The Music Blog: Could The Nigerian Music Industry Be As Dark As Artistes Say?

Mohbad and the Nigerian music industry

The past few months have been revelatory for Nigerians and the world. The Nigerian music industry is being painted as dark by other artists in the entertainment industry as more musicians come out to tell their stories about how they were treated under the influence and guidance of their record label owners.

Since the mysterious death of the beloved artiste Mohbad, Nigerians have uncovered videos and evidence proving that the rapper may not have died a natural death.

Fingers have been pointed towards several people believed to have had a hand in the death of Mohbad.

Mohbad’s Death, Accusation, and Maltreatment

Mohbad (Ilerioulwa Oladimeji Aloba), born in 1996 and died on September 12, 2023, has become the topic of discussion on the lips of every Nigerian since the news of his death.

Mohbad rose to fame under the ‘Marlian Records World’ record label owned by Naira Marley. He was signed in 2019 and has since made his mark in the entertainment industry with hits like ‘Feel Good’, ‘Peace’, and many more.

Mohbad left Marlian Records World in 2022. He accused Naira Marley, his manager, of assault, claiming that Marley had hired men to beat him up after he made public his intentions to employ a new manager.

There have been video recordings of Mohbad being harassed by thugs sent during video shoots, along with the proclamation of worry for his mental health by singer Bella Shmurda.

Samson Balogun (Sam Larry), a music promoter and friend to Naira Marley, had been accused of allegedly being involved in Mohbad’s death due to their past quarrels where Sam Larry destroyed a few of Mohbad’s properties.

In June 2023, Mohbad filed a police report accusing Sam Larry of assaulting him and interrupting a video shoot with a group of men who claimed to have been working with Oba Elegushi.

Since the accusations by netizens, Sam Larry has released a video debunking the rumours that he killed Mohbad.

Iyanya’s Unexpected Revelation

In December 2022, Iyanya took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce how he was down on his luck and had to beg to perform at some shows.

Iyanya, the Kukere singer, said his fame and success dwindled in the last few years due to his fallout with his record label’s manager, Ubi Franklin.

Iyanya narrated how much he suffered and endured as he watched other artists grow and become one of the biggest stars of Nigeria.

The Nigerian artiste confessed that he had to beg to perform at shows in 2021. The Your Waist singer claimed he hadn’t received much exposure in the music industry since 2017.

“Last year, in December 2021, I performed at three shows, one paid, and I begged to perform at two just to be seen. 2022 December, I wake up every day to alerts for concerts; I haven’t had this kind of busy December since 2017. 20+ shows in one month, God, thank you,” he said.

Temmie Ovwasa: An Artist Turned Errand Girl by Olamide’s Wife

In light of the revelations, the ex-YBNL Princess, Temmie Ovwasa, revealed her ordeal in label boss Olamide’s house. Feeling triggered by the news spreading around Mohbad’s maltreatment by his record label boss, Naira Marley, Temmie Ovwasa took to social media to call out Olamide for mismanaging her artistry and other artists signed under his record label.

Temmie recounted her ordeal in Olamide’s household, stating that she was doing well in her home at Ilorin until he picked her up to live with him and his wife.

“I came to Lagos to sing; your structureless record label put me in a house with your wife, and she turned me into her freakin errand girl. Do you know how wild it is to say “yes ma” to a rude girl two years older than you because you need to get your life on track?” she posted on her Instagram story.

Temmie also accused Pheelz of displaying her songs. According to her, she had recorded over 25 tracks and handed them over to Pheelz, who later told her that he had misplaced his hard drive and, with it, all her songs.

“I spent five years and released four songs, I have recorded three albums since I left these people, I have so many songs I could drop an album every week,”

Cynthia Morgan’s Fall From Grace

Nigerian singer and female rapper Cynthia Morgan suddenly stopped performing and releasing songs till she eventually faded from the limelight. Here’s what happened to Cynthia Morgan.

In 2020, Cynthia Morgan revealed the reasons for her absence from the music industry were a life-threatening illness and a bad contract. In an Instagram live video, the German Juice singer opened up about her life, 

Now, going by Madrina, she said that she had an issue with her previous label manager, Jude Okoye, the brother of the famous twins, PSquare (Paul and Peter Okoye). 

Madrina revealed that Jude Okoye had gained control over her VEVO and social media accounts and barred her from using her stage name, ‘Cynthia Morgan.’

She admitted that Jude never promoted her artistry but only made music videos. She said that Okoye had been announcing that she owed him money for the music videos he shot for her.

The twins showed support for Madrina in a series of tweets, also revealing that they made the right decision by parting with Jude’s management.

Peter Okoye added that he was sad when Madrina rejected his proposal for her to join his record label during his departure from Jude.

May D’s Confession About The Music Industry

On a show called “Drinks With Killz,” the once-popular artist May D poured out his heart and secrets about the Nigerian music industry.

The ile ijo singer explained that the Square record label, which he was signed into, seemed like a fairytale as there was no problem initially.

May D appreciated the functionality of Square Records as he could release top-notch songs, which did well for his career; however, the plot quickly changed when they decided to make a business out of Square Records and his contract. In a twist of fate, the Nigerian artist found himself out of luck.

“I never got one show when I was with them, never got paid; I was only playing shows with them that they never paid me for. I didn’t take it as anything because I was enjoying myself, and I wasn’t smart enough to know. I was meant to; I can’t blame them; it’s business.” May D said.

The artist stated that it all fell through when he got a show in London, and they offered him a contract they had earlier said would never be extended to him when he asked for it. Square Records claimed not to need his money, as they belittled him and his worth.

To sum it all

The Nigerian music industry is not a bed of roses; contract deals may look promising to new artists who want to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry.

However, there are clauses which bind an artist to a record label, and with that, making them powerless, especially if they come to believe their worth in the industry. It is always best to review contracts annually as most record labels may not be skilled enough to manage an artist like Temmie Ovwasa, who has accused Olamide thoroughly. 

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