I have lots of music to share with you all. All drafts completed ready for publishing starting tomorrow. In the meantime, there are two videos that have recently been released that caught my attention. The first is Sarkodie’s Pizza and burger, awesome work.
The second is Ice Prince’s Aboki which, in my view, is an awesomely bad video.
Here is why.
Let’s go into the stables of Chocolate City. Jesse Jagz, to me, is an artist’s artist. He is creatively intelligent, he pushes the envelope and frankly he is simply in a league of his own. Nevertheless, after all these years, there is still a hunger about Jesse Jagz for the music. The same holds for M.I. M.I has had a way of reinventing himself, experimenting with sounds and styles we never thought possible and just coming up with music that makes us look twice. Brymo just got on the scene and have you heard his ‘Go Hard’ track? His sound stays constant but has such uniqueness it retains its authenticity and freshness. There are newer acts signed to Chocolate City but let’s focus on the above acts.
The above acts, consistently, OWN the music space. They show up and there is a confidence that they display that says they are meant to be there. That confidence, in my view, is lacking throughout my keen observations of Ice Prince and his work. There is this sense of uncertainty he seems to display that cuts through to his music. He is singing and rapping, you hear it, but he is not really singing/rapping. Thank God for ‘Oleku’ et. al. But, can we push a bit more on innovation?
ABOKI TEASER VIDEO
I saw a teaser of Aboki. I was actually excited. I saw a few faces I knew. It looked like it would be top quality production. It even had an Asian-American directing the music video. I was excited because the Asian music market has had such innovation and creativity so I thought that would translate both from the shooting to editing.
The video comes out and falls flat on its face. (This does not mean Ice Prince fans will not love it, TV will not have it on heavy rotation or that blogs will not copy and paste the video. We live in a herd mentality world.)
Industry, first, let’s get past picture quality. We KNOW we can shoot great picture quality videos. Indeed, many of the videos coming out of the continent put those in the USA to shame, including within the Nigerian-American music community. The bar continues to be raised quite high. So, with respect to picture quality, that is not the issue.
The issue is the lack of cohesiveness in a music video that sells the artist or the artist and the subject he speaks about, even if he is just singing about partying. Here is Ice Prince telling us, in his teaser video, that “Aboki” means friend and he would put the Northern part of Nigeria, the Hausa people, on the map. What does he do? Beyond dropping names of Nigeria’s richest Hausa men, for example Dangote, he gives us nothing else. Ice Prince stays in the same comfort zone he has become accustomed to.
How do you shoot a beautiful scene of the desert, get styled superbly in the Northern Nigerian attire and you do nothing with it? How is that possible? The lady with the blond hair? Why such color of hair with the overall theme of the music video? Each video clip/scene shot seem so disjointed and the editing failed to make it make sense.
There was no real transition to tell us what exactly this music video was about. Is it to sell Ice Prince as an artist? We already know who he is. Give us something fresh. Is it to sell Ice Prince as an artist from the North? If so, what a terrible attempt. Walking in the desert, as a single man, with women who do not even look or dress the part of Northerners is a bit confusing.
Is it to sell and market the people of the North who are stereotyped, the world over, as very violent and irrational people who kill at the mention of “religion” or “Islam”? If so, what an awfully terrible way of showing the beauty of these people and their essence. Is it to showcase women he has been with or can get because of his money that he counts in the beginning of the video? If so, even worse. The caliber of women displayed does not match his alleged wealth. Is it a party and have a good time song? If so, what are we doing in the desert??
I could go on on but I will stop here. This is a very poor video and at some point, Ice Prince must PUSH past his comfort zone and step up with what he delivers. He does not need to be like M.I, Jesse Jagz et. al but he has to show he still has a bit of that fire in his belly. He also needs to tune into the business of music so he can take a bit more control of his personal image and brand. He strikes me, from what I have seen with his many short documentaries, as one who relies heavily on others to make decisions for his career, looks, personal image et. al. We need to see his voice come out a bit more, especially for an artist who is approaching his Junior year in the industry.
Here is where the industry appears to be headed and a video that gets it (picture quality, sound, story line, overall cohesiveness and a hunger displayed by the artist . . .PROFANITY NOT INCLUDED):
Here is what Ice Prince serves.
NOTE: Artists, labels et. al. if you disagree with me or feel the need to explain your view, I am okay with that. Feel free to air it out here on AML. AML is not for the masses. It is industry focused so you won’t be seeing people personally attack you on this platform because I won’t allow it. But, please do not clog up my email, texts or call me about my opinions on your work. I am not down with that. I am unwilling to give that kind of time to you, unless of course it is for a paid consultation. Thanks.