When Oritse Femi and his former manager Yusuf Adebola Adepitan otherwise called Danku started to squabble over the rights to use the MSN Gang trademark in Rayce’s video, we thought to ourselves – Great! What an opportunity to open up a discussion on the intricacies of trademarks and patents in music.

We contacted our lawyers – yes, we don’t just freestyle Ojoro Counsel without legal guidance – to conduct a trademark search for “MSN Gang” at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Unfortunately, thanks to how inefficiently these things are done in this part of the world, by the time the search results came back in, the public had already moved on from the debacle and we would have been reporting stale news had we still written up a think-piece on it.

But God works in mysterious ways, it turns out that if we had gone on with the story, we’d have been expending resources in the wrong direction because the entire thing from the N1 million loan, to things escalating to involve Danku’s mum to the arrest of Danku himself was all a charade.

The singer made the shocking revelation on the red carpet of the comedy show Pencil Unbroken recently, alongside his ex-manager, Danku.

His words:

Our rifts have been in the news for the wrong reasons and lots of allegations we indicted on ourselves have cost lots of damage to our career.

All the things that have been mentioned about me and my manager throughout the scenario are all promotional strategies a.k.a publicity stunts.

We apologize for the inconveniences we might have caused the fans. We are back for real business.

My friends in the media, I thank you a lot for finding out time to grace this important parley. May God bless you.

I am not sure what “damage” they are talking about but what I have learned over time is that controversy might attract eyeballs and eardrums but it doesn’t keep them for too long. That is, in this ADD generation, your gist is only relevant until the next news cycle or trending topic and you’d have to make a decision about whether that temporary attention is worth a near-permanent shift in public perception. Perhaps that’s why Oritse and Danku kept feeding the insatiable beast that is the press with story after story because the attention they got was shorter and shorter-lived each time.

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Oritse Femi and Danku played themselves and it’s perhaps indicative of where the Musical Taliban finds himself on the music food chain these days that he’s had to employ such tactics to remain in the public eye. The road to redemption will probably require more than a simple apology but he can always use the short cut that releasing a hit song always provides.

Oritse Femi and his ex-girlfriend Blessing Rawa (Bella Naija)

Oritse Femi and his ex-girlfriend Blessing Rawa (Bella Naija)

However, it appears that Oritse Femi has run out of ideas in that department. His issue with Danku is just one out of a number of bizarre incidents that the singer has been involved in, including recently going back and forth with a former girlfriend on social media and alleging that his fiancée, at the time, Blessing Rawa had leaked his private conversations to the public last year. Days later Oritse Femi came out to say that too was a publicity stunt.

Fans dnt be 2 serious…dats aw we pull our stunt….lol ….main why dnt forget my album is dropping on de 1st of may .. MSN..super classic album of de year…..#dempackamchop….hahahaaa”

Oritse Femi (Instagram), 2015

You see, there’s a method to Oritse Femi’s madness but the mistake he’ll make is to think everyone else wants to be mad along with him.

By the way, the search results indicated that the MSN Gang trademark is registered under Oritse Femi’s name, just in case you still care to know. MSN stands for “Money Stops Nonsense” but in Femi’s case, it turns out money didn’t exactly stop anything.

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