Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Kokomaster Syndrome

A prospective Client and I got talking about the value in Partnerships, over drinks at Base Lounge, Silverbird Galleria yesterday evening.

Not surprisingly, our chief Case Study was none other than the successful partnership between the Kokomaster, D’Banj, and his Producer, Don Jazzy.

My Client was of the opinion that without Don Jazzy, there can be no D’Banj; it’s interesting how he didn’t also see that as being vice-versa.

I instinctively agreed with him when he said that, but on a second note, I actually decided to think about it a little bit more before fully agreeing with him. I will be the first person to say that I’m scared about what might happen to D’banj’s career in the next two years, or even next year.

And I’m terrified of this because as much as I love D’banj, and see him as one of the most distinctive brands to have emerged from the Nigerian Entertainment Industry, he seems to be lacking in the one thing that assures of Longevity in any creative field.

D’Banj lacks quality Content.

I mean check out the ‘Endowed’ single; those beats were MAAADDD!! There is nowhere in the world that you’d hear that song and not want to gyrate!! (LOL..alright I can’t believe I just used that word..’gyrate’)


As much as I thought it was a nicely produced track, I was already tired of it within the first two minutes of listening to it. The lyrics could not engage me and get me wanting to hear the song again. It’s a nice song to have blasting loudly in my car when I want to drown myself in sound, but that’s as far as it goes.

Art and Music is about making a connection with the audience through every piece that is put out. No matter what anyone chooses to say about Tuface, one solid fact is that he never fails to make a connection (except when he's trying to 'Enter the Place') through his lyrics. His Content, most times gets me thinking about whatever he's talking about, whether I have experienced it or not.

The way it seems to me now, is as though it’s only the Don Jazzy end of the D’banj/Don Jazzy partnership that is making any connection right now.

It saddens me that D’banj has completely lost me at this point. I don’t even get excited anymore when I see him endorsing a product or hear that he’s going to be a part of something, because his delivery has become the same monotonous mantra.

And this is one Artiste I truly believed in..and well, probably still do; otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this.


So back to my Client’s statement that without Don Jazzy, there can be no D’banj:

The Activist in me was ready to fight for D’banj and say “how can you say that”, but even the arguments I produced in his favor, to counter my Client’s belief, seemed futile.

I said, “But he was in Ikechukwu’s ‘Critical’ track, and he was great in it!!”

Ahhh...but wasn’t that a Don Jazzy again beat?

The only headway I seemed to make was by saying that D’Banj’s verse of Banky W’s ‘Lagos Party’ remix was my favorite of all and that wasn’t a Don Jazzy track?!

But this gets me thinking, just like in Marriage when two have to come together to make a complete single unit, is it possible that in Life and Business, there are just some people whom we will be unable to reach our full potential without?

If D’banj steps up on his lyrical Content today, and decides to walk away from Don Jazzy, would that be the end of his career, just because they split?

But if this principle applies, then how come whether or not Don Jazzy is producing a track for D’Banj, he ALWAYS makes a Touchdown?!

You know what, I’ve actually now convinced myself that it has nothing to do with a Partnership approved by the gods, but more of the strength each person is bringing to the table. If two people in a Partnership are giving their best, then they will do a fantastic job of COMPLEMENTING each other, not Completing as we’d like to believe.

So my dear Client, I disagree with you.

There is a D’banj without Don Jazzy; and vice-versa.

The only way this can be proven wrong is if D’Banj chooses to remain mediocre in his Content; then, he will forever be NEEDY of Don Jazzy to make up for what he lacks.

Kai..Tariere, you can like to take Panadol for another man’s headache!!!



  1. This is the absolute reason why many tend to be NEEDY in RELATIONSHIPS....they are not INVESTING enough time and effort in their own substance e.g girl clings on to boyfriends life LITERALLY....his friends are now her friends...his hobbies etc
    EVERYONE in any type of relationship (business, friendship, marriage etc) has to bring something to the table...YOU CAN BE A PARASITE AND EXPECT TO BE WANTED AROUND FOR LONG!
    p.s: Oh D' i dreamed of being a it seems like many years ago lol
    p.p.s; COMPLEMENT...not COMPLETE!!! i agree!

  2. Yes you did just say that :)
    Certain people bring out the best in other people. So definitely if D'banj stepped up his game while working with Don Jazzy then in that case he'd be unstoppable. Meanwhile, if he worked with another great producer and they were both fully committed to the project then again what they produce would be great, but not necessarily as great as a collaboration with Don Jazzy. That's one way of looking at it.
    Ultimately, I agree with you Tari that 'any two people fully committed to a project will succeed'.

  3. The question really is, are they in partnership or Don jazzy is the boss??? The best of dbanj so far has been his 'u don make me fall in love' album, but guys check it, currently what my guy dbanj is investing in on his songs are to just come from behind d scene while someone is singing, do a few minutes of madness and go back. For me he doesn't av d stuff to be on his own...maybe 2mrw he might av it but wat d fans av come to love about dbanj are his few minutes of madness in d songs...he can't take me thru a whole track hence 'mr endowed'. I agree on d compliment and not complete view, but once u are married d two become one right? If they seperate what becomes of either party? Wuld they still be whole or they wuld need another to complete 'em? My point, prospective client, they are not even in partnership...don baba is da don and without dbanj, don wuld wax stronger with ikechukwu, wc, da prince, dr sid etc...but my nigga bro dbanj wuld probably just go back to 'she said she wanted to be mine, dat my koko drives her wilddddd so tell me why me oh' (and dat still has a don baba touch)

  4. I think D'Banj is d brand dat connected people with Don Jazzy. I cld remember when d song Koko came out, My peeps and I used to wonder who dis cool headed Don Jazzy was. Then, they seemed like Warren G and Nate Dogg in Regulate. Now that each one of them has been able to make a distinct mark, I will like to compare them to the Dr. Dre and Snoop partnership. Both of them are well known for what they do, Dre for makin killer beats and Snoop for his ever entertaining nonsense. I actually think they complement each other because they are obviously a family.

  5. Well, i still believe that there are unique combinations that work....certain relationships will bring the best out of us irrespective of the amount of effort or work we put in it. Of course, a basic minimum of effort is required. No doubt Don Jazzy is a star, hez got other artists on his label... but d'banj is the arrowhead of that group neither of em' might be able to succeed on that level if they changed producers....