On October 8, 2020, Nigerian singer and Universal Music Group, Nigeria signee, Alpha P took to his Twitter page to write a very funny message.
On his page @WhoIsAlphaP, he wrote, "Davido is the Drake of Nigeria, think about it..." Davido replied with his account that, "Drake the Davido of America think about it..." It continued the trend of Nigeria and hyping itself as bigger than American artists in some way.
The idea was first started off in 2016 when Reminisce told an interviewer that, "Wizkid lo help Drake now..." In English, he meant, "Wizkid helped Drake..." The interviewer had asked the veteran rapper about how Drake might have helped Wizkid on the global stage. Nigerians have been doing this because we feel a need to control our 'narrative.'
But the truth is that, Drake and Davido are actually similar. While both rappers are not exactly the most prodigiously talented in their generation in North America and Nigeria respectively, they make up for it with amazing music minds.
Both of them are also very aware of the next sound or the next act because the love music and that love for music helps them navigate the soundscape almost better than anybody.
More importantly, they also have similar personality traits; both don't like them because they can be too honest and emotional. They also have a knack for elevating upcoming artists with impressive guest verses. Both of them are also top notch A&Rs.
Does Davido's tweet make any sense though?
A lot of people are tired of seeing America control most of our narratives. Nigerian artists are also rightly tired of getting treated as excessively inferior to American acts.
While it makes sense, it sort of feels like our mechanisms to engineer our own narrative are built on fugazi than any realistic topical backgrounds. In the grand scheme of things, you can only strive to be more than what you are. And for that, work is needed. While positive words aid reality, brazen statements aren't always the truth.
People who want to believe the circumstantial truth so bad will endorse it, but it's all a part of spreading grandiose delusions. America influences the Nigeria more than Nigeria influences America. While we need to control our narratives, conversations like who helped who are sort of pointless.
Davido might say, "Drake the Davido of America think about it..." till tomorrow. It doesn't mean the statement is logical or true. I mean controlling narrative starts with making brazen statements, but Drake was the biggest artist of an entire decade across the world.
"Drake is the Davido of America" is not going to sell now or ever. While it technically makes sense, the analogy is fundamentally flawed and that's due to the reasoning behind it. The narratives we can control are about the things that actually originate from Africa - such as our own genres.
That's why Burna Boy's swipe at Coachella in 2018 made absolutely no sense till this day. The motive might have been commendable, as American artists are no longer bigger than any Nigerian superstar in Africa. Gone are the days when American R&B and Hip-Hop used to dominate Nigerian airwaves in the 90's and early 2000s.
The point is that while Davido or Burna Boy are much bigger than Drake in Africa, Drake will pull a wild crowd in Nigeria. Some of his songs have also charted super high in Nigeria. Davido and Burna Boy can pull Drake's numbers in any other part of the world. At Coachella in 2018, Burna Boy's crowd was sparse.
They might sell out arenas in Europe and America, but a significant amount of their audience will be Nigerian or African by descent. In contrast, Drake will pull 95% children of the soil if he were to do a show in Nigeria.
Guys, we need humility and work than we need ego and brazen statements. Our music must reach the zenith, brazen statements won't magically make that happen... But at the end of the day, Davido is the Davido of everywhere. Drake is the Drake of everywhere. We all need each other.
The fact though is; Davido needs America more than Drake needs Africa. Drake has Africa more than Davido has America.
*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the opinion of an editor at Pulse. It does not represent the views of the organisation Pulse.