The Internet can be likened to a market square. Just like a market square, there are on and off days. While some days might be met with silence, others are met with lively scenery.
A lively scenery is probably the best way to describe the razzmatazz that recently erupted on the internet when a video of popular singer Davido surfaced online.
In what appears to be an interview, Davido is holding a half-filled glass cup, while simultaneously brushing on about how he and another popular Nigerian singer, Wizkid were the pioneers of the global takeover that is now been upheld by certain ‘New Cats’ in the Nigerian music industry such as Burna Boy, Rema, Asake, Fireboy Dml, Ckay, Mayorkun, and Omah Lay.
Out of the listed ‘New Cats’ was an interesting mention- the self-proclaimed ‘African Giant’ popularly known as Burna Boy and fans of the singer had a bone to pick with Davido.
As the video circulated more, the internet came to divide. Several opinions and thoughts began springing up- most especially on the popular microblogging site, Twitter.
Many considered the statement made by Davido as disrespectful towards Burna Boy while others seemed to agree with Davido, citing the fact that Burna’s recent climb to “real” mainstream success was only just in 2018- hence making Davido’s claim a factual statement.
However, this claim might just be far-fetched after all, and here are reasons to counter it.
Burna Has Been Mainstream Since 2012
Most young Nigerian listeners first came across Burna Boy’s music in 2012 when he released his sensational debut single ‘Like To Party’. The breath of fresh air single automatically slung shot his celebrity status making him beloved on radio airplay, Television stations, popular block parties, and private lip-synching.
He followed up with the equally impressive ‘Tonight’ further earning him a cult following- with subsequent hits like ‘Run My Race’ (2011), ‘Yawa Dey'(2012), ‘Soke’ (2015), ‘ Pree Me’ (2016), ‘Faso La Ti Do’ (2016) ‘Heavens Gate’ ( 2018), and ‘YE’ (2018).
However, for a good part of Damini Ogulu’s career, before 2018, he struggled to get in the good records of many industry professionals, as he had a sore reputation for burning bridges- making several enemies in the process.
This led to stunted growth in his career- in which his peers like Davido, Wizkid, Sean Tizzle, Ice Prince, and others, were seen to be making strides in the industry, winning awards, bagging endorsement deals, topping media countdowns and ultimately having more visibility than Burna boy did.
Bad Blood History
The music industry isn’t new to “beef”. In fact, like a moth to a flame, is the industry to squabbles.
It is probably no news that Burna Boy and Davido have encountered squabbles of theirs in the past- with an alleged diss track (Fem) to serve as a souvenir.
At some point in 2020/21, both parties were at extreme loggerheads- with the most controversial being an offline spat that further resulted in violence between certain team members of both musical artists.
While the ugly situation between both artists might appear to have died down, there are still echoes of the brewing bad blood, and there are reasons to believe these echoes might have found leeway through Davido’s recent spillings.
The Factual Statements
Taking excerpts from the video, Davido made some factual claims, one of which was the moment he name-dropped himself and Wizkid as two of the recent torchbearers of African music global dominance.
This statement is undeniable. Davido and Wizkid have been promoting African music to the World since 2015/16 and have both been seen as some of the earliest recognized Afrobeats ambassadors.
Both artists coupled with a few other greats served as the stepping stone to the global victory that is currently being enjoyed by their younger peers.
The Word ‘New Cats’ in the context of the placement of Burna Boy and what Davido might have intended creates a dilemma.
From the perspective of International mainstream fame, Burna is relatively new (when compared with Davido).
However, the term ‘New Cats’ raises eyebrows especially when the names Davido lists alongside Burna’s are names of artists that gained mainstream fame both locally and internationally only four years ago.