FREESTLYE SHUNS VIDEO SHOOT FOR JAIYE ABODERIN
On Monday December 3, it was exactly three years since Jaiye Aboderin slumped and died while playing basketball with friends in Lagos. And it all looks like yesterday, when friends, colleagues, family and admirers of the 33 year-old entertainer gathered at his Lekki Home, at The Freedom house and the Victoria court cemetery to pay last respects to a man whose life though brief, impacted on all whose path ever crossed his. Many wept. Some gnashed their teeth in sorrow while others grew pale in disbelief. His widow Stella Damasus and his siblings were inconsolable. Now, three years after that; everyone has moved on. The deceased’s former colleagues have moved on to new businesses. Members of his immediate and extended family have gotten over the initial shock and grief. His wife has found a new life- and a new lover too! But a fresh video, to debut on TV stations this week is set to revivie memories of the late entertainer who was the front-man of Synergy band and the first-ever official voice for MTN TV and radio advert campaigns. Perhaps piqued by the fact that Jaiye’s South African record label Boy records has failed to release his completed album years after his death, or as a result of a burning desire to immortalise their late ‘kid’ brother, Wunmi Obe and her husband Tunde put together a one-of-a-kind song to pay tribute to the legacy of Jaiye Aboderin. The song titled ‘tribute to Jay’ is on Tunde and Wunmi Obe’s third album ‘4real’. And the showbiz couple did the unexpected by having nigeria’s three most celebrated rappers pour out their hearts on the song. ‘tribute to Jay’ features Ruggedman, Mode 9 and Freestyle. It is the first and only song to have all three controversial rappers. And those keen on finding out who Nigeria’s best rapper is haven’t stopped playing the song back-to-back.
But if the song raised enough dust when it was recorded and released; if many wondered how the couple were able to get warring rappers Mode 9 and Ruggedman to spit on the same cut, then the video which debuts on TV this week is bound to raise even more questions. Directed by Clarence Peters (yes, he’s the product of the romance between Sir Shina Peters and Clarion Chukwura!), the video features T.W.O, Ruggedman and Mode 9. As expected, owing to the bitter rivalry between Ruggedman and Mode 9 – both heavyweight rappers, there had been speculations and intense anxiety as to whether both rappers would grace the shoot. Both rappers, locked in a keep-it-real and supremacy battle, had recently been throwing poetic punches at each other and fans are continuing to take sides.
Surprisingly, it was Freestyle, a less known, struggling rapper who failed to turn up at the shoot directed by Clarence Peters. The former Trybesmen rapper, whose verse on the song won critical acclaim backed out of the shoot at the last minute, without, according to sources, informing the director or the artiste. And not even the intervention of Ruggedman could make him change his mind.
A source who was at the shoot told Glitterati beats ‘everyone on set spoke with him. Alec Godwin, Tunde Obe, Ruggedman, even his manager Efe Omorogbe. He just completely refused, saying his managers did not brief him properly’.
Industry watchers and pundits have already condemned the rapper’s action. A top source, who craved anonymity lamented ‘if really he was doing it for a colleague that has died. If really he respected Jaiye’s as much as he said on his rap on that song, then he would have gone head to shoot that video even If someone slaps him on set. We’re talking of immortalising someone here. No sacrifice would have been too much. Won’t we all die someday?’
Another top rated artiste insists the rapper’s action is an ‘insult’ to the ‘memory’ if Jaiye Aboderin. ‘if Mode 9 and Ruggedman can put their beef aside and honour the shoot, then I see no reason why Freestyle or anyone else should shun such an epoch-making project.
And when we placed a call to T.W.O., it was an embittered Tunde Obe who responded. ‘We had it all sorted out’, says a puzzled Tunde Obe shortly after the shoot. ‘Even if something else cropped up, we thought it’d have been nice if he informed us earlier. But we all got to the location and were waiting for him. We kept calling, even his managers and colleagues were talking to him, to no avail. We were very surprised and disappointed because we thought we were doing this for a young man who made an impact on all of us and left all so soon. If Mode 9, who had a show that day and missed his flight, and Ruggedman can make it, then I see no reason why Freestyle should act in such manner’
Meanwhile, the song has been remixed, with Freestlye’s part deleted. So when the video debuts this week, be prepared to see just Tunde Obe, Wunmi, Ruggedman, Mode 9 and Kage paying tribute to Jaiyejeje Aboderin.
Interestingly, Days after the shoot, Now Muzik, Freestyle’s management company reportedly washed their hands off his brief. There are already speculations the singular incident is the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
The video for Jay, believed to have gulped over a million naira, is expected to debut on TV next week. It precedes TWO’s first full-length VCD release. Another video, a 3-D animation, is scheduled to be released early next year.