Tag Archives: Sazzy

Mr. Lecturer, Snoop Dogg, and Dbanj’s “Mr. Endowed”

I think I’ve set a new record for neglecting this blog. I have had a series of deadlines on various writing projects, and I didn’t want to allow myself to blog until I met at least one of the deadlines. Now, I have a lot to catch up on.  Since it is impossible to go back and reproduce all the posts I should have posted, I will just start with the most recent–this week’s column in Weekly Trust. This is not my best or favourite column, but it is one particularly well suited for a blog, because I can bling it up with all kinds of videos to make the reading experience more stimulating.  (Forgive me if some of the videos here are a little less than great quality. I was trying to put up this blog post on an internet connection that would usually only let me load about 10 seconds of the video before timing out, so I was posting videos from memory rather than verifying the youtube uploads that were the best quality. Please NOTE that the videos embedded here are being used in this blog post under Fair Use laws for review purposes.)

Mr. Lecturer, Snoop Dogg, and D’banj’s “Mr. Endowed”

 Written by carmen mccain Saturday, 22 October 2011 05:00

 Let’s call him “Mr. Lecturer.” A few years ago, on the last day of an academic conference after the few other women at the conference had left, I went back to my hotel room to relax.

I heard a knock at my door. It was “Mr. Lecturer,” a colleague attending the conference, a big, tall man of probably around fifty. When I opened the door, he pressed himself so close to me that I took an instinctive step backwards and he wriggled into my room. He said that he needed a quiet place to work and he wanted to write in my room. “Do you not have a room in this hotel?” I asked. He replied he did but he wanted to use my laptop because his battery was low. I edged closer to the door and told him that my battery was also low and that I was just going out to eat. I grabbed my bag, ushered him out of the room and wandered in self exile around the streets of the unfamiliar city for a while. Before it got dark, I bought a compilation vcd of Naija music videos from a street vender, then went back to my room and locked myself in.  Around 8pm, there were several knocks at my door. I turned off my lights and refused to answer. I sat in the dark fuming, until I remembered the compilation of music videos I had bought earlier.  With nothing else to do, I slotted the vcd into my laptop. This was the first time I had seen the video for P-Square’s “Do Me,” or D’banj’s “Booty Call.” I knew the songs and frequently sang along to the catchy choruses. But in watching the compilation, which also included music videos from American artists like Snoop Dogg, I grew angrier and angrier. The music videos were full of women in buttock-revealing miniskirts, brassieres, and fish-net stockings. The camera zoomed in on close-ups of their gyrating backsides and heaving breasts. It was like the representation of ‘natives’ by various parts of their bodies that Chinua Achebe noted in Joseph Conrad’s racist novel Heart of Darkness. This time it was women being cut up into body parts. Rarely would the camera focus on a woman’s face.  In D’banj’s “Booty Call,” fully-dressed men sat back and leered, as barely-dressed women pranced and paraded before them.

P-Squares “Do Me”

Dbanj’s “Booty Call” 

As I watched, I grew so angry that I was unable to sleep all night. I was angry at the musicians for objectifying women. I was angry with the women for allowing themselves to be objectified. And most of all, I was furious with Mr. Lecturer for thinking I, the only woman left at the conference and his colleague, albeit a junior one, was “fair game.” (Lord have mercy on his poor students!) The music videos did not make Mr. Lecturer harass me, but both are symptomatic of the same underlying  disrespect for women—a condition captured brilliantly in Eedris Abdulkareem’s music video “Mr. Lecturer.”

Eedris Abdulkareem’s “Mr. Lecturer

I remembered that sleepless night recently when I finally had the bandwidth to download Dbanj’s music video “Mr. Endowed” directed by Sesan and featuring the American hip hop artist Snoop Dogg. It is one of the worst videos, Nigerian or American, I’ve seen.

Dbanj’s “Mr. Endowed, feat. Snoop Dogg”

Don’t get me wrong, I love hip hop and dancehall. Even though I hate D’banj’s and P-Square’s music videos with big cars and scantily dressed women, I admit to the contradiction of still singing along to the lyrics when they come on the radio.  Although I think Snoop is a maddening sexist, I occasionally enjoy his deadpan voice and irreverent raps, which are so outrageous that sometimes all you can do is laugh.  The Bollywood music video “Singh is King” featuring Snoop, for example, plays ironically with Orientalist stereotypes.  There are dancing girls but they are included with a self-mocking wink.

Akshay Kumar and Snoop Dogg in “Singh is King”

Nigeria’s icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti similarly thrived on the notoriety of extravagant sexuality, featuring topless women on his record albums, mostly naked dancers at his performances, and marrying 27 women in one swoop. Yet, as outrageous as his sexual excesses were, he was committed to the Nigerian masses, fearlessly speaking out against injustice.

Album cover of Fela’s album “Expensive Shit” responding to his imprisonment. (Courtesy of EgoTrip)

Fela and Afrika 70 in performance in Calabar, 1970 (shot by Ginger Baker)

photo credit: Nigerian Curiosity

Dbanj, on the other hand, as “Kokomaster” with his “Koko Mansion” and “Kokolettes” groomed to please him, courts the notoriety without any of the social responsibility. He seems to style himself the Hugh Hefner of Nigeria, surrounded by women who are not “queens” (and eventually wives) as Fela called them but mere sexual playtoys. In “Mr. Endowed,” D’banj takes a song with narcissistic lyrics and a mediocre dance track and blings it up with exotic locations and decent cinematography.  The conceit of Snoop being D’banj’s American uncle is clever, and my favourite part of the video is when D’banj presents the American artist with a Nigerian passport, giving him the name Baba Aja Oluwasnoop.  There is also a certain nationalistic pleasure in seeing D’banj cruise the streets of Los Angeles in a green and white Rolls Royce, bursting into Yoruba while dancing around the mansion under a Nigerian and American flag. D’banj implies that he has done all this for Naija, singing, “At the end of the day when my people see me, I bring them joy, they give me a round of applause.” But the rest of the video takes the clichés of wine, women, and song typical of both Snoop’s and D’banj’s videos to new levels of vulgarity. “Uncle Snoop’s” house has an elaborate marble and gold staircase that is decorated by two “vixens” in bustiers and bikini bottoms who writhe around licking their lips and stroking themselves. Musicians wander about flashing fistfuls of dollars, opening suitcases full of blingy time pieces. Snoop is not at his best. His rap is not mixed well, so that his voice is low and you can’t hear what he is saying. He seems a bit lost behind the enthusiasm of his Nigerian “nephews.” I see no redeeming irony here. Perhaps, the repeated instances of one of the musicians walking in on women in the bathroom, one in a bathtub covered with $100 dollar bills and one seated on the toilet using $100 bills as toilet paper is supposed to be funny. To me, it is just embarrassing—a joke with a punchline gone flat. D’banj usually has good beats, and sometimes clever lyrics, sung in a skillful mix of Yoruba and pidgin.  But this “copy-copy” is not interesting or fresh. The music videos I enjoy the most are those that situate themselves in a recognizable Naija. The pitfalls of musicians like D’banj or P-Square and Darey, who make most of their videos in South Africa, or musicians who shoot endless “girls-in-the-club” videos is that no matter the “quality” of the video, they are not being innovative. The videos I most love are those like Eedris Abdulkareem’s old but powerful “Nigeria Jaga Jaga” which uses actual footage of Nigeria or his satirical “Mr. Lecturer.”   TY Bello’s simple but gorgeous “Greenland” focuses on portraits of Nigerians of all ages; elDee’s “Light Up Naija” uses similar simple portraits to highlight his call to unity. TuFace, DJ Jimmy Jatte, and Mode 9 in “Stylee” set addictive rhymes against a backdrop of Lagos traffic and danfos, a Lagos which Nneka also uses cinema-verite style in her video “Heartbeat.” The video for the late Sazzy’s “Mr. Chairman,” is nothing fancy but captures the fierce passion of the Abuja-based musician so well that it takes my breath away.  Recently I came across a beautifully shot music video “Soyeyya” by a hip hop artist XDOGGinit, who raps in Hausa and features humorous acting by Kannywood stars. What makes a video good is not how much money is spent on it but how creative and “true” it is.  I hope to highlight more of the ones I like this year. [Note: These videos may not be as sophisticated or polished as the “club” videos shot in South Africa etc, but they seem to me to have more SOUL.]  And to those musicians who specialize in getting women to remove their clothes for your videos. You may be young and “endowed” now, and there may be plenty of silly girls eager for the fame. But in a few more years, try that and you’ll get called “Mr. Lecturer.” A word to the wise. Eedris Abdulkareem’s Nigeria Jaga Jaga (not the best quality upload but you can see what I mean) TY Bello’s “Greenland” DJ Jimmy Jatt, feat. Mode 9, 2Face, and Elajoe in “Stylee” Nneka “Heartbeat” Sazzy “Mr. Chairman” XDOGGinit “Soyayya”

Sazzy’s lyrics and an article “In Memory of Sazzy: the music lives on”

I’m sorry I’m only just getting to this, but here is the column I wrote in commemoration of the rising star Sazzy (Osaze Omonbude), who died too soon at age 26. You can read the article at Weekly Trust online, or you can read the hard copy here by clicking on the photo, which will take you to a large copy of the article as published with photos etc. The acknowledgements were left out of the published version, but I’d like to thank Alkassim Abdulkadir, the Coordinator of Guild of Artists and Poets, for gathering and writing the section on GAP, including the comments from Yoye and Lindsey. The photos should also be credited to Korex Calibur of Intersection Media.

While I was writing this, I listened to as many of Sazzy’s songs as possible. I thought the best way to commemorate his life would be to quote his own words, and although a lot of those quotes ended up getting cut out of the final version of the article,  I thought I’d share the transcripts I made of the lyrics of at least three of his songs here.

The first one I’ll post here is the first Sazzy song I ever heard. When our mutual friend Korex posted the link to Sazzy’s music video “Doubt,” on Facebook, I spent about two hours pressing replay. The self-reflexive pidgen, the electronic electric guitar, the voice, and overall production was like no other Nigerian music I’d heard before.

Lyrics to “Doubt”:

Verse 1

Shey na me be dis or be na someone else?

Shey na me dey hear, or someone else is there?

Shey na me dey talk, or someone else dey yarn?

Shey na me dey work for here?

Shey na me dey sing or someone else dey sing?

Shey na me compose, or someone get de beat?

Shey na me dey rise, or someone’s raft discreet (CHECK)

Shey na me get this song….


I don dey doubt myself again, oh X 3

I don dey doubt, I don dey doubt

Verse 2

Shey I get talent, or I be just copycat?

Shey I get the skill, or I scramble like rat?

Make I come to know, or make I drop am flat?

Make I stop to chase this dream.

Shey my voice is good, or is it really bad?

Shey my style is cool, or is it really sad?

I get confidence, or shey na me dey dance?

Shey na me get this song.


I don dey doubt myself again oh X3

I don dey doubt, I don dey doubt

I don dey doubt myself again oh X3

I don dey doubt, I don dey doubt

Verse 3

I don really understand

Wetin dey worry me today oh

I don’t know but what I know is that

Tomorrow go be a better day.

Revised Chorus

I no go doubt myself again oh X3

I no go doubt, I no go doubt X 4

I no go doubt, doubt, doubt,


My next obsession was with his perfect techno breakup song “Anymore,” which you can listen to on his Myspace playlist.

Lyrics to Anymore

Verse 1

Baby, if

You ever know

The things I do

Just for you

You love me right

You treat me good

With all your heart

you say I’m cool

But if instead

you treat me wrong

You treat me bad,

black and blue

The sea is red,

my heart is far

You say it mean and that ain’t true


Is it because I’m foolish in love

Is it because I’m stupid and blind

Tears from my eyes, and it feels so wrong

Baby, I can’t do this anymore

I can’t hold, I can’t hold, I can’t hold


This anymore

I can’t hold, I can’t hold, I can’t hold


This anymore



This anymore



This anymore

Verse 2

I’m back again

To the song

To my self [?]

I’m back to you

Back to my phone

To your name

To your love

Which —[?]

But it’s all a pain

You’ve made your plans

I have no name,

Nothing for you

And I’m so ashamed

We could have been

something more

something more than you…


Is it because I’m foolish in love

Is it because I’m stupid and blind

Tears from my eyes, and it feels so wrong

Baby I can’t do this anymore.

I can’t hold, I can’t hold, I can’t hold


This anymore

I can’t hold, I can’t hold, I can’t hold


This anymore



This anymore X6

Here is his striking final piece, a music video of his hit song “Mr. Chairman,” briefly featuring Supreme Solar. His friend and creative collaborator Korex Calibur directed and edited the music video, which was finished after Sazzy’s death. The end result is very powerful. You can feel the tense energy coiled like a spring in Sazzy. He did not live long, but he seems to have crammed his short life full of music and friendship. In the increasingly rapid editing towards the end of the piece, you can also sense the grief and passion with which Korex edited this final music video.

Mr. C

Aha aha oh

Uh huh, oho (….) [skatting]

Verse 1

I’m the realest, I’m the coolest, I’m the newest, I’m the (best)

I’m the freshest, I’m the cutest of the chain

I’m the (nicest)

Ima  king, Ima prince, Ima man

Ima (nigga)

You should know that I’m a (killa)

Run them over like a (trailer)

Ima note, Ima chord, I’m the keys

Ima (south)

Ima script, I’m a play, I’m a show (Entertainer)

Number 1, number 2, number 3 (….) (ten)

I’m all aboard, do you understand?

CHORUS: If you see me outside, oh

Just call me Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman

Verse 2

I’m a singer, I’m a rapper, producer (extraordinaire)

I’m the bass, I’m the drums, I’m the snare, Ima (shaker)

I’m your sister, I’m your brother, I’m your mother, I’m your (father)

I’m your friend, I’m your (lover),

I’m your wife…

Ima seargent, Mr captain, Ima colonel general

Ima bullet, Ima gun, Ima tank, Ima (sub)

I’m the shit, I’m the piss, I’m your scent, I’m your (body)

I’m all aboard, do you understand?

CHORUS: If you see me outside oh

Just call me Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman,

Verse 3

I will like to suggest now, make you start to dey feel this


I said I would like to suggest now, make you start to dey feel this

Then feel me

CHORUS: If you see me outside oh

Just call me Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman X2

Just call me, Just call me, Mr. C, this star, […]

Finally, after his death, Sazzy’s friends, Uche the African Rockstar, Yoye, Lindsey, 5 Mics, Bugzy, and Snappy put together a tribute piece, “Yesterday, which can be listened to at NotJustOk.com.


Sazzy, always on the beat. (Not Just Ok.com)

Peace, man, ….

Chorus: Seems like yesterday I just got news you went away, but there aint no way you’ll fade away. To me, I remember how we used to be. X2

I used to think you have all the time in the world.

I feel so sorry for your girl

because she was your African Queen.

You made it in this African scene.

Oh, why?

We can’t begin to ask all these questions.

I never had a chance for me to mention

the kind of real person that you are.

No doubt that you were meant to be a star.

We’re gonna keep connecting wherever you are.

And even though you’re gone, you will never be far.

Oh Sazzy, why sazzy? I know your family, because I’m your family.

And the Almighty God has put you down to rest.

Until it is my time, I will keep you in my chest.

No matter what they say, to me, you are the best.

To me, you are the best.


You were a close friend, but now you’re so far away.

My heart bleeds, shedding tears, I kneel down and pray.

I pray the Lord your soul to keep

At heavens gate, I pray God gives you the key

We ask for his blessing, but what’s better than this?

Leaving this cruel world full of envy and greed

I shed a tear on my rhyme book

You know me Stay Positive C, the cup is half full

You always knew the answers

And if you were here

I would have asked you

Because in this wrong man, I see no good

Sazzy, you were so good.

Producer Extraordinaire

Mr. C, I salute

Never overrated, maybe underpaid

You were a trend-setter, man, you paved the way

Now much has changed, still trying to take your place,

But you were real to Death…..


Ok, it was like a joke when Gang hit me with the news

For DJ Atta said it too, and it hit me like the blues.

— tears over the phone, hearing my brother cry

Give me some broken bones

You invited me to your house, I couldn’t find my way there

Now I’m at your house, and damn you aint here

My conscious killing me. I should have been here more often.

Now the Ray Bans couldn’t stop the chairs from dropping

You kept fighting this sickness. I know you’re resting now

No more hospitals and drugs, just angels in gowns.

This boss ain’t enough to express how I feel

Sazzy, Mr. Chairman, God bless ….


Yeah, everybody put your lighters on

As we say farewell to an icon

Damn, but your music still lives on

We feel your presence in our hearts

Even though you’re gone

Yeah, I wish I never had to write this verse

I wish I never had to say “Sazzy, rest in peace”

Cuz you were loved by the streets

Forever in our hearts, Sazzy,

Rest in Peace


Well, well, …..

Whhhhy? Why?

Sazzy, (boom) Everybody feel your pain

But one day, we …

But one day, we wan make Zion…


Yo, Sazzy, we’re gonna miss you

I got all a your friends to come and talk to you

Because even though you’re gone, they’re gonna be talkin to you

Representing you

You’re the gospel, put it down.

Lindsey’s singing on the hook

And 5 Mics is doing it too.

Yo, Yoye, I know you’re feeling it, dog

Yo Bugzy, what’s up man, yo Snappy

Everybody’s in the crew man, we’re all gonna miss you,

We’re all gonna miss you, yeah

Because I’m the African Rockstar,

It’s because of you

And everytime I’m doing, we doing it for you

We’re never gonna forget you

Everybody awaits you.


Everything, It seems like yesterday


It all seems like yesterday, ya’ll

I can’t say no more, man,

Just keep resting, dog,

You still live in our hearts

Yo, peace.

Music is who he was: Rest in peace, Sazzy


Sazzy (c) Intersection


I’m not sure where I first heard Abuja based producer Sazzy’s (Osaze Omonbude) music. I imagine it was when Korex of Intersection Media posted a link on Facebook to his music video “Doubt,” an addictive angst-filled track, with the cry of “I no go doubt myself again, oh” in the chorus. His techno track “Anymore” is equally angst-filled and danceable. I was hooked.

On his Facebook page, he described his sounds as

‘’indie-afro-hop done by aliens trying to be human’’. He also has no limitations on genres. “If it sounds good, I’ll do it”. […] “I just want everybody to grow with me day by day as I take over the world”.

So, when not long after, Sazzy sent me a friend request on facebook, maybe because I had been posting the video all over my wall, I responded:

July 17 at 2:31am
thanks for the friend invite. i’ve had your song “doubt” on a constant replay loop for the last 2 hours. you’ve got mad talent. take care.

He responded with gracious words (and a little advertisement):

Sazzy Omonbude July 17 at 2:41am Report
Thanks for accepting. Wow! thanks a lot, really great to hear that. Really appreciated.
I got a new international dance single. Will love to give you the link, so here it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH_yYH-JmhoAnd pls dont be a stranger. 


The track he sent was perhaps not quite as contemplative as the others, but it was definitely danceable.

So this past Saturday morning when I signed into facebook and started seeing status updates from Abuja-based friends, saying “Sazzy, rest in peace,” it shook me. It was shattering news. I didn’t know him. We exchanged those messages and may have exchanged a couple of lines of Facebook chat, I can’t remember now. But I had gone to his page only a few days before to wish him a cheery “Happy Birthday.” I had listened to his tracks again. I hadn’t known him in person but I had known his friends, I had known his music. What does one do, what does one feel, when a facebook friend dies, someone at this level of acquaintance, new to history, whom you may have never met but whose updates you regularly see and who may have also seen your updates?

On his myspace page, he looked forward to the future:

”I really do believe with GOD, Hard work, Patience and Persistence you can achieve anything in life and I do hope all my aspirations and dreams shall come to pass. This is just the beginning for me, loads more is yet to come, music is about to change”.

And as a young talent gone too soon, his death is reminiscent of the death of rising star Dagrin only half a year ago. Now, Sazzy’s last update on Facebook seems a sad foreshadowing:

Sazzy Omonbude Hey thanx for all d birthday wishes….bin a bit ill bt thanx all d same

He had just turned 26. He had sickle cell. And he made mad good music.


Sazzy (c) Intersection


Yet, his “beginning” has become his legacy. The internet is chock full of his traces. He left behind a dance track list on his myspace page and reverbnation page (he’s currently listed as #5 on the Abuja charts), a youtube page with two videos, a twitter page full of banter, a facebook fan page that is slowly filling up with tributes, and one mix album “The Take Over,” for sale online, with some of the most promising new Nigerian artists, including Sazzy’s “Mr Chairman.”

A whole flurry of other blogs and new have written obituaries and tributes to him.  Olamilde Entertainment gives a short biography taken from his myspace page:

Sazzy born Osaze Omonbude in Nigeria, Oct. 15 1984; he had a good client and fan base in his country. His intention was to his wings internationally. As a child, he grew up listening to mostly international acts like The fugees, Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Nas, Madonna, Shade, Fela and loads more. Since then he has always had a dream to sing and produce internationally, “let everybody here what I have to say’’. With a strong love for Good Music in any genre and a free mind in creativity, Sazzy was the type of act music needed. ”I really do believe with GOD, Hard work, Patience and Persistence you can achieve anything in life and I do hope all my aspirations and dreams shall come to pass. This is just the beginning for me, loads more is yet to come, music is about to change”.

Among the other sites to cover his untimely passing are modernghana.com,nigerianfilms.com, Linda Ikeji’s blogCampus HeatNigerian Entertainment Today, Abujacity.comLast Plane to Lagos, Bella Naija, and 360 Nobs. Not Just Ok, posted a tribute song by his Sazzy’s friends Uche the African Rockstar, Yoye, Lindsey, 5 Mics, Bugzy, Snappy. [UPDATE 5 November 2010: You can read the article about Sazzy I published in last week’s Weekly Trust here]

[Update 30 October 2010. Yesterday, Sazzy’s  friend Korex Calibur, whom he worked with on music videos, posted Sazzy’s final music video, a brilliant piece, which makes you realize just how much we are going to miss him….

On his myspace page, Sazzy writes,

”Every time I write or produce a song, I think outside the box and do not get caught up in music of the day or time. I make music straight from the heart. Music is who you are, I can’t be somebody else.”

And if music is who Sazzy was, he’s left a large part of himself behind in this world to comfort those who loved him.

Respect, Mr. Chairman. We will miss you!