Music Business

Jay-Z’s Tweet about his Cousin’s Move to Nigeria Gets Ice Prince Noticed by Complex Magazine @S_C_

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IcePrinceJayzAt the end of March 2015, American rapper Jay-Z, along with select group of artists, announced the launch of Tidal, a streaming service. We discussed his move in AML Podcast Episode 41.

Tidal is now reportedly not doing as well since its debut. In addition, the company has received a lot of backlash from music critics and other industry heads.  In an effort to change the rhetoric and prevent Tidal’s reputation and corresponding subscribers from plummeting, Jay-Z took to twitter to share his thoughts about his new streaming service. While he was at it, he also revealed his cousin has relocated to Nigeria to scout for new artists.

One of our AML readers who gave us notice in December about the real deal on Roc Nation’s move to/in Nigeria, brought it to my attention the follow up article written by Complex Magazine  which focuses on Nigerian rapper Ice Prince, post Jay-Z’s tweets.

Here is a quick timeline to note:

1. We published AML Podcast Episode 027 titled ‘AML027: Music Industry Issues with Audu Maikori, C.E.O Chocolate City Music & Entertainment Group,’ in December 2014.
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2. December 2014, one of our AML readers broke it down for us about what was really going on with Roc Nation in Nigeria. You can read below.

3. Fast forward four months later, Jay-Z supports our reader’s statement, and of course Complex Magazine takes notice of our Nigerian artists. Needless to say, there is more to come.

Overall, interesting times ahead but as always, at AML, we remain poised for what lies ahead; since of course we are and should be way ahead of anticipated moves to come.

-Ms. Uduak

“BRILLIANT BRILLIANT interview with Audu!

I have been extremely busy for the past few weeks but once I checked your podcast list and saw Audu Maikori, I had to drop everything I was doing. I have had discussions with him in the past about your platform and I knew he wasn’t going to hold back.

You, as usual, covered everything people needed to hear through out the interview. Here are a couple of things that stood out to me:

  1. You brought up a great point in saying that Nigerians offer this lump sum of money to American artists for a collaboration thinking that it’s what their fans want to hear, and also thinking that it will boost their career. Chocolate City executes this correctly by building relationships with these labels first. That’s what you are supposed to do! Part of the problem is that, like you said, all these people literally wake up and decide they want to form a label with zero knowledge of the business. They do zero research and come up with absurd ideas for collabs without having any long term goals. I remember last year, Spring, when ( a Nigerian industry label executive) was trying to raise 90 million Naira of investor money for a  (famous Nigerian song)  remix with Nicki Minaj. Can you imagine that rubbish? A huge part of the problem, is the approach and these kinds of people are messing it up for the very few who are going about this the correct way. But like Audu very rightly said, concentrating on Africa for now is key. There’s so much money to be made here that America should be a secondary or even tertiary mission. In fact, the way the American industry is going, they should come over to Africa. Lol.
  2. Audu touched briefly on Roc Nation Africa. I wish he would have expanded more on that because I think it would have answered your question about what is the dialogue happening between the Nigeria side of entertainment to help put the content on American airwaves. Around this time last year, I spoke to a man named Briant (Beehigh) Biggs. He is Jay-z’s cousin that represents Roc Nation. He has been trying to survey the entertainment industry to determine the best approach on how to bring the artists of Roc Nation into Nigeria for a few years now. He ran a trial run with Wale in bringing him to Nigeria for the first time. Ideally, what he wanted to do was create a pseudo label in Nigeria with top Nigerian artists and the top artists at Roc Nation. He wanted these artist to create all types of content from videos of their daily lives, studio life, party life, etc., put it on a platform, and market it to the telecos for distribution on a digital type platform. I know as recently as last week, Beehigh was able to work out something through Audu and a few others. I’m assuming it’s the collabs and ringback tunes deal he was talking about in the interview. Ringback tunes are one of the most important revenue streams for artists in Nigeria, but with technology advancing as quickly as it is, how long will RBTs last?
  3. You were very correct in saying that the Loopy and Chocolate City relationship is murky. Lol. There’s tension there o! I saw that one first hand. Lol. It’s a cordial relationship between both labels, but an artist like Ruby, who is signed under Loopy, can never say she is a Chocolate City artist. Also Pryse would never ever claim Loopy, but her label mate, M.I. obviously would claim both. There’s an artist named Enzo who is claiming both Loopy and Chocolate City as well but neither side is claiming her. It’s super complicated. Lol.
  4. I agreed 10000% with Audu when he said lawlessness is widespread. There’s a supreme lack of ethics and professionalism in that industry. I’m not even going to go into how the women are treated. But the industry must show that you can not get away with your lawlessness. Once that is shown, that’s when the gradual conformity will begin.

Once again Uduak, pure brilliance as always. Last point that I half agree with Audu is, please don’t stop what you are doing. I’ve said it before that you are a great woman and it’s years from now that you will feel the impact of the hours you have dedicated to this platform. I say I half agree because if Audu ain’t giving you dough for your platform then abeg, abeg, abeg. Lol. No money for him please. Take it and enjoy it, you over deserve it. Your efforts will never be in vain in Jesus Name, Amen.

~Name withheld

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Full story on Complex Magazine.

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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 ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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1 Comment

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    I can’t stress enough how tired I am of people kissing this man’s backside. He’s not God. He’s not even Quincy Jones. Jay-Z NEVER comments on public speculation about what he does in his life. So the fact that he sent out these panicked Tweets should let you know that he’s desperate. For God’s sake, the man is almost 50 y/o, and people look to HIM to tell them what’s cool and what’s next? That’s ridiculous. Even American rapper Wale parted ways with Roc Nation, because they weren’t doing anything for his career. Now JAY-Z wants to come and pilfer African talent to help him sell his filth. Should we be surprised that he’s gravitated towards the Nigerian rapper who most frequently uses the word “n*gger”, that mediocre talent Ice Prince? He’s found the perfect dummy to help him continue to keep the masses ignorant of who they really are. Nigeria, you’re not “n*ggers”; you’re African men and women who (for the most part) love and respect yourselves. Why now, all of a sudden, does Jay-Z want to find talent in Africa? Because he sees how African artists are making money? They did it without him for this long. Let’s hope they’re wise enough to remember that and stay clear of this train wreck.

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