Twelve years have elapsed since the much-anticipated collaboration between Trybe Records, led by Eldee Tha Don, and IMAN Entertainment, an aspiring entertainment entity, was first announced. However, the grand ambitions of this partnership unraveled, leaving Eldee to publicly recount the tale of how the venture’s collapse dealt a crippling blow to his music business aspirations.
Speaking candidly with Teju Babyface on the latest episode of ‘King of Talk’, a YouTube podcast released on August 16, 2023, Eldee unveiled a narrative that paints a portrait of disappointment and alleged fraud. At the center of this narrative stands Dr. Akintoye Akindele, the enigmatic figurehead of Platform Capital.
Eldee’s recollections illuminate a complex sequence of events. Trybe Records, once a bastion of musical talent featuring luminaries like Sasha, 2shotz, Dr SID, Abounce, Sojay, K9, as well as producers Sheyman and Sarz, was poised for expansion under the aegis of IMAN Entertainment. Akindele, flanked by his associates, purportedly orchestrated a strategy that involved the utilization of a venture capital mechanism to source funds from investors. In this orchestrated play, Eldee unwittingly became the face and voice of the endeavor, assuming a pivotal role without the anticipated financial backing.
In the words of the music impresario, Lanre Dabiri, who is known by the moniker Eldee, “The allure of a venture capital company, Synergy Capital, expressing interest in partnering with Trybe Records for a grand expansion resonated with me. Despite my limited knowledge of the intricate business world, I was compelled to channel my hard-earned resources into managing challenges that arose, until the truth unveiled itself.
“Sheyman, a multifaceted artist, producer, and entrepreneur, introduced me to a man named Akin Toye Akindele, whose affiliations included a capital advisory firm. Their modus operandi involved identifying and investing in businesses, underpinning my attraction to the prospects. With burgeoning ambition and musical endeavors, the proposition resonated, leading to the birth of IMAN Entertainment.
“As I ventured down this path, unbeknownst to me, I found myself entwined in a web where Akindele and his associates within the capital advisory firm allegedly procured funds under the guise of fueling IMAN Entertainment. However, the funds did not find their intended destination, leaving me as the unsuspecting face of both Trybe and IMAN, tirelessly striving to uphold the facade.”
Eldee’s tale delves further into the intricacies of this ill-fated alliance, revealing a sequence of events that plunged him into an emotional quagmire. He asserts that the repercussions reverberated throughout his life, straining relationships with friends, associates, and stakeholders both within and beyond the confines of Nigeria’s music industry.
“I found myself depleting my personal finances to sustain the endeavor. The fallout extended to those caught in the crossfire—the artists, staff, vendors, and more. I clung to promises of impending funds, struggling to bridge the chasm between promises and reality. My accounts in both the United States and Nigeria bore the weight of this endeavor.
“Mr. Akindele and his collaborators persisted in offering assurances. Where we should have secured a million dollars, we were left with a mere fraction. This ordeal persisted until Akindele faced consequences and resorted to establishing another entity to continue his ventures,” Eldee revealed with a mix of frustration and resilience.
The timing of Eldee’s revelations coincides with recent controversies swirling around the figure of Akindele, the head of Platinum Capital. Allegations of misappropriation of funds, shares manipulation, and questionable board decisions have cast a shadow over Akindele’s reputation. Presently in detention, Akindele has yet to respond to the accusations levied by Eldee, the pioneering music executive whose dreams were dashed by a partnership gone awry.