The Nigerian Boy Band Curse

Plantashun boiz - elsieisy blog

by Wayne Samuel

‘Village People’. Nigerians are given to the idea that there exists a group of old wizards and witches in their hometowns who are singlehandedly responsible for whatever woes they may encounter in the city. While this is of course, mostly ridiculous, it may be a valid explanation for why there exists in the Nigerian music scene, what can only be described as a ‘boy band curse’.

Allow me to immediately dispel that theory, because the boy band curse arguably originated in Great Britain. And unless Nigerian covens have international branches, the British don’t have ‘Village People’. The world first witnessed the boy band curse with the legendary group, The Beatles. These were a bunch of geniuses who achieved widespread success long before ‘going viral’ became a thing. Yet they broke up, and it wasn’t pretty either. Fast forward a few years and America and Britain became the hot-spot of such boy bands. NSYNC,  Westlife, Backstreet Boys and most recently The Wanted and One Direction. Do you know what all these bands have in common?  They, all either go on an indefinite hiatus, or break up.

You could say that white folk aren’t like us. They have no sense of community. We’re a more felial group, our Boy Bands don’t break up. Right?


It was just two decades ago the Plantashun Boiz stepped on the scene. 2Face had the unique instrument, Faze had the high notes and BlackFace had the lyrics. It was a match made in heaven. But it ended up in music hell. 2Face broke out to greener pastures and Faze didn’t take it well at all. His breakout single Faze alone sported lyrics akin to those of a heartbreak song . This particular instance devolved into an all-out feud. Next came Style Plus, these guys were adamant that no matter what they ‘still dey oh’ and while their run was thoroughly impressive. After the hits stopped coming, they pretty much disappeared.

OK fine you say, but all these guys were just friends. Blood is thicker than water surely. Well, not quite. Peter and Paul of PSquare who now go by the monickers Mr. P and Rude Boy were twins, TWINS!  As in shared the same womb! If anyone should’ve transcended the curse, it’s them.  But that isn’t the case, instead we’re trying to analyze which of the duo are better off post-break up based on who has the most YouTube views: the singer or the dancer.

Who can forget K-Ci and JoJo, or all the many testosterone fuelled labels that came to an end due to beta males becoming alpha males and challenging the leader (ahem-EME, ahem-Mo Hits).

So what causes this? Many would be quick to point out ambition. As one spoken word poetry puts it on his mixtape  ambition covers one’s heart with graffiti. And under all the claims of maltreatment and ill-intent is the belief that one will be better off on their own.

Just the same way we are entirely in control of our faith and no Village People can determine our outcome, there are no outside forces that truly ever break up a boy band. In the end it is usually the refusal to be humble, and sit down, knowing that just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Feature Image source – MyStreetzmag

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