Dbanj, Kanye West and G.O.O.D Music; Was It All Worth It?



Word on the street this week is that the professional relationship between one of Nigeria’s biggest stars, Dbanj and American Star Hip-Hop act, Kanye West is all but over. The rumors had started late last year with word leaking out that Kanye had dropped Dbanj, and yesterday Dbanj removed “G.O.O.D Music” from his social network bios, ultimately giving us the final sign that the 3 year stint was all over.

Now we look back after 3 years and ask the question, Was the move a success? Was it all worth it? In attempt to tackle the question we’ll have to walk through a bit of a timeline of how it all happened.

In all started so brightly in 2011, shortly after Dbanj and Don Jazzy had just wrapped up the video for Mr Endowed Remix with Snoop Dogg. In the next couple of months following, there were strong rumors linking the then Mo-Hits bosses to Kanye West, Jay-Z, Babyface and some more A-listers. There were also links with the making of Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne album. It all became official in June 2011, when Kanye West signed both Don Jazzy & Dbanj to G.O.O.D Music as a production/artist combo. The months that followed saw Kanye make a surprise appearance at Koko Koncert in London, Dbanj feature in G.O.O.D Music videos, and Don Jazzy get production credits for a track on Watch The Throne. The single Oliver Twist was just taking off internationally, and it looked like there was no stopping Dbanj from going mainstream global. I mean with a blazing hot single, and the backing of Kanye West, what could possibly go wrong?

But then sweeping away all the hype and excitement, a lot of what happened after the deal was not great for Dbanj from a musical stand point. After close to a decade of working together, he split up with his long time partner, Don Jazzy (Mo-hits) amidst rumors of “differences of opinions” about the G.O.O.D music deal, he parted ways with his long time manager (Bankulli), he had an embarrassing feature on the Cruel Summer album, a less than stellar Scapegoat Remix, a string of mediocre singles, an album that didn’t move the meter and quite frankly he has not been able to replicate the musical success of his earlier days. The highlight of his association with GOOD Music might have been the Oliver Twist video which featured cameo appearances from some of his then-label mates and Kanye West. It seems that the only good that came out of the deal was some great branding (really great) and PR for Dbanj, but nothing substantial musically. No US tours with Kanye West. No major features. No real recognition as a legitimate African artist with a different vibe.

When you consider that in those 3 years, WizKid, P-Square, 2face, Davido and a few others have had more successful Nigerian hits than Dbanj has had, and a few others (Olamide, Phyno, Burna Boy, etc) have risen to major prominence you can’t help but ask, was it all worth? In making this move, did Dbanj actually lose ground in Nigeria? When we look back at this move 3-4 years from now, what would we remember it for? Would we consider it a successful move? In attempting to force himself into the international market did he lose his core following in Africa? Did we get too excited too quickly?

Dbanj is a major brand, and will probably remain so for a very long time, but musically Dbanj hasn’t been the same since he jumped ship to be with G.O.O.D Music. Hindsight is 20/20, and looking back one is tempted to say that maybe Dbanj should’ve never rushed to sign with Kanye West, and maybe Mo-Hits will still be running things like they did prior.

My 2 cents, but yours is more important so let’s hear it.




  1. I think the international communities didn’t actually relate to his kind music, like we use to hype that “Nigerian music has taken over d world”. Nw, we shld knw dt we have more to do than thinking we’ve done it all. Dsame tin dt happens to D’banj is likely to happen to any other Nigerian artiste, so it shldn’t be as if is an embarrassment just bcuz he tries and he fails. Wishing him d best of luck.

    • i don’t quite agree with you. I just think he has no talent. Internationally, PSquare, and Wizkid are making it, they are better talented than him. Way better. So, i think his lack of talent is the problem here

  2. If you ask me, it was a huge mistake with the way it all happened. Maybe he should’ve thought out the strategy a bit more before making the leap

  3. Dbanj saw dollar signs and ran for it. Plenty others would’ve done the same thing, but you have to say it wasn’t worth it. Don Jazzy sat back, and is arguably still a force in the game.

    Plus Dbanj never had talent anyways

  4. Am so sorry for wat happened to Banjo He was too greedy and quick to action to leave Jazzy but is He that lame to know his stand
    that Jazzy compose produce not Him or did he think music is a game of luck or chance
    Anyways you cant blame him Money divides friends its natural

    “Blame it on the Money” like he said

  5. Well as for me, I believe that dbanj has done well for himself . U can never say, I might still go back to Mo-hit

  6. u people criticizing this guy should seek for 4giveness. firstly, Dbanj did not leave mohits Don Jazzy did simply bcos he was not satisfy with their deal with Good Music, Dbanj will be the last person to let Don Jazzy walk away but Don Jazzy made the decision. and for me i don’t think Dbanj is doing bad in the market since he left Mohits if u are saying his DKM album din’t do well in the market what will u say about album compilation of MAVINS? nobody should be blame here. afterall more endorsements are coming in for this guy (Dbanj)

  7. The question is; was it worth it?
    My answer is No. He didn’t gain anything in my opinion. Yes, we would say good PR, better networking, and an increase in his contacts…but his music has taken a very bad downward spiral, and from the looks of things, it isn’t coming up anytime soon.

  8. Dbanj dat was the worst move he ever made cus he’s songs content lacks d international flavour,I tink somebdy lk da rap king M.I goes dre he will do well and mk us proud but not dbanj not at all.

  9. Most people here are saying none sense… Forvyur info “on top of the world” is an internationally recognized hit song DAT our children n their children would listen n sing… That’s a great achievement cause every Oda Nigerian song dies within a year… Thanj you

    • Oga sunnyblu, why wud u say ppl r saying nonsense? If dat 1 song – on top of the world – is enuf reason 4 u 2 say dbanj did well with ‘good music’ then its u who lack sense

  10. I’m probably D’banjs biggest fan in Nigeria but to be honest, his deal with GOOD Music didnt do him any “good” music wise bt, it helped in a very big way in launching him into d international scene. He should have signed for a record label more inclined to Afro Pop- Konvict Music- Not Kaynes Rap oriented label.
    To those linking his breakup with DonJazzy with d GOOD Music deal, y’ll shld get ur facts & figures right before talking shit. D’banj said in an interview with Toolz on NdaniTV that MoHits was already dead & gone 6 months before metting Kayne.

  11. @that silly person who said he has no talent,clearly u don’t understand English cos if u do,u will kno how complex and versatile the word “talent” is!U cld av made ur point with much better criticisms.My first question to u is….Did God Almighty create anyone without a talent?Do u honestly think music is limited to only lyrics and vocals?D’banj has never been such a lyricist and vocalist and he has never for a second from Day 1 claimed to be such!Wot has always worked for D’banj is his courage,his personality,his absolute sense of humour,his electrifying stage performances (which undoubtedly is a super talent shld incase u think its so easy jumping on the stage)and above all,God Almighty’s super blessings!Do urself a favour and c riticise constructively and not destructively.The dude has done super well for himself “cos if he leaves music totally today,he is and will always be a super business man with God by his side!