Though these 'Fantastic Five' are not the only ones who have had to part ways with their record labels, the circumstances and court cases surrounding their exits make their cases peculiar.
Clearly, having a record label drama is the new chapter in the series of beefs and battles that’s dominated the Nigerian music industry in 2016.
When any of these names Skales, Runtown, Brymo, Zeez and Vector are mentioned their recurring record label battles instantly comes to mind.
Though these ‘Fantastic Five’ are not the only ones who have had to part ways with their record labels, but the circumstances and court cases surrounding their exits make their cases peculiar.
In December 2014, Wizkid parted ways with the Banky W led E.M.E amidst controversial circumstances, but it never got to the courts.
In a similar move, Wande Coal also left Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records in 2013, Tonto Dikeh has also moved on from D’banj’s DB records. Just last month, Lil Kesh moved Olamide’s YBNL to set up YAGI records.
Now lets talk about the ‘Fantastic Five’.
Formerly called ‘DJ Zeez’, the ‘Bobi’ singer hasn’t been quite lucky with record deals. In November 2011, Zeez parted ways with his former music label, Serengetti Records.
Then In September 2015, Zeez was sued by his record label HF Music for breach of contract.
A few weeks ago, a high court ordered him to refund the sum of N22,378,605.70 to his label, HF Music.
In Vector’s case, his contract with YSG Entertainment was supposed to expire in 2017 but he left the label in 2013, with sources saying the artiste felt the label was not going in the right direction with his brand and promotion.
Of course the label sued him and the rapper, was ordered on Friday, January 31, 2014 to refrain from all musical activities by a Federal High Court after an injunction was filed against him by his label.
Vector has since apologised to his label and fans as he agreed to settle the case out of court and remain an indie artist.
Brymo’s case with his former record label is a story fit for a Greek tragedy.
While fans were happy for the singer that he won a court case against the almighty Chocolate City in 2014, Brymo has recently come out to say, ‘the last time I was in court was in May 2015 and they came out to tell everyone that Brymo won the case; the judge never even passed the sentence. The judge just came that day and said, “I can’t do this, they don’t trust me so I’m going to drop the case,” and so he dropped it’.
The highly publicized case still remains inconclusive even though both parties seem to have moved on.
The ‘Gallardo‘ singer joined the party on Teusday May 31, 2016 when news broke that his label, Eric Manny had secured a Federal High Court injunction against him.
Runtown responded through his lawyers with a letter terminating his contract, then he went on to grant am interview saying his record label boss Okwudili Umenyiora once pulled a gun on him and threatened his life.
Skales in no new comer to record label wars, only this time he may have bitten more than he can chew.
In 2014 he parted ways with E.M.E Records and almost immediately got another record deal with Baseline Records.
At the time, the deal was quite huge and was valued at well over N200m.
Fast-forward to May 2016, the singer and his manager have been arrested, detained and even spent a night in detention.
What worries his fans most is the termination clause in his contract that reads, ‘The artiste may terminate this agreement prior to the expiration of the contract period by paying the company the sum of ten million pounds sterling’.
That is the exit clause he may never be able to use because, using today’s exchange rate, that figure is around N5 billion.
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