Thursday, May 14, 2015

The BIG question mark on 2face Idibia’s legacy: Mentoring cc @DamyLayode

Dammy Krane, 2face Idibia, Rocksteady (Nairaland)

Associated acts (asides collaborators): Natives – HI, Jay Sleek, Rocksteady, Dammy Krane, Mima

A rich man in the midst of poor people… you know the rest. (Please note that this is just an analogy).

2face is a musical legend, Period! No ‘buts’ or whatever. Please allow me to impose that much as a matter of personal opinion but more importantly, fact!

However, when time comes for his career to be highlighted, there will be no way to cover-up that one blemish: his losing streak in the area of mentoring and nurturing his own protégés. Thankfully this is not a parameter for determining ‘legendary’ but still, one can’t help but rue the miss of what could have been.

Let’s put everything into summary perspective, starting with his career.

Face2Face (Kennis Music)

As far as debut albums go, 2face’s Face2Face album is up there with Nas’ Illmatic in terms of cultural impact. The commercial acclaim is another story entirely. One has to give a big shout out to Kennis Music for putting together what is still yet in Nigeria, the most solid music promotion – save for the small issue of video quality. We all know what African Queen did for him internationally and the rest of the history [sic]. Save to say from the get go, 2Baba had things popping for him career-wise.

Da Natives - HI and Ajay P (NotJustOk)

Enters Da Natives

Having already established a career as part of a group and with a solo career in full flight, it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume 2face’s musical influence ignited the musical venture of the duo Da Natives that comprised of HI (2face’s younger brother) and Ajay P. The group debuted with two promising singles, one of which was Bianolo which had a video to it. After this, little was heard of the group.

Jay Sleek (Scoop Naija)

Jay Sleek: The catalyst 2 Baba’s renaissance.

In addition to a superb PR campaign (which was totally necessary to reboot 2face's career in 2009) , the Jay Sleek produced ‘Only Me’ ended any conversation about Baba that wasn’t about the music. When Hypertek Records flagged off and there was no Jay Sleek on the roaster (much worse, there was no producer of note on the label), with whom they had scored tons of hits, we wondered. Jay Sleek went on to sign to D’Banj’s DB Records and that’s that.

Insert my opinion: There is nothing that could have been wrong that couldn’t have been managed to ensure that Jay Sleek made the cut.

Rocksteady (NET)

Rocking with baba steady for a minute i.e Rocksteady

I can’t say for a fact how far back their history goes but if you consider that Rocksteady for a minute, was one part of the trio that made up Da Tribunals (including BlackFace and Mallam Spicey), one’s allowed to assume it’s been for some time. So he (Rocksteady) makes the cut and has struggled to pop off (one or two promo posts by 2face on social media even, would have help) but more glaring is the dearth in attention from his mentor.

Dammy Krane (The Info NG)

Enters Dammy Krane

It’s had to say how this came about being but there has been speculations that it was part of a business arrangement – isn’t music, business? Dammy Krane represented Hypertek’s future promise and his project was treated as such with ample funds being expended to get the best hands on deck to achieve success on his project. Time and resources down the line, the success can be said to be marginal at best, thus far.

Rewind back to the inception of Hypertek and dwell for a minute, on the singular impact Jay Sleek’s signing would have had on the label and his (Jay Sleek’s) career.

Mima (MADC)

Mima is a fantastic songstress that has done for 2Face, what Sound Sultan’s Yung GreyC started with, backing up on stage.

Whilst it is easy for me to sit at my desk in the comfort of my home, romanticizing on what could have been, it is important to note that 2Face’s career success hasn’t come without its challenges. At different times in his career, he had to deal with all sorts of drama that are well documented in the public domain. These, along with professional commitments and his continued pursuit of the Holy Grail; an international breakthrough to follow the recognition, can be charged with.

The Ascension

So we have all ‘gone in’ and given our two cents on The Ascension (whose misgiving was to not contain any locally targeted hit records) which heralded a marathon release of materials including the re-mastered Face2Face (to commemorate the 10th year anniversary of its release) and the Rewind.Select.Update (whose purpose at best is to swell the discography) which could have held more meaning if it was a project where Hypertek artistes remade some of 2face’s classics. Dammy Krane has also dropped his Hypertek debut, The EnterKraner.

Please tell Baba he owes his artistes more than the one verse each, he keeps giving them on his projects

Moving forward, can we have a Hypertek Digital collective LP? At worst, this project will help showcase the immense talents on the label’s roaster and serve as a promotional platform for the likes of Rocksteady (go listen to Okporoko Biz) to build anticipation for his solo release and at best, it will help Baba turn around his losing streak in the area of mentoring.

Written by Damy Layode

Culled from PulseNG

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