D’banj versus Don Jazzy: Who Really Won?

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May 2012 saw the end of arguably the greatest producer-singer combination in the history of Nigerian music: Don Jazzy and D’banj.

In the weeks leading to the split, both had signed deals of sorts with Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D Music, and plenty reports had claimed Don Jazzy was unhappy with D’banj’s over-eager ambition to be an international star.

It was suggested that Don Jazzy wasn’t at ease with the G.O.O.D Music deal, and was content with being – for lack of a better phrase – “a local champion”. (Oddly, it was Jazzy who got to work with Kanye West first, after producing Lift Off).

Following their last song together, Oliver Twist, D’banj took his business overseas, while Don Jazzy took what was left of the Mo-Hits crew, and created his Mavin Records label, signing on Tiwa Savage.

The first few months after the breakup were tough on the both of them, music-wise. D’banj struggled to blend into the majorly rap G.O.O.D music, making a 3 second cameo in the video of Mercy, and was left out of the label’s Cruel Summer album.

Don Jazzy and his new Mavins team didn’t have it so easy at first either, releasing a compilation which, while not totally terrible, was way below what one would expect from the legendary Don Jazzy and veteran acts like Wande Coal (who later left to start on his own), and Dr. Sid.

But teething problems aside, both sides began to bloom in what they were actually best at: D’banj at money-making, and Don Jazzy at music-making.

Though D’banj’s music career has not been a total dud (songs like Finally & Bother You made little waves), he’s been more of a business man over the past 2 years, affiliating himself with brands like the World Bank and signing endorsements everywhere from Cocacola to Sony to most recently, Apple/Beats.

Don Jazzy has also not been sleeping endorsements-wise (he’s signed to Loya Milk & MTN, amongst others), but he’s played a significant part in developing Nigeria’s music, constantly raising the bar for other producers, while bringing up young artistes and still producing street anthems from The Kick to Dorobucci.

So who really got off better from the split of the iconic Mo-Hits? Who really won?

My verdict? They both won. Big.




Quo non Ascendam. Writer. E-mail: wana@360nobs.com


  1. At some point in life, I think one realises its not just about the money but the love you get and your impact and influence on your generation and country as a whole….if you ask me, its don jazzy menh.

    money is no longer a problem for either of them

    I will pick don baba j any time of the day.

  2. Lool, what impact is jazzy making? When u talk of impact dbanj is 100x ahead of jazzy, money is ahead, global recognition dbanj is 200x ahead. Jazzy only make music in Nigeria dat fade after 5 month. Dbanj is the real deal don’t even go there, making impact tru agriculture across Africa, fighting poverty with world bank, endorsement with apple/dre beat. Jazzy is fulfilling his dream local champion, dbanj is wining on the world stage.

  3. Omini supreme, Eja nla frm d ocean. Omini boss is winnin apart frm dorobucci which was a mavin crew e4th bt after Oliver D Koko master on his own (solo) had hit song lik Top of d world, Bother U, Omini etc. Omini na dorobucci boss even D jazzy know.

  4. Don jazzy all the way jare. Hav u guys checked their worth. Or hav u guys forgotten don jazzy is into big tym crude oil.u guy think its just the music tin don baba j is into?? U guys r so wrong.

  5. dbanj take over to bad, dbanj his winning big time…. dbanj musically, inspiring youth through one campaign, ending poverty through world bank nd his recently motivating inspirational speech @ TEDX…. Deals- global com, hennesy, cocacola, dstv, sony music,afcon, Apple beats, one campaign, Bank of industry, Herritage bank, half a yellow sun etc hit song- Top of d World, Finally, Dont tell me nonesense, bother you, Alaye, Omini, Love me, Silver nd Gold, Oyato, Raise ur glasses….. Aba!!!! E don try naw make una name small jazzy acheivement naw…..

  6. Well…I don’t see any basis for comparison. Let’s judge them musically first. Don J has gone on to make hits upon hits like jonzing world, goody bag, the kick, rotate, baby face, eminado, without my heart, baby tornado, surulere, dorobuchi, adaobi etc. Polishing and nurturing young MAVINS like koredo bello and reekado banks. Making them house hold names. Dbanj DB records I’d dead. The LEE FAMILY is dead. No major hits, no good musik, nothing. Now forbes named don jazzy the second richest musician in africa behind akon in 2014. Dbanj is in 4th behind psquare. Now encomium named don jazzy the 36 most powerful man in africa. Didn’t see dbanj name there. So I ll take it that don jazzy is RICHER, more POWERfUL, more respected, makes good music more than dbanj. End of story

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