P-Square & Plantashun Boiz – Death Of Naija’s Iconic R&B Pop Music Groups
Going by the long list of classic songs released back in the days by all the music groups in Nigeria and the unbelievable stage performances they treated their audience to at various concerts, the fact that that kind of era is arguably dead and gone is a bitter pill to swallow. With P-Square, the quintessential and longest-serving music group abruptly parting ways, how does one explain to any new music audience from generation z who may ask the question “what is the fuss about music groups? The only way to explain to them about all the beautiful timeless melodies churned out by groups like Styl-Plus, Plantashun Boiz, Safari, Trybesmen, Def ‘0’ Clan, and Remedies, is to chronologically talk about those songs released and the impact of those artistes one by one. Although this story will make for good reading, it might also leave a sour taste in the mouth knowing fully well that some of those groups broke up with cloud hanging over their heads. But despite that, they delivered some of the most memorable moments in the history of the Nigerian music industry.
Words by Sesan Adeniji
The idea of talking about music groups may be a dinosaur to some of the new music aficionados but it was one of the most productive music eras. One of those lovely memories still close to one’s hearts will come from the group Plantashun Boiz. Far back as 1994, Innocent Idibia (2Baba) and Ahmedu Augustine (Blackface) joined forces to start a duo music group and by 1996, Chibuzor Oji (Faze) joined them to form the trio of the Plantashun Boiz – one of the most formidable music groups in the history of the Nigerian R&B pop music era. Before Plantashun Boiz released their debut album, 2Baba and Blackface were instrumental in the success story of the artist Tony Tetuila’s 1999 debut single “My Kind Of Woman” by featuring and co-writing the song. Although Plantashun Boiz’s debut single “Knock Me Off” was produced in 1998, it wasn’t until late 1999 that it gained momentum. By the time their sophomore “Don’t You Know” gained traction prior to their debut album “Body & Soul“(which had other songs like “You & I”, “Cousin’s Cousin” and “Ememma“) released on October 1st, 2000, the group Plantashun Boiz became urban culture role models – the most influential post-millennial R&B pop musicians.
The group went on to release a sophomore album titled “Sold Out“, and a third titled “Plan B” in 2007 before they bid a final farewell. The problem with Plantashun Boiz started immediately after being featured in Tony Tetuila’s song titled “Omode Meta”. With Eedris Abdulkareem of the music group Remedies dissatisfied with the success that single brought to their ex group member Tony’s career, alluding to the fact that the song was about their messy breakup, he went ahead to release a diss-song titled “Wackawikee MCs‘. He took a swipe at Plantashun Boiz but most importantly one of the members named Blackface with one of the lines in the lyrics saying “No 2face, no Plantashun Boiz”.
Blackface’s attempt to reply to the diss song was rejected by both their producer Nelson Brown and the other members of the group. He eventually went ahead to release that diss track without the group’s consent. That was the beginning of the breakup for Plantashun Boiz. With that issue in mind, each member began to welcome the idea of going solo. According to Nelson Brown, their music producer, and record label executive, “I never wanted them to split because when we started, we had plans. We had dreams, goals to go to places. Hence, it was so unfortunate that they had to go their separate ways. First and foremost, 2Baba felt the group was dragging him behind. Secondly, as a group, they said they were not making enough money”. The group Plantashun Boiz broke up and they went on to achieve solo glory. But still, the issues within them lingers.
P-Square is the most successful Nigerian music group. They have the longest list of hit songs and albums released. It’s still sad to accept the fact that they have parted ways – more disturbing because they did in the messiest of circumstances. That said, I think we might never have any prospective future music groups that will break all the outstanding music industry records they attained. The duo of Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye members of the now-defunct music group P-Square, collectively accomplish wonders in the music industry.
With their second album titled “Get Squared (“Story”, “Bizzy Body”, Say Your Love”, “Oga Police”, “Get Squared“, “Omoge Mi”)”, released in 2005, that same year, they were the first artists in the Nigerian afro-pop music era to publicly announce selling over one million copies at a press conference where T-Joe Entertainment – the distributing company that marketed the album presented to them a Nissan Car, as well, an award plaque symbolizing the numbers sold.
In 2006, the remix of the “Get Squared” album released that year also sold over one million copies. In 2007, they released “Game Over” – their most successful commercial album with over eight million copies sold. Before the news of their breakup surfaced in 2016, they had released one more album titled “Danger” in 2010. P-Square left memorable footprints on the sands of time.
This story has a part 2 to it titled “Styl-Plus, Remedies, and Trybesmen – Death Of The Revered Hip-hop and R&B music groups”. But while you wait to read, which are your most favorite songs by P-Square and Plantashun Boiz?