If there was any Nigerian artiste who held so much promise but failed to fully advance and push the frontiers of his potentials, that artiste must be Jesse Jagz Abaga. I did compare his genius in my previous piece on Rymzo and after I finished writing that essay, I got inspired to talk about Jesse Jagz
Even at the risk of losing fame day by day, Jesse Jagz needs no introduction. This is not because of his parental affinity with M.I. Abaga, but strictly because of his antecedents and past achievements in the industry.
Jesse Jagz was a genius. I used “was” because I doubt if Jesse is still in his elements. I doubt if Jesse is still that crazy fingers I know. Jesse was a light, a breath of fresh air in the Nigerian music industry alongside his brother and friend, M.I and Ice Prince; the trio whose advent set the rap culture and Nigerian music industry on a different pedestal. Jesse, as a producer, was instrumental in creating M.I.’s classic debut album Talk About It. The very next year saw to his coming with his own album and then Ice Prince’s Everyone Loves Ice with “Oleku” being the most outstanding track on the album, to his credit. The success of “Oleku” alone could earn its producer a lifeline of super endorsements and awards had Nigerian Music Industry been the way it was now.
So what happened to Jagz? Did I hear somebody say “life happened?” No! Life didn’t happen. Bad decisions did.
Now, I do not want to talk about this like an insider who was there when things went south. I stand to be corrected in any assertion I’d make forthwith, like an outsider peeping through the window of suspicion into the room where the action is taking place.
Jesse Jagz announced his exit from Chocolate City at the heels of M.I.’s sophomore album, a premature exit, if I must say, but no less mishandled by the management of Chocolate City. He only contributed three productions to Brymo’s Son of a Carpenter album with “Good Morning” being the most popular offering he gave the company. Thenceforth, he did his thing alone, under the Jagz Nation label with which he did the Jagz Nation Volumes 1 & 2. The volume 1 “entered”, like the street guys would say but the volume 2 didn’t. Both volumes were without the usual collaborative effort that Choc Boiz were known for and as such didn’t enjoy the much needed hype. Jagz Nation Volume 2 (The Royal Niger Company) was no less a watery version of the genius of Jesse and that was the beginning of his downward spiral into oblivion as most people began to insinuate that he is nothing without his older team. Jagz couldn’t fund his genius?
So he did go back to his team, the expanded team with fresher guys and newer structures that made Jesse look like a square peg in a round hole. He didn’t fit in. Nevertheless, he released the Odysseus album with Choc Boiz Nation and the only track we heard was “Violation” with Burna Boy. CBN may not have pushed the album with befitting enthusiasm but it is also obvious that Jesse has lost it. His spirit is down; the arrogance that comes with being a genius blinded him so much so that he hasn’t found suitable ways to blend his variation of Jamaican patois to local audience, his immediate market.
Vector, during the exchange of diss shots, made weighty allegations cum revelations against M.I. whom he accused of being behind Jesse’s ordeal. M.I. hasn’t responded and has even pledged not to respond, but even against the run of being true, would Jesse Jagz choose to remain down because someone “rapped him away from the light?”
Geniuses don’t die, in strong faith and allegiance to Nigerian music industry, I look forward to the resurrection of Jesse Jagz, because I feel he is yet to utilize his talents. I pray.
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike