QUESTIONMARK, STREETMONKS AT WAR
The duo of T-base and Ruffman have, from Tuesday July 17, 2007 ceased to be represented by Kevin Luciano’s Questionmark entertainment. Addressing the media in Lagos last week, Victor Olusegun Dejo Richards, questionmark CEO says ‘The duo of T base and Ruff Man are hereby banned for anti company’s activities. It will not be legally advisable for anyone to go against this because their contract is legally binding by the laws of federal republic of Nigeria ’ Further investigations reveal the label is taking the step because the duo have ‘been playing shows without recourse to the company’. ‘we’ve queried them several times. We’ve drawn their attention to it, but they wouldn’t bulge’, said a publicist at the Company’s Victoria Island office on Wednesday. The duo, who have been nominated for several awards and have earned critical praise for their debut ‘Ghetto philosophy’ (their first single street life made it to number 3 on MTV base’s world chart express) are yet to react to the announcement. As at the time of filing this report, information on their official myspace page still indicated they were signed on Questionmark records. Interestingly, both Ruffman and T-Base were solo artistes until they met at Questionmark In 2005. Ruffman was before then, signed on Gbenga Shokefun’s Spirit Rose management. Questionmark, then led by Shokefun and Luciano conceived the idea of the group and pitched the acts together. There are unconfirmed reports rapper Mode 9 was also talked into joining the new group, an offer he declined.
The future of the group is uncertain following the unceremonious separation from the label that birthed and nurtured them. But Questionmark is not new to separation. Since 2005, the label has parted ways with Soul Kid Asa and visually-impaired producer Cobhams who had earlier bagged a publishing deal with Sony/BMG UK. A disagreement with 2006 Star quest winners D’accord was quickly settled before it got out of hand. Meanwhile, Gbenga Shokefun and Wale Otegbola, both Kevin’s partners, have at different times been reported to be at logger heads with Luciano. Gbenga is no longer on the board.
And Streetmonks are not sleeping while the issue of thier ban spreads in the media like a virus. Last week, they made several TV and radio appearances, clamouring for ‘freedom’, and laying hoardes of allegations at the doorstep of thier ex-label boss Kevin Luciano. T-base went as far as saying ‘i don’t have a home. i squat with friends, what kind of label is that’?
The battle, it seems, is sure to continue.