It seems like only only yesterday that Brymo was warbling “Oleku” in his velvet voice alongside Ice Prince onstage, with M.I. backing up as the “trinity” of Chocolate City just got hotter and hotter. Of course in entertainment, a year is a long time and soon after that came Brymo’s exit and all that drama.
At last year’s Nigerian Entertainment Conference, M.I. then made a big announcement onstage alongside Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Pryse, DJ Caise, Koker, Victoria Kimani and Audu Maikori – the relaunch of Chocolate City as…Choc Boi Nation. Choc City was making a statement and moving on after a period of drama right ostensibly.
If the reaction of the audience was somewhat muted, the reaction of music fans to the rebranding in the intervening one year has been less than enthusiastic. First of all, the new name has never quite stuck. Apparently to the fans, “Choc Boi Nation” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Chocolate City”. It is not as sexy.
That, and the fact that it is blatantly ripped off Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
But that’s a story for another day.
So anyway, who has been winning or losing since the breakup of the old Choc City? Well the biggest winner as usual has been M.I. He just seems to get bigger and bigger even without releasing albums regularly. His most recent mixtape ‘Illegal Music 3’ has set the Nigerian underground circuit on fire again. He can’t seem to do any wrong. Ice Prince hasn’t done too shabbily either, dropping hit single after hit single and collaborating with several international acts including Sarkodie.
Victoria Kimani is big in East Africa and in fact she is currently topping the charts there with ‘All The Way’. Koker had his breakout moment last year after releasing “Do Something” which made a huge impact on the market. On the other hand Jesse Jagz, DJ Caise and Pryse haven’t quite hit the heights of their label mates but they are visible.
And the unfortunate loser in all of this? Brymo. By far and away the best musician to have come from Chocolate City and arguably Nigeria’s finest contemporary artist, he keeps releasing fantastic album after fantastic album. Masterpiece after masterpiece. From Son Of A Kapenta to Merchants, Dealers & Slaves to Tabula Rasa and more recently, Klitoris. Exquisite musical soul food.
And no one ever gets to hear it.
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