OJB Jezreel has been linked with kick-starting the musical careers of many of the ‘African greats’ we know today. These are some of them.
To most teenagers listening to music today, it would be hard to remember the impact OJB had in the late 90’s and early 00’s. As the world of music mourns his tragic passing, we take a look at the 5 artistes he helped jump start their careers.
1) 2face Idibia
2Face was already a known star as a member of the 90’s/00’s R and B group The Plantashun Boyz. 2Face’s star power in the group was so great that everyone knew it was a matter of time before he went solo. In 2004, 2face struck out and went solo.
He sought the production prowess of OJB Jezreel who was the hottest music producer in the country at the time for his highly anticipated debut album. For months they slaved on songs that would end up on 2Face’s instant classic solo debut album Face 2 Face. The album catapulted 2Face into superstardom. In 2007, 2Face hooked up with OJB Jezreel again. The huge success of his sophomore Grass 2 Grace proved that you never change a winning formula. 2Face’s first two albums are widely regarded as his best LPs in his rich discography.
2) Rugged Man
Rugged Man had been lurking in the underground scene for years. Tired of the mainstream rap music he heard on radio courtesy of Eedris Abdulkareem and Rasqie he went to OJB’s Silver Point Studios to record the classic ‘Ehen’ diss track featuring Nomoreloss. The song spread like wild fire and galvanized the underground rap community.
Rugged Man wasn’t through with the diss tracks. ‘Peace or War’ and ‘Big Bros’ completed his diss trilogy aimed at wack rappers, their fans and record labels that pushed them.
Thanks to OJB’s production, Rugged Man became the new champion of rap music in Nigeria. He released his debut album 2 years after ‘Ehen’- 2004. Thy Album Come featured production from OJB and other Silver Point associate producers. Thy Album Come is perceived as one of the most influential rap LPs in Nigerian rap history.
Most people think Dapo Oyebanjo’s music career started when he met JJC Skillz in London. D’Banj’s entrance into the music game goes a bit farther than that. In 2002, D’Banj recorded his first song ‘Kiss Me Again’ featuring Rugged Man. The song was produced by Jigga (OJB’s alias).
The song wasn’t a hit but it got a few spins on local radio. Buoyed by the little positive response the song got, D’Banj moved to the UK to pursue his dreams. He came back 2 years later with an unknown producer who would take over from OJB Jezreel. His name is Don Jazzy.
By 2008, D’Banj who started his career with OJB Jezreel had become a superstar. An unknown act named Durella whose style was similar to D’Banj’s knocked on OJB’s door in search of a hit.
OJB Jezreel blessed him with ‘Wiskolo Wiska’ a hard hitting club track. The song became so popular that people thought it was D’Banj who sang the song. Thanks to OJB’s production Durella had made a name for himself. Durella’s career has had more downs than up but a hit like ‘Wiskolo Wiska’ is a sparkling gem in his scattered discography.
If a biopic of Wizkid’s music life comes out, the flick would most likely start with him as a young thin boy watching stars troop in and out of OJB’s famed Silver Point studios.
Years before Wizkid scored his first hit with DJ Klem in the Knight House studio; he was a studio rat in OJB’s studio.
Wizkid who was barely in his teens was itching to record songs with OJB as his producer. Most times OJB told him to wait and watch. Wizkid’s recalls that while he was sitting in the studio waiting for his turn he learnt a lot of valuable lessons watching the likes of 2Face and Rugged Man record. It is most likely that Wizkid never released any of his OJB produced songs but the experience he gained chilling in the studio must have helped him become the star boy he is today.