May 14

PWC14 Second Round: France V Nigeria

Pop World Cup 201417 comments • 882 views

chidinma The fifth of our second-round matches pits France, managed by Jessica, against Nigeria, managed by Cis. France easily won Group E with 7 points, Nigeria came close to triumph in Group F with 6. At stake is a place in the quarter finals against either Algeria or Ghana. Meanwhile, Japan won their match against Uruguay to book a quarter-final place of their own.

R16 5: France v Nigeria - Which Do You Pick?

  • NIGERIA: Chedinma 58%
  • FRANCE: Maitre Gims 42%

Total Voters: 45

Poll closes: 9 May 2014 @ 13:00

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Voting ends on Friday! Songs – and a farewell to Uruguay – below the cut.

FRANCE: Maître Gims – “J’me Tire”

“With a last salute to the Honduran and Ecuadoran sides — and a nod to the marauding Swiss only a border away — Les Bleus are climbing into the knockout stage with eyes on the pop trophy. Our leader now is Maître Gims, whose style in “Je m’tire” would seem too personal to inspire. But many a fan is familiar with the persona of the star who seems too at war with himself, or the system that made him, to promise much on the pitch, but then suddenly streaks away and gets the goal in spite of it all. To mix metaphors, it’s a balancing act; I’m happy on the tightrope with M. Gims. Stop! Ne réfléchis plus, vas-y! Onward, France!”

NIGERIA: Chidinma – “Kedike”

“It’s good to be here in the second round! We’ve brought out hotly-tipped young forward Chidinma. A celebrated alumna of the Project Fame pop football academy, she’s noted for her nimble moves and powerful kick. They call her Miss Kedike – Miss Heartbeat – and this song is her calling card, a joyful exhibition of Naija pop flair.”

SO FAREWELL THEN…: Uruguay battled their way through Group D, but the pop tactics of Japan proved too much for them. Along the way they played a variety of different formations, but the one which brought them home the points was Carmen Sandiego, one of several knockout stage tracks to do commendably well with classic indie tactics. “Full marks for energy and enthusiasm” said our man in the box. Thanks to manager Matthew, and here’s “Generacion 2002” again.


  1. 1
    thefatgit on 5 May 2014 #

    French anger vs Nigerian joy. There’s only one winner here.

  2. 2
    lartsaegis on 5 May 2014 #

    Yeah, really, that’s what this game comes down to, it seems, the very forward strike potency of both vocalists. The backgrounds in both these tracks just serve to be just that, formal back up. Nigeria certainly look re-energized and ready to passionately play for it all after their third-round cruise-fest and rest, while France find new resolve and fortitude in a campaign that’s been underwhelming in my books.

    I can see the voting public veering toward Nigeria, as people have been understandably enticed by the joyous swing of African play, even if Naija’s instrumental section doesn’t seem to be quite up to the high par they’ve collectively set, but I’m going France for this one — Maitre’s got conviction plugged into a reverb that’ll cause an avalanche if he’s not careful, though hopefully his struggle can see their team triumph.

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 5 May 2014 #

    Other commentators have been more impressed by France’s performances in previous rounds than I have . However there’s no denying the passion and resolve of this line up. Their front man is particularly dangerous when in possession. The mid-field and defence are resolute but a little predictable as the game goes on.
    Normally I’d expect the French performance to win this hands down but they are up against an energetic and committed Nigerian team who remain positive and forward thinking throughout.
    It’s a very close match but I’m going with Nigeria with a golden goal.

  4. 4
    speedwell54 on 5 May 2014 #

    Tough choice, the first for me for a while. Quite quite different, and both are world class teams.

    Easy option is to go for the happy song in english.

    There is a translation video on You tube for “J’me Tire”, which helped. I think the song and lyric are great. I can’t tell if he is been sarcastic when he says “thanks to them who say ‘we love you’ despite your black colour”. but other that that, top marks. Vote for France.

    Allez les Bleus!

  5. 5
    lartsaegis on 5 May 2014 #

    Thanks to Speedwell who alerted me to the translation vid, I feel way more resolute in my choice now that I can understand it a bit better. I don’t know about that line you brought up either it seems at least half-sarcastic — it is a song about detesting himself, although it indicates a history of skin color as learned and propagated by white culture. It is a song and video about a distaste for and fleeing one’s identity, however created. Art is supposedly a place where one should try to flee one’s identity, and seeing as he wants to say things just for rhyme’s sake, it seems like he felt the same.

  6. 6
    logged out tracerhand on 6 May 2014 #

    The defending champs going out here would be an absolute shocker.

    Fantastic performance on both sides, though. The French lyrics in particular provide a durable spine through the middle that will be difficult to overcome, no matter how effervescent Nigeria’s forward play.

  7. 7
    Jessica on 6 May 2014 #

    In a move that could earn a yellow card, the French manager has done her own translation of the lyrics at http://brainsister.tumblr.com/post/84936241633/translating-the-lyrics-to-maitre-gimss-jme-tire

  8. 8
    Chelovek na lune on 6 May 2014 #

    Almost certainly the toughest and classiest head-to-head yet. Nigeria put in an inspired vocal performance that sends shivers down my spine in the chorus; France, none-the-less, just about succeed in outplaying them, with a combination of vocals, instrumentation, lyrics and intonation that cannot fail but to clinch the victory, even in the face of such high quality competition. 5 – 3 to les bleus A-E-T I’d say.

  9. 9
    Erithian on 7 May 2014 #

    Tie of the round by a distance – this one is going into extra time…

  10. 10
    lockedintheattic on 7 May 2014 #

    Toughest game by miles…even after extra time I can’t possibly decide between them. So for me this one goes to penalties – I preferred all of Nigeria’s first round games so that gives them the narrowest of wins for me

  11. 11
    Matt DC on 8 May 2014 #

    On balance these have probably been the two strongest sides in the tournament but this is a weaker performance from France than we’ve seen in the group sides, the frontman is a little too eager to emote during the chorus and shoots into the side netting time and again. Meanwhile Nigeria turn in their best performance so far for that heart-bursting chorus alone.

  12. 12
    Ed on 8 May 2014 #

    France are full of confidence but they’re off the pace here, embarrassed by Nigeria’s superior organisation, work-rate and sheer skill. Chidinma announces herself in a way that’ll get all of Europe’s top clubs reaching for their chequebooks and looking up her agent’s number.

    Tournament-winning form from the cup holders, who on this showing are a good bet to retain their title.

  13. 13
    Erithian on 9 May 2014 #

    OK, I’m going for France for the overall sound, guitars and impassioned vocal performance, but really both of these entries wipe the floor with anything else in the second round so far, and I really don’t mind who goes forward from this one. Great stuff, and what the Pop World Cup was invented for.

  14. 14
    jeff w on 9 May 2014 #

    I’ll second Erithian’s comments. The bar was set pretty high from Day 1 but the managers have raised it for the KO stages. (Ghana vs Algeria is even more difficult to call, ftb chalk and cheese innit.) I won’t say who I voted for eventually in this game but went with gut instinct and will be sorry to see whoever loses bow out.

  15. 15
    Andrew Farrell on 9 May 2014 #

    I have to say I’d like Kedike a lot more if it was (mostly) in a language I didn’t speak – those are pretty terrible lyrics.

  16. 16
    cis logged out on 9 May 2014 #

    Delighted and relieved to be through — that was a nailbiter. Especially because J’me tire is not just a great track, it was also on heavy rotation on the radio in Brittany last spring and so has all kinds of good-times-with-friends associations for me. It was a brilliant choice, like all Jessica’s have been: what a great opponent.

  17. 17
    Jessica on 9 May 2014 #

    Aww, congratulations, Cis! I’m not at all sorry — it would have been a loss for the PWC as a whole if Nigeria hadn’t made it through.

    And thank you to EVERYONE — my first round as a manger was great fun (even if it meant exposing myself to some of the worst French pop had to offer. Julien Doré, I’m looking at you) and I appreciate all the comments and votes! Hooray for the Pop World cup!

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