Archive for October, 2008

JOICE IZE IYAMU UNDERGOES SURGERY

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 21, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

Talent manager and boss of Rogue entertainment Joice Ize-Iyamu is still recuperating after undergoing a major operation to remove fibroid tissues from her uterus.

 

The hardworking entrepreneur, who is planning to wed her heartthrob Anthony next year, was admitted at AOM specialist hospitals for several days two weeks ago, as she went through an abdominal myomectomy to get rid of the tumours in her system.

 

‘‘I found out I had it in June this year’’, she told Me from her hospital bed. ‘‘And ever since, it’s been a major cconcern for me. I had to make sure I get rid of it this year so I can move on with my life’’.

 

And went under the surgeon’s knife early on October 1st, it was a battle to save her life as doctors reportedly told her she ‘‘died’’ for two minutes.

 

‘‘I thinked I slipped into a coma during the operation. But I thank God it all went well’’.

 

Her hubby Anthony was by her bedside throughout the week-long stay at the hospital.

 

Miss Ize-Iyamu told AyeniTheGreat ‘‘I want women to be more concerned about their health. We should stop being ashamed or afraid of some sicknesses, and speak up on time. Yes fibroids are life-threatening, but they are also treatable’’.

 

 

0JB LOSES THREE YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 17, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

 

Rave music producer OJB and his wife Mabel have lost the three-year battle to save their third child Alicia’s life.

Three year-old Alicia who was born with three holes in her heart died in her sleep on Tuesday October 14 – nearly two years after she had a major heart operation in India.

 

Reliable sources told AyeniTheGreat that the couple are ‘‘devastated’’ and shocked ‘‘beyond words’’. Alicia, who had already started preparatory school and was bubbling with life, reportedly gave up the ghost at about 7pm while sleeping in the family’s Surulere-Lagos home.

 

It had been a tough battle for OJB, a quiet and withdrawn musician since his daughter’s situation became known in 2006. not one to source for public donation – the family needed at least $47,000 for Alicia’s complete treatment- the 41 year old producer sold his properties (including a land in Lagos) and exhausted all his savings, before approaching the Kanu heart foundation for assistance.

 

He eventually reached a mutually-beneficial accord with KHF, although details off the deal were not made public.

 

A hole in the heart is a congenital defect causing an opening between the wall (septum) that separates the right and left sides of the human heart. Such defects are corrected by open surgery usually performed after one year of age, before a child begins school .

 

 

THE POWER OF MUSIC

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 17, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

I love TY Bello. And when I say so, I mean it in far more ways than a fan usually loves a cherished artiste. I hope her husband will find it in his heart to pardon me, but I can’t help loving this 30 year-old artist that’s giving music a different meaning entirely. And the affair didn’t just start today. I’ve known TY since 2002 when, together with Lara and Emem, she took the entire country hostage with the KUSH message of unity and patriotism on lets live together.

 

And to show that love is not always about selfish interests and romantic vanities, I’ve kept that affair over the years, not minding the distance, or the fact that she secretly got married in 2005. But just when I was about calling off the affair, following her refusal to hug the limelight and capitalise on the opportunities the success of her debut solo album Greenland provided, Mrs Bello has pulled another string that, I’m afraid, may keep me hooked for life.

 

 

 

At a point when we were all getting frustrated by the amount senseless contraptions dominating thee airwaves; at a time when artistic imitation and sloganeering is at its peak, and we were all looking around, hoping someone would dangle a flyer of change before our eyes, TY Bello has stepped forward, making us beam with smiles of hope and, more importantly, reminding us – and hundreds of her clueless colleagues- that beyond entertainment and self-enrichment, art can and must also be used as a hammer with which man can shape society into desired shapes; a mirror through which society can see itself and make necessary amends.

 

 

On her Greenland debut album, TY got together with singer Olufunmi and producer Mosa to create a song called Ekundayo. If you enjoy the rhythm of the song, if the message touches you and you’ve played it over and over again, you’re not alone. Many opine that Ekundayo is one of the most profound cuts released in Nigeria last year.

 

But, did you know that the image TY Bello tried to capture on the song is a real life story? If the song made you think and wonder, then a new video and documentary released by the singer’s management last week will make you cry and convinced you should reach out to motherless babies and other deprived members of society. Not just because you have so much and don’t know what to do with it. But because, if a 94 year-old woman like Madam Janet Ekundayo who herself should be provided for, can devote her time and life to caring for abandoned babies, then those of us who have more than enough, who have strength and age on our side ought to emulate Mama Ekundayo and do what we can to make her job, and those of other orphanages scattered around the country easier.

 

 

According to TY, “Mama as a person inspires. I find her almost unbelievable. But what thrills me the most is knowing that she is an ordinary woman in the middle of nowhere who started taking care of children when she was in her 30s… There was also a sense of urgency for me because I know Mama is very frail and I had to tell her story. So I went with a camera and a film crew to capture her. How she speaks, how she lives…”

 

 

 

TY is an awesome story-teller. With her songs, picture or videos, she creates images that leap at you and register their creator’s message in your head. And she does not fall short on Ekundayo. Your body will shake a bit. Your eyes will turn red, and tears will escape from them as you see pictures of beautiful babies abandoned at birth; an old, fragile, wrinkled woman caring for them. You’ll be amazed at the meaning the orphanage workers are trying to make out of an otherwise hopeless situation.

 

 

And when I think of the fact that this old woman could have died unknown, undiscovered, uncelebrated, my heart nearly misses a beat. Her story is that of an ordinary individual achieving an extraordinary feat; one who lacks seriously, but is not afraid to give in excess.  But now that the artist TY has told her story, what should happen next?

 

 

As said in the video, less than two percent of kids who make it into Nigerian orphanages are adopted. Society is yet to fully embrace the concept of adoption. And many orphanages are poorly funded to cater for basic current and future needs of their wards.

 

 

 

“I want as many people as possible to see this video. I advocate for people to adopt for those who cannot, I want people to realise that it is our responsibility to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. That is my message” TY said in her characteristic passionate manner at the video premier last week.

 

 

I hope her efforts and all those that have been part of the project will not go down the drain. I hope Mama’s mission will be continued even after she bows out. And I hope our artistes will take a cue from TY and begin to use their talent, influence and power positively.

9ICE GETS A MOBO!

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 17, 2008 by ayenithegreat
just a few steps away from that grammy?

just a few steps away from that grammy?

He sounded like a dreamer when he sang on his second album: ‘‘don’t doubt me, I will bring you the Grammy’’. But now, barely seven months after releasing his career-defining album gongo aso, 28 year-old hit-maker 9ice has recorded remarkable achievements that shows he’s on the right path, and may not be too far away from the coveted Grammy plaque, after all.

On June 27, three months after he was named best new act at the prestigious hip hop world awards, 9ice joined Will Smith, Amy Winehouse and other global music stars to perform at a tribute concert to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. It was a first for an act in his category and the achievement enhanced his status by no small measure.

Now, just a few days to his performance tour of the United States, 9ice has been crown the best artiste in the whole of Africa for 2008. The honour came on October 15, 2008 at the Music of Black origin awards (MOBO) in London.

9ice is the second Nigerian act to be so decorated. Last year, 2face beat a selection of African superstars (including compatriot D’Banj) to clinch the prize. For this year’s award, 9ice was up against a solid group of bona fide hit-makers, including Nigeria’s D’Banj, Psquare, Faze and Asa. It was the second time Psquare and D’Banj were being nominated.

‘‘I feel humbled. Very excited and grateful to God’’, the singer told us on Wednesday shortly after receiving his award. ‘‘We’re taking African music to the world. I’m proud to receive this award on behalf of my fellow artistes, nominees and Nigerians’’

He was accompanied to the event by his manager Oladehinde Fajana and his wife Toni Payne.

TO HELL WITH HIP HOP

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 13, 2008 by ayenithegreat

respect d architects

respect d architects

 

is he the messiah we've all been waiting for?

is he the messiah we've al been waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

 The hip hop world is an interesting community. Knowing no geographical boundaries, citizens (usually called headz) must have a certain level of all-round knowledge, an impressive understanding of the culture, a tested prowess in at least one of the elements and a self-ego the size of Jupiter.

 

Thanks to rap – the vocal language of hip hop- the culture has spread all over the world; throwing up big businesses and icons whose influence could rival that of the UN Secretary-General. But then, no thanks to rap (and its pathetic bastardization), many ignoramuses across the world are mistaking rap (the rhythm and applied poetry that serves as the verbal projectile of hip hop) as the only element of the culture. Some even annoyingly refer to anything urbane (Rhythm&Blues, Soul, Dancehall) as hip hop. In the real sense, a rapper is different from a lyricist or emcee- although one man can do both. But elements as Deejaying, Beat-boxing, Graffiti and others are as important as rap.

 

Except for TeeMac (who ignorantly claimed that ‘hip hop is dead’ at a recent showbiz gathering), most headz who argue that hip hop is dying, base their argument on the over-glorification of commercial rap, at the expense of other core elements of the culture; the widely-held notion that true ol’ hip hop, driven by its original values and ideals has been sacrificed on the alter of commercialization. But while those who learnt from the feet of KRS One, Rakim Allah, Eazy E, Eric B, Run-DMC and the likes would quickly frown and argue that hip hop has been adulterated, and has been hijacked by outsiders; you’ll be surprised by the population of new school headz who think Lil’ Wayne and all the new boys from the south are the best thing to happen to hip hop.

 

Have the rulers of the kingdom; the custodians of the culture gone archaic, rusty and out-of-touch? Or are these enthusiastic teenagers who consider swagger more important than punch-lines losing the core essence of the forefathers of hip hop?

 

Is hip hop dead, dying, or alive than never before? Arguments for and against all three instances are raging in my head right now. So I can’t say for sure, what the final submission should be, as I write. You might want to help me with your ideas and opinions.

 

However, what I do know for sure, is that, beef, one of hip-hop’s ever-present nemesis, is well and alive. 2pac and the Notorious B.I.G may be long dead and gone; Jay Z and Nas may have since squashed their feud, but the ego and braggadocio-induced lyrical battles still remain. Even in Nigeria, where hip hop is ill-defined and anyone whose over-sized pants are sagging; or who walks with some sort of swagger is considered a hip hop head, you’ll find beef scattered around as if it’s ingredient for a sumptuous meal.

 

Apart from a few, most headz are not interested in correcting the misrepresentation of the culture or ensuring the redefinition of a true head. The rappers are dancing to the gallery, letting it known to us that it’s now all about the cheddar. As far as they are concerned, ‘‘hip hop can go to hell’’. Instead of adapting the elements of the culture to fit the Nigerian lifestyle, instead of cultivating the streets and making sure hip hop plays a role in politics, government policies and youth education, everyone is minding their business. Some self-proclaimed emcee who has never ‘headlined’ a street corner gig, or engaged other folks in a hour-long freestyle session suddenly shows up on TV calling himself the king of hip hop and we’re all buying it. And what’s he talking about? Bacardi, Hennessy, Swagger, Bling-bling and UNILAG girls. With such frivolous theme, watery rhymes, weak punch-lines, senseless metaphors and ‘‘I’m-throwing-sex-in-your-face’’ videos, why would the older, more ‘serious’ segment of society take the culture and its proponents with anything more than a pinch of salt?.

 

As the likes of Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Nas,  The Wu Tang Clan, Russel Simmons, Jay Z and Dr. Dre have shown, hip hop is serious. As serious as any movement/artform can be. Yes there’s the beef. Yes there’s the violence. Yes there’s arrogance and drugs and all that. But there’s a lot of cultural responsibility too. There’s beautiful poetry. And true disciples continue to use the movement as a tool to shape societies into desired forms.

 

And here at home, we need to give rappers Ruggedman and Mode 9 some credit. While Rugged is adapting his art to suit the African situation, Modey is sticking to his game, hoping to prove that true hip hop knows no geographical boundaries. Both rappers are gifted and truly hardworking, even though pundits argue that Mode is a better lyricist than Rugged. While Eedris Abdulkareem contributed in no small measure in bastardizing the hip hop culture and the rap genre in Nigeria, Rugged and Mode belong to the category of those devoted to the eradication of the mis-education.

 

But both rappers have, for the past few years, been locked in a subtle battle for supremacy. They often deny it. But their lyrics say it. And now, at a time when they should both be concerned about the future of their careers (what with younger cats like M.I. Blaise, Gino  and Kel lurking around), they’re taking the beef to a new level, embracing open confrontation and pouring lyrical venom on one another. Two fresh songs- talking to you (Mode 9) and Banging (Ruggedman)­- clearly depict the depth and direction of the new beef, and how each man is using his art to pass across his message.

 

But what lessons are they teaching younger cats? How’s the beef helping the growth of the culture in Nigeria. And is the battle just a wax affair, to settle the ‘‘who-s better’’ issue or some ego-driven personal stuff that may escalate to real-life violence? Or – as some are already insinuating- is it all just a stunt to get us all talking about them again and drive their songs to the top of the charts?

 

I’m still searching for answers.

RUGGEDMAN REPLIES MODE 9

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 13, 2008 by ayenithegreat

 

Rapper Ruggedman does not shy away from controversies. And it doesn’t appear he’s about to start now.

 

Few weeks after his arch-rival Mode 9 dropped a single talking to you, a dis song on which he appears to be referring to Rugged, the 33 year-old rapper has answered back with vengeance.

 

Rugged, who dissed his way to fame in 2001 (on the historic industry-redefining ehen Pt 1), made no attempts on his new single banging to mask the fact that he his throwing  punches at Mode 9.

 

With lyrics laced on infectious beats and a pleasantly catchy chorus, Ruggedman’s message was clear: ‘‘stop trying to diss me/to tempt me. You are no where near me to match/ but if you ever make it to where I am/I’ll let you see why I am the man.’’.

Disappointingly, he fails to ‘‘name names’’ as he is known to do. On the 2001 ehen pt 1, he named his victims – Eedris Abdulkareem, Black Reverendz, Maintain and Rasqui- without caring whose ox is gored.

 

But, apparently, he didn’t need to mention any names on banging. There is no single iota of doubt the subject of his venom this time is Mode 9. he takes it further on another verse: ‘‘A lot trying to diss/fools still dissing me. Some will diss indirectly/ and still miss him…/ they point like a blind nurse/a patient/and her needle…’’

 

On talking to you Mode 9 convinced us all he was referring to Ruggedman when he spat : ‘‘this baba/that baba/ if I dis a baba/ it’s not Ethiopia’’.

 

And Rugged goes on Banging: ‘‘I am on top of my game/your dissing attempts need crutches/cos/they are so lame…/ I make money from my Naija hip hop. You are broke and your album is flip flop’’. Though he boasts of an incredible street credibility and a huge follower-ship, Mode 9 is yet to achieve commercial success. He is yet to make the A list, and, unlike Ruggedman, is rarely on the most wanted list of promoters

 

Determined to beat his rival to a pulp, he goes further, saying his ‘‘situation’’ is ‘‘drastic/condition critical and it’s gonna take a miracle for you to survive for Naija’’. And, in the cash-rule-everything-around-me attitude which the likes of Mode 9 overtly frown at, Rugged boasts ‘‘I wont relent ‘till I get me enough cash to last a lifetime/ I don’t intend being broke…’’

 

The rapper has told friends and fans his upcoming third album will be his last.

 

 

sad the rapper didn't 'name names' this time

sad the rapper didn't 'name names' this time

NIGERIA RULES AGAIN AT CHANNEL O AWARDS

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on October 10, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Last night at the Carnival City, in Jo’Burg, South Africa, Nigerian acts proved again that they are a dominant force in the African music industry. Homeboys, who had trooped all the way from LAgos to South Africa, lived up to all expectations as they stole the show with breadth-taking performances, before going ahead to win some of the most prestigious awards of the night.

With a national crew that included Ikechukwu, SAsha, Diamondz, Naeto C, 2Face Idibia, KC Presh, Mtrill, Natz, Omawumi, Psquare, Kelly Hansome and many others, the Nigerian entertainers showed that it is not for nothing that Lagos is called the headquarters of music on the African continent.

And they had power-brokers Keke Ogungbe, Olisa Adibua, Dayo Adeneye, Ayo animashaun, Obi Asika, Tonye Ibiama, Tola Odunsi, Howie T, Yinka Oyedeji, and many others to urge them on.

At the end of the day, not only was a Nigerian video (Do me, by Psquare) named the overall video of the year, Other categories like Best Africa west, Best Duo or group and best male act came to Nigeria.

Here’s a full list of last night’s winners:

Best Newcomer: Buffallo

Best Kwaito: D Dogg

Best Dance video: Lady may

Best Dancehall: bufallo

Best R&B: GaLebo

Best duo/group: psquare

Best hip hop video: KC Presh

Best Africa west: Mtrill

Best Africa east: Witness

Best Africa southern: Freshlyground

Best Male: Ikechukwu

Best Female: Linsa James

Video of the year: Psquare

Performances of the night included : Irene&Jane, Psquare, Destiny, Prokid, Naeto C and Ikechukwu.

More deatails and pics fm the event later