Oladips shocked the music world when he dropped a single titled ‘Maybe’ where he narrates his sad ordeal at his old label, Reminisce‘s Les Roses Rougé.
Going by what the artist himself said if anyone refers to a signed contract as a helper-helpee arrangement then “the contract is a f**king trap and a fraud“.
It’s important to get a grasp of the Oladips/Reminisce relationship.
We were first introduced to Oladips when he won D’banj’s King Don Come rap competition and Reminisce signed him on afterwards.
Alaga had a couple of endorsements then notably one with Samsung and was doing well on the music scene. Oladips would get something decent to pocket and perhaps a good car.
More importantly, the exposure that would come with being with Alaga; who himself is an indigenous rapper would be too much of a lure to resist.
He gradually earned himself a reputation as a great artiste over time who despite scoring a major hit 2 years later in ‘Lalakukulala‘, had impressed very much on virtually every song he made or featured on.
Though it is advisable to hear both sides before reaching a conclusion,2 things tilt the balance in his favour.
First, Reminisce hasn’t had him drop an album and Secondly, Alaga isn’t quite in the same position he was when he signed Oladips and may have difficulty fulfiling some of his obligations.
Sojay; who had earned quite a reputation for himself on eLdee’s Trybe records as one of the finest voices in the country was on LRR and left after some singles. The only artist to have ever dropped an album on Reminisce’s label is Reminisce.
Even when he appeared in a good position financially, he found it difficult handling his career along with others on the label. One thing a lot of artists that have rushed into starting labels need to learn from the Oladips/Reminisce situation is when to let an artist go.
An artiste searching for a breakthrough will swallow anything you say and sign whatever you present to him. And when after a while you renege on certain aspects of the agreement, he is willing to still stick around in search of his lucky break but when that artist has grown to the stature Oladips has, you either fulfil your contractual obligations to the letter or have a serious problem to contend with.
Leaving the label alone is news for the blogs and ultimately bad publicity. With a song like ‘Lalakukulala‘, if Oladips hasn’t or isn’t making money for LRR then the problem lies with the label who perhaps aren’t marketing him right. Besides, a contract is a contract.
An artist has to be paid his dues whether or not they make any money which is why the unready label boss/flagship artist is better off with a helper-helpee arrangement.
The signed artiste usually bemoans a proper lack of promotion by his label but when he is being told he is being done a ‘favour’ whenever a ‘dollar’ is spent, that is a major problem.
Written by:- Umar Sa’ad Hassan (based in Kano)
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