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The Nigerian Music Industry and its Never Ending Beefs

March 11, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolu Okunade

The Notorious B.I.G and 2pac are two of the most common names in history today, particularly as it pertains to Music. The Notorious B.I.G otherwise known as Biggie was one of the best rappers that have ever graced the surface of the earth with over 30 million copies of his albums sold.

I need not say much about his Counterpart, 2pac who twenty-five years after his death is still being talked about as the greatest rapper to ever exist among the living and the dead. With 9 Platinum Albums, 7 Posthumous Albums, 75 Million Albums Sold, 713 Songs and features in 7 movies all before his death at the age of 25, friends, fans and critics alike could not deny his greatness.

However, one thing common to both of them was the East Coast and West Coast Feud which eventually ended in the gruesome assassination of both of them. Though they were both talented and black, they weren’t on good terms and were constantly at war. However, not much attention was paid to both of them since “Beef (a word used to describe a squabble or malice in the entertainment industry) was an integral part of Hip-Hop Music. And it has been so, since time immemorial across continents.

In Nigeria, Wizkid and Davido, two of Nigeria’s global superstars have had this ‘beef’ going on for a long time now. Both locally known and globally awarded, have gone one to sell millions of records, amass billions of streams, sell out stadiums and arenas hundreds of thousands of kilometres away from their home country, and yet are still topping charts for the 10th year and counting.

However, these two sons of the soil have had a silent war going on. Though at the start of their glorious careers nearly 12 years ago, they were close buddies, but it seemed as though the more successful they became, the farther they grew apart. Though they made up publicly at a concert in December 2017 and even performed both of their songs together, this peace accord was short-lived.

Vector and MI Abaga recently had their face-off that was followed by a series of diss tracks by both parties and an eventual reconciliation sponsored by Global Cognac Brand Hennessy. They’ve then gone ahead to bury the hatchet and both got featured on a cypher together. And to further prove that all there’s no trouble in their paradise, MI is expected to be on a Vector Song called Crown of Clay from his new album.

Recently, Burna Boy and CDQ were in the news for the same reason. The latter had gone on social media to call out Burna Boy for his flagrant disrespect to Former Super Eagles Skipper, Obafemi Martins at a Club. And while the details of what exactly transpired are sketchy, a video emerged on social media of CDQ allegedly stabbed, in a brawl that ensued at the club. Though all parties involved have gone on to bury the hatchet, it still leaves many wondering why a brawl would ensue in the first place.

The candid truth is; Beef makes records sell. It is the perfect way to create sensationalism. And the Drama that accompanies it? Well, people love Drama. But does that help us and help their brands? Nigeria has a wide array of talents that are maestros in different sounds — Reggae. Highlife. Afrobeats. Alte. Blue. Pop. RnB. Rap. If the giants and upcoming superstars of these sounds begin to collaborate within and across genres, the results would blow our minds.

Now, the eyes of the globe are on us and our sound. Afrobeats has been what has dictated the sound of many albums from artists across the world. Even Beyoncé has an album that featured the global ambassadors of this sound. You might sell more records now, but what does it do for your brand long term?

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