Editorial:- Revisiting D’Banj’s “No Long Thing” Album 10 Years Later,And Its Impact...

Editorial:- Revisiting D’Banj’s “No Long Thing” Album 10 Years Later,And Its Impact On Nigerian Pop Music

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Album:- No Long Thing ( 2005 )

Album Artiste:- D’Banj

Producer(s):- Don Jazzy

Label:- Mo’Hits Records ( Now Defunct )

Track List

  1. “Intro”
  2. “Tongolo”
  3. “Socor”
  4. “Pastor (Skit)”
  5. “All Da Way”
  6. “Iya Mi”
  7. “Mr. Olopa”
  8. “Witches (Skit)”
  9. “Mobolowowon”
  10. “Ika O Da”
  11. “Ask Me” ft. Kween
  12. “Na Lie” ft. Nova & Raga Remi

Me, I Be D’Banj, My Jamo Friends, Dem Dey Call Me Ski Banj” – D’Banj ( Tongolo )

D’Banj is arguably the most talked about African Artiste at the moment,not just because of the quality of his Music ( which some feel is dwindling, while some feel He’s just fine ) , but also because of his unceremonious split with his long term business partner and producer Don Jazzy which some suggest is the reason why he has been unable to recapture the Magic of his early years.Despite his many naysayers, and fans as well, everyone agrees collectively on his capacity as an Artiste to Entertain.

Lets rewind a bit,  Its 2005 , The era of the demise of groups, and emerging solo Superstars was reaching its peak Remedies Has Broken up  a few years earlier, Tony Tetuila was the biggest Pop Star in the land,Plantashun boys had broken up as well, and One year earlier 2 Face Idibia had dropped his Classic debut Album Face 2 Face, which was entirely produced by OJB Jezreel , who was the hottest Producer in the Country , The Urban airwaves were ruled by Kennis Music, And it was hard for any other Artiste to break the Musical monopoly at the time, If you weren’t with Kennis, you were with Point beats ( OJB Jezreel, Ruggedman, Abounce, And co ), and the two sometimes worked hand in hand, the only other mainstream act was Maintain ( Olu and Tolu ), managed by Big Bamo, who was somewhat affiliated to Kennis Music, so it was safe to say everyone knew everyone.

D’Banj – Tongolo

The Artistes that dominated the Urban Pop Scene were Paul Play Dairo, Sound Sultan , Maintain, 2 Face Idibia, Blackface ( Dancehall ) , X-Appeal ( Jazzman Olofin and Lexxy Doo ) , as well as 2 Shotz and Big Lo,The former who just broke out of Trybesmen, and dropped his critically acclaimed Pirated Copy Album, with the breakout hit Delicious which was the biggest Rap single and owed its popularity to its blend of Pidgin English Chorus, with Pidgin Rap, and a Bouncy production from Big Lo, which served as a Crossover Pop Hit as well,and redefined the sound of commercial Rap Music.

Enter Dapo Oyebanjo and Michael Collins , after playing Joker to 419 Squad ( JJC , Masta Plan, Kween etc ) , and Keyboardist to Solek Crew ( Mr Solek ) respectively in the United Kingdom, the two Artistes decided to return to Nigeria, with nothing but a Dream, Raw Talent, and a whole lot of energy, which proved Pivotal in capturing the essence of the Artiste whom the world was going to come to love as D’Banj. Originally appearing on Kiss Me Again By Emerging Superstar Rapper Ruggedman ( at the time ) , and singing R&B, D’Banj immediately realized that doing what everyone was doing wasn’t going to pay off, and decided to entrust his sound entirely to his Friend Don Jazzy ( I Guess that was already the plan ), with whom he was jumping Night buses with two years earlier in  London , who thought D’Banj was a Bonafide star, and had the  expertise required to showcase his friends talent, hence the successful partnership was formed, and one of the most defining Pop Albums in the last decade, No Long Thing, was born , and we revisit what made the Album, A Classic which birthed and solidified his status, not just as an Artiste but a Trendsetter , and the Impact of that Album on the Musical Terrain, and the Sound of African Music as a whole.

D’Banj – Socor

Not aiming to review the Album, we intend to look at the Album Ten years later, and pick out things which made the Album special and pointed the Urban Pop Sound a whole new direction Special.The 12 Track Album which had 3 skits and 9 tracks was unlike anything  that was out at the time and was so sonically advanced that it caught the ears of listeners with its first single Tongolo which became an instant smash, and introduced the world to Slangs which he would use throughout his career; Catchphrases,words and phrases like “Koko” , Kokolets and “No long tin” became everyday slang among the urban youth and every one wanted a Piece of the Kokomaster. You hear songs with titles like “Sekem” , “Kukere” , “Shoki” , And “Skelewu” , it was “Tongolo” that started it all , giving your song some obnoxious dance/slang title started here, and has continued till this very day.The next Track Socor, is also another dance instructional song in the same vein, before D’Banj, no other Artiste wanted to teach you how to Dance , with lyrics like “And I no want make you dance with Co-Ordination / I Just want make you watch my Demonstration” ,you could see where the instructional dance lyrics trend started from.Delving into your personal life on a record was nothing new at the time, but D’banj dropped arguably his most personal track with All Da Way, the next track, which came right after a Brilliant skit  Pastor ( The Pastor in question is Rumoured to be Pastor David Oyedepo whom he also sang about on the next song ), on which he sings “My Mama say Music E No Good / My Papa say, Music E No Be Food / But me I Say, na him I wan do / But dem say, I Must go to School / I Try, Try, Try , I do wetin Mama Say / I Try, Try, Try, I do wetin Papa Say / I Try, Try, Try, Book no enter my Head” ,I Cannot help but think Lines like this not only inspired a lot of Youths at the time to believe they could follow their Musical Ambitions, but were the inspirations behind Lyrics from Artistes like Timaya who came after and sang “I Discover My Talent Eh / When I Was very Very Young Eh / My Mama say na school make I go, Make I become a Banker Eh / They want me to take over my Papa wetin E Be /  When I Try to dey go to School , My brother I No fit Eh / Book no enter my Brain, My Brother make e no be by force” on his track God You Are Too Much, Off his second Album. “Iya Mi” the next song is for Parents, specifically his Mother and on the Next song “Mr Olopa” , He tackles something that a great Majority of Nigerians have encountered at least once in their lives, Police Brutality,little wonder the Album resonated well with fans, across the Nation.Another creative skit “Witches” precedes the Biggest Track on the Album, second only to Tongolo, “Mobolowon” rendered in fluent Yoruba was a Fan Favourite on the Album, which gave a little insight into some of the mischievous activities he used to indulge in while he was living in London.

D’Banj – Mobolowon

Ika O Da a well produced Groovy song, where he spoke about people who just do everything to bring you down also added to the flavour of the Album.The last two songs were the only songs on the Album which had guest Appearances , by Kween on Ask Me , An Nova Appearing on Na Lie along with Ragga Remi,the collaborations Sounded more like D’Banj Tracks, as his performances on both Tracks Vocally and with his Harmonica were top notch, and overshadowed all featured Artistes.

Great Artistes have their moments , Michael Jackson never released an Album greater than Thriller ,and certain parallels could be drawn between these Albums, as Magnum Opus’s in Both Artistes careers, As No Long Ting changed the sound, style , and rhythm of Urban Nigerian Pop Music.Not only was he consistent with his Harmonica throughout,D’Banj touched on Topics the masses could relate to, and his appearance was that of a real superstar .His DJ Tee directed Videos were crisp and inspired and spawned the likes of Durella, Wande Coal, Orezi, Wizkid, Davido, and a host of pop Artistes who came after to shape the direction which their Music would go, so even if we never get an Album from D’Banj and Don Jazzy, we could pop No Long Thing in the deck, and relive the Magical moment when Nigerian Pop Music was Changed forever.

Obinna Fred is a London-based Journalist who has contributed to a few Blogs on the net, and writes on NS Now as the Senior Editor and features Writer.He loves Hip-Hop and Music in General.Follow @Fazillion

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