 Spiritchaser's jam, “These Tears”.

The original post by BMW said: “This #HeritageMonth, we celebrate the life of the iconic #Gusheshe, the ‘Grootman’ of BMW that will always be a mark of inspiration in Mzansi. #TheLegacyLivesOn with the new #BMW330isEdition. Iyeza. #BMW325is,” read the tweet.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the multi-award-winning rapper called out the German car manufacturer, saying: “Had to school myself and get expert opinion and backing first … Si down stairs bafwethu!!! Sivaya ngama 'grootman' abhaya.”

In a follow-up tweet , the “Ngu’d” hitmaker made reference to the efforts made by him and his team to get the rights to properly sample the song.

He said: “Do the right thing!!! It took so much effort from so many people to get the rights to sample that song.

“We did the right thing because we understood the value of the art! This ad cheapens all of those efforts. “DO THE RIGHT THING FOR 'The Grootmans’.”

Fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the carmaker, with many urging BMW to do right by Kwesta.

Below are some of the Twitter reactions.

“Don't disrespect us like that @BMW_SA … Do the right thing while you still have time,” commented a Twitter user who goes by the name @@IAmCbuseaso.

“@BMW_SA are you ready for EFF????? If not do the right thing!” commented @MaseleseleK.

“Shame on you BMW, shame on you,” commented @LMabogoane.

In a statement sent to IOL Entertainment, BMW SA Group Communications Manager Sibusiso Mkwanazi said: “We make use of a number of creative agencies and the usage rights of the composition were handled through these agencies. We immediately contacted Kwesta’s team upon learning of the topic. Our agency is currently engaging with Kwesta and his team to discuss the matter.”

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