Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Thank You"

Earlier on this week, I was driving home from what constitutes a “long day” in my new line of work. I had been to the gym, choreography rehearsal, done an interview with a magazine and spent hours in the studio working on the final mixes for my new album. Suffice it to say that I was pooped, so the drive back home through the intense Lagos traffic was tough to stomach.

I’d also made the mistake of not bringing along any cd’s to listen to, so I was stuck flipping the radio from station to station, trying to find something to keep my mind off of the road, while honking my horn and cursing underneath my breath. Lagos drivers probably know what I mean. Let’s just say I wasn’t in the best of moods.
Anyway, while I was there, something… or someone caught my eye. There was this little boy running alongside the danfo bus in front of me, trying to sell oranges. He went through the whole process: first balancing the tray of oranges on his head while giving his sales pitch, trying to court customers. Then one of the bus riders showed enough interest for him to set his tray down and run back with a bag of oranges. The customer liked the bag but asked the boy to go back and peel them. So off he ran, back to his tray, peeling the oranges at lightening speed and cutting each one at the right angle; all while traffic inched along. When he finished he dashed right back to the bus and completed his sale. Total value of goods sold? 200 Naira, maybe (about $1.25 USD).

This is an everyday occurrence on the streets of Lagos, or any similar metropolis around the world. It happens all the time, and we think nothing of it. But I think God may have just used that moment to remind me of all the things we take for granted, everyday. This boy could not have been more than 10 years old, and here he was, working his butt off for a dollar at a time. At his age I was probably mostly concerned with my next toy or next pair of sneakers; this kid was already a “breadwinner”. I was sitting there grumbling in my air-conditioned car, while he had probably been on his feet all day long under the hot African sun. I didn’t like what I was listening to on the radio, but the soundtrack to his day was the blaring of horns and the screeching of tires. I’d probably spent on lunch what he makes in a week of hard labor.

This weekend in the U.S.A they will be celebrating Thanksgiving; essentially it’s a time when families will get together and celebrate. During my time over there, every thanksgiving, I’d get together with my siblings and my closest friends. None of our parents lived in the States, so we’d create a sort of extended family-friend ritual: all 15 or 20 of us young people in a house, hanging out, cooking, eating, and going out together. It was my favorite time of the year there because that was the one holiday we all managed to be together… and the highlight of it all was definitely the food. And of course the parties, etc. But right before we devoured the feast, we’d go around the table and each person would say what we were thankful for.
Fast-forward to today. I’ve relocated back to Lagos, so no more family-friend thanksgiving dinners for me. But after seeing that little boy this week, I’ve decided I still need to take the time to say what I’m thankful for, and ironically, just last Sunday my Pastor in Church preached about having an “attitude for gratitude”.

So here goes, in no particular order… I’m thankful for my parents and siblings, and all my relatives. I’m thankful for my friends, my business partners and colleagues; for my role models and support system. For my job and being able to do what I love for a living. For my nieces and nephews and for the joy I get in watching them grow. For being blessed with the gift of music. For every school I ever went to and the people that were a part of my life there. For Corona Primary school, Home Science, ADRAO, Colonie Central High, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For the friends and coworkers I had at Johnson Controls Inc, and General Electric, McDonalds’, Guess, Eddie Bauer, JC Penney, and for my time at TREM, FOLC, and LFMIC. For my Empire Mates Entertainment family and for the industry I’m now blessed to be a part of. For anyone I’ve ever considered a close friend. For anyone that has ever been a fan of mine. For the rough times I’ve had this year and in years past that have made me a stronger person. For any ex-girlfriend I’ve had that made me a better man. For my favorite sports teams and my favorite Artistes, home and abroad. I’m grateful for the gift of family, friendship and love and for the precious gift of life and good health. For all this and for so much more, I’m eternally thankful and grateful.

Because the truth of the matter is, no matter how bad you have it or how rough things may be right now, there’s always someone who has it much worse. And by God’s grace it’ll get better anyway.

So there it is. Happy Thanksgiving folks! And Barka de Sallah to my Muslim friends!
~ B.W.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And finally... drumroll PUHLEEEASE...

Okay ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, allow me to present to you the
"Strong Ting" Video, FINALLY...

I really hope you like it, Lord knows we worked real hard. Check it out, feel free to share with your friends... all that good stuff.

Next up, Lagos Party. And then "the W Experience".
Thanx for coming along for the ride. Hope you're enjoying it as much as I am.

~ B.W. for EMEaaazzyyy

Sunday, August 30, 2009

They say "You are what you eat"...

It's part of my job description now to do interviews... unfortunately most of the time they're boring and redundant. U get asked the same things over and over again, and it's hard to stay motivated to actually answer the questions. In any case, I got hit up this week with a set of interesting questions by a magazine called "Food and Country". It ended up being kinda fun, so I'm posting 'em here for you incase you want a good read. Enjoy...


1. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
- I have a limited menu that I’m pretty good at, but anything outside of that menu and you’re on your own. As a bachelor you learn how to make certain things just in case, you know, desperate times. I can make a variation of stew, efo riro (I think), pasta and chicken, breakfast food, plantains, and sandwiches. And then there’s the typical easy stuff like boiling rice, eggs, making eba, etc. That’s about it. But those that have tasted my pasta and chicken or my breakfast sandwiches will testify that they are very good. No accounts of food poisoning just yet.

2. What’s your favourite food?
- Any kind of rice with an assortment of chicken or beef.

3. Do you cook it? If yes, describe how.
- I prefer to have it cooked for me. I’m lazy.

4. Favourite drink?
- I drink mostly juice and water. My favorite juice in Nigeria at the moment is Five Alive’s Berry Blast. For a second they took it out of production and I actually ignited a series of complaints with my fans and friends on Facebook, Twitter and my blog ( I don’t know if that’s the reason they brought it back, but that’s what we tell ourselves. There’s Berry Blast back on the shelves now so all is well with the world.

5. Favourite restaurants.
- Anywhere they sell rice and chicken/beef in big portions.

6. What’s your idea of good food?
- It’s good if it tastes great and is filling. That’s part of my problem with French Food. It’s not filling. And the one or two French restaurants I’ve been to in the past were also lacking in the taste department.

7. Food you’ve never tried out but would like to?
- I’m open to try just about anything… never gave it much thought. The only thing I’m not into is seafood, much to the chargrin of my mom, because it’s her favorite.

8. Worst culinary blunder.
- This is horrible to admit, but I once set a kitchen stove on fire. I was living in Upstate NY at the time, and I was about to fry plantains to eat with some rice and stew, and then an artiste was appearing on television I really wanted to see… so I left the kitchen and went to watch the tv in my bedroom, not realizing that I’d left the frying pan with oil on the fire… Needless to say the oil over-heated and set the stove ablaze!! I just realized there was thick smoke coming into the hallway… by the time it was said and done the fire department even came. Luckily my landlord was real cool about it, especially because his insurance company gave him a big fat cheque to cover the damage so he actually ended up throwing us a small pizza and beer get together. True story.

9. Funniest joke on food.
- Someone just sent this to me, so please don’t persecute me because I didn’t write it. “Someone went to a Naija Restaurant recently and asked for 5 Wraps of Eba, 2 Meat, 4 Pomo and 3 Yar Adua. The waiter serving asked the customer what he meant by Yar Adua, and the customer responded… Snail.”

10. Strangest food ever eaten.
- I went to a restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya a few years ago called “The Carnivore”. It was set up like the Brazilian all-the-meat-you-can-eat restaurants, except they brought everything from beef and chicken to zebra and alligator. Some of those other types of meat were “interesting”, to say the least.

11. Your position on the World food crisis.
- It’s something we need to pay urgent attention to… and by “we” I mean everyone from the Governments of Countries on downwards. Part of the problem is that in places like the U.S. and Europe, they don’t know what’s really going on because it’s mostly affecting poorer countries in places like Africa. But it’s terrible.

12. What’s vegetarianism to you?
- Torture. Plain and Simple

13. The last time you ate out; where and what did you eat?
- I ate out yesterday at a restaurant in VI, and I had a chicken and mushroom pizza.

14. If you were to eat a ‘last meal’ what would that be?
- I’d rather never be in a position where I have to choose my last meal.

15. Any culinary quirks that describe your person?
- People find it surprising that I’m not much of a sweet tooth. So I’m not into eating cakes, chocolates, candy, etc… And I eat way too much rice for my own good. I eat rice at least once a day (sometimes more). My mother would cringe at my current idea of a “balanced diet”.

16. If you had a opportunity to run a column in a food magazine, would you take it?
- If I did, it would probably be a disservice to the subscribers… I’m not an expert cook, and I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough in the field to offer any enlightening commentary. However, I’m an excellent top-of-the-line consumer.

~ B.W.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Strong Ting Teaser, Music Video Pleaserrrr... :o)~

So it's been over a month since my last blog... I've been locked up in the studio trying to put finishing touches on my new record "The W Experience". I'm kinda obsessive about making an album; I thought I was done with it a month or two ago, but then I decided it was missing some elements... so I've been back in the studio real hard... and it's coming together nicely... can't wait for everyone to hear it.

I promise I will return to blog-mode shortly; just need another week or two to wrap up the album and then we're home free. In the mean time, if u haven't already (shame on u!!!) please check out the trailer from my soon-to-be-released video for "Strong Ting"... I think you guys will really like the video. This is officially our attempt to enter the video-of-the-year-out-of-africa conversation :o)~

Banky W - Strong Ting Video Trailer... check it out... (the vid refused to load on my blog so pls just copy and paste this youtube link in ur browser)

Rumor has it that the video may or may not debut in a private exclusive invite only screening in Lagos Nigeria on or about the 20th of August, after which it will be officially released world wide.

Lemme know what you think... also there are pictures from the set on

The video was shot in Pretoria South Africa and directed by Eban Oliver of Production Militia Studios, currently arguably the best director in Africa. The next video shoot will be in September for "Lagos Party". Stay tuned for more on that. "Strong Ting" video coming so soon like a one minute man :oP The W Experience is on the way.

~ B.W.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My response to the recent Guardian Newspaper Article by Mr Reuben Abati

This is my response to the article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis" that recently ran in The Guardian Newspapers. It was written by Dr Reuben Abati, a well respected name in Nigerian Journalism. His original article can be found here:
Please try and read the original article before commenting on my response. As Dr Abati has stated his opinion, I felt it neccessary to state mine. If anything I'm sure both pieces are at least food for thought.

Dear Sir,

In the immortal words attributed to P.T. Barnum, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me, at least spell my name right." My name IS Banky W, full name being Olubankole Wellington. Not Willington, as you stated in your article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis". I read the piece repeatedly, and found that misspelling my name wasn’t the only error. At it's worst, the article seemed like an attempt to discredit and slander an entire generation of artistes and consumers, and at best it came across as having some valid points but being grossly misinformed, prejudiced, and hypocritical; definitely not what we would expect of a highly regarded publication as The Guardian, or from a person in Mr Abati's position.

In the very least, the article warrants a well-informed response. I have little doubt in my mind that it will generate a slew of responses, positive and negative, and as one of the many subjects that was mentioned in the write-up, I feel compelled to voice my opinion (with all due respect) on some of the issues that were raised in your piece. What I'm going to attempt to do is to directly address issues that stood out and resonated most with me.

The writer asked "What's in a name?" and went on to honor a "...generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs"; this would have been a valid point if he had not himself mentioned Greats like King Sunny Ade (real name: Sunday Adeniyi), I.K. Dairo (Isaiah Kehinde Dairo), and Ebenezer Obey (Real name: Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi- Wow!!!). We could also point out other legends like Ras Kimono and Majek Fashek as others who, for creative or other reasons, saw it fit to have stage names that happen to differ from what's on their passports. Shortening of full names and/or the crafting of stage names is not something new from our generation of artistes that "lack the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences" as you said; rather, it's the creative right of an artiste to go by whatever moniker he sees fit. And if we want to talk about the names of today, we can highlight a few: Eldee - actually L.D. which stands for Lanre Dabiri, similar to Isaiah Kehinde Dairo's transition to I.K. Dairo. Naeto C and Banky W are simply short forms of their full names. In my case, my father's nickname among his friends is actually Banky as well.

Furthermore, on the topic of Names and abbreviations let's set a few things straight. Nigerzie is actually spelt Nigezie and is not an abbreviation for Nigeria. It's a TV Show, much like Soundcity or Hip TV, except they choose to incorporate "representing Nigeria" in their name. It's like the "United Colors of Bennetton", or DKNY, both companies that choose to represent their locations or origins in their name. Also, for the record, Gidi doesn't mean Nigeria either. It's a term for Lagos... coined from "Las Gidi". And as far as the popular term "Naija" goes, who remembers Shina Peters singing "♫ Naija lo wa yi o o o, wa jo, afro juju lo gb'ode ♫" I hate to point out that our generation did not come up with that term... the "golden age" that you long for did.

As an editorial head of a National Newspaper, you owe it to your public to at least do proper and accurate research before printing an article. The risk in not doing so, is you might unknowingly mislead your readers, and you might actually come across as being ignorant or out of touch. A quick look at all the reference names of artistes and songs mentioned in the article goes to show that the author was sadly way off base in his accusations and examples. For instance, to make a point on how today’s Nigerian artistes lyrics are meaningless and prurient, he referenced the Rooftop MC's song "La Gi Mo". What he failed to realize or crosscheck, is that the said song is probably one of the most meaningful and important songs that have been released in the last few years on the Nigerian Music Scene. The Rooftop MC's are actually a Rap Group that leans to the Gospel or at least Socially Conscious side of music, and their songs always have a positive message. That song itself talks about the errors we make by trying to take God's glory for our success... getting caught up in the limelight and asking God to bring you back to reality to know that HE deserves the praise for where you are.

The author mentioned other songs like D'banj's "Fall in Love", and doesn't realize how hypocritical he sounds by attempting to ridicule some of our most popular love songs. Felix Liberty sang "Ifeoma, ifeoma, I want to marry you", D'banj sang "Omo U don make me fall in love" and Banky W sang "Till my dying day, I'll love you". Barring a difference in musical styling, are these songs not cut from the same cloth? Why can't someone in Mr Abati's position be proud of the fact that at Nigerian and African Weddings nowadays, couples are choosing these songs to mark their first dances instead of previous choices like “Endless Love”? Why can't we appreciate that the days of going to Nigerian Parties and clubs and celebrating to foreign music “all night long” are long gone? Despite these facts, you still see International festivals and concerts being held in Nigeria where the foreign acts are paid 30 to 40 times what some of our biggest stars are allowed to charge.

I have to disagree with the author's views. We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians. We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world's greatest artiste/entertainer. That's why he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to create some of the best music anyone had ever heard. We have our own producers that have shaped Nigerian sound...people like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy, I.D. Cabasa, Dr Frabz, Tee-Y mix, Eldee, Terry G etc. That list goes on. These music minds are no less credible than those of Mr Abati's time, like the great Laolu Akins.

Far be it from us to claim that we are perfect and flawless in our art... we know that we are still growing and have lots of areas to improve, but the truth of the matter is we have worked very hard to create the industry we have now, and some people choose to criticize and lambaste most of us, instead of helping and teaching us. That is unfair. Yes, some artistes sag their jeans... however, a glance at the pages of THISDAY style or the recently concluded awards shows will show you very clearly that others wear three-piece suits and traditional attires just as proudly, myself included. This music industry that you have very clearly disapproved of has partnered with and given rise to the fashion industry in Nigeria as well. Just ask Designers like Mai, Babs Familusi (Exclamations Couture), the Okunorens, Muyiwa Osindero and countless others. Everything from the t-shirts and jeans rappers wear, to the shoes and suits are made by young Nigerians, where in previous years people preferred to shop in London. The youth-driven industries in Entertainment and Fashion have teamed up to thrust Nigeria into the world's positive spotlight, when for many years our dear country was mostly known for corruption, lack of infrastructure, and security issues.

Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete... and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage. This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D'banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.

You were right on some counts. We ARE businessmen and women, and we ARE interested in extending name recognition and brand extension. You were also right in that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created multimillion-dollar empires. Since when did ambition and desire to succeed against all odds count against a person’s moral character? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to pay more attention to the business side of “Show Business”? Shouldn’t we want this music industry to provide for our future and the futures of our children?

We know we have a moral responsibility when it comes to our Creative works. Some of us pay more attention to it than others, and there is lots of ground to cover up. But how about a little appreciation and help, instead of trying to tear us down and discredit us? Time will tell whose music will last and become evergreen, but it is not in anyone's place to judge; and for the record, can we just accept that fact that hip hop music is an artform that is probably here to stay... I mean for goodness sake the Grammy's has!! Instead of fighting the change, we should learn to embrace it. I thank God for people like the great Adewale Ayuba that have reached across to our generation to collaborate with, bridge the gap, and help us improve.

We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.

You speak of meaninglessness and prurience, identity crisis and moral turpitude. You praise Legends like Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti and you ridicule us. 9ice does not drink or smoke. eLDee is married to one wife. Olu Maintain does not drink. Naeto C is currently obtaining his Masters’ degree in England. The ironic thing is, we look up to and praise your generation too. You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half naked at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV. However we look past what some may consider shortcomings and respect and emulate the immense contributions he made to our history. We are in awe of him despite personal choices that some may or may not agree with. All we are asking for is to be appreciated and afforded similar tolerances.

You danced to Shina Peters. Let us dance to our music. And for the record: for every "Anoti" by MI, he has a "Crowd Mentality" or a "Talk about it". For a Naeto C's "Ki Ni Big Deal", he has a "The Devil is a Liar". Just because an artiste uses a particular song to promote his album for commercial reasons, doesn't mean they should be judged on that alone. Anyone that is familiar with the cost of promoting an album (videos, press, etc) would know that you end up making hard decisions in terms of what you have to push and promote, for your best chance at success. I suggest that you buy whole albums and look at the body of work. Listen to the entire CD’s. I think you'll find that more often than not, Nigerian artistes are doing a pretty good job of representing this great Country of Nigeria. Naija Till We Die. Yes Boss.

~ Banky W.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Bank Statements are baaack... random thoughts encore

Aiight blogworld... it's been almost a month (Yikes!!) since my last mind-venting session, so I figure we are long overdue for more random thoughts. Here goes:

* I've been eating too much Gala/Meaty lately. It's a good roadside snack joh! And the traffic doesn't help. Yesterday, a 20 min drive to the island took me 3 hours!!! Mostly because of the rain. Lagos traffic is INSANE.

* I eat wayyyy too much red meat. Dear God, please help me like fish and seafood, it's for my own good.

* June 12th is a sad but important day in Nigeria's history. Moment of silence for Chief MKO Abiola. I'd like to think Nigeria is a better place now, and that things will continue to improve, by God's grace.

* This has been a horrible year sports-wise for me. Just. Absolutely. Brutal. Arsenal didn't make it, again. My Beloved Yankees are being assaulted, molested, and insert-any-other-torture-relate-ed-word-here by the Red Sox. We haven't won ONE game against Boston all SEASON. God please, if there's any justice in the world, please make it stop! Stop the bleeding. What else... the Giants didn't repeat as Superbowl Champs. The only silver lining right now is the recent play of the Super Eagles of Nigeria (yay! whose going to the world cup with me next year?) annnnd Kobe Bryant & the Lakers being one win away from the championship rings. I'm sorry Kobe-haters, I'm a fan, and I know what it's like to fight to try and succeed inspite of hate and turmoil... so I wanna see him win this one. I actually wanted a Lebron vs Kobe final, but I'll still be happy if/when the Lakers win. Hopefully I didn't just jinx it.

* I change my nickname on my Blackberry at least once a week. I dunno why, it's just fun. And most people on my contact list find it entertaining... So far some of my nicknames have been Banky W, Barack O'Banky, Central "Banks" of Nigeria, The Duke of Wellington, Banktastic W, and as of this morning... Ban Ky-Moon W. This last nickname has a lot of people confused... and that just goes to show how much attention you people are paying to the world!! The frikkin Secretary General of the United Nations is Ban Ki-Moon. Google it. :o)
Anyway, I'm hereby soliciting more suggestions for nicknames so that I can keep this trend going. Thanx to everyone that has contributed so far.

* Thanx to everyone that came out last weekend to rock with us at Caliente. It was NUTS!! As in, absolutely BANANAS!! And any other food-word I can think of to show how crazy it was. Shout outs to Kel, Lami, Jesse Jagz, Sauce KiD, eLDee, Oladele, MI and everyone else that came thru and repped. Ain't no party like an EME party abi no be so? Anyway this week the promo parties continue @ Bacchus, Saturday the 13th. We gonn do them Strong Ting and have another crazy Lagos Party. Come through!!! 10pm. I think.

* Music I like and think u should look up right now: Femi Jacobs "Free to Fly", almost every song on the Wande Coal CD, Lamii feat MI - Know. And i'm still bumping MI's "Illegal Music" hard. And of course, Strong Ting & Lagos Party. Word on the streets is there's a Lagos Party Remix in the works with a couple of heavy artistes... I'll give you a clue, one of them is a rapper who's "P" u know very well :o)

* The recent X-men/wolverine movie was probably my favorite movie thus far, this year. Go see it if you haven't. It's goooooood.

* The gym chronicles continue. Eldee, MI, Lami and myself have been working hard @ Eko Gym in VI. The goal is the ultimate "singlet" show before the end of this year. Wish us luck. Although I can categorically say I'm the most hard working of the bunch, no matter what they might tell u.

* I'm looking forward to the new Jay Z album. I've bought every album he has ever put out.
- Sidebar: there are a handful of people that can almost never do any wrong in my eyes. Jay is one of 'em. Lauryn Hill is too. Like if they cough on a beat for four mins, I will probably turn around, look you straight in the eyes and say it was genius.

* A dear friend of mine recently gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. And a shockingly high number of my close buddies have all recently gotten engaged or married. All of a sudden everyone around me's getting hitched and popping kids. It's a beautiful thing. Must be sumthin in the air/water. Na turn by turn I'll get there someday. In the meantime congratulations guys I love you! :o)

* There are plans to shoot a MAJOR video-of-the-year-type of video for Strong Ting in South Africa. After which we will follow up with another MAJOOOOR video for Lagos Party. And then comes ur soon-to-be favorite album "The W experience", hopefully. And after the W experience, I might just retire, who knows. Wish me luck, pray for us, and pls continue to support. We appreciate y'all.

Don't forget tomm night @ Bacchus the Lagos Party continues... throw our hands up, drinks in our cups, Lagos stand up.. u know the rest...

~ B.W.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Backstage at the Hip Hop World Awards... thoughts and questions...

So, M.I. and I were supposed to have our first session @ the best gym in Lagos today, except it's raining, so I'm at home, bloggin instead :o)~
Since we just had a huge weekend in Abuja, I figure I'll blog on the Hip Hop World Awards and present you with my thoughts and random questions. If you would rather wait until it airs on TV, please skip this post in it's entirety.

* The awards should have been held in Lagos. Don't get me wrong, the venue was sick! The decor in the foyer is the best I've ever seen in Nigeria. And the hall was lovely. But the energy was missing in the crowd. And that's because if we'd had it in Lagos, it would have been packed full, with people who were actually happy to be there to see their favorite artistes. I love abj people don't get me wrong, but everyone in abj feels like they are vip and that they should be treated as such. And for an award show you need that CROWD factor. People that will go crazy, scream, cheer, boo...whatever... just actually REACT to what's going on.

* And if it HAD to be in Abj, shouldn't we have given out like 500-1,000 tickets on radio to ensure the hall was packed with that "CROWD" factor?

* It wasn't hip hop world's fault that it started sooooo late. There was some material that was supposed to run for the sponsors that wouldn't work, and they tried to fix that last minute b4 we could start the show. Trust me if you paid millions for the opportunity to run some ads, you wouldn't have let the show start either.

* Can anyone really argue with 9ice winning four awards? I mean, I know album of the year could easily have gone to D'banj, easily... however with the kind of year 9ice had coming out of nowhere and rising straight to the top of the music industry, didn't he deserve to have a Lauryn Hill/Alicia Keys-at-the-grammy's-type of moment where he picks up all the awards?

* Congrats and props to M.I. I truly thought he would win more than two, but two is major.

* I won one. I was honestly very mentally prepared to not win any at all. And the one I did win could have gone to Wande Coal or Darey or anyone else easily... I think that says something about the state of Naija music, R&B in particular. We're doing it.
- Sidebar... the problem with actually being surprised by winning is ur never fully prepared to give an acceptance speech. As such, you always forget someone :o( I'm sorryyyyy

* I think Omawumi stole the night. Her "thank you" after winning the "Next Rated" category was one of the most moving and memorable moments I have ever been a part of... she got down on her knees and belted out a worship song to God. Wow.

* Aren't Omawumi and Waje on some Beyonce type level with their vocals??? I mean DAYUM those girls can saaaaannnnnnnggggggggg.

* Naeto C definitely deserved Rap Single of the Year. They got that one very right.

* Tuface's entrance with the chains/bondage thing was MAJOR.

* Wasn't the Trybesmen reunion real sick?? Should these guys do a reunion record?

* I'm still salty that Big Boy didn't score a nomination. But didn't Jay martins & Co reeeeally deserve the award for Best Collabo? That "Good or Bad" song was HUUUUUGE.

* I really enjoyed the hosting job. Although what sucks is you actually miss most of the show because you're spending the entire time figuring out what you need to do next.

* Didn't Nikki Laoye totally surprise everyone by totally RIPPING her set??

* Isn't Darey a class act?? And doesn't his band ROCK? I want my own joh I'm jealous.

* Basketmouth is in a class all by himself. Julius Agwu is too. Infact, major props to Naija comedians. I mean, really. You had to have been there.

* Some presenters just shouldn't be given scripts. And some people shouldn't even be presenting.

* Truth be told, doesn't Hip Hop World get an A for effort, at least? I mean, compared to some other awards show that was held late last year, whose name we shall not mention... didn't they really try to do a good job in accommodating and transporting as many people as possible, with probably half the budget of that other show?? I'm just saying. If I recall, that other show didn't give a rats ass about our industry. Just a handful of people. Can we call a spade a spade or is that ruffling too many feathers...

* Wouldn't you deem this 2009 a show a success? I thought it was great. But I could be biased as the host. I'll let you tell it.

Just random thoughts and questions from the Hip Hop world awards... Speak on it.

~ B.W.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Auditioning female dancers for Banky W's "Strong Ting" tomorrow May 11th @ 3pm

Auditioning female dancers for Banky W's "Strong Ting" tomorrow Monday May 11th @ 3pm in Ikeja. No African time. Must be pretty, flexible, have good skin and a great body, and able to dance in heels. U must also be available to travel for shows and video shoots. Please call 08055805211 to rsvp.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Breaking News!!!!

Breaking News!!!

If you were lucky enough to have been in Lagos and tuned your radio in
to 93.7 fm yesterday afternoon, you would have caught the radio
premiere of the first two singles from Banky's "The W Experience"
album. It's official "Strong Ting" and "Lagos Party" have made their
debut and everyone's loving it.

The reviews thus far have been off the charts. Trust us the songs will
be coming to a radio station or ipod near you real soon, however if
you can't wait, you can hear both songs online now @

Or go to, or and search for Banky W's
profile to listen in. I can tell u that we here at EME are feeling
really excited about the feedback thus far... 'Gun says we're right
where we need to be. Hopefully y'all will feel like it was worth the

Plans for the videos are in full swing and Banky W will be shooting
"Strong Ting" any day now, no worries we'll keep the fans family in
the loop on everything going down.

For now please check out the new material online and give us some
feedback and support! Also please take 5 mins of ur day to vote for
Banky W on the following links:

Nigerian Entertainment Awards - - Scroll down to where
it says Vote Now! at the bottom of the page and vote for "Banky W" as
the Best International Artiste

Hip Hop World Awards -
Enter ur email address and vote for Banky W in "Best RnB/Pop Album",
"Best Vocal Performance (Male)" and "Hip Hop World Revelation"

That's all for now folks!!
~ E.M.Eazzyyy Representers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools Quickie

* Welcome to April. For the record it's 524am on April 1st... I couldn't sleep much tonight (again), so I figure why not spit out another random thoughts episode... since it's late and I'm not feeling too creative, we'll make this a quickie.

* It was my birthday on the 27th of march. I didn't plan to celebrate it per se... but it ended up being a lot of fun. Was originally supposed to be just dinner wit family and cousins but one thing led to another and before u knew it we had Club No. 10 rocking. Thanx to everyone that made the day special I appreciate u.

* Here's a quick run down of birthday presents I got: 4 cakes, one VERRRRY fly shirt with swaroski (spell?) crystals on it, 2 traditional outfits, 3 bottles of hennessey, 1 bottle of vodka, 2 cards, and a million facebook msgs/calls/texts.. I feel special.

* U know u might have a problem when more than one person gives u a bottle of alcohol as a birthday present without thinking twice :o)

* It's April fools day. Please refrain from making any startling announcements or facebook status changes until tomorrow. These include but are not limited to getting engaged, breaking up, getting married, pregnancy, death, random traveling, retirement, relocation and winning the lottery.
- Furthermore, a good April fools prank should be set up in advance. U gotta build up to it. Can't just call on the day and shout that ur pregnant/engaged/dying. U will get noooo sympathy from me. At least not until April 2nd.

* In no particular order, shout outs to Caliente, Swe Bar, and Club 10. Ain't no party like a Lagos Party.

* Since moving back to Nigeria last year, I've met quite a few celebrities/famous personalities. Usually this doesn't faze me. But two people that had me star struck were Richard Mofe Damijo and Jay Jay Okocha. I grew up watching them on tv... RMD was like our Denzel... and Jay Jay was our Maradonna (he's still got it too, watch last year's MTV Base Awards). So meeting them was HUGE for me, and I don't care if u think it's corny.

* Still haven't fallen asleep partly due to stress and partly due to not feeling well. I have this gaaaangster cough syrup that knocks u the f*** out, except I didn't take it last night when I should have and now it's already past 6am. If I take it now I probably won't be up before 1pm, which would mess up my schedule but if i don't take it i may not sleep at all which would make an unproductive day anyway, right? Soooo therefore, here's a toast to all you beautiful people out there as I sip on my sizzurp and pass out.

On that note...Goodnight world... Goodmorning Naija...

~ B.W.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shameless Friday Night Thots, Confessions, and Rants

* I'm up for 3 and a half Hip Hop World Awards. Best RnB/Pop Album, Best Vocal Performance, and Hip Hop World Revelation of the year. The half is for the song I did for Mode 9 "Talking to You". It's really his song and nomination not mine; it's up for Best Rap Single, but I'm greedy because I coproduced it and did the hook etc, soooo bite me. Thanx to God, family, friends and fans for the wonderful year I had.

* "Pure Water" is an oxymoron on the streets of Lagos. Only Nigerians will feel me on this. Heheh.

* My first shameless confession: My guilty pleasure is Gala. There, I said it. I like Gala. Well not Gala, but Meaty. I don't care if you think it's razz, it's the best Roadside snack EVER. It's 50 Naira, which is like... 25 cents, and it's poppin. I like Gala and I don't care what u think of me :o)~

* My other shameless confession for the evening is my love for TFC. I'm sorry but their Charcolite chicken is seeeerious.

* Everyone of my friends should own a BlackBerry. The BB chat thing is just heaven sent. It's like.. instant messaging on your phone for FREE. U don't get charged like texts or phone calls, and it's free all over the world. I think if the networks knew how much money they were losing in texting fees, they'd ban BlackBerry's period. Infact, if any phone companies are reading this, pls forget everything I just said.

* Oh, and if your blackberry isn't "bold", it's afraid. Stop slacking. :oP~

* I need a Pool Table at home. I hadn't played in years, and then a month or two ago I played in PSquare's crib, and got my ass handed to me a couple times. Not kool. I need a pool table.

* One more shameful confession for the road: I don't know how to play poker. This is unacceptable.

* One more thing on the awards: I'm hosting this year's Awards, alongside Kemi Adetiba, and it's in Abuja on May 16th and it's going to be a greeeat show. For the record, I have no inside scoop on who's winning what. Infact I found out about the nominations like everyone else. They're doing a good job keeping me out of the loop so that way in case I'm not supposed to win, I won't Kanye-West the show. Heheheh.

* Things that SHOULD be against the law: Body Odor and Bad Breath. If only I was President.

* Songs that sound EXCELLENTTTT in a club when you're tipsy as hell but not anywhere else: "Arab Money", "Pop Champagne", and probably anything else from Ron Browz production catalogue.

* A lovely young lady helped organize my room this week.... as in I don't think my stuff has ever been this well put together in the last 2 or 3 years. My room was starting to look like a war zone. Anyway so now it's GREAT, except it's so good that I'm lost; I don't know where things are... that's bad when you are soooo used to chaos that neatness messes u up.

* MI's my favorite rapper at the moment. He's probably yours' too. He's in London this weekend, so if ur out there, u should go see him live.

* Eldee's my favorite artiste/producer, and I'm probably biased becuz he's my brother from another mother, but whatever. Anyway eL and Oladele are in Canada this weekend, so if ur out there look 'em up and go rock out.

Weekend Rant:
It's a friday night and I'm indoors. Crazy, right? Well technically not reeeeally, cuz I've spent the last month or two mostly indoors working on the new record. I'm 70% done, and I'm feeling real good about where I'm at with it. The first single is a song called "strong thing" (the other working title was "push my button"); it was produced by the legendary Cobhams Asuquo and should hit airwaves before the end of this month. I'm hoping we get to release the audio and the video at the same time; it'll be bananas truuuust me!

Anyway, I'm indoors for a combination of reasons. First of all I've been kinda sick since last weekend. Nothing crazy... just the case of the flu/cold/coughing up my lungs/etc. Anyway so I'm headed to Kaduna (Northern Nigeria) for a show with Etisalat on Sat Night (14th), and I didn't want to risk getting worse and not being able to deliver a good performance, so I finally gave into some wise advice and went to see a Doctor the other day.

People that know me well know I hate going to the hospital. In fact, I hate the whole process... getting sick, going to the Doctor, the smell of Hospitals, pills, syrups that taste like ass (no, i don't know what ass tastes like), the sight of blood, injections (needles make me queasy)... etc. But I did go, because I care about my fans, and my money. And they're paying me to perform for fans so I gotta be as close to 100% as possible.

So I did go, and the Doc was kool, except I went in with a cough/flu and came out with enuff medication to cure cancer!! Seeeriously, I'm on like 6 different pills, cough syrup that tastes like u-know-what, and I hate it. I think that Naija Hospitals give so much medicine because they don't know what's really wrong with you, so they just give you maaad pills to be on the safe side; they figure u throw enuff sh*t against the wall and something will cure ya right?? Heh. I kid, although the healthcare system in Nigeria needs quite a lot of improvement - we'll get there.

That's all folks. Performing at Etisalat's show in Kaduna Sat night, AY's comedy show on Sun Night in Lagos @ Oceanview, and then it's back to the Studio.

~ B.W. aka Alhaji Capable (u'd have to see my fb profile pic to understand that)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Thoughts... and Updates...

* I don't want to jinx it, but it looks like I'm going to Brazil this month, and you're not. Feel free to officially be jealous of me :o)~

* Shout out to Noble Igwe. To put it lightly, Mr Igwe is unlike anyone I have ever met in my life. And if you don't know him, feel free to officially be jealous of me, again.

* Due to a recent rediscovery I made in a moment of pure genius and creativity, I have expanded my weekly menu to include Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. Shout out to whoever came up with that combo. The rest of the menu still includes rice, beef/chicken stew, indomie, plantains, pounded yam, egusi soup and garri & groundnuts. U would think I'm complaining but I'm really not... I eat what I like, everyday, without fail. Who gives a hoot about a balanced diet I mean really.

* That being said, we need better restaurants in Nigeria. One visit to Jo'burg will convince you of this. The food there is orgasmic.

* I think I like food too much.

* I miss NYC. 'Nuff Said.

* For artistes in Naija, you almost live for the Christmas period... cuz it's your busiest time, and that's when you get to make more money. Being an R&B singer, Val's weekend is like the 2nd coming of Christmas... with that being said, I'll be at UNILAG on Friday for 2 events... (Genevieve Mag's forum and Etisalat's event), and on Saturday Night I'll be @ Club No. 10 alongside Eldee, Oladele and Jay Martins. If you're looking for what to do, come through to any or all of these venues, I promise to deliver a great show - u knowwww how I do.

* Thoughts on Slumdog Millionaire - best movie I have seen in the last 12 months, maybe longer. I originally didn't want to watch it because it felt like the hype around it was a little out of control, and those types of situations usually disappoint... but this did not, at all. If you haven't seen it, you're seriously slacking, and on a looooong thing.

* Eldee's song "Big Boy" feat Olu Maintain, Oladele and myself is my favorite Collabo, ever. I can listen to it a million times over. Oladele's verse is my personal favorite, although we all came correct. Watch out for that guy. Oh, and Get eL's album.

* My Favorite rap albums of 2008 - M.I. and Naeto C. And that's including Rap music from any part of the world.

* On the music tip, I've been laying low from the public life, burying my head in the studio and putting together my new record. And I'm excited. You should be too. I should be done with it by the end of the month, and I think I know what my first single is going to be. And it's bananas.... BANANAS... as in, freshly-peeled-just-ripe-enough Bananas. Watch this space.

* Nepa/PHCN *still* sucks. As I sit here I'm in Cobhams studio where we had an overnight session, but we've been running on inverters for God-knows-how-long, because there's no power. This is worse than when I was a kid, 20 sumthin-odd years ago. I mean, I met an artiste from Ghana, and she told me they have unlimited power supply there. How is it that Ghana, South Africa, etc have unlimited power but we can't figure the sh*t out??? PHCN is a poor excuse for a public service. It's ridiculous. Riiiiiidiculous.

* On the other hand, Fashola is cleaning up Lagos like u would not believe. It's insane. At this point it's safe to say he could have 5 more terms if only the law allowed it. Funny how when someone in office actually does their job out here, it's like... mind blowing... because we're so used to being sh*t on. Anyway, thank you to Governor Fashola for the excellent work he's doing. May God bless and reward you Sir.

That's all for now folks. I promise to do a better job of posting more...
Much Luv,
~ B.W.