For the past month and a half, the Nigerian media has been abuzz with news of D’banj and Don Jazzy’s supposed split. Is it a rumour? Is it not a rumour? Are the leaked e-mails true or false? Did D’banj really buy a car for Don Jazzy? From the professional to the personal, the lives of two of Nigeria’s best known entertainment industry acts have been on full display in the press and Nigerians have loyally stayed glued to the news.
In all the revelations and counter revelations, different themes are emerging.
The more you look, the less you see
Who is the real boss? Don Jazzy, D’banj, both? Why do Nigerians care?
Most were mad when D’banj insinuated during an Ebony magazine interview that he was the owner of Mo’Hits Records. Ordinarily, this shouldn’t necessarily matter, given that most people have always acknowledged him to on some level be a “co-owner” of the label but somehow his insinuation was so blasphemous, even Ebony had to correct the “error.”
What is fascinating is the way Mo’Hits records was able to craft a story and even to some extent, a myth around their record label in a way that most Nigerian music lovers could have sworn by. It was the story of a genius producer who met a hyper active, yet highly charismatic entertainer. The genius producer decided to bless the entertainer with his world class beats, showed him the ropes of the industry, provided him seed funding and gave him guidance and advise on becoming a super star Nigerian artiste and the rest as they say is history.
This is the story most Nigerians are familiar with and yet, D’banj says all this was stage managed.
Is this audience manipulation or just a case of temporary amnesia on the part of D’banj?
Likely what has happened is that with D’banj’s new found fortune, he sees no reason to continue to prostrate (stage managed or otherwise) to anyone. As a matter of fact, he will like to set the records straight that he has been the boss all along. Is there anything wrong with this?
It depends on how you look at it. What does D’banj stand to gain from continuing this stage managed pretense on a global scale. It probably makes the Mo’Hits story more complicated. Why not tell the story as it stands right now. He is signed to GOOD and has signed other Mo’Hits artistes under GOOD via Mo’Hits Records. One of the artistes under the new arrangement used to be his boss (stage managed?) but now he is under him…(are you getting confused yet)?
The arrangement is obviously messy…and sadly couldn’t stand the test of time.
Nothing lasts forever
Somehow Nigerians expected the duo to remain together for life. While there are some examples of successful business partnerships between close friends/business partners, many, if not most inevitably come to an end. The trappings of ego, greed and simply the fact that people change over time gets in the way of continued friendship.
Perhaps expecting that D’banj will carry along his “benefactor” or “co-founder” as the case may be in his new found fortune in America was asking too much of him. Perhaps he has even done more than is required by making necessary introductions and alliances between GOOD and its affiliates and Don Jazzy.
Understanding that it is time for the big leagues, he felt it was time to move on. Was Don Jazzy in or out? His recent interview with The NETNG reveals that Don Jazzy wanted out.
Ego can be a dangerous thing. Certainly, D’banj with all his bravado and extroverted personae was bound to one day outgrow the strict confines that he was in under the Mo’Hits arrangement.
Perhaps they could have viewed their partnership in phases. The Don Jazzy Phase were Don Jazzy could be the boss and take the label off the ground in Nigeria and the D’banj phase where D’banj could help take the label global.
Who cares who is boss anyway?