Music Business

Pryse finally calls it quits with Chocolate City, launches her own record company


Nigerian hip-hop artist Pryse has, four years later, finally called it quits with Chocolate City (CC). Four years ago even though it was uncool to say so, I said this music marriage should never have happened in the first place. No disrespect to Pryse but I simply did not believe she was a fit for the CC brand or that they knew what to do with her. I also felt she needed a lot of work with her vocals, lyrical content, flow and delivery. Despite her bragging, I believed she could not match up with some of the emerging and hot acts in  the game, at the time.

Now that CC and Pryse have parted ways and Pryse is setting up her own label, I wish her the best and hope to see her go past basic rhymes and punch harder lyrically, deliver true grit with her flow, and leave her heart on the floor with her music so it connects with the Nigerian and African masses.

For CC, I can’t help but wonder what they did all this while with Pryse? We never really saw Pryse marketed and promoted heavily. We certainly didn’t see an EP or LP from her this past four years or did I miss it? As for artist development, her visual brand identity is stronger than when she started, but there is minimal showing of an improvement on her artistry. I think it is fair to say, after all these years, within and outside the music business, most of us still don’t know who Pryse is.

I believe what has lacked with Pryse might be a clear brand identity and her unique point of view. What’s her story? All these years and we still don’t hear it in any of her songs. Her songs seem to always be about how she is better than other female rappers (the less than a handful) and nothing else. Who is Pryse and why should we care? Pryse needs to find her voice and occupy that space that is uniquely hers. It is only then that she will turn heads and be untouchable.

Until then, it’s the same old with her. Again, my view four years ago was unpopular and I don’t expect it to be popular now.

I also highly recommend Pryse works with a vocal coach to improve her vocals.  Listen to Jan Smith, coach to Usher, Justin Bieber, Drake etc. explain the importance of vocal coaches in my interview with her.

-Ms. Uduak


Pryse performing in March 2016

A cover by Pryse, probably the best flow so far I’ve heard of all of her songs. Warning: expletives used.

Pryse in 2013

Photocredit: Pryse promo pic/CC

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. Winston Balagare says:

    Ms. Uduak, you are so right about this one. But I don’t fully blame Pryse for her lack of progress. That laptop label, CC, or CBN, (whatever they are calling themselves these days) is no good to anybody. The small boy who runs it is more concerned with being popular in America than he is with seeing his artists succeed. For the longest time now, I’ve been saying #free_pryse, #free_nosa, #free_milli, #free_dice, and #free_ruby, because they all have talent, but they lack the necessary leadership at the laptop to get anything done. Ruby released a decent EP this year or last year that was hardly promoted. Dice was heating up when he was still doing his own thing in Canada, but has since fizzled under the CBN banner. Milli is an emotional wreck after his time at the laptop. Even Jesse Jagz had tired of them for a while.

    Regarding Pryse, though, I believe that she has the tools to win in this Nigerian music scene. She just was on a losing team. If you listen to her “Who You Epp?” freestyle released earlier this year, you can surely hear the growth in her music. Maybe if she was actually able to work with the likes of an Olamide, we could hear her more often, doing a sound that suits her, instead of that small-boy punchline rap she wasted 4 years doing. I’m happy that she’s now free to do her own thing, but I worry that too many years have been wasted for her to fully get her footing in this current music scene.

    1. @Winston: Is “laptop” a typo? If “no”, na wa for you o. What does “leadership at the laptop” even mean?

      1. Winston Balagare says:

        I mean to say that what is purported to be a company, or business, is merely just another of the many scams/hustles that our people have become so adept at pulling off. We hear them rap over and over about how strong their hustle game is, yet we don’t expect that they may also be applying that hustle to their own so-called “businesses”. Why doesn’t someone sit down for an interview with M.I and ask him why Brymo left; why Milli left; why Pryse left; why his own brother left at one point. Why are Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay bigger names than Ruby Gyang, when neither can sing better than her? When is M.I going to have to answer for the failings of his “record label”?

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