The Mavin Records boss, Don Jazzy, appears easy going, self-effacing and quiet. When he newly entered the industry he barely spoke, posing with his trademark walking stick, his then partner, D’Banj, acting as his mouth piece. He whispered in D’Banj’s ears and the Kokomaster passed on the message to the world.
However, subsequent events in his career have shown that the leader of the Supreme Mavin Dynasty may not be as reserved as he may have wanted the public to believe. As calm as he may appear in public, since his start with Mo’Hits, he has been consistently involved in one major beef or the other with his colleagues in the industry.
Naij.com contributor, Olayinka Obey takes us through five of the major public drama, Don Jazzy has been involved including the latest – and since resolved – Headies war-of-words with Olami
1. Don Jazzy vs. Kay Switch
You remember Kay Switch? D’Banj’s younger brother and a member of the defunct Mo’Hits crew? It may come as a surprise to many that Kay Switch didn’t record even one single under the label for the about eight years he swas signed to it. No wonder he included several shades to Don Jazzy in the lyrics of his songs since leaving Mo’hits. Kay Switch claimed his brother’s former partner did not believe in his musical talents and as such denied him several chances to prove his worth. Even though he doesn’t call any names, an astute listener of Kay Switch’s songs would know who he is singing about.
2. Don Jazzy vs. D’Banj
This was the one that broke our hearts to pieces. Who does not know the story of D’Banj and Don Jazzy? They had a formidable and enviable partnership with their then label, churning out hits after hits. But the Mo’Hits ship capsized in 2012 and the split to form their own record labels, with only Kay Switch following his brother to DB Records and the rest staying with Don Jazzy and his Mavin Records.
The D’Banj/Don Jazzy beef was reportedly based on the former’s desire to widen his musical coasts to the US while the latter preferred to stay in his own lane, and remain in Nigeria where they were already big. They have tried several times to bury the hatchet and move on, having been seen together at shows dedicating awards to each other and most recently performing together at Timaya’s I Concur concert. Even 2Face Idibia pleaded for one more song for the fans at his Fortyfied concert back in September 2015.
3. Don Jazzy vs. JJC
JJC was the frontman of a UK-based Nigerian music group called JJC and 419 Squad with which D’Banj and Don Jazzy were associated, although not regular members of the band. The duo, however, moved to Nigeria to establish the defunct Mo’Hits and build a large music empire to the disappointment of JJC. On his return to the country, JJC went on several media blasting both Don Jazzy and D’Banj for their “betrayal”. However, these days, it appears tempers have cooled as the African Skank singer, back in 2014, was seen in Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records studio making beat
4. Don Jazzy vs. Wande Coal
One of Don Jazzy’s loyalists that followed him from the dismantled Mo’Hits to Mavin Records got in the bad books of his erstwhile boss when he released a song Babyface. Prior to release of that song, Wande Coal had shown an inclination to stand alone, launching his Black Diamond label. Things went sour when Don Jazzy publicly accused Wande Coal of intellectual theft on social media for the Babyface, which pushed the latter to finally announce his exit from Mavin Records. It turned out to be a huge show of shame from erstwhile partners as many thought there issues should have been sorted out privately. The controversy affected the acceptance of the song.
5. Don Jazzy vs. Olamide
The latest and biggest of the many Don Jazzy vs. other artistes beefs is the 2016 agenda setting music industry beef on January 1, at The Headies. Olamide, who felt the award organizers cheated his protégé Lil Kesh in 2015 out of the Rookie of the Year was furious when the Efejoku singer lost again to Mavin’s Reekado Banks. He expressed his rage at the awards organizers when another of his protégé Adekunle Gold stepped up to receive his award for Sade in the Best Alternative Song category. Don Jazzy, while receiving the Special Recognition award, chose to respond to Olamide’s rant, which he assumed was directed at him and his Mavin crew. Olamide then went on to “wash” the Don on Twitter, calling his humility a show.