Jesse Jagz says Chocolate City didn’t fund the production of his debut album ‘Jag Of All Tradez’.
The rapper had signed a record deal with Chocolate City in 2010 and released his debut album that same year.
He left Chocolate City in 2013 and launched his independent label Jagz Nation.
Jagz later returned to Chocolate City in 2015 but left again prior to releasing his fourth studio album ‘Odysseus’ in 2017.
The rapper spoke of his exit from the label in a podcast episode with the music journalist Joey Akan.
Jagz said he wasn’t paid royalties for his debut album which he said is still his only project under Chocolate City.
He also said the label didn’t fund the 18-track album’s production, leaving him to pay with his performance profits.
“Chocolate City did not make us. We made Chocolate City. They didn’t bring any funding and I’d give you facts. What’s a record deal? What are the three major functions of a record label when an artiste is signed?” Jagz asked.
“A label is to fund the music. The only album I have with them is ‘Jag of All Tradez’. All my sessions, features, and four years I put into making the album, One Naira wasn’t paid for. Not one studio session was paid for.
“Artiste are some of the stupidest. Because you can make music, you think you’re superman. They bring contracts and you throw all of that away for fame. They got us, man. We had no lawyer. Audu Maikori was our lawyer.
“The head of the label was the lawyer who negotiated our contracts. We were just boys, coming out of Baptist High in Jos. We wanted to go to Lagos. We weren’t paid anything. I wasn’t paid for Oleku. One Naira.”
Jagz said his ex-label is still in possession of his debut album, arguing that they’re yet to recoup their investment.
“Even Ice Prince. He might shoot me for this. The only money he [was paid] is off his performances. No royalties. This was 2009, 2008. You see the signs but something still tells you to be loyal,” the rapper added.
“The album did succeed. What the label was supposed to do, 18 songs, not one production was paid for. The only money I made was from performances. At that age in Lagos, there was money, you’re doing 20 shows a week.
“The label still had a cut from the performances. So you make money because you’re a celebrity, not an artiste. You have to keep pushing that popularity. And it’s happening to the biggest of your artistes right now.
“I left Chocolate City. Until today, I’m the most feared. But they should keep the album. As a record label, if you have an album like ‘Jag of All Tradez’ and haven’t been able to recoup your investment, you’re lazy.
“You’re not ready for what I’m about to do. I don’t have time just yet. The name Jagz is bigger than Chocolate City. What Choc Boys did for Chocolate City, they can never repay us for and this is to be fair.”
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