There are greats who play the game well, and there are champions who play the game to change the game. In sports, figures like Micheal Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Lionel Messi personify the aforementioned assertion. In Afrobeats, when you think of a champion who really played to win, and affected pop culture, in the league of a few, the name Davido easily comes to mind.
For more than a decade, the African music powerhouse has made contributions that many would agree embodies the zeitgeist of the genre’s journey from the early 2010’s till date. O.B.O has tactfully used his music as a vehicle to transport interesting sounds and lyrics that have easily become street lingo, and here are a few:
In very recent times, artists have found more creative ways to announce their presence in music. Just like Rick Ross has the very husky baritone grunt, Davido’s “shekpe” has become one of afrobeats most popular signature sounds. The word which is believed to have Yoruba origins, is one the streets have accepted and love to use loosely.
When O.B.O screams “Tule!” to his fans they immediately respond by saying “Tule Joor” or “Tule Jarey”. Davido introduced “Tule” to his fans on social media and then proceeded to use the word on a few songs like ‘Juju’, ‘Ke Star’. When translated to English “Tule” means to ‘release’ or to ‘set free’.
Ordinarily in pidgin English “E Choke” should mean “suffocation” but when Davido introduces a slang, best believe he also gives context. “E choke” rather carries an interesting and positive meaning which confers excellence or authenticity on a thing. It could also be used to infer quantity. Since introducing the catchphrase in early March 2021, the slang has remained a staple part of Nigeria’s informal vocabulary. Perhaps it’s consistency in time may warrant a mention in the urban dictionary.
While some may argue that Davido did not create the slang “Watimagbo”, what is an undeniable truth is that when his Midas touch handled the slang, it found new life on the streets. Watimagbo simply means “YOU SURELY MUST HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS”.
This massive slang adopted by Afrobeats 001, was exceptionally used by Davido when he was featured on the hit song “High” by Adekunle Gold. Hearing watimagbo with a blend of those 808 drums going off in amapiano. OH MY JEEZ!
WHO DEY BREATHE
At surface level, this may have similarities with “e choke” but David’s ingenuity begs to differ. Who dey breathe was a slang created by Davido, which has received massive acceptance on the streets. Contextually the slang can be used to embellish a well known fact or insist on a point.
Davido’s impact on Afrobeats and pop culture is undeniable. Through his music and signature catchphrases, He has not only created street lingo but also shaped the cultural landscape.