Sometimes you eat the bear, and other times, well, the bear eats you. That’s the story of the Nigerian music industry where everything and everything is working against you. With a bad structure, and a lack of laws to protect musicians, there’s just a lot a Nigerian musician needs to overcome to succeed.
But sometimes, the enemy isn’t piracy, or the government. Sometimes it is within. Many artists work against themselves, either deliberately or not. By not giving their best shot to their work, they essentially make it harder for them to progress.
That’s why this list exists. It’s a little corner where we highlight the elite gang of people who could have done better. These are the people who talked a big game, promoted a big game, invited us all to watch their moment of glory, only for them to serve ashes and stones. They did the opposite of what we all expected, found a way to not succeed, and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
It’s an honour to make this list. And for your favorite artist who finds himself on this side of history, they need to do better. Maybe next time, eh.
Pulse presents the top 5 musicians who could have done better.
Jesse Jagz – “Odysseus”
When you are a genius, you lose the ability to do anything less than that. Jesse Jagz promised us the album to end all albums. He has done it before, and so we all waited. After multiple delays, two trips in and out of Chocolate City, and a fan base who were anticipating it, the rapper finally released the project, and the result was poor.
Have you ever been in a position where you are listening to an album and you know that it is not flowing and the music is unsatisfactory, but you are clinging to it? With each song, you’re pleading with it. You are willing it to get better. And then it hits a track so poor and downright bad, that you just give up.
That’s the feeling you’ll get on this new album by Jesse Jagz. “Odysseus” presents a conundrum. It’s not a project that provides enjoyment, neither does it do anything well enough to stand out. The name Jesse Jagz is a synonym for quality in Hip hop, but at its best, this project is average, and at its worst, it is forgettable.
Korede Bello – “Belloved”
Here stands Korede Bello, our darling “Belloved” singer who found a way to halt a winning run with a project that misrepresents his growth since his signing by Don Jazzy.
From the artwork which went for woke, but came out with ‘what the hell?’, to the music begging for listenership, Korede Bello created a debut album that was lacking in vibe, character and melody. Dynamism was lacking in this project, and no song comes close to all the singles he earlier released.
Take a bow Korede. Maybe next time. It has to be next time.
D’banj – “King don Come”
With D’banj, you never know what you can truly get. Much of the time, he drops music that pushes you over the edge of enjoyment. Other times, he simply provides material that fails to offer anything other than just sound.
“King Don Come” attempted to be good. It even contained some songs that are passable. But ultimately, the project carried a lack of quality that is unbefitting of a King. This doesn’t cement D’banj’s place in history, neither does it in any way provide entertainment for fans.
It’s just there. Like wafers without sugar. What’s wafers without sugar?
Vector – “Lafiaji”
With Vector, everything requires an intellectual leap. He sells intelligence, weaves complex thought into his music, and pushes it with so much swag.
The story for “Lafiaji” was simple but nostalgic…for him. He was taking the music back to his childhood in Lagos Island, where he grew up and chased the start of his career. It was at this place that music came to him, and returning there for a project was a dream come through.
But that project was not good. Too much fluff, a lengthy tracklist, a failed lunch, and the inclusion of records with no punches, narrowed the chances of this album performing well. The music here felt like it didn’t want to be alive, and that energy brought down its chances.
Skales – “The Never Say Never Guy”
Skales took an impossible situation in 2015 and turned it into winning streak. From losing his deal with EME and being in the cold, the young man has worked his way back into the radar and thrived off his music. He has full label backing from Baseline Music, he takes home great pay from shows, performances and endorsements. Despite the incessant backlash and cyber-bullying, he keeps his art going, and right now, he is celebrating his second album.
And while everyone in the industry are happy for him to win, “The Never Say Never Guy” album isn’t a win. It’s an uphill struggle. Although the story behind the project is inspirational, the music on it doesn’t back it up. Skales displays an innate refusal to grow. Weak production, poor songwriting and bad A&R dogs this project with each track you play.