New cat saga: Burna Boy, Davido rivalry divides Nigerians

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By Racheal Ayodele

The re-emergence of the supremacy battle between the two famous Nigerian Afrobeat icons, Damini Ogulu, commonly known as Burna Boy, and David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has continued to set tongues wagging within the entertainment Industry.

Recall that Davido reignited the fight in a recent interview where he claimed to have hit fame before Burna Boy, whom he referred to as a ‘new cat’ in the Nigerian music industry.

“Everybody knows now. I was one of the first. Wizkid and I were among the first young artists to blow up, and it feels good seeing new cats like Burna Boy, Rema, Fireboy, Mayorkun, you know, a lot of new cats coming, killing it, Asake, who was on my album. So, yes, I think the future of Afrobeat is in good hands,” Davido had said.

However, Davido’s comment didn’t sit well with Burna Boy’s fans, re-fueling an intense debate in the industry.

Like the debate between Lionel Messi and Cristian Ronaldo’s fan base on who is the Greatest of All Time, music enthusiasts have continued to lock horns over the supremacy between Davido and Burna Boy.

While some fans argue that Burna Boy has been prominent in the industry since he released his debut album, ‘LIFE’ in 2013, Davido’s fans, on the other hand, contend that the singer’s ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ album, released in 2012, was a bigger hit.

Speaking with DAILY POST on Thursday, the President of the Rock Music Federation, Phil Roberts, said every Nigerian music artist has contributed to the growth of Afrobeats, not restricted to Davido.

He noted that despite Nigerian Afrobeats craft going global, it must be stressed that everyone in the industry is doing business, hence the battle for supremacy.

“Everybody wants to be on top of their career. Nobody wants to go down.

“As you can see, all of them are making us proud outside Nigeria, but it’s a business. To continue to be on top of your game, you need to see how you can ensure nobody climbs up better than you.

“So, it’s part of entertainment because if they don’t create that kind of discussion, I’m not sure they will trend. Everybody wants to be at the top of their career. So it’s all about competition.

“There’s nothing there. They are just entertaining you, because if you listen to only their music, the fun would not be there without this part of the entertainment.

“How would you say Davido brought Afrobeat to the limelight? All of them have been doing their part.

“They all made it more exposed to the world. Afrobeat is an African beat. So who is more African than the other? All of us are African, and all these things are in our genre. So these beats have been there even though they all made it to come out the way it’s all over the world.

“Because when you are cooking a soup, it is not only one ingredient that makes the soup sweeter, it’s different ingredients, so I give it to all of them, Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid, among others, because it’s a collective effort,” he said.

Meanwhile, a popular Abuja media personality, Simeon Sunday, stated that Davido’s comment on Burna Boy is not far from the truth.

According to him, Burna Boy was nowhere when Davido hit the airwaves with his Omo Baba Olowo album in 2012.

Sunday, also known as Big Daddy of Abuja, opined that Burna Boy came into mainstream music a year after Davido’s emergence.

In Sunday’s view, when Burna Boy first came to the mainstream music industry, he only made an impact in 2019.

“When you think about the supremacy battle between these two Afrobeats big wigs, especially with David referring to Damini as a new cat, you’d realise that this feeling of the supremacy of Davido over Burna boy didn’t just start now, their beef could be traced back to 2019 when Burna tweeted that he is the biggest African artiste after Fela as no one paved the way for him, and Davido responded that he and other artistes paved the way for people like him, so he should show them some respect.

“Frankly speaking, Davido wasn’t wrong with his assertion of Burna as a new cat. Davido got into the mainstream in 2012 with his Omo Baba Olowo album with chart-topping songs like Dami Duro, Back When, Ekuro and others.

“The question is, ‘Where was Burna all this time?’ He hadn’t even made it to the stream. What seemed to be mainstream for Burna was his song ‘Like to Party’ of his L. I F. E album, and this came almost a year after Davido’s album, and after the LIFE album, we tend to see Burna struggle a bit before his big break in 2019.

“Putting this into perspective, despite Burna outshining Davido now with his Stadium tours across the world, it wouldn’t be totally out of place if David refers to him as a new cat, just as 2Face, Dbanj and others could refer to David and Burna as New cats”, he stated.

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