Music

The Davido vs. Wizkid Rivalry Is the Gift That Keeps On Giving

The big winners in the ongoing Davido and Wizkid beef are the fans, and the afrobeats genre as a whole.

In the past, the tensions between Davido and Wizkid, Nigeria's biggest music stars, were drawn along the lines of radio dominance, calibers of international collaborations and levels of talents.


Both artists have long anticipated albums coming up this year and the battle for whose project is superior was always going to be a talking point.

The surprise is that Davido, unprovoked as it seems, recently took unaddressed yet undisguised shots at Wizkid on his Snapchat.

The first salvo of a snap, fired by Davido, seemed to mock the songs so far released on Wizkid’s Sounds From The Other Side which include “Sweet Love”, “Come Closer” “Naughty Ride” “African Bad Gyal” and “Daddy Yo”—all of which Davido derisively described as “pon pon sound”.

Davido is right in suggesting Wizkid, in his march to international stardom, has leaned too heavily on the afrobeats-lite songs that don’t sound too distinguished from dancehall, with which the international markets are way more familiar.

Davido's Snapchat.

Wizkid was a trailblazer just three years ago when Ayo dropped, packed with the freshest sounds in lead singles like “Show Me The Money” and “Ojuelegba.”

But then, he’d be squandering the momentum built on the stupendous success of “One Dance” with Drake and Kyla, if it wasn’t followed up by “Come Closer.”

And if Ed Sheeran, French Montana, Wale, et al. are the ones making hits off the “One Dance" challenge, one couldn't possibly fault Wizkid for wanting to partake on the craze he’d helped start.

Wizkid’s own response to Davido to “stay local or ***” is a dig and half-praise. “If” has been a wild success in Nigeria and it’s connected markets in other parts of West, East and Southern Africa, gaining back for Davido any grounds lost in his frustrated attempts to enter the international pop markets through his deal with Sony. Wizkid appears to have had less trouble doing so.

Davido’s decision to “stay local” has led to song like “If” and “Fall” which are surefire hits that make once surefire hits like “Aye” and “Skelewu” look like flickers (from memory, but in clubs and parties and work offices, a different matter).

“If” dropped in February and was still being rinsed on radio stations when it was followed up with “Fall” earlier this month. Few songs have had a similar stranglehold over the afrobeats scene in 2017, except for the likes of Runtown’s “Mad Over You” and “For Life,” and Ycee’s “Juice.”

As a result, both Davido and Wizkid have maintained their pole positions in the race for dominance, but at opposite and equally important ends of the spectrum—one the "international," the other “local”.

But even this isn’t a true representation of the positions each artist occupies. There’s no clear binary. Wizkid is still much loved and respected in Nigeria, and has become one of the country’s biggest cultural exports beyond the realms of music.

Winning the Best International Act: Africa at the recent BET Awards cements this fact. It's the perfect recognition in the lead up to the release of Sounds From The Other Side this July.

Davido’s dominance in African markets could said to be more vital to his career and to afro-pop as an industry unreliant on endorsements from outside the continent. To build on this, he’s just kicked off his “30 Billion World Tour” in Ukraine with the majority of dates in the US.

Neither artist has a complete hold on either the “African” or “international” markets. The big winners here are the fans of the music, and the afrobeats genre as a whole, who now have ambassadors practicing at the highest levels yet.

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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