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Chinedu Achebe: The Legacy of the PSquare Duo

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PSquare Paul Okoye Peter OkoyeNigerian Twitter has been buzzing since the reported breakup of the super duo, P-Square, was announced last week. I was hoping like most people that this was just a rumor, but when Paul Okoye confirmed it with his new single, Call Heaven, P-Square fans had to accept this new reality.

Over the next few weeks, the twin brothers will eventually give us the full details of their split, but right now I just want to talk about them as artists. It would be a grave understatement to classify P-Square as just another Nigerian music group.

In my opinion, they along with Chimamanda Adichie have been the most culturally relevant Nigerians in the last 10 years or so. I would compare that to how Fela Kuti and Chinua Achebe were the soul of Nigerian intellectual and political thought from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. But P-Square’s rise to prominence was very different from Adichie’s, who was widely accepted and embraced by the world’s writing establishment.

In retrospect, their best album, Game Over, which came out in 2007, had an almost perfect timing to correlate with the rise of Facebook. This was also coupled with P-Square’s ability to have videos to go along with their singles that could be seen on You Tube. Now their music could be viewed and heard from people outside of Nigeria which allowed them to get more exposure. But the main reason for their success was their talent. They created their own unique sound and made great songs that just captured the times they were living in.

Their smash hit, No One Like You, has become the official wedding song for Nigerians. You will be hard pressed to find a Nigerian who lives in London, Toronto, or Washington, D.C. who hasn’t heard of this song regardless of their age. Chop My Money is the club/party jam that gets everybody excited and grooving.
Beyond those songs, we all have our own personal favorites, mine is E No Easy. Another thing that made them great was their dancing ability. I remember seeing them at a concert they had in Houston about 3 years ago and being fully entertained.

I would put their dance skills up there with Chris Brown and Usher to be honest. But as they say, all good things come to an end. Also if we can be real with ourselves, P-Square isn’t really hot anymore. Both brothers are in their mid-30’s and younger artists like Wizkid, Ice Prince, and others have emerged and they now are the new hit makers. Regardless, in the country where the legacy of Fela is still present in the music scene, P-Square was able to create their own path for themselves and for others to follow.
Even if they never make another album as a duo, we will forever be grateful for P-Square’s contribution to Nigerian music.

Watch the video for E No Easy below:

Chinedu Achebe is a Nigerian writer who lives in Houston, Texas. His book Blunted on Reality can be purchased here on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter: @ChineduAchebe

18 Comments

  1. naya

    March 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Article is on point!!! its just funny that this is the time for them to be together and encourage younger musicians cos they are really not that hot now, but instead they choose to be fighting and having issues. The reason why most people, especially me, fell in love with them is because they are brothers and they complemented themselves really well, if they choose to separate not my business but they will lose a lot of fans, it is psquare i know not paul or peter

  2. prince

    March 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I still believe they’ll come back together. P-square can’t just scatter like that. Jude should play the big brother and put things together.

    • keke driver

      March 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      wake up to reality dear…..”It’s over”

  3. DLP

    March 21, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I really love Psquare ohhhhh. I wish them all the very best

  4. Tolu

    March 21, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Your assumptions are too expensive i.e. Most Culturally relevant? Are you judging with respect to the Biafra kingdom or what?..
    Oga teacher don’t teach me Non-sense

    • See It

      March 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      And herr it is. Instead of just politely disagreeing with his assertion you resort to tribalism. And then the bias people on Bella Naija will rush in lips pursed and at the ready to say “Igbo people are the most tribalistic people”. When in actuality all Nigerians are disgustingly tribalistic to the core no matter where they come from.

      Anyway for a lot of people outside of Nigeria, P Square is essentially the gateway to Nigerian music. The first Nigerian song I can remember listening to and downloading later was a P Square song. Till this day most songs from Nigerian artists are P Square songs.

      There songs may not be the most introspective, but they are plenty of fun and have a beat to it that you can’t help dancing to. I hope they find a way to work through their issues. They shouldn’t allow this to destroy years of hard work and effort.

    • Honey

      March 22, 2016 at 2:47 am

      If they have some hit tracks that people from around d world have heard, does that make them d most culturally relevant Nigerians in d last 10 years ? U self think am now in music, movies, technology, politics , commerce etc. It is now psquare. Leave trash for lawma abeg

    • Tony

      March 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Lol…Yoruba must contest it! It’s in the blood; will never let the “most irrelevant” remark/phrase pass. SHAME!

    • Honey

      March 22, 2016 at 2:50 am

      There’s nothing to contest. It just sounds absurd. That was d first thing that hit me in d article, nothing to do with tribe. He didn’t say one of, he said psquare and Chimamanda are d most culturally relevant in d last 10 years. Think am now, haha, d whole of my Nigeria, last 10 years liars must go to hell

    • Honey

      March 22, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Aswear d thing jack me no be small. I didn’t even have energy to respond. “Most culturally relevant in d last 10 years ” bawo. Psquare and Chimamanda? By what standard? In d whole Nigeria. He should be spamked.

  5. De imperfect chick

    March 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    when things were not going well with Beyonce and the father, she fired him, bonaboy once announced that the mother is no longer his manager. family is different from business. if peter is no longer comfortable with Jude being their manager, he should leave them alone. if he”s a good manager, he should sign new artists and groom them. or they should build a proper structure like peter said. which business last without proper structure. they should outline the dos and donts of their business, they should state the actual percentage each of them will get from every show/hit. Jude should see himself like a manager in terms of business not like an elder brother. i rented a house and was leaving alone till a friend of mine had accommodation issues and joined me, after my rent expired, i paid another year and asked her to reimburse me coz both of us are working, mind you am much more older than her, from the day she completed her house rent, she brought out her real attitude, what will i do? i converted it to business relationship, i use to treat her like my younger sister but now, is 50/50. if dstv expire and its her turn to pay, i will just shut my eyes/ears until she pays. unlike b4 i will just pay all the bills that comes to the flat. they should learn how to separate their family life from business life. when two are quarreling the third person should be at the middle, not siding one person.
    well am not here to issue advice to older men like them

  6. Nwanma

    March 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Tribalist Nigerians!! What has this got to do with Biafra?
    For God’s sake,we are talking about Entertainment,Talent and Image here! No one can take it away for them that they are been one of the most committed and relevant musicians in Nigeria.
    We are talking about one of the Biggest musical exports out of Nigeria and Africa that people around the world listen to and easily recognize because of how they revolutionized Nigerian music and videos.
    When i think about Relevance in Psquare’s era,i think of Dbanj,Tuface and Asa.
    In recent times,i think of Wizkid, Flavour and a few others who are penetrating the International market with good music.
    Popularity and club music does not equate Cultural relevance.
    Psquare is inarguable one of the musical arts that rebranded and changed the face of Nigerian music industry,a Big brand that has stayed consistent and relevant through the years. Who hasn’t heard or played a Psquare song?
    No be that Olamide and Lil Kesh big bum bum music wey dey corrupt children upandan.
    Respect Greatness when you see it. Nonesense!

    • Engoz

      March 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Nwanma has vex…lol. I agree though. They revolutionized the modern Nigerian music scene especially when it came to performing on stage.

  7. Nwa

    March 21, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Case in point is that you can’t talk about Nigerian music industry without talking about Psquare,they are on a seperate league. After talking about relevant past arts like Fela,Osadebe and Onyeka etc. People like Psquare,2Baba and Styl plus etc, follow suit.
    They have set the pace for younger arts to follow and they’ve represented well,so this their beef is some how.
    No be to sing Kpai Kpai music.
    Hopefully with better management and ”relevant” creativity ,younger acts like Patoranking, Simi,Tekno, Davido, Phyno, Burnaboy will take the industry to the next level.
    Chidinma and Iyanya don dey fall hand.

  8. Nwa

    March 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Kpai kpai senseless music like Olamide and co.
    2face and Psquare were relevant cos their ability to touch souls thru music. May the others receive sense!

  9. Frank

    March 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I still dont want to believe P-SQUARE is over.
    It’s like a dream; not just like that.
    Hopefully, they come back together.

  10. deedee

    March 23, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I am so saddened by their alleged split, the P Square brand is big and well known globally. I was so surprised and happy when i heard their song in Paris (2013) played in a big bus by French kids, they were seriously grooving to the song. I was so proud that a Naija song is appreciated that much overseas. Abeg, P Square, you all are matured enough to settle your issues without public interference. However, if you are really bent on splitting, then i wish you all luck in your future endeavors.

  11. veeeeee

    March 24, 2016 at 11:51 am

    if they decide to be Peter or Paul if they can give us good music going solo, we will enjoy it Shikena

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