Tuface Idibia the Phenomenon
Superstar musician, Innocent Ujah Idibia professionally known as 2Face Idibia or Tuface Idibia but later changed his name to Tubaba is the only artiste in Nigeria that has been consistent in the music scene for almost 2 decades.
There have been 3 popular eras of Hip Hop in Nigeria and Tuface is the only artiste have been around in all these eras. He has been able to evolve with his music and not only survived during the change of eras but has been able to shine in all the eras.
Hip Hop music started gaining airplay in Nigeria in the mid and late 90s and a lot of works have been put in place to get it accepted and make it a great source of income for the country. This is the classes of the eras based on the popularity of Hip Hop music in the country.
The beginning of the acceptance of Hip Hop music can be traced to the late 90s and early 2000s and in this particular time, there were only 2 consistent groups that gave music lovers something to listen to. Remedies and Platanshun Boyz were the dominant groups during this era. Tubaba was part of the Platanshun Boyz and they released 2 albums (Body and Soul in 2000 and Sold Out in 2003) during this era. These albums were hit albums among the few Hip Hop music lovers that were in the country then.
Although the Remedies were the most popular during this era the Platanshun Boyz were also a force.
Full Acceptance Era
This is the era when Hip Hop music started getting the much-deserved acceptance in the country. This era was between 2003 and 2011 and there were several artistes that were relevant during this time. Before the beginning of this era, both groups that were dominant in the Beginning have already split and there was the emergence of Tony Tetuila, Eedris AbdulKareem and Eddy Remedy from the defunct Remedies and Faze, Blackface and Tuface from the defunct Platanshun Boyz. All of these artistes were relevant early in this era.
Tony Tetuila was the most significant in the early part of this era but was soon overthrown by Tuface in 2004. Tubaba released his debut album (Face 2 Face) as a solo artiste in 2004 and soon became the most trending artiste in the country. ‘African Queen’ was a track on the ‘Face 2 Face’ album and it became a hit song all over Africa and even blew to some part of the world.
This era was dominated by Tuface, Psquare, and D’banj and it lasted for a while before the emergence of the ‘New School’ musicians.
Tuface released 4 superb albums during this era and won several awards including the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best African Act in 2005.
Tuface albums during this era are:
2004 – Face 2 Face
2006 – Grass 2 Grace
2008 – Unstoppable
2010 – Unstoppable International Edition
All these albums were great except the Unstoppable he released in 2008. The album suffered some setbacks due to the fact that Tuface had just left his record label, Kennis Music and floated his own label, Hypertek Music. The album was not properly promoted and didn’t do well on charts but it had some great songs. Due to the poor performance of the album, Tuface released the Unstoppable International Edition which he took some songs from the original Unstoppable and added new songs to it. This album was a mega hit.
New School Era
The New School Era started in 2011 with the emergence of younger artiste like Wizkid, Davido, and Olamide. In this era, the music scene became a different ball game and although some artiste from the ‘full acceptance era’ did well at the beginning soon it was hard for them to cope only Tuface was able to stay relevant in this era.
We are presently in the New School Era and the likes of Psquare have split and artiste like D’banj, 9ice, Terry G and African China are finding it hard to shine in this present dispensation. Tubaba has been able to release 2 albums (Away & Beyond in 2012 and The Ascension in 2014) during this era. These albums are well received by music lovers at the time of their release. This new era has been dominated by Wizkid and Davido from inception but surprisingly Tuface was still able to release a track ‘Holy Holy’ that was nominated for Song of the year in 2017 and he released ‘Amaka’ in 2018 that is also nominated for the Song of the Year in 2018. Tuface might not get the award but for him to have stayed relevant till date is a huge achievement for the living legend.
Tubaba has been able to change his style and his music to the trending type of music during every era and he has been able to be at the very top in the music industry.
Tubaba have been honored in all of the following awards:
- MOBO awards
- MTV Europe Music Awards
- MTV African Music Awards
- The Headies Awards
- Channel O Music Video Awards
- BET Awards
- World Music Awards
- SoundCity MVP Awards
Apart from his musical contributions, Tuface has also been an advocate of good governance and free and fair elections in Nigeria. He also has an NGO called 2Face Idibia Reach-Out Foundation.
Tuface Idibia is more than just a musician but a legend that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.