Messy breakups in Nigerian music industry
Entertainment and controversy are siamese twins; inseparable as Ibiza and beach lovers.
Over the years, the Nigerian entertainment scene had witnessed its own fair share of controversies and scandals.
In this article, TheNigerian News reflects on some of the messy breakups of musical groups/bands and fallout between artists and record labels in the Nigerian music industry.
The defunct Plantashun Boiz was arguably the first boy band to achieve à la Backstreet Boys prominence in Nigeria.
The group was originally founded by 2face Idibia and Blackface in the late 1990s, during their college years at the Institute Of Management And Technology, Enugu.
They were later joined by a new member, Faze, after relocating to Nigeria’s entertainment capital, Lagos.
The group hit the national reckoning after they appeared on ex-member of The Remedies, Tony Tetuila’s hit song ‘Omode Meta’, which also featured the now disbanded Ruff Rugged & Raw crew.
Plantashun Boiz released their debut album ‘Body and Soul’ at the dawn of the new millennium in the year 2000. The album was an instant commercial success.
The group however split in 2004 after the release of their sophomore album ‘Sold Out’.
Lead singer, 2Face was blamed by his bandmates as the culprit for their breakup which led to what the media called the “Faze vs Tuface” and “Blackface vs 2Face” beef.
Blackface, particularly, claimed that 2Face stole ‘African Queen’, the standout track on his solo debut album ‘Face2Face’ from him.
Shortly, Faze released his debut solo single dubbed ‘Faze Alone,’ quashing expectations that he and Blackface would continue as a group.
In 2007, the group reunited for a third and final album ‘Plan B’ (which wasn’t much of a commercial success), before splitting again.
After their second breakup, the trio, especially Blackface and 2Face, engaged in fierce legal and media battles until recently when they ended their beef amicably.
Extinct music band, The Remedies along with Plantashun Boiz dominated the era described by many music buffs as the turning point in Nigerian music.
Regarded as a pioneering Nigerian hip-hop music group, The Remedies consisted of Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila and Eddy Remedy (aka Eddy Montana).
Their debut album ‘Peace Nigeria’ which housed songs ‘Shakomo,’ ‘Sade,’ ‘Belinda’ and ‘Yarinya’ changed the course of Nigerian music forever.
However, Eedris Abdulkareem went solo in 1999, setting the stage for the eventual disbanding of the group.
Soon after, Tetuila also launched a solo career. He tapped Plantashun Boiz and Ruff Rugged & Raw crew for ‘Omode Meta’ the lead single of his debut album, ‘Morning Time’.
His former bandmate, Abdulkareem, who was also preparing for his debut album, released a diss song entitled ‘Wackawikee MCs,’ which dissed all the rappers that Tetuila featured on ‘Omode Meta.’
Their fallout led to one of Nigeria’s greatest hip-hop beef: Eedris vs. Tony Tetuila.
Mo’Hits was not a music group but a record label. However, the separation of the co-owners, D’banj and Don Jazzy followed the controversial blueprint of band breakup in Nigeria.
The record label was founded by the duo in 2004 and went on to dominate the Nigerian music scene from the mid-2000s to 2012 when it folded up.
In addition to D’banj, the label signed other singers including Wande Coal, Dr SID, D’Prince and K-Switch.
In 2007, the record label released a compilation album entitled ‘Curriculum Vitae’, which was a success. The album was supported by five singles— ‘Why Me’ (Remix), ‘Pere’, ‘Ololufe’, ‘Booty Call’ and ‘Move Your Body’.
Wande Coal’s ‘Mushin 2 Mo’Hits’ which was released under the label in 2009, is regarded as one of the greatest debut albums in the history of Nigerian music.
The record label attracted International interest after the release of D’banj’s smash hit ‘Oliver Twist’, and the singer got signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music.
It turned out to be the beginning of the end of Mo’Hits Records.
In March 2012, Don Jazzy confirmed Mo’Hits’ breakup, citing differences in interests as the reason.
Don Baba J went on to establish another record label known as Mavin Records, with his brother D’Prince, Wande Coal, and Dr SID as his first artists.
Similarly, D’banj set up the DB record label with his brother, K-Switch.
Despite pleas from fans for a Mo’Hits reunion, the two bosses appeared focused on their solo careers.
P-Square is the latest Nigerian music group to join the bandwagon of separation. However, the musical duo consisting of the twin brothers Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye is now reunited.
The duo hit superstardom following the success of their sophomore album ‘Get Squared’ which was released in 2005. The standouts on the album include ‘Bizzy Body’, ‘Oga Police’ and the eponymous track ‘Get Squared’.
They dominated the mid-2000s and early 2010s with 2Face (now called 2Baba) and D’banj.
Regarded as the best selling group in contemporary Nigerian music, P-Square has six studio albums to their credit. Their best selling album so far, ‘Game Over’, sold 8 million copies worldwide.
In 2016, news of a P-Square breakup surfaced, with sources claiming the group has disbanded over a disagreement about the role of their manager. The following year, Peter reportedly sent a termination letter to the group’s lawyer.
Soon after, the twin brothers launched their solo musical careers.
In November 2021, the group reunited and released the singles ‘Jaiye (Ihe Geme)’ and ‘Find Somebody’ on 21 July 2022. Since then, the group has toured the world, including London’s most iconic arena, Royal Albert Hall.
Their reunion album is reportedly in the works.