21 March 2019

Nigeria: 2Baba Versus Blackface - a Timeline of Brotherhood Gone Sour

Photo: allafrica.com

For anyone who pays attention to the Nigerian music scene and its intricacies, it would be hard to deny the obvious animosity between Tuface and Blackface.

And although most people have already subconsciously chosen sides and rated Tuface as a family man and veteran, who deserves all the accolades while dismissing Blackface as a bitter hater who's just mad because he didn't make it as big, this is not the entire truth.

Theirs is the story of a defunct group gone sour. Sadly and if you are waiting for a happy ending, you may have to click another story.

Let's go back in time to 1996. Two young men have just arrived at the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. One of them, a 21-year-old Innocent Idibia met Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo. If it was fate that made them become close or the fact that they are from the same state, we would never know.

By 1998, the both of them became nationally famous after they featured in the rave of the moment and one of hip hop's pioneer, Tony Tetuila's song "Omode Meta" alongside Ruff Rugged N Raw.

After the successful collaboration, another young man, Faze joined the team and in 2000, "Plantashun Boiz" was officially formed. Owoyemi Akinwale Nathaniel (Natz), Ifeanyi Oji (Odogwu), and Obasi Leonard (Baba Leo) would become the managers of the group.

In an effort to establish their presence in the Nigerian music industry and beyond, Blackface claimed that he engaged in several meetings to sign up "Plantashun Boiz" for a better deal with moguls Obi Asika and Olisa Adibua, who were creating Storm Records. But that failed because Tuface allegedly pulled out without prior notice, and moved to sign a deal with Keke Ogungbe's Kennis Music. Shortly after this move, he released "African Queen."

"African Queen" till date is regarded as the biggest song of his career and essentially the song that inform the world that Tuface was ready to take over the music scene. The song also reached its peak after it was used in Phat Girls, an American film by Monique.

What many did not realise at that time was that Blackface who had allegedly written a part of the song while in "Plantashun Boiz" was not duly acknowledged.

This would lead to the many accusations and counteraccusations that would surface in later years.

His manager, Efe Omorogbe, also told BBC News Pidgin that Blackface has been collecting royalties from African Queen. "We no tok say Blackface no write di songs. Infact, im don dey collect royalties for di past 10 years from all di songs wey im don co-write with 2face."

In 2007, the group reunited to work on their third album "Plan B" and created Plantashun Entertainment Ltd. Management. With this move, many celebrated the end of the rift between the three.

In 2013, 2face got married in Dubai to Annie Idibia, his long-time girlfriend who was also the star vixen in "African Queen." Strangely, Blackface was not at the wedding. Blackface claimed that he said that he was not invited to the wedding.

However, 2face on Channel's Television's "Rubbing Minds", said that accusation was unfounded, "It is just so unfortunate. I do not know where it is coming from (but) I am trying to think of different reasons."

In 2016, Blackface surfaced again this time claiming that 2face's song, "Let somebody Love You" featuring Bridget Kelly in Tuface's 'Ascension', 2014 album was stolen from him.

"You tried killing the Plantashun Boiz brand and also tried killing my crew Trybunal by tryna sign RockSteady.

"This the thanks I get? Me making you n you tryna destroy me? Telling them not to patronize me even in my town? like its yours"

He continued,

Suddenly your manager @EfeOmorogbe is a song writer on my song? So you can split publishing 4ways with Bridget Kelly?with my name misspelt?

-- BlackFaceNaija (@Blackfacenaija) January 25, 2016

Sometimes people push you to the wall and you have no choice but to fight back

This is one of my conversation some years back with @official2baba when i Asked him why did he record my song #Letsomebodyloveyou without my #permission and this was his reply saying he thought he told me but really he didn't.. and why add your manager as a writer also? so you guys can steal my publishing money? And when asked why you stole my song #Letsomebodyloveyou you Tuface said it wasn't true and maybe my twitter Account was hacked N after which you unfollowed me but I had this saved for many many years so you can see the level of lies you been feeding fans and people all along

Your manager can't be a writer in my song boy... .its theft And Against the law n funny when you think about all of this... .

You of all people should know I never could spread false allegations Bout you unless you denying it And claiming innocent as the Tuface wey you be ...

This is why you n your creepy agents are trying to silent me via social media n avoid meetings to resolve this, but Jah has got my back OK

I have more evidence to this effect in case the need for it arises ok tuface & Efe omoregbe & company

Its sad you people forgot what I stand for..I am against corrupt people And bad leaders so una suppose know say e no go easy for all of una when like Hammer i am too legit to quit #BFN

Then in 2018, it was clear that 2baba had had enough and sued Blackface to the tune of N50 million for defamation of character.

A case which Blackface was more than willing to accept.

2baba also advised Eedris Abdulkareem to stop 'talking nonsense' after Abdulkareem accused him of stealing Blackface's songs and not compensating him. "I don already know you tey tey, that how fake you are," Abdulkareem ranted.

In the midst of all these, many have questioned why Faze the third member has chosen to remain mute over the matter. This, he argues is not true.

"I actually tried to make peace between 2face and Blackface. I called them on several occasions and asked them to settle the issue amicably. However, they have some unresolved issues between them and I think they would settle their differences in due time," he told The Punch.

Many have since labelled Blackface an ingrate who does not want to move on from the past. In fact, they argue, that 2baba (as 2face is now called) has taken care of some of his financial responsibilities in the past.

This is because, they were a family he claims, "In the days of Plantashun Boiz, we operated like a family and we were all happy with one another."

~ I don't know what 2baba did when he was with blackface but I pray you never meet someone that won't forgive you & move on. It's been more than a decade & blackface still releasing a diss track in 2019? - Whatever it is, this blackface isn't slowing down anytime soon o

-- DIRECTOR D. (@DirectedByDiji) March 18, 2019

Others think otherwise:

The chilling fact is that if it were to have been in a sane clime that 2Face stole Blackface's song&the allegations were proven to be veracious. Apart from losing most of the money made, Tuface would be jailed as well. But this is Nigeria, no moral compass...

-- Aafa joseph A. (@nobsavvy) March 19, 2019

It is worthy to note that 2baba is not the only one accused by Blackface of stealing his songs. Banky W and Wizkid are among those in his books.

Despite all of this drama, there are questions that remain unanswered. Until then, we wait for the outcome of the court case.

Read More: Blackface Alleges 2Baba Is Gay In Diss Track "War"

Faze also claims that Blackface had done same in the past in an interview in the past.

"Blackface really did a lot for me in the early days. He used to advise me about my career and the music industry in general. There were even times that he helped me financially; so, I will always be grateful to him.

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