THE BEEF AND RIVALRY BETWEEN NIGERIAN ARTISTES BACK IN THE DAYS WAS ABOUT CONTENT. WHAT’S IT ABOUT NOW?
‘Without the music rivalry/beef between Olando Julius and Fela Kuti for who is the king of Highlife Jazz music, Fela won’t have had the motivation to pioneer Afro-beat music’ – Sesan Adeniji
As I travelled across several states during the Mystreetz magazine Radio tour, the news that travelled faster than I did was the beef between Davido and Wizkid. The amount of talk time and traction it got are major but to be sincere, the frenzy that comes along with this kind of
beef is not out of the ordinary. Over the years we have had rivalries and beef between major artistes in this country. Ironically, those rivalries yielded major creative discoveries that added value and content to the Nigerian music industry. It’s fair to say those beefs back in the days are content related but what is the beef these days all about? So far, the beef these days are the most pathetic and childish. There are no indications that it will add value or unearth inspiring discoveries.
In the early seventies, there were major rivalries/beef between several artistes. One was between Orlando Julius and Fela Kuti. Both parties’ tussled for who is the legitimate King of Highlife Jazz music. The battle for who has the majority of listening ears in the audience and who deserves more respect went on for years. Instead of continuing to dish out diss and throw tantrums with the artiste and his fans, Fela travelled out of the country, rediscovered
his sound and the end result was pioneering Afrobeat music.
The discovery of Afrobeat music is still one of the greatest gifts
delivered for generation to come. Once upon a time, Sir Shina Peters and Segun Adewale were contemporaries playing together in the same band and spearheading the new generation Juju music but somehow, they fell out and beef surfaced. The rivalry for who is the best Juju composer drove their audiences to draw the battle line until Sir Shina Peters with the help of the music producer Olaolu Akins, rebranded Shina by merging a bit of Afrobeat with Juju music and the result was Afro-Juju that made Shina Peters soar to the skies. The rivalry/beef between General Kollinton Ayinla vs Sir Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, and the one between Alhaja Batile Alake and Alhaja Salawa Abeni actually helped draw massive attention and revolution to Fuji and Waka music respectively. These few music rivalries are among some of the best that inspired these veterans to reach for greater heights; so the question now is, what value is the Davido and Wizkid beef adding to the music industry today? That’s something worth pondering about.
– Sesan Adeniji for Mystreetz Magazine( story from the DJ Neptune edition)