Tinny Entertainment, the record label which is home to Ycee, Bella Alubo and Dapo Tuburna have terminated their distribution deal with Sony Music Entertainment Africa.
The label announced the termination of their contract via a statement published on their official; website. The statement signed by the label’s management states that “we are the sole owners of the copyright in any and all of our music and can exploit our music on any and every platform.”
Read The Full Statement
Tinny Entertainment signed a license and distribution deal with Sony Africa for the distribution of some of YCEE’s music globally, in the hope that SONY AFRICA would take their music to the next level.
“We would like to state officially that we terminated our contract with SONY through our lawyers, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, by a letter dated 5 December 2017. Henceforth, we are the sole owners of the copyright in any and all of our music and can exploit our music on any and every platform. We have realized that it is best to undertake the distribution of our records by ourselves, as a Record Label and that Made in Nigeria across board, is the only way to be above board.”
As a Label, we are pushing out great music this year starting with “Say Bye Bye,” “I Wish” and our YCEE and Bella Collabo EP, “Late Night Vibrations.”
We thank you for the love!
Deal With Sony Music
On October 21, 2016, Ycee, via Tinny Entertainment signed an exclusive deal with Sony Music Entertainment in South Africa.
According to Sony Music, the deal saw the rapper’s first EP, “The First Wave” released under the label in 2017. Michael Ugwu, General Manager, Sony Music West Africa said: “I’m extremely proud to welcome Tinny Entertainment and the amazing talent that is Ycee to the Sony Music Entertainment West Africa family.”
He said he had monitored Ycee’s growth over the year and he was the future of hip-hop in Africa. “I’ve watched this team grow over the past few years and I am amazed at how they have navigated the industry to reach this stage.
“Ycee is the future of hip-hop in Africa and we will be front and centre of SME West Africa’s strategy as we take Africa to the world,” Ugwu said.
Problems With Sony Africa
In August 2017, Ycee accused the General Manager of Sony Music West Africa, Michael Ugwu, of fraud.
The Nigerian rapper took to twitter to point fingers at the label’s executive Michael Ugwu, alleging that he is “eating everyone’s money.”
Ugwu who tweets via his @iam_magicmike account is also the founder of FreemeDigital, a digital distribution company which describes itself as “Nigeria’s foremost online digital music distribution network with a growing array of artists, labels, comedians and content creators across the region on our platform with radio rights to all content licensed.”
It all began when Ugwu quoted a portion of Dremo’s ‘Ojere’ song for a tweet which read as: “Nigga ask about me nigga ask about me…I’m a hustler am a am a hustler”
Ycee quoted the tweet and created a thread filled with allegations of fraud, theft and deception. “That’s what you call what you be doing to artists now ay?” he replied to Ugwu’s ‘hustle’ tweet.
From there things went very accusatory, fast. Ycee indirectly accused Michael Ugwu of ripping artists off via digital music distribution and streaming.
“Ever wondered why these execs running digital sharing companies live like they signed all the artistes?” Ycee asked. “Cos they eating everyone’s [money].”
“@iam_magicmike wassup! How’s business? Booming? You milked anyone new lately????? Oh and don’t forget @freemedigital More like slavery digital No wonder yall always smiling in that office,” Ycee tweeted with a crying emoji.
In 2016, following its business deal with Davido, Sony Music Global (Sony Music Entertainment) extended its business operations to Nigeria. The music corporation opened an office in Lagos. To serve as a bureau for its West African operations. Michael Ugwu, who was the former CEO of Music Company, iROKING, was named as the General Manager of West Africa.
In October 2016, Ycee signed an exclusive deal with Sony Music Entertainment to release the rapper’s debut EP, “The First Wave”. Ugwu who brokered the deal and was pictured with Ycee at the signing had glowing words of praise. “Ycee is the future of hip-hop in Africa and we will be front and centre of SME West Africa’s strategy as we take Africa to the world,” Ugwu said in a press release about the deal.
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Less than a year since the ink on that deal went dry, and Ycee took shots at Ugwu’s job at Sony Music. “@iam_magicmike “I run Sony music west Africa” running it to where? Running it straight into the ground! And you don’t even give half a shit!”
“Funny how we all know these niggaz ain’t straight and we just keep quiet… meanwhile they raping us in silence. Omo nawa o. Don’t even know how this dream started and you just wanna reap completely of man’s hardwork and sweat? God forbid!”
Michael Ugwu later repsonded to Ycee. In a series of tweets, the music executive indirectly declared his innocence, and explained more legal means of resolving disputes rather than social media. check out the tweets below.
On January 29, 2018, YCEE released a collabo EP with label mate Bella Alubo titled ‘Late Night Vibrations‘.
Pulse has reached out to Sony Music Entertainment Africa for comments.