Flashback Fridays: Naija Michael Jackson Copycats

Okay, I gotta apologize for letting this slip...this post was actually meant to go up on Michael Jackson's birthday last week friday but I don't know how I managed to just forget. I knew I was cracking my head up to try and remember what special entry I was planning on doing in memory of MJ but i couldn't so I just did the vague one I did last week...afterall, I had to say something nah.

Anyway, in today's Flashback Friday...I suddenly remembered what I wanted to do and it was on Michael Jackson copycats in Naija, way back in the early 80s. Back then Michael was such a hit that Nigerian artistes, both established and upcoming (and even the unknown) started imitating his style. The trend became a social epidemic on the music scene; all manners of wannabes flooded the scene. Some even went as far as outrightly copying MJ in looks or in name.

My people, no be today Naija dey do copy copy oh. Check out the photos of old school 80s albums way back then.  

Chris Mba was popular to a measure back then but man what's with these MJ album cover rip offs? The first photo is a copycat of MJ's 'Off The Wall' album (see MJ photos above) And what's with the orange sef?. The second is also a rip off of MJ...notice how he deliberately displays his white (abi na brown?) socks - a Michael Jackson dress trend.

I don't know who the two dudes above are but the first album (Emma Dorgu) has the dude outrightly striking the 'Off the Wall' pose completely, no creativity just plain copycat. I don't know if he thought he could differentiate with the cap on his head. It just resonated as another 'okoro feeling funky'. As for the artiste below (Rap Dazz - which kain name be dat sef?) he still manges to strike his own pose while trying to copy the MJ look (Hair and funky Jacket) from the 'Beat it' song.  

Jeffery Bon also does a partial copycat by having the 'Off the Wall' look and then striking a pose which is a partial copycat of the MJ Thriller album. As for Kiki Gyan, he wears the 'Off the wall' look and completely copies the 'Thriller' album pose. Maybe it wasn't easy to acquire a white suit or maybe there was fear of getting it dirty in the photo studio used back then.


I left this last dude for the last because his own case was far different...not only did he rip off MJ's last name, he also adopted an identical facial look! He wasn't even so bothered about his costume looking exactly like MJs (Or could it be that he couldn't afford a black or white suit?) he just banked on his name and face doing the work; with all the jerri curls, penciled eyes and glossed lips. Now that was a good one, I wonder how many Nigerians where entranced by his Naija version of MJ. I never heard his music back then, so I wonder what it must have sounded like...I doubt if it could have been good because we had a few rubbish songs just as we had good ones. 

Is there anybody out there who knew this guy? Abeg holla back, I need to know what he sounded like.

Have an awesome weekend y'all!

Special thanks to Comb & Razor for the images.

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