“Otedola with the money, Jim Iyke with the love…” those are the lyrics that begin the viral record currently climbing up and dominating Nigerian music as the year winds to a close.
This is why singer’s ‘Otedola’ is such a viral record
What makes ‘Otedola’ special isn’t hard to find. It’s right there in the title.
The song is titled ‘Otedola’ and it was released by Dice Ailes, one of the shining lights from Chocolate City, a label led by Jude ‘M.I’ Abaga, which has consistently come under scrutiny and fire for their direction and comparative lack of dominance in Nigerian pop music, and Hip-hop.
The new record was released in September 2017, serves as his follow-up single to the speculative hit record ‘Ella’.
What makes ‘Otedola’ special isn’t hard to find. It’s right there in the title. The record serves as a nod of respect and recognition for Femi Otedola, the famous Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon, who is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur philanthropist, and chairman of Forte Oil Plc, an importer of fuel products. He is also the father of Nigerian DJ, and budding music producer, DJ Cuppy.
The name Otedola is a synonym for wealth in Nigeria, an aspirational country where money is worshipped as an end in itself. Why that culture exists is because of the poverty in the country. According to the World Poverty Clock, Nigeria will by February 2018, overtake India as the country with the most people in extreme poverty. Currently, 82 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty, which is 42.4 percent of Nigeria’s population.
Money represents a means out of that saddening condition, and wealthy individuals such as Otedola, become prayer points, and a picture to aspire to. Otedola isn’t the only name dropped there. Dice Ailes also mines other individuals and brands for connection. Nollywood actors Jim Iyke and Ramsey Nouah are lovers, Spice brands Ajinomoto and Maggi make up the suace, and of course, Legend Jay Jay Okocha comes through with his footballing skills.
But the aspirational lifestyle of Femi Otedola is the anchor of this viral track. The video by Tee Tash was designed to visualise this life. Dice Ailes rides through posh neighbourhoods in the luxury BMW i8, shooting US dollars through a Supreme money gun, and hangs with pretty models.
It’s the perfect life for many; money, women and cars. And Dice Ailes replicates it well.
It’s the perfect formula for getting a hit. The relativity of the brands and personalities highlighted in the song provides easy singing. Add that to the heavy drum kicks, the ominous, dark synths, and a great promotional budget, and you have a potent cocktail ready to conquer the world.
The song has had celebrity cosigns on social media. Femi Otedola, the object of the song appears with Dice Ailes, in a video on Instagram. Pop superstar Wizkid describes it as “My jam.” Rapper Ycee showed his love by asking for the lady in the video. Tiwa Savage danced to the song on Instagram. Many others simply offer their congratulations for the young man.
This isn’t the first time Dice Ailes is pulling this off. Signed to Chocolate City in 2014 while he was completing a degree in a Canadian University, the singer and rapper has pulled off moderate success with past singles ‘Machinery’, and the Lil Kesh-assisted ‘Miracle’. They have been speculative and club hits, but none has been strong enough to give him the wave that ‘Otedola’ is generating.
There still might be a remix to the record, and fans have called for Wizkid to do the honours of being a guest on the record. That might be a possibility for now, but not yet. The record is still growing, and perhaps when it plateaus, a remix will be considered, but for now, no one knows.
Dice Ailes expressly declined to be interviewed for this article. The same way he declined to share his processes on this piece dissecting ‘
For label CEO M.I Abaga, this is a personal victory. He has had an interesting year, defending his management of the label that he took over in 2015. A hit record like this doesn’t only provide money for the house. It also serves as validation of his business strategy. ‘Otedola’ is a win for Dice, M.I Abaga and Chocolate City.
“Otedola with the money, Dice Ailes with the hit, Chocolate City with the balling…”
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