Don Jazzy’s Dorobucci: blending musical ingenuity with street savvy – Toni Kan
How did a coined word, a simple sound bite suddenly become an anthem?
That is the poser at the heart of the sudden apotheosis of ‘Dorobucci’; a word so nonsensical no one knows what it means but one that, thanks to the musical genius who birthed it and the lyricism behind it, has become a synonym for everything from Doro-gather to Doro-fine to Doro-no-dey-tire.
The question on many lips from Lagos to Lafia, Onitsha to Okene, from facebook walls to twitter hasthtags is what is ‘Dorobucci’?
For those suddenly awakened by the sound of my keyboard, Dorobucci is the latest musical alchemy from Don Jazzy’s laboratory. ‘Dorobucci’ was released sometime in May or late April as a single from the House of Mavin.
The song features Don Jazzy with his ‘jazzy voice’, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, D’Prince as well as new additions to the Mavin ensemble: Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Di’Ja.
On the surface, as with most Don Jazzy produced songs, Dorobucci sounds like something you would hear from inebriated kegites on a lazy Friday night but the difference is that while the melody might sound commonplace, Don Jazzy, (who by the way is not called a Don for nothing,) has sprinkled his sound and song with the revitalizing ash of novelty thus elevating this simple ditty into a national anthem.
Two weeks ago on facebook, someone actually threatened to unfriend any friend of his who wrote Doro-something on his wall. Yes, it has come to that.
So, what exactly is behind this contagious DORO-mania? Keeping it simple: Yes and no one seems to understand that better than Michael Collins. From his emergence on the musical scene, Don Jazzy has displayed an uncanny facility for reading the musical barometer.
As head honcho of MoHits, Don Jazzy gave us ‘Tongolo’ and ‘Koko’ alongside his sidekick, Dbanj and today, many years later, people are still asking ‘what is the Koko?’ and while that question was still seeking its answer, Don Jazzy hit us with ‘Eminado’.
The Don and his First lady, Tiwa Savage, have explained that ‘Eminado’ means ‘something priceless’ but no one has told us what language that is. And just while we were beginning to get our head around ‘Eminado’, the musical alchemist dropped ‘Dorobucci’ and set off a musical storm.
Where do these words come from? In what state of being does Don Jazzy manage to coin these abstractions that end up defining our reality? If someone found out what he ate the morning or night he produced those hits, would that person become a millionaire just by patenting the menu?
When MoHits imploded, Don Jazzy gathered his merry men and lady sans Dbanj and gave us ‘Solar Plexus’ under the Mavin Records imprint. There were plenty of big words that needed the dictionary to decode but very few memorable hits save for songs like ‘Goodie bag’.
Many thought not having Dbanj had dulled his musical gifts but Don Jazzy proved fast that he was indeed the Don with hits for Wande Coal, ‘The Kick’, ‘Goodie Bag’ for D’Prince, ‘Eminado’ for Tiwa Savage and the monster hit, ‘Surulere’ for Dr Sid.
With those songs, Mr. Collins made it clear that he was still the one with the Midas touch but while we were lapping up the melody on ‘Surulere’, little did we know that he was coming up with a song all his own, one that may very well become the defining song of his musical legacy because believe it or not Dorobucci is no other person than Don Jazzy and by extension every man or woman at the top of his game.
The first verse makes clear who Dorobucci is;
‘Dorobucci. Don Doro bucci. Doro Jazzy, eh Doro Boss. Doro Big, you know say Doro Heavy. Doro Skillful. You know say Doro Bloody. Doro get the biggest label wey you know, of course…Doro gather pass anyone for the gathering.’
Read that last paragraph again and what you have is a lyrical epigraph, Don Jazzy has written, as it were, his own tribute, obituary if you will. When the musical genius passes on many years from now, we won’t have to look too far for what to say about him. He is the Don, he is jazzy, the Boss, big, heavy, skillful, bloody, and owner of the biggest label we know.
What boast can be more boastful and well, oh so true. He is all that he says he is. No Nigerian music label has the number of bankable musical stars like Mavin records. No Nigerian label head commands the kind of endorsements Don Jazzy commands. No Nigerian musical producer has a catalogue of musical hits like Don Jazzy. So, why won’t he, in a moment of musical whimsy and fancy decide to re-christen himself, Dorobucci?
But Dorobucci is much more than the sum of the man who coined it.
As fans and admirers we are all Doro-something, because the Don has taught us a handle, a prefix that fits like a first name, one that enables us, even if vicariously, to experience the emotional high that comes from high achievement.
Which is why in the Igbo chorus, the male voice singing asks ‘Doro, ibu onye ebe?’ Meaning ‘this Doro, whereabouts are you from?’
And that is what makes it pretty easy for Tiwa Savage to appropriate it as she tells us that she is not only a diva, but that she doesn’t get tired and then she adds, ‘Doro hot, Doro Eminado, Doro fine, Dorobucci, Doro Me, Doro You, Doro Mavin with the baddest crew.’
Dr. Sid referencing his last hit sings; ‘Doro-Suru, Doro Lere. Doro Grab. Doro pass anybody wey don pass before…Doro hammer nack pass carpenter wey don dey nack before…Doro Ronaldo, Doro Messi.’
Further down the line in the song we read that Doro is 007, the apogee of suave, sophistication and masculinity.
How does Don Jazzy figure out what will resonate; a song that will not only make you dance but unlike most pop songs, will remain in your consciousness, staining the mind like an indelible ink and making itself a potent, something that enters the lingo and takes it hostage.
An understanding and untangling of this conundrum may well be the key to unraveling the genius of the production alchemist, Don Jazzy.