We Need To ‘Kill’ Ubi Franklin – Joseph Abalokwu Writes
Everyday, dozens of artistes come out to say they want to part ways with a record label or have something negative to say about their benefactors; it is beginning to get irritating to the journalists/fans/consumers.
Its common knowledge that music artistes hurry to sign with whoever has a pen, paper and a bag of money without lawyers/experts going through the agreements, this is 2019, this needs to stop! Even as an upcoming artiste with talent and big dreams, always go through legal counsel or gun for a short term deal.
First and maybe the only thing, artistes need to understand is this; investors are only there to make money not essentially because they believe in your talent. You are like seeds to them, their investments are the waters and fertilizers needed for your growth and the fruits are their rewards, so if you don’t sign better conditions, they will do whatever with the fruits.
Secondly, they are paying you for your fans not for your music, so grow your fans by keeping them contented with your music and watch your worth increase.
The first culprit that fits this description in recent times in the Nigerian music scene when it comes to ‘shady’ deals is Made Men Music Group‘s CEO Ubi Franklin, the infamous businessman that has made virtually everyone who has ever associated with him have something negative to say about him. From allegedly duping Iyanya off his shares as a co owner of the label, to cheating on Lilian Esoro and scamming various women on the internet; What do you expect from a label that bit off its name from Rick Ross’ MMG.
Ubi might go down as one of the greatest music villain from this side of Africa.
One thing I personally find confusing about Ubi Franklin is his damage control measures, you attack him for fraudulent activities, he replies with conversations of you and him talking about another person or threats to release your sexual escapades; Which kind of sane businessman does that?
At the moment, it sure looks like Ubi Franklin’s Tripple MG has no ‘made’ artistes on his roster anymore as a result of Ubi basically doing Ubi things, a label that once housed ‘Made Men’ like Iyanya, Tekno, Baci, Selebobo, Emma Nyra, Dj Coublon; can we just call him MMG now since no made men? This needs to stop, we need to kill the villain so investors and content creators can put paranoia and shady contracts to sleep.
When I say kill the villain, I don’t literally mean assassinating Ubi, though a couple of people won’t mind that; but a conscious practice where artistes know content creation is more than talent these days, IT IS A BUSINESS. A booming sector of the Nigerian economy where there are so many contracts and monies frittering away , one bad move might haunt you for years especially when you put a signature to it.
The legendary Jermaine Cole once said “Fool me one time shame on you / Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you / Fool me three times, fuck the peace signs / Load the chopper, let it rain on you…”
You don’t need to be educated to make music but never take away the fact that you need to be educated to stay in the music business, contracts these days look like 25 to life prison sentences because artistes are refusing to give lawyers a meager percentage to represent them.
As a music enthusiast that has studied the music industry both home and abroad, a deal leads to content restrictions and bureaucracies, consequently reducing fecundity of the artiste so before or whilst you’re in a label, work double, make relationships to last a lifetime, study your market, keep receipts of everything paid for by the label, only burn bridges based on personal terms not because Oga says so and most importantly, when you are not making music, take time to learn and grow so a man with a pen won’t make you a modern day slave.