The streets have been buzzing with suggestions of a cold war between two  music raves, Davido and Wizkid. Though both have denied such, those close to them insist that there is a less than healthy rivalry between the youngsters.

Wizkid and Davido

In music, rivalries go with the territory. While many believe such rivalries are usually provoked by fans, others believe they are invented by the media. But Entertainment Café learnt that the one between the two singers is taking the shape of a full-blown animosity and its feared it could snowball into something unseemly

For two years, Wizkid has really dominated the scene, headlining major concerts and scooping a phalanx of awards at home and abroad. But the arrival of Davido on the scene early this year seems to have chipped away Wizkid’s popularity.

“The two are practically targeting the same audience,” said an industry player.

Prior to Davido’s emergence, he and Wizkid were unknown to each other. But that soon changed, as Davido also became a household name. They both met and became friends–until sometime in May, when the relationship became strained as a result of the personality clash between top cats, D’Banj and Don Jazzy. Davido queued behind D’Banj, while Wizkid elected to fight Don Jazzy’s corner in the Mo’Hits civil war.

Though the rumour of Davido signing to D’Banj’s DB Records turned out to be unfounded, this obviously riled Don Jazzy team that includes Wande Coal and Wizkid (a member of Empire Mates Entertainment co-owned by Banky W but close to Don Jazzy).

Another source also attributed the breakdown in the relationship between Davido and Wizkid to a nightclub incident. According to him, Davido forced Wizkid to pick up the tabs after a night out at a popular nightclub in Victoria Island, Lagos. Wizkid, who was invited by Davido, was said to have brought some friends over. Davido ordered drinks, which were naturally pricey. But while the bingeing was going on, Davido allegedly slipped away, leaving Wizkid with the task of paying the bill racked up. This was estimated to be between N200, 000 and N300,000.

In September, another twist was introduced, when Davido and his HKN label crew were reported to have walked out of the Nigerian Entertainment Awards show in New York while Wizkid was performing. US-based Nigerian comedian, Foxy P, who was at the show, gave a vivid account of what happened via his Africa Today Show. “Davido and his HKN crew, including Sina Rambo and B-Red came very late to the event and instead of waiting for a lull they just bounded all the way down the steps to the front row where EME stars Banky W, Skales, e.t.c were sitting. They were relatively calm till towards the EME performance that started with XO Senevoe, Rotimi, Skales then Banky and Wizkid. At the time Wizkid came up, Davido just got up with his whole crew and they all walked out.

“It wasn’t like they were rushing anywhere because everyone was eventually going to the after party so there was no hurry. I came out after he did and noticed that the entire HKN crew was just standing outside the auditorium doing nothing. It was clear to see they came out because they couldn’t stand to watch Wizkid perform,” Foxy P wrote. After the show, a picture of the two stars standing together surfaced online.

Both singers made hugely successful recording debuts. Wizkid struck gold with Superstar; Davido did same with Omo Baba Olowo. They followed it with sold-out album launch concerts at Eko Hotel And Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The two have equally attracted top-notch endorsements from corporate companies. While Davido was made the face of MTN Pulse, Wizkid, was chosen by Pepsi Cola to join the list of its ambassadors, alongside Tiwa Savage.

As both are becoming increasingly popular in Africa and beyond, they have come to the attention of international stars, who seek them for collaborative efforts.  Some months ago, Senegalese-American music star, Akon, was in his studio in the US to record some songs with Wizkid and even signed the latter onto his Konvict Records. While that song is still enjoying rotation both in Africa and America, Akon also dragged Davido to same studio to record the Dami Duro remix.

All through 2011, Wizkid was the rave and this earned him the prestigious The Headies’ Next Rated award with Hyundai Sedan as a perk. But for 2012, Davido took over from Wizkid, as he was adjudged 2012 Next Rated.

As Wizkid’s mantelpiece is being filled with more continental prizes, including MOBO and BET Awards, last weekend, Davido also picked his first international award as he emerged the Most Gifted Newcomer at the recently held Channel O Music Video Awards.

With these developments, many are worried that the rivalry has the potential to recreate the 2Pac/Notorious BIG feud that fascinated America in 90s. Domestically,  rappers Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem as well as Vector and Reminisce have had well publicised feuds. They were not pretty occurences.

—Funsho Arogundade