In March 2018, news broke thatDbanj, Don Jazzy and the rest of the crew will be coming back together to host a Mo’Hits concert later in the year.
Since that announcement, Nigerian music fans have shared their enthusiasm at seeing the full Mo’Hits squad back on stage again.
As a result of this NAIJ.com takes you down memory lane in this article, looking at the events that led to Mo’ Hits breaking up.
Mo’Hits records was founded in musicians Dbanj and Don Jazzy in 2004. The label’s first signing was Dbanj who at that time was an up and coming singer who was known for his various slangs. In fact, he will come to be known as the Kokomaster.
In no time, the duo of Don Jazzy and Dbanj became household names with Dbanj as the face of the label and Don Jazzy as the genius behind the hits. Anytime they appeared together, Don Jazzy rarely spoke. Their entry into the industry was seen as a breath of fresh air by many.
The first album released by the label was Dbanj’s No Long Thing in 2005. Other albums are Rundown & The Entertainer. Buoyed by their success, Mo’ Hits grew. First Wande Coal was signed, then Don Jazzy’s younger brother D’Prince, Dr Sid and Dbanj’s kid brother K.Switch. Ikechukwu was also on their books at some point.
With these number of talented musicians, Mo’ Hits literally controlled the Nigerian music industry with hits upon hits. Don Jazzy also became more vocal, we began to hear him sing more on records of his acts. He however refused to release his own individual project.
Mo’ Hits is said to have made over N1billion during their heyday. This was reportedly revealed by Dbanj himself. As many celebrated Dbanj and Don Jazzy, rumours began to go around that all was not well with the team. However, it was when American producer Kanye West came into the picture that things became ugly.
After a chance meeting with Kanye West supposedly in an airport in Dubai, Dbanj and Don Jazzy were signed to the American musician’s GOOD Music label. Dbanj as a musician and Don Jazzy as a producer. Don Jazzy will go on to produce a song in the Jay Z/Kanye West album titled Lift Off.
While this move by both Dbanj and Don Jazzy was considered a win by everyone in Nigeria, Don Jazzy was reportedly not happy with the deal. For him, moving to America and ‘abandoning’ their work in Nigeria wasn’t ideal.
But Dbanj was ready to conquer the world. He explained the whole thing in an interview with Olisa Adibua. “I’m like, we are almost there. New York is expensive but we can’t guarantee because it’s a dog eat dog world out there. I said to him: listen, brother, this is not uncertainty. For Kanye West to see us, na God. And he said he didn’t want us to do it again,” he said.
However, Don Jazzy wasn’t convinced and he told Dbanj this while also seeking to dissolve their partnership. Dbanj added that things came to a head at a general meeting in 2011, where the entire Mo’ Hits crew, including his own brother, K-Switch decided they did not want to work with him any longer.
Don Jazzy on his own part is quoted by many sources who said a personal problem between himself and Dbanj also contributed to their eventual fallout. His announcement confirming the breakup of Mo’Hits on Twitter pretty much summed up his feelings.
“Good day friends. So sorry I have been away for long as I have been going through some changes in my life. It is with a heavy heart that i announce the end of a long Era and the beginning of a new one some of the Rumours you have all heard recently are sad but true.
The way forward now is to make sure I keep bringing you guys more of the beautiful music y’all love to dance to. And to end the old era I will be donating d proceeds of my production catalogue from day 1 till date to 5 charity organizations. Thanks. IDJA,” he wrote.
Since Mo’Hits was a large company in the true sense of the word, splitting up the companies intellectual and physical properties was not going to come without its own drama. Emails showing a tense exchange of words between Don Jazzy and Dbanj were circulated online.
In the end, Don Jazzy went on to create Mavin records while Dbanj established DB records. Thus ending a truly remarkable era in the Nigerian music industry.