Music Business

Ice Prince — Rapper Allegedly Claims Chocolate City Record Deal Expired 3 years Ago, Why are Nigerian Labels & Artists So Shoddy with Announcing Label Exits?

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I honestly don’t know what it will take in the Nigerian music business to have artists and the record labels that represent them take a more professional approach to announcing the termination of their relationships. It is frankly, at this point, just ridiculous to observe the crass approach most labels and their artists take to announcing termination of their business relationships. Starting with Mo’Hits to the present, the exhibits go on and on, and on.

I believe the manner that many of our Nigerian music business owners and artists handle terminations of their relationships show a fundamental lack of respect, especially to their fans. When a relationship ends, especially when it ends amicably, make it clear it has ended, make clear the new ventures you both will be working on, if any; and then show by virtue of your actions, that the end of a record deal doesn’t mean the end of a business relationship. It is common, it is no big deal. Educate your fan base, the public and media and shape the narrative with YOUR story, not theirs, for crying out loud. This is such a rudimentary point it is annoying that over ten years since the industry has been on this contemporary music business renaissance, we still can’t get this right. We are always quick to point out the superiority of western business practices, how our industry lacks infrastructure, professionalism and the list goes on but basic changes, we somehow don’t think we should make. Why is this?

Take the case of Ice Prince and his alleged announcement of his departure from Chocolate City on the radio earlier this morning, in Nigeria. How long has the public, media/bloggers (myself included) and his fans, been asking about the nature of his relationship with Chocolate City?

When Ice was made Vice President of the music label last year, why wasn’t he just candid that his record contract had expired years ago, however, there was still a strong bond and business relationship with his label, so much so he was now made VP for Chocolate City? Months after being named VP, Ice officially “floated” his new label ‘Super Cool Cats,’ stripped all of his online properties (websites, social media) of all things Chocolate City; and yet he boldly and publicly gave the impression that he was still an artist with the label. Chocolate City did the same with what it represented to the public. I still remember that absurd statement from the Chocolate City manager that I addressed here on AML.

Now, when Ice drops a record he wants fans and the public to buy and the media to create buzz for, he allegedly goes on the radio and says, “Oh! my contract expired three years ago but I decided to stay calm?” Seriously?

I don’t know how Nigerian music businesses and their owners, Ice and Chocolate City included, believe this kind of approach in how they treat fans is beneficial, in the long run, to their bottom line? How hard is it to take a page, at the very least, from Olamide and Lil’Kesh. Olamide and Lil’ Kesh were unprofessional in the initial approach to announcing their termination but within a span of 24-48hours, cleaned up quickly. They confirmed termination of their record contract relationship. They informed fans, media and the public that they had a different relationship, a management deal; and Olamide explained his business philosophy of creating leaders. Artist-entrepreneurs who are signed to his label are there to learn all they can about the business, then move on to form their own with his blessings. It makes sense with a deeply fragmented industry like Nigeria’s and is frankly speaking altruistic if you think about it.

For AML Nigerian industry stakeholders reading this, please work on refining the announcement of your relationships when they terminate. In the 21st century music business world, there is really no excuse for this kind of shoddy approach.

-Ms. Uduak

Excerpt of news story:

“Panshak Zamani popularly known as Ice Prince revealed in an interview today on Cool FM that he is no longer signed under the Chocolate City Label.

He also revealed that his contract with the label ended 3 years ago but decided to keep calm about it. The rapper cum singer currently has his own outfit called ‘Super Cool Cats’ where he is signed…”

Erave has the full story.

Archived AML Articles

Ice Prince Sets Up his Own Record Label, Will he Step Down as VP for Chocolate City Records?

Ice Prince Moves Forward with his Own Label, Now Officially a “Super Cool Cat”

Business of Music North Africa Roundtable

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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1 Comment

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    Small boys; big laptops.

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