Warring founders of Mo’Hits, Don Jazzy and D’banj, are throwing barbs at each other as they move to divest their investments and interests in the label, a confidential email correspondence between them has revealed.
If you are one of those who still think that the fallout of Mo’Hits founders, D’banj and Don Jazzy, is a rumour which will dissipate in no time, you probably still live in the past. In fact, in order to make the future safe from the past, the duo is already formalising plans to share their assets especially on the ownership of the mouth-watering Mo’Hits catalogue comprising all D’banj’s albums (No Long Thing, Rundown Funk U Up and The Entertainer), Wande Coal’s Mushin to Mo’Hitsand The Mo’Hits Crew All Stars’ album, Curriculum Vitae among others. Thus, as you read, Mo’Hits is only waiting for legal certification before it is pronounced dead. And the pallbearers are already waiting in the flanks to ferry the remains of the beloved label to its final resting place, bringing to a painful end the reign and run of the successful label.
In the meantime, the Mo’Hits crew has been divided, as the two figures in the unfolding drama are moving out with their different disciples: D’banj’s younger brother, K-Switch, understandably, goes with him while Wande Coal, Dr Sid and D’Prince have settled for Don Jazzy. The future of the label’s artiste manager, Sunday Are, is unknown. Long before the separation became public knowledge, D’banj and Don Jazzy were no longer on speaking terms, an authoritative source tells E-Punch.
Neither do they see eye to eye. In fact, at their last concert in New York in February, they only met on stage because each artiste had his own cubicle. Rather, they communicate via email only when necessary. In a confidential email correspondence between the former collaborators, exclusively obtained by E-Punch, the sordid details that might have led to their break up are veiled, but the bitterness-laced correspondences are open about their claims for the assets of Mo’Hits especially the catalogues of all the artistes.
D’banj must pay all the debts of Mo’Hits – Don Jazzy
In regards to D’banj’s claim for 100 percent ownership of all songs recorded under the Mo’Hits imprint, the acclaimed producer in an email on March 17th, states, “That Mo’Hits Records does not already own 100 per cent of the songs. Note that Mo’Hits Records only owns 60 per cent of the songs and 40 per cent belongs to the individual artiste. So, 40 per cent of the songs is not mine to give.” He continues, “That me (I am) giving him (D’banj) my share of the catalogue does not and will never include him having the right to stop them (the artistes) from performing the songs or give him the right to claim any monies for live performances of these songs. And any loans or debt owed by Mo’Hits records as at today will be cleared by Mr D’banj as I am clearly not aware of any.”
Don Jazzy states further that the catalogues he is releasing to his former partner only consists of songs already released in an album exempting new singles and unreleased materials. “So, songs like Wande Coal’sGo Low and Been Long You Saw Me are not part of this catalogue he is receiving. Also, an artiste like D’Prince, not only has he not released any album, he has not signed any contract whatsoever with Mo’Hits Records. That he has no right to claim any monies for deals that have been brokered already as at today with the catalogues or stop their usage. It is important to note that any unreleased songs done by any artiste (including D’banj and K-Switch) MUST NOT be released and is not part of the catalogue I am giving away.”
He adds, “With these few points, I do hope that you all realise that I have been generous enough to facilitate the End of the “D’banj & Don Jazzy” era as a team. After this new deal has been signed and sealed, I do NOT look forward to seeing an email whatsoever or hearing from the DKM (D’banj, K-Switch, Mo’Hits) crew, and all is well again.”
Will you return the Bentley I bought for you? – D’banj
Same day, D’banj responded to the email, stating, “In case he (Don Jazzy) forgot, this is the arrangement! 50/50—–song writer/ production, which means for a song X for artiste Y, 75 per cent as per production is fully owned by Mo’Hits and writing is shared 25/25 with the individual artiste co- writing. So, that’s the deal! So him (sic) saying 40 per cent is not his to give away is more like 75per me and 25per each artiste.”
He then asks, “What do you mean by any bills or loans would be cleared by Mr. D’banj? That will never happen because when I ran the company, I ran it perfectly and well. So, if I give him my shares he is left with 100 per cent liability. My catalogue is everything that has been done with the Mo’Hits system and under the normal agreement we have, that means everything I have recorded or that has been recorded whether new or old, or even classic, whether beat with concept or even idea without beats, anything we did as a team and sponsored by me throughout, then, it is mine. Including K-switch clause and all mine and even Wande’s singles and all till the date of signing even today.”
Continuing, D’banj writes, “And now, (I) wanna clear the air on this Samsung deal! I would expect by now that you understand that me keeping quiet is being GENEROUS because this is a deal structured under Mo’Hits Records, (and it is) the first deal and income you would ever bring into the company in eight years. We shared the first 150k (One hundred and fifty thousand dollars) the right way, 1/3 down and that was cool. But after you collected another 130k and did not say anything (that) is and could be described as theft! I only refused to contact them (Samsung) directly because of your reputation. But please don’t call me a fool and let’s know who is generous!” D’banj was not coy about his anger. He states that after sharing over N1bn with Don Jazzy in their Mo’Hits days, he was shocked that the producer would now sideline him when he got the balance from Samsung.’’
D’banj writes further, “Please, please, will he (Don Jazzy) return the Bentley because I bought it for him and it was N5.2m more than mine? And Prince that he claims has no signed contract but is actively involved and signed via engagement– I win his catalogue too – all recorded whether released now or not! This is because no one questioned me when I bought D’Prince N11m naira car (LR3/Range) without releasing any album just to boost the image of the boy and it worked for him! So, let’s get the facts straight, I AM BEING MORE THAN GENEROUS.”
Good music deal and other issues
After Don Jazzy inferred on twitter that the end might have come for Mo’Hits, E-Punch reliably gathers that D’banj was prevailed upon by close friends and associates not to talk despite being aggrieved that his lifelong friend had painted him black before the public. But the hyperactive entertainer, the source says, may have reached his tether’s end and any moment from now would reveal to the world all that went wrong between him and Don Jazzy. Part of what he will talk about, E-Punch learns, will dwell on the genesis of their separation and the point at which Don Jazzy advised that they did away with Mo’Hits and concentrate on their GOOD Music deal. “It was D’banj who prevailed on him that even if they were going to concentrate on their deal with Kanye, they didn’t need to do away with Mo’Hits,” says the source. When the deal with GOOD Music sailed through, Don Jazzy was signed on as a producer while D’banj was the artiste. By virtue of how the American music system works, producers are only meant to be heard not seen. So, the source says further, “Kanye and D’banj and the other guys were always going out leaving behind the producers, including Don Jazzy, which didn’t go down well with him. After some time, D’banj noticed this and to placate him, he bought both of them a Bentley each. Further, he also bought a house in Atlanta, equipped with high tech studio equipment so that Don Jazzy could be working mostly from their new home but he was not appeased as he felt that he was being outshined by D’banj.”
On the other hand, Don Jazzy allegedly told his close associates that the reason he decided to part ways with D’banj was because of an alleged arrogance which was impacting negatively on the other artistes. Long before Mo’Hits evolved, they were friends before becoming partners, putting up with each other’s shortcomings but fame and money have combined to becloud their tolerance of each other.