With the success of M.I Abaga’s debut album Talk About It in 2008, the label behind the album, an outfit called Chocolate City began gaining recognition in the Nigerian music industry.
The label which was established by Audu Maikori in 2005 now boasts the most robust roster of artists in Nigeria and has labelled itself “one of Africa’s biggest entertainment conglomerate”, a claim no one is disputing.
M.I. along with the next two signings – Jesse Jagz and Ice Prince – were originally known as The Choc Boys. From their first major collaboration in M.I’s Blaze, to the song Choc Boys (Roc Boys Sample) off the first Illegal Music mixtape, to their collabo on Djinee’s Overkillin Remix, the three showed they were a deadly combination. With the addition of Brymo to the label in 2010, the now foursome even became more dangerous, making every collaboration of theirs a guaranteed hit.
In 2013, however, the Choc Boys fell apart after Jesse Jagz unceremoniously left the record label with Brymo doing the same some few months later, a move that led to a court case and more controversies.
Jesse Jagz eventually made a return to the label two years later and the label has moved on from their dispute with Brymo over contractual obligations, but the Choc Boys magic has not returned despite the original triad being back together.
Instead, the label seems to be focusing on growing each artist separately as an individual while also growing its the number of artists under its management. The label now has 14 artists in its roster which are M.I., Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Pryse, Victoria Kimani, Loose Kaynon, Ruby Gyang, DJ Lambo, DJ Caise, Nosa, Dice Ailes and Koker.
It unveiled three new artists in 2015 which were branded the new Choc Boys. They were Dice Ailes who was actually signed in 2014, Koker who was with the label as an extra for a few years and Milli.
These new Choc Boys have each brought a new style of music into Choc City that sits between the Hip Hop music Choc City was earlier associated with and the new Afro pop sound that has fast crept into the label.
360nobs profiles these two latest Chocolate brands – Dice Ailes and Koker – to come out of the factory, taking it back to how it started out and where these artists are likely to end up.
NEXT: The Brand That Is Koker