As a matter of fact, not every hip hop head or music lover in Africa has listened to the latest project released by Jesse Jagz. So don’t be swayed the title of this article, the album actually looks like the body of work it carries.
That recent project is his album which dropped in September 2017 titled “Odysseus”. Odysseus was released on Friday, September 8th, 2017. But it took me a month and some weeks after the release to know that the album is already out. After listening to the project, I realized that this rapper who I respect and admire so much has been bewitched. And is on the verge of losing that honor that I have bestowed upon him.
Odysseus was premiered on HipHopHead strictly because Jesse Jagz is a rap artiste. Anyone who has heard the full album wouldn’t argue but rather agree with me that Odysseus isn’t a hip-hop album. Odysseus is a Reggae album. If Jagz isn’t singing in a reggae tone, then he is rapping in Patois. And when he isn’t rapping on a track in the album, he is singing like a rasta-man.
I searched stores and shops to see if I could buy the album but ironically, most distributors weren’t aware that Jesse Jagz dropped an album. The only info we got from Jesse jagz’ twitter handle, was that the album is out and already on digital stores.
Upon getting the album, I had to force myself to listen to it. Often times, I became lost and got carried away, only for me to pinch myself and say “Is this Really Jesse Jagz”. I never expected this for an album delayed for more than a year, promising so many positive expectations.
It dropped half baked with merely ten tracks for his starving fans to consume. Perhaps, this wouldn’t be the case if he was still in Chocolate City. The label has connections with a lot of marketers and distributors in the popular Alaba International market.
An example is AHBU marketers marketed Chocolate city’s Jag of All Tradez and MI2 albums since 2010. Now, Jesse Jagz is running his business like an independent artiste, he left to have more control over his music and now he has seen it all.
In 2012, Jesse Jagz left Chocolate City unexpectedly and unceremoniously. He left the label in a fabricated manner as the media painted the whole scenario like a sending off party for Jesse jagz, with his Jagz Nation led music label being affiliated with Chocolate City.
After reading the handwriting on the wall, I discovered that Jesse jagz wanted more control over his music. Because it seemed like Chocolate City was slowing down his progress at that point in time. If Jagz Nation is affiliated to Chocolate City as they claim, then why is Chocolate City’s logo not on the Odysseus album cover art.
All might not be well with Jesse jagz. It seems he is stagnant in troubled waters. He made a return to Chocolate City in 2015; with the company celebrating a 10 year anniversary of their existence as a record label in Nigeria by merging with the MI Abaga led loopy records.
Everyone thought that all was well with the crew after they dropped a compilation album “The Indestructible Choc Boy Nation”. But it took Jesse Jagz a year to release his first song after returning to Chocolate City (Jaga Love Ft Ice Prince 2016). Under the influence of Chocolate City, Jaga love hit the airwaves and brought an expensive video directed by Clarence Peters.
A failed attempt
Back to the subject matter, I expected more from this album. This album was ready even before the release date. And I know that it wasn’t released comfortably due to financial constraints. Early in 2016, Jesse jagz tweeted about the album. He mentioned Wizkid, Sound Sultan, MI Abaga, Ice Prince, Tubaba, Cynthia Morgan, Patoranking and Burna Boy as artists to be featured in the Odysseus album but where are they now?.
We can only see Cynthia Morgan, Melon of R2Bees, Hot Ice, Burna Boy and Styl Plus as featured artists on the Odysseus album. Then where are the others he claimed are already featured on the project?. We couldn’t find them anywhere close to the album.
Jesse Jagz isn’t a mainstream artiste anymore. And that’s why a majority of his fans come from those from the hip hop community. Jesse knows this and that is why is he dishing out reggae songs to these fans. But is he trying to convert them from hip-hoppers to reggae fans?.
Prior to this, he previously released “Jaga Love, Boom, Best In You”. And these songs have a feel of reggae/dance-hall in it. These fans have been loyal to him, I know because I am one of them. And after waiting for this project, he pays us back by releasing a half-baked project with a meager 10 tracks.
I know Jargo to be an intelligent rapper who is always busy. But to be honest with y’all, I didn’t expect this at all. Even his own brother MI Abaga and his best friend Ice Prince aren’t on this album. Perhaps a song with the both of them would have boosted the popularity and acceptance of the album.
Maybe poor planning?
Towards the end of the year 2016, I called his manager. I discovered he had changed his manager, Mr. Alahirah Dan donald for a lady (who’s probably gone too). I had a telephone conversion with the lady. I greeted her and she responded well. But maybe she was expecting me to say that I wanted to feature Jesse in song or expecting me to bring the proposal of booking Jesse for a show.
But she wasn’t expecting the things I asked her. I inquired to know why the album hadn’t been released at a time when the Headies was getting close. Immediately, her countenance changed and she became rude. She replied to me
“Is that all, he is busy”
She terminated the call. I couldn’t help but become sad and a little bit depressed because it was an insult to me. She told me that Jesse is busy; it raised expectations and hopes for the uniqueness of the album.
Dropping a highly anticipated album like an upcoming artiste isn’t good enough. Especially for a B-list artiste like Jesse Jagz. It isn’t because Jesse lacks skill, it could be due to poor management and planning.
However, there are some tracks brought smiles to the faces of some of his fans. Thanks to the featured artists on the project who saved the day. Switching up at this point of your career to a genre different from what we know of you isn’t good for you, Jag. Wake up from your slumber before you die in your sleep.
Do you think Jesse jagz’s Odysseus album is a failure or a success?. Feel free to let us hear your views about this article in the comment section.