BY TONY OGAGA ERHARIEFE
FOLLOWING the release of their runaway hit album, Double Trouble, in 2014, indeed it has been a case of double trouble for P Square.
The industry was thrown into shock recently when Peter Okoye and Jude Okoye exchanged words on social media which culminated in Peter sacking Jude as their manager.
But if Peter thought that he had the backing of his twin brother, Paul, he was wrong as Paul had also taken to social media to express his support for Jude. This had culminated in Peter apologising but was it too late?
Even among celebrities there was fear that the worst could happen and Cynthia Morgan, in a post had passionately pleaded with the brothers not to break up amid rumors that Glo had dumped them. However, Glo had come out to declare that the brothers were still ambassadors of the platform.
Music buffs had scarcely heaved a sigh of relief when Peter opened up a new front in the controversy by releasing his debut single, Look in My Eyes and unveiling his own management team thus confirming fears that it was all be over for the duo.
However, this was probably too much for his twin brother, Paul, who released an emotional single to express his shock and posted a picture of their late mum expressing just how much he was missing her stating that if she was around, all the mess wouldn’t happeining.
Until the recent impasse, P-Square remains one of the most successful hip hop groups in the country. In a career that has spanned 13 years, they have released a total of six studio albums and sold millions of records and got endorsements worth millions of naira. They have also robbed shoulders with the biggest names in the industry including Rick Ross, Akon and Awilo Logomba among a host of others.
Once upon a dream
For P-Square, the story to the top began in Jos at St Mulumba’s College in Jos after Peter and Paul joined their school music and drama club where they began singing, dancing, and mimicking songs by MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson. They formed an acappella quartet with a couple of friends which later morphed into Smooth Criminals but broke up after they got admission to study at the University of Abuja.
P Square is born
Subsequently Peter and Paul formed P Square and their rise in the industry was nothing short of astronomical. After winning the Grab Da Mic competition in 2001, Benson & Hedges sponsored their debut album which won the 2003 Amen Award for Best R&B Group. In 2005, they released their second album, Get Squared, under their own label, Square Records, which was a resounding success as it catapulted them to the national stage.
One thing that set P Square apart was their use of dance and stage craft. Female fans from all over the country thronged their shows in great numbers as the twins became the new toast of the industry with hit songs like Bizzy Body, Do Me and Danger among others.
In 2007, their career took a dramatic turn after they released their third album, Game Over, which featured the hit single, Do Me, and sold over eight million copies. So successful were the twins that they were dubbed P-Square Incorporated due to the synergy of the group. Back then, Peter had revealed that while he handled dance choreography, Paul wrote the songs and Jude shot their videos while their late mum was the prayer warrior of the group and indeed the synergy was working.
In 2009, P-Square released their fourth studio album, Danger, featuring collaborations with 2 Face Idibia, J Martins and Frenzy and this culminated in their being named Artist of the Year at the Kora Awards in Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso and they received a whooping sum of $1 Million as the award winners. In January 2014, so good was the goings-on, the Okoye brothers bought mansions next door to one another in Atlanta. On September 14, 2014, P-Square took their career to dizzying heights when they released their sixth studio album entitled, Double Trouble. Among others they took delivery of Range Rover SUVs from Globacom as Glo Ambassadors.
The way the cookie crumbles
However, by this time cracks had began to appear on the wall. Among others, the duo had a difference in opinion regarding songs that were selected for their albums as Paul was getting a lion share of the songs. This led to a situation were Peter moved out of Square Villa, located in Omole, Lagos, with his family and a lawyer was called in to share their property.
Another issue that tore P-Square apart was the marriage of Peter to his long time lover and baby mama turned wife, Lola Omotayo. From the very beginning, Jude was against the marriage and was conspicuously absent at the ceremony. This dove tailed into serious quarrels that pitched Peter against Jude. It was reported that the reason Jude did not attend the wedding was because if their late mum was alive, she would never have approved of Peter marrying Lola Omotayo.
They later made up and claimed it was all a publicity stunt. However, the seeds that would culminate in their current crisis have been sewn and it continued to grow until it climaxed in the recent fight on social media.
The question now is, will P-Square survive a break up? Will they be able to reinvent themselves individually? What happens to their Glo deal if they eventually part ways? However, all fans can do is wait and watch as the P Square drama continues to unfold.