by Henry Okelue
I have read with interest the many articles that have found their way onto the internet about the travails of Mo’ Hits records, with titles like “Mo’Hits Break up, Why Don Jazzy Stands to Lose”. The coincidence in title and sense of these articles has led me to one, possibly subjective, conclusion, that D’Banj, or a group of publicists loyal to his cause are pulling all the stops to bankroll the propaganda machine.
It is very instructive to note that comparing D’ Banj to Don Jazzy is a case of comparing grapes to apples. Don’t ask me who the grape is in this case. Since this sort of comparison is the prevalent currency in these parts, then let’s go ahead and spend some more.
Let’s attempt to compare these two individuals along certain lines – skill set, current state of goodwill, and charisma. At the end of which we will discover that D’Banj’s hype-men have missed the plot and refused to move away from their myopic view of how they think the industry and fans think.
1. Skill set
Both D’Banj and Don Jazzy were recently signed on to the stable of G.O.O.D Music, owned by the iconic Kanye West. The former as a musician, and the latter as a Producer. This has been one of the biggest pieces of meat that the D’Banj hype machine has held on to with their fangs.
Mr. Kanye West is not only known for his intelligence while stringing together musical lines and beats, which has earned him fame and fortune, he is also known to be a savvy business man. He didn’t just go for the one known as a sex symbol across Africa, he also went for the one who has produced the rhythm that has made the sex symbol relevant musically.
D’ Banj might be the entertainer, he might be the sex symbol, Kanye West definitely knows that, but Kanye also must have found out that D’ Banj is lyrically shallow and has only stayed this relevant because of the dance-ability of his tunes. A comparison of D’ Banj and Don Jazzy in the eyes of G.O.O.D Music will be something like comparing a Puppet-on-a-string to the guy pulling the strings. Yes, D’Banj was the sexual face of Mo’hits, but Don Jazzy was the Obi-Wan Kenobi. If he hadn’t made the mad tunes of the hit – ‘Koko’, we probably would only have a harmonica playing D’Banj struggling to meet up with his alter-ego, Durella.
Don Jazzy has a skill that doesn’t come overnight; a skill akin to those of an engineer or a medical doctor. He was the intellectual powerhouse of Mo’hits Records, without which the label wouldn’t have been anything beyond a kiosk for selling CDs and mixtapes. This is why producers last way longer and stay way more relevant than most of their artists. They produce many more artists that rise up to become as huge as their first major acts. A good case in point is Clive Davis and Quincy Jones.
Don Jazzy is a long term hire for Kanye West and G.O.O.D Music, while D’Banj is just there to last a maximum of three albums from now till when the sex appeal becomes eroded due to age, probably.
2. Current State of Goodwill
Do not discountenance the importance of the fans. If suddenly an artist becomes of the opinion that they don’t count, then he may have just signed his own retirement. Even with all of his grandiose sex appeal, the gist in town that many girls are laying in ambush waiting for him to stray and get raped, D’ Banj has had to embrace a sustained angry backlash from erstwhile fans and groupies. Why is this so?
It is actually not farfetched.
Don Jazzy enjoys the goodwill of the young people, who in actual fact are the ones who buy Mo’ Hits music. He has positioned himself, either intentionally, or otherwise, in the good books of this people through his acts of philanthropy and his general easy-going mien. Don Jazzy is the one who will take time out of his busy schedule to engage in small talk with his fans on twitter, the one who will take out time to call complete strangers on their birthdays, the kind of guy who you can sit down with, gist, laugh, and have a beer with. Don Jazzy was the same one, who after feeling the pulse of the people, came out on their side to denounce the Government for the way the state of the nation is at the moment. That is the man of the people, he is the guy many people will come out and rally around if need be. That is what relationship management is all about.
The simple implication of this is that his goodwill will rub off on any of the artists he produces and pushes out there, no matter how good or how bad, no matter how “Wande Coal” or “D’Prince”. Goodwill pushes units; goodwill keeps the business and the money flowing.
Don Jazzy has the charisma of a Prince. His calm exterior, his demeanor, his charm, all of this will keep him the most loved of the duo. His charisma has been one of the reasons why he has garnered overwhelming support at this time, even from the strongest of cynics, like Your Sincerely. Take a poll out there and ask the ladies who they will rather be with, D’Banj or Don Jazzy and you will be shocked at the numbers. Success in music, as in business, is about staying power and longevity. Charisma adds a great deal to making you achieve this. It isn’t all about how tight your pants are or how many times you scream “Oshe!!!”
In the final analysis, I hope Don Jazzy has learnt a lesson or two from this relationship gone sour. You do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstance whisper in the ears of a man who is known by different names by his different imaginary friends. Ok, that was on a lighter note.
Follow Henry on Twitter: [@4eyedmonk]