Here’s one thing I’m sure of about Nigerians: they have taste. While this is a good thing, it can often, border on, mental.
Create enough juice that appeal to their glorious taste buds and you can do no wrong in their sights, but take the high road and cook a sumptuous meal for yourself – suddenly, hell hath no fury.
D’banj, without a doubt is a phenomenal artiste. If his tune doesn’t get you bobbing your head, you are bound to be charmed by his mixture of witty ‘koko’ lyrics, except if you’re a sadist. Like his debut album ‘No Long thing’ this harmonica wielding crooner, wasted no time establishing himself as an African, and recently, international superstar. In his 7 year run as the contemporary Fela, he has, album after album, single after single, churned out hits after hits—with the help of his timbaland-esque producer Don Jazzy, of course. During that period, this virtuosity has been lauded by Nigerian critics and fans the world over. No homegrown music collaboration could have been more successful than the Mo’Hits’ franchise.
Now, enter 2011. Dbanj, after years of whetting our ears with his koko flavour, decided to aspire for greater things: break into the international music scene—a mega ambitious move. And therein lies the hard pill. His detractors won’t have it. “How dare he abandon his flourishing Mo’Hits partnership? How dare he think he can make it abroad, especially under Kanye’s shadow?” They argue. Compelling as that is, it is myopic. Which begs the questions; are Dbanj’s fans being too fanatic or is this a case of too much taste or just plain hate? I’d defer to the later latter. It is Hate.
First of all, Dbanj is a businessman and by extension, a priced commodity. Therefore, in order to maintain and grow his worth, there is need to constantly re-brand and up the ante. Which obviously explains his G.O.O.D intentions (pun intended). In business, you take risks and make huge sacrifices. Dbanj has done that already by jumping ship, he now only needs to prove he can transition from Nigerian superstar to hollywood walk of fame material. This won’t happen in a day. Ok! Granted, maybe Oyato and the Kanye feature weren’t his best efforts post-olivertwist, but we need to give him a chance to acclimatize and see him fail first—which he won’t—before we hound him.
Also, go back in time and verify how long it took internationally-based Chamillionaire, Tinie Tempah, Tunde Baiyewu and Wale—whom music execs have constantly compelled to change his name—to break into mainstream America. Go on, fact-check. Took them years of effort. Dbanj hasn’t even spent up to a year or done something major internationally for us to evaluate but the ‘haters’ won’t even let him catch a breather, which sometimes makes me want to scream Fuck y’all without a shred of irony. Nigerians, please if gon’ hate, do it objectively and constructively. Having an opinion about his music is permissible and perhaps your right, what I won’t take is everyone constantly raining on his business parade. Now, that’s the KOKO.
Adenuga Oluwaseun !