User Review( votes)
Jovi, also known by his producer pseudonym, Le Monstre is by any standard one of the most talented rappers in Cameroon. He found his place in the spotlight some 7 years ago when he dropped his nationwide acclaimed Don 4 Kwat. It will be right in place for me if I said he was the only man the showbiz lights were beaming on at that time.
I remember how we used to dance and feel his vibration in Berlyse, Buea! Berlyse was an ideal spot for the dope boys and high life girls. We made sure to know his lyrics to the tips of our fingers! No one wanted to be left out while others were singing his songs note-for-note.
That’s exactly how important and influential Jovi was even before the emergence of Stanley Enow, Locko, Daphne, Mr Leo, Blanche Bailly and so many other musicians who have ascended more steps up the ladder of fame than Jovi. The question one ought to be asking at this point is: What really hampered Jovi’s growth?
As customary of his fans, they will continually phrase their arguments in the following lines: “Jovi is the best”, “Jovi is King”, “Jovi is the most talented”. Just like I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post; Jovi is one of the most talented rappers in Cameroon! In contradiction, what’s a talent with little or nothing to show for it?
To answer the question about Jovi’s growth being hampered, we have to look at the following points:
Musical Questions: Just the three basic economics questions any musician must answer before they start producing music:
- What to produce (The type of music to be produced)
- How to Produce
- For Whom to Produce (Fans)
- How to get the finished products to the fans (Marketing and promotion)
1. What to produce
Jovi (Le Monstre) is a rapper, songwriter, record executive, producer, sound engineer, and an entrepreneur. He is credited by many as the initiator of Mboko Rap. He and many others who came after him brought about an innovation in Cameroon’s music content that had been dominated by Bikutsi, Makossa and imported music from other African countries like DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. This is to say he knows his game when it comes to writing his songs or delivering it. Let’s consider this question answered.
2. How to Produce
I am talking here about production in its entirety – bringing up ideas, song composition, selecting songs, coaching the artists, managing recording sessions, audio mixing, etc. We have lots of good music out there sung and produced by Jovi. He wrote nearly, if not all of the lyrics, he produced the beats, did the mastering among other things. This implies, he has satisfied our question of how to produce. This makes him a dynamic and multi-faceted individual.
3. For whom to produce
“To whom much is given, much is expected”. With the great and magnanimous talent Jovi is blessed with, we expected his fan base to have a far-reaching effect! We expected to be competing on a continental level with the likes of Nasty C, Sarkodie, Casper, AKA, and Khaligraph Jones. Obviously, Jovi didn’t answer our for whom to produce question! I will explain this point in details below under ‘fans’.
4. Promo and Marketing Plans
In many instances, production is said to be complete when the products get to the final consumers. Irrespective of the quality of music, the depth of the lyrics, the measure of talent and human resources invested in; if it’s not properly marketed or promoted—it will end up as just another family song. This is the case with most, if not all of Jovi’s songs—so many skills and works put in his songs—but very little investment in promotion.
These days, When he’s about to release a song, he takes to Twitter and launches a ranting promo campaign; dissing and calling the names of other artists in order to make a buzz which he often ends up shooting himself in the leg. Each time he takes to Twitter to rain abuses on other artists, he loses a potential fan. Therefore, his promo and marketing plans contribute a great deal to his lack of exposure!
Fans are the consumers of the final musical product! Good music that falls in the hands of the wrong fans tastes like sour soup. Jovi’s choice of words in his lyrics appeal more to ‘banga smokers’, ‘nanga mbokos’ and prostitutes. These set of people enjoy his music while they are smoking their joints, clubbing and sleeping on the streets, but hardly do they ever visit iTunes, Spotify, Youtube and other streaming platforms to increase his sales and views.
Most parents who are also show organizers, won’t feel comfortable to find their kids listening to lyrics which has words like: ‘I d lobe’, ‘ma shithole d shake like pongor‘, ‘take girl sex ei leave ei‘, ‘if the pussy is too tight, use the other hole’….etc. Jovi’s choice of words is also a limiting factor in the expansion of his fanbase. We all know how negatively most Cameroonians look at rap music, talkless of when the songs actually portray negativity.
A good fan will share his/her icon’s work on social media platforms, but most of Jovi’s fans do not even know how to make proper use of these platforms. The ones who are knowledgeable and active on social media offer little or no help in promoting the brand ‘Jovi’ positively! They always fail to call their icon to order whenever he’s misbehaving and shooting himself in the leg on Twitter. They rather jump on his senseless band wagon and raining down abuses on other artists. A true fan owes his/her icon the truth, I hope Jovi’s fans will learn to call him to order whenever he goes wrong.
The advantages for a musician to collaborate with other musicians can neither be undermined nor overemphasized. When Artists collaborate, they tap into new fanbases and expand their reach. Collaborating with other musicians also comes with a package of awesome creative results. There’s strength in numbers! Some of the advantages of collaboration are listed below:
- tap into new fan bases.
- Expansion of networks.
- Doubling of Promotion efforts.
- An increment in overall press buzz.
Jovi is known to work solely with members of his record label! He’s not enjoying the advantages of collaborating with musicians out of his label. This is another great limitation and reason why his scope of influence remain stagnant.
Jovi may Not be in any cult:
A school of thought holds it that, most successful musicians get famous and rich not because of the weight of their talents, but by the price tag the devil has on their souls. Jovi has often said that he will not drink blood because of fame and money. Could this equally account for his lack of super exposure, money and fame?
Food for thoughts, use the comment section below to drop your thoughts on this!
Thanks for reading and if you find this post interesting, kindly share with friends and family.
Davis E Tabot for Iyunade blog.