It has been over a year now since a serious beef was witnessed in the Nigerian Music Industry, probably the dust-up between rappers, Vector and Reminisce. Since then it has just been a quiet workplace with everyone going about his business, no attacks, no counter attacks, no spreading of dirty linen in the public. We miss the high tension and intense pressure of the Choc Boys versus Kelly Hansome days that bore hit songs like Beef, Somebody Wants To Die, the era of Mo’ Hits against the usual culprit, Mr Kelly Hansome that led to the release of Who Born The Maga, Igwe and some other hit songs to the delight of music lovers. One cannot leave out the scripts of 9ice-Rugged man, Sinzu and friend-turn-foe, Godwon from the list of beefs that Nigerians would not lose to memory, one song replied another song, one interview shut another up and the fans enjoyed it.
When the face-off between two of the top label heads in the Nigerian music industry, Olamide and Don Jazzy of YBNL and Mavin records respectively, at the 2015 Hip-Hop World awards happened, most minds predicted a looming beef. Before now, occurrences not as weighty as this have resulted in months and even years of musical attacks, this idea got the appetite of fans across the country wet, not only because it is Don Jazzy versus Olamide (Badoo), but because it demonstrates the rich vein of competition that exists in the industry.The era where award winners are pre-determined is shading away; everyone on the nominee’s list is a musical crackerjack with formidable claim to the prize and it would have been dicey to point out a winner before the official announcement. Upon the release of the list of nominees, fans started to speak in different tongues, even the nominees dropped sweat, testifying to the level of competitiveness of the awards. The differences in views were expected but certainly not the confrontation between the two music dabs.Their disagreement on the deserved winner of the highly coveted Next Rated Award which was presented to Reekado Bankz of Mavin Record by the organizers would have been last thought by a neutral.
The Next Rated category of the Hip Hop World awards, popularly called Headies, has always been the cynosure of the awards, not only because of the succulents of the award but also because it is believed that the winner of the award would go on to become the next superstar like Omawunmi, Wande Coal, Wizkid and Davido all did. So, Olamide and Don Jazzy expressing their different views on the merit of their proteges, is justifiable.
Fairly, the category of Next Rated at the 2015 Headies was invulnerable and selecting a winner, between Reekado Bankz, Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello, Cynthia Morgan and Lil’ Kesh was always going to be a nervy process owing to the fact that they all had a fantastic music year.While receiving the award, the Mavin records artiste, Reekado called Lil Kesh to the stage; he admitted that the YBNL artiste and other nominees in the category made the competition a perspiring one. The award which was decided by the vote of fans could have favored Reekado Bankz because of Don Jazzy’s social media specialty. The Mavin boss uses his social media proficiency with effectiveness, as he did so with canvassing for Reekado in the race to win the Next Rated Award. Reekado’s magnanimity, the Don Jazzy influence however, did not deter Olamide, Badoo from expressing his irritation, as he voiced his dissatisfaction about Lil Kesh being snubbed for the award. He claimed Lil Kesh deserved the award,mentioning Kesh’s hit songs Shoki, Gbese, Efejoku as argument points. Badoo demonstrated his heresy in a tantrum-like manner and it was clear that he was incensed judging by the way he smashed the microphone before leaving the rostrum. This action by Olamide was attacked directly by Mavin boss, Don Jazzy, who used the same stage to respond, clearly in defence of his mentee. At that point, the pot was steamed to cook a beef between arguably two of the best music label heads in Nigeria.
The media in its habitual manner was quick to pick up the clash and tried to spice it up, pictures and videos relating to the incidence started to trend. Olamide himself took to twitter to shoot at Don Jazzy calling him all sorts of names. Fans started to anticipate an endless exchange of beef tracks between the two parties, some music lovers went as far as imagining songs with a Looku Looku impact rained upon Eyan Mayweather and his team, and a banging reply from the YBNL quarters as well, bringing to mind the heydays of the music industry. More so, cooking beefs and serving it is a practice that both labels have exceled in, watching them face each other would have been a pleasure, and would have been ensued by a stream of euphonious melodies for music lovers to dance to. Cheerlessly, the beef that most music minds already started imagining its taste, was just to be cooked and not to be served, as some artistes intervened. Both Olamide and Don Jazzy agreed to hatch it out, starving us of a well spiced beef. In fact, the best beef never served.
Written by Ibironke Oluwatobi