Five iconic ‘beef’ in Nigerian music industry

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In the entertainment industry, beef is a word used to describe quarrel among celebrities. In the entertainment industry worldwide, beef is a regular occurrence and the case is no different in Nigeria. Often times, celebrities hit at each other when their egos are bruised. ADEMOLA OLONILUA writes on some iconic beef between Nigerian singers that left their fans awed.

DJ Cuppy vs Zlatan Ibile

The latest beef in the Nigerian music industry, it is obvious that popular singer, Zlatan Ibile and DJ Cuppy are not ‘cool’ with each other despite having a hit song, Gelato, together. 

It started months ago when the disc jockey took to her social media page to inform her fans that Zlatan had blocked her on WhatsApp and Instagram

She tweeted, “10 months later and I sometimes still wonder why Zlatan Ibile blocked me on WhatsApp and Instagram without ever saying why; we were actually friends and “Gelato” was a hit!”

The Zanku singer did not respond to her viral tweet till he was interviewed on a show, The Switch, where he denied knowing DJ Cuppy. 

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Barely 24 hours after denying the disc jockey, Afeare Isreal, an aide of popular singer, Davido, revealed why the singer is angry with DJ Cuppy.

He claimed on his Instagram page, “Kudos to someone like Zlatan, who took a bold step by flushing a full fake friend like Cuppy who was just using his head all in the name of ‘my papa na Otedola’. Zlatan did a hit collabo with her, ordinary one kobo, he no see. 

“She also took Zlatan to Abuja for her fundraising where she made billions of naira and didn’t even remember Zee for one kobo until tomorrow. No accommodation, no feeding. Zlatan had to even spend his own personal money at Transcorp Hilton to carter for everyone including me. Dis na 2021 abeg.”

However, a source close to the disc jockey denied the allegations. “That is a big lie because I know who was in charge of Zlatan on that day. I am not even supposed to be talking about this. His total package was handled. 

“As for she and Zlatan not talking, I do not know what caused that. That is between her and Zlatan. She has not told me or anybody what happened between them but she is going to clear the air on everything soon.” 

Tweeting about the incident, DJ Cuppy simply wrote, ” Super story,’ with the hashtag, #freecuppy.

Burna Boy vs Davido 

Another recent beef in the Nigerian entertainment industry, the singers dumped their microphones for a fisticuff. They literally left their recording booths and opted for a street fight as it was reported that they had a brawl in a club in Ghana.

What simply began as social media war turned to lyrical jabs till it evolved into a fight in a club in Ghana. 

It seems their beef began when Burna Boy received his first Grammy award nomination. After losing out to Beninese singer, Angelique Kidjo, the African giant became quiet on social media for a while.

However, his return to the social media world was marked by his now-deleted reply to a Twitter user claiming that Burna Boy had his success handed to him by ‘The Best’.

The Twitter user wrote, “Where were you since 2010-2018? I mean where the fuck are you when Afrobeat was struggling to hit the mainstream? The BEST paved the way for you. You came in when the table has already been set and here you’re claiming the BEST since Fela.” 

In his response Burna Boy wrote, “ FACT! I always knew I was and I am THE BEST. Everyone you think is the best KNOWS I’m BEST since Fela Kuti. But @timayatimaya told me something a long time ago that made me not care about being the best. ‘The World can do without the Best’; the world will still spin regardless.”

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“Lol. NOBODY paved shit for me. Everybody dey find them own. I bin Out here, if you knew the way they made us look weak by begging and paying the western world to like us you will see that no table was set and I’m the one that brought you the Respect you currently enjoy.”(sic)

Some months later, Davido announced the release of his new album, A Better Time, which was meant to be released in July 2020. The first glimpse of beef happened when Burna Boy posted a black screen with the message, “July will be very funny, and I shall laugh accordingly” on social media, suggesting to his fans that he will be ridiculing Davido’s new album.

After the post, Davido tweeted an edited photo of him and fellow Nigerian singer, Wizkid, captioned “The 2 greatest of all time! No cap”

In response, Burna Boy questioned Davido’s success by claiming that he owes his achievements to his billionaire father. The message still did not mention Davido by name: “you cannot play football, everybody knows you cannot play football and you are an embarrassment to the team. But your daddy bought the football team”.

After Davido announced the new release date, Burna Boy took to his Twitter and wrote, “Floppy disk.” A jab many online users speculated was meant for Davido. 

Also, fans believed that Burna Boy’s song ‘Way Too Big’ from his August 2020 album ‘Twice as Tall’ was directed at Davido with the lyrics, “I’m way too big to be f***ing with you”.

In his track ‘FEM’, which is Yoruba slang for ‘shut up’, Davido addresses Burna Boy directly in the line, “Tell Odogwu say we like to party just call me…” – ‘Odogwu’ and ‘Like to Party’ are both names of a Burna Boy song.

After the back and forth on social media and in the recording booth, the two stars took the fight to the streets of Ghana. 

Davido vs Wizkid

Though the genesis of their feud is unknown, all fans can deduce is that it is a battle for supremacy among these two iconic Nigerian acts. 

The closest any of the two has come to talk about their beef is when Davido commented on it during an interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. 

“Honestly, like I always say, it has never been on my part. I think when things began falling apart was when I was getting bigger because we were the two youngest in the game with the fans, people around him, people around me. I think from when I dropped my first album, things started to be shaky,” the 30BG leader said. 

Even though Wizkid has not said his side of the story, it seems they began throwing subtle jabs at each other in 2017 when Wizkid released his album, Sounds From the Other Side. Shortly after, Davido made a post on his Snapchat, “pon pon sounds”, which some felt was a subtle diss to Wizkid.

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Of course, Wizkid didn’t take it lying down as he took to his Twitter account with the messages, “hate on someone doing better than him in what he failed at,” “free their mind from hate”. Later that day, he posted another tweet, where he noted that “the game is only for the real”, and made a subtle reference to Davido with the phrase “catch up or stay local”.

Davido seized the opportunity to hit back at Wizkid with his verse on Olamide’s song, Summer Body, where he said, “With Yankee passport, them say we local oh / You better catch up, I go see you later”. It was obviously interpreted by people as a clear reference to Wizkid’s previous tweet where he called Davido a “local” artist. 

The back and forth continued as Wizkid took to his Twitter account to post, “My people make una remember say Yankee passport no be baba blue, e no dey cure frog voice,” a reference to Davido’s voice. 

To the amazement of their fans, the two singers sheath their swords as they performed for the first time together at Davido’s 30 Billion Concert in 2017. Everyone thought that was the end of their beef but it seems not.

On October 30, 2020, Wizkid dropped his recent album, Made in Lagos, to the delight of his fans. He received congratulatory messages from a lot of people, but one person that was unexpected to congratulate him was Davido. 

The Popstar took to his Instagram account to congratulate him on his album but Wizkid snubbed his congratulatory message. 

On November 13, when Davido released his recent album, A Better Time, fans felt Wizkid will congratulate Davido, but it never happened. His actions make many believe that the rivalry among the two acts is far from over. 

Tiwa Savage Vs Yemi Alade

This is probably the biggest female beef the music industry has ever experienced in recent time. It happened in 2018. Most fans believe that their fight stems from a battle of supremacy for who is the queen in the African music scene.

The duo has been slugging it out for the position of the number one female musician in the nation and the continent.

While the Johnny Shekere singer, Yemi Alade, has nicknamed herself “Mama Africa”, Tiwa has tagged herself “Number 1 African Badgal”.

Although they hardly throw jabs at themselves, in 2018, Yemi Alade took to her Twitter handle to throw shots at an unnamed person who, according to her, has been photoshopping her bum to deceive her fans on social media.

She tweeted, “Stop increasing your yansh in your pictures. You know you are straight like ‘I’. Embrace your real self! Ahh ahh. Deceiving fans up and dan.” (sic)

Seeing her post, Tiwa reacted by posting some of her pictures showing her shapes and curves to downplay Yemi Alade’s claims. This resulted in an exchange of words between the two songstresses’ fans.

Tiwa further took to her Instagram Stories to blow hot as she wrote, “Don’t start a war you cannot finish. Trust me I’m not the one. I’m quiet but don’t f**k with me.”

However, in a 2019 interview, Yemi Alade noted that she had no problem with anyone as she said, “Whatever makes them sleep well at night. I’ll never comprehend why the public likes to pitch successful people against one another, we are all winning, and that’s what is important. But like I said, whatever makes them sleep well at night.”

The pair ended their beef in 2019 when Yemi Alade released her album, Woman of Steel.

Tiwa Savage who many believed to be the rival of Alade, shocked many people when she celebrated her. Tiwa Savage, in her Instastory post, shared the Yemi Alade’s album cover and praised the singer.

In her words, “Huge congrats on your body of work Queen @yemialade. For sure you be woman of steel.” Acknowledging the post, Yemi Alade reposted Tiwa’s post on her own Instastory.

Furthermore, to show that there was no bad blood between them, Tiwa Savage brought out Yemi Alade in her Tiwa’s ‘Everything Savage’ concert, in December 2019.

Speaking on stage, Tiwa said, “I’m about to bring out Yemi Alade. We do this for the culture.”

Don Jazzy VS Olamide

The beef between Don Jazzy and Olamide in 2015 was borne out of the love they had for their signees― Reekado Banks and Lil Kesh ― respectively.

Five years down the line, these signees have left their bosses to float their record label but the beef that arose will forever remain in the Nigerian entertainment history

It all started after Reekado Banks won the highly coveted Headies Next Rated Awards over Lil Kesh and Kizz Daniel at the 2015 Headies Awards.

Olamide went on stage when Adekunle Gold won an award to vent his frustrations as he claimed Lil Kesh was most deserving of the award and not any other person.

In his words, he said, “Adekunle, let’s be honest, this award belongs to Lil Kesh because Lil Kesh is our next rated.”

He further added, “Every f***ing single was a hit back to back, from ‘Lyrically’ to ‘Shoki’ to ‘Efejoku’; ko ni dafun Iya anybody.”

After these words, Olamide angrily slammed the microphone on the floor and walked off.

Responding to Olamide while on stage to receive an award, Don Jazzy said, “I came out here to support my children. As they were trying to present the award, Reekado Banks was performing at Ali Baba’s show. I have already told my children that I will buy cars for all of them. Egbon Olamide, if you want the car, come and collect it.”

His comment stemmed from the fact that The Next Rated category at the Headies Awards, comes with a car gift.

They both later resorted to social media to make tirades on each other. They later settled their beef through a mediator who has been described as a ‘big man’ but neither Olamide nor Don Jazzy has revealed who squashed their beef.

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