Jesse Jagz. That’s the name of the Nigerian Hip hop god.
If you ask the myriad of Nigerian Hip-hop heads, Jesse Jagz is the greatest thing has that ever happened to rap music in this country. Based on artistry alone, he is rated above M.I Abaga, Phyno, Olamide and all the rest of the rap cast that possess followership.
That’s what the Hip-hop heads tell you. And they aren’t far off from the truth. In terms of artistry and music, Jagga is one of the most gifted. A producer, singer, writer and everything in-between, the man is the complete music package.
But somehow, by some twisted work of fate, he has been unable to put all of that to commercial use, and trump all the others in terms of penetration and sales. Jesse Jagz is appreciated by an older class of young people who followed him from his days as a Chocolate City golden boy, and together with M.I Abaga, led the industry via Hip hop.
That set of fans continue to adore him, but the competition is stiff. There’s a lot more material now, and fans are swamped with the latest coming in from all over the country. Add that to the fact that era of stars are in decline, then you would understand why it’s hard for him to get higher levels of acceptance.
But in terms of projects, he is not found wanting. Jesse Jagz has three albums to his name –“Jag Of All Trades”(2010),“Jagz Nation, Vol 1. Thy Nation Come”(2013), “Jagz Nation Vol. 2: Royal Niger Company”(2014).
What has truly affected Jesse Jagz is the instability of the structures around him. A man with that profound level of talent requires everything around him to be taken care of, while he forges music worthy of legends. Jesse Jagz has seldom experienced that. While at Chocolate City, his unhappiness in the label, based on how his business is being handle, is well documented. He split with the group in 2013, but rejoined in 2015 and split again in 2016.
That has thrown his release process off the mark. As a creative and student of the art, when the business structures around you fail, then there’s a huge demand on your shoulders to plough through the business world and build it back yourself. Jesse Jagz is building his imprint, Jagz Nation again, for the second time, and that has limited him.
At the first appearance of his imprint, Jagz Nation, everything worked out right. He had a management that ran the business, and he built a commune which catered to numerous talented people. But for some reason, that didn’t last. And that was because his business development team failed at converting the content into money.
This is the second coming of Jagz Nation as a business. And all of his fans are hoping that he gets it right this time. Because, if he succeeds, we all succeed. We get new Jesse Jagz music, he makes money, and sets himself up to continue creating the art. If he doesn’t, it’s our loss. We all lose from an absent Jesse Jagz.
Although, in that time, he has recorded enough content for two albums and 4 mixtapes. He also has a joint album with Vector planned for release.
“They don’t know what’s coming, we have something big planned.”Jesse Jagz told me at the Lagos Theatre Festival. And of course, I believed him. He is a gifted creator, who lives, breathes, sleeps, walks, eats and fucks the art. Music is in his soul.
He has a new album coming soon. It’s titled “Odysseus”, and according to inside sources, it will be released before the end of the second quarter of 2017.
But he needs to get the business right and set up the structure to support all of the immense talent that resides deep in his heart.