The Nigerian Music Beef Culture
Music feud has been in existence as far back as no time to pin point when and how it begun. It is on records that even the 18th century music composers knew how to throw shades.
Somehow, in the 90’s beef got to it height in music. The rivalry between Notorious B.I.G and Tupac was the definition. It spanned through years, sealed with diss records, and ended tragically but yet shaped the future of beef in the game.
This culture never stopped in America where it was heightened, and made artistes not only throw punches of poetic verbosity at each other, but also at some point assaulted themselves physically. The culture found it way to creep in to the Nigerian mainstream music industry, and in the early millennia, it found it voice.
But, before we put a record on the culture, i want to establish that music acts should give the social media the props it deserve, for giving them the platform, directory, trajectory and impulsivity of how to negotiate, engage and exchange beef with each other. Unlike in the past, where the artiste either have to use record to pass beef messages or have physical confrontations to push through their rivalry.
lets reflect our lenses to the past, where it all began as we look through the memory lane of the beef that ever occurred in the Nigerian music scene.
Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem
The millennial script of beef started playing out between Ruggedman and Idris Abdulkareem. In 2005 precisely, after Eedris had shared the stage in a show he also headline with 50 Cent, and other artistes, he started referring to himself as the best rapper in Africa. This was at the time Ruggedman was releasing jaw dropping bars and hit songs, and it got him really enraged, so he recorded a diss track titled; “Ehen Part One” with an intention to diss Eedris and other artiste particularly directing the form of the song to his rap style and poor delivery of rap songs.
Of course, Eedris didn’t take it likely, he responded to Ruggedman on an interview on record saying “person wey diss him elders no go grow”
Astonishingly, Eedris released a record titled “Koleyewon,” were he featured Ruggedy Baba.
Similarly, the pair ended their beef as ruggedman revealed how they ended their beef.
Blackface, 2Face and Plantashun Boiz
Then the break up of the defunct group－ plantashun boiz in 2004 emerged, which led to an unending feud between Blackface and 2Face, which Blackface, since the break up will continuously blame 2face for the stall and lack of progress in his career with averment that 2Baba stole “African Queen,” one of the biggest songs to come out of Africa from him.
This particular beef is unique. it keeps changing phases, as accusation and counter accusation are being laid from time to time by a Blackface who has refused to let go of the past to focus on a career future with music.
M.I and Kelly Handsome
M.I Abaga and Kelly Handsome also featured in the beef battle. Their beef was theatrics as diss upon diss songs were released and directed at each other with some famous lines like “short black aboki shine my shoe” and “see wowoh pikin dey form handsome, kelechuckwu clap for yourself well done.”
However, in 2013, the pair reportedly ended their long time beef as they performed and shared same stage at CARNIRIV festival.
M.I and Iceberg Slim
Another beef that ensued in the Nigerian Music sphere that period was that of M.I and Iceberg Slim. Although this beef didn’t move pass the speculatory level, but on records, few words, were sublimely directed at each other.
Iceberg Slim on a video in 2009, was heard saying words like “I am tired of the same old question that they all ask about me; I’m I better than M.I? I don’t know. I’m I? Matter of fact, You should ask M.I.”
M.I on the other hand, dropped some lines in his song “somebody wants to die,” as he bites harder on artistes hating his music progress, saying “ Yes I do beef but right now I’m fasting… you don’t even want it anyway so why asking?…. N**s want drama I’mma holla when I’m casting.”
Two days later, iceberg Slim drop bars sublimating that “Somebody wants to die”, ill be responsible for the assassination…let the countdown begin…( I told em it would be a M.I.stake but they didn’t listen.)
This beef didn’t leave the conjecture level as everything about it is on the low now.
9ice and Ruggedman
This is one of the longest serving beef in the music industry as matters of infidelity allegedly set the precedent for it. In 2010, 9ice released a song titled “Once Beaten, Twice Shy” off his album “Tradition.” He sang about his lover who had cheated on him with his friend. This was just after his marriage with his estrange wife Toni Payne ended. The media, friends and people around him, held an insinuation which was, 9ice was referring to Ruggedman for cheating with his wife and breaking his marriage.
This beef was prolonged for over 6-years until it finally ended as the pair decided to sheath their sword after the “Living Things” Singer apologized to Ruggedman on an interview with Sun News Paper.
Olamide and Don Jazzy
The beef between Olamide- YBNL boss and Don Jazzy the Mavin Boss started at the Headies awards in 2015.
Reekado Banks had won the Next Rated Artiste category in the Headies award 2015 and Olamide didn’t like it as he deemed it fit that Lil Kesh did better than Reekado that year and should have won the award.
A mild drama turn out during the course of presenting and receiving the award given to Adekunle Gold, who won the award for The Next Alternative act with his single “Shade.”
On getting to the stage, Lil Kesh prostrated to Olamide as he took the Mic and said “Lil Kesh is our own Next Rated artist. F*ck that sh*t! The street ti take over. Every f*cken single was hit back to back. From lyrically, to Shoki to Efejoku. Koni dafun Iya Anybody,” he then dropped the mic on the floor, threw his cup away with the content spewing on the stage as he made exit with his crew out of the stage.
Don Jazzy while receiving the Special Recognition Award and in his vote of thanks revealed he was planing to buy cars to his children, making reference to Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Dija the new Mavin signee at that time, he then ended with “Egbon olamide, if you want the car, come and collect it.” (referring to the SUV that accompanies that e Next Rated Award)
After the event, Olamide went on attack spree on Don Jazzy and even tweeted words that can be liken to a threat, asking Don Jazzy never to come to Mainland part of Lagos, Nigeria.
This beef didn’t last long as Olamide later took to his Instagram page to apologize to Don Jazzy and his fans. Afterwards, news broke out that Aliko Dangote, most richest man in Africa acted the intermediary role to reconcile the two boss.
Saucekid and Godwon
The beef between Godwon and Saucekid began just after NotJustOk posted a list of 10 most gifted rappers in Nigeria and he didn’t make the list. He took to Twitter to express his gall and in the process, he called out Saucekid and other artistes. Sinzu didn’t like it, so he replied the tweets and their fight began. From Twitter to records, they kept fighting each other. This beef didn’t also last, as the fuss went mute naturally.
Wizkid and Davido.
The beef between this pair seem to be the goldmine of the moment. It is a well ducked by them, for their fans and the media. From the outlook of the beef, it is tagged a supremacy battle, but from the in view of it, it seems the young men are lazy with their spare time off recording, so they have decided to catch trips with beefing each other.
There is this narrative and comparison that exist between the two of them, it’s a case of who is better than who. This will not end as both artistes are neck deep in their career and are not ready to let go the title of dropping hit songs.
When Wizkid had issues with Linda Ikeji, Davido hanged out with him to show support as they took a private jet cruise with each other to Kenya, ending the rumour to their beef.
But, just recently, it seems the fire on the burner of their beef is kindle again. They are back at exchanging subs and tweets at each other, and it seems this wont end in a while.
From the above cases of beef elucidated, one can deduced that there is a culture. It is not the pop culture but rather, it is the Nigerian music beef culture. It is in existence. It is real, and it should be address. It is high time the industry big wit come together to look for a solution on controlling artistes from creating enemies with each other.
There are extreme cases, but it can always be curtailed and resolved, because music beef makes the game unhealthy and reduce the stacking and raking in of money to the industry.
At the end, artist make music to express themselves, pass messages across, get fame and ultimately make money, and one of the things that hampers this is in the industry is beef.
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