Did Drake make Wizkid more popular outside Africa? [Olamond Naija Editor’s Opinion]

Your assumptions cannot erase reality.

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On Monday, November 23, 2020, Benjamin Enfield rattled the hornet’s nest and the Wizkid dog pound with it. Sadly, he didn’t seem to realize what he was about to do when he tweeted his thoughts. Wizkid FC came for him and someone even delusionally threatened Enfield that their rage was going to make him deactivate his account.

Did Drake make Wizkid more popular outside Africa? [BBC]

On Monday, November 23, 2020, Benjamin Enfield rattled the hornet’s nest and the Wizkid dog pound with it. Sadly, he didn’t seem to realize what he was about to do when he tweeted his thoughts. Wizkid FC came for him and someone even delusionally threatened Enfield that their rage was going to make him deactivate his account.

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Such is the toxicity of stan culture that makes people delusional about their negative power of internet-based rage. But back to the matter at hand, the conversation about who helped who was complicated after a clip of veteran rapper, Reminisce saying, “Wizkid lo help Drake…” on a red carpet went viral on social media.

In English that means, “It’s Wizkid who helped Drake…”

The conversation of who helped who is complicated by three things;

1.) The ever increasing power and acceptance of African artists in the west and Europe.

2.) Gentrification and Devaluation: Africa has seen so much gentrification and devaluation to last a lifetime. In a bid not to further feel inferior to the west and Europe, Africans would rather blow their own trumpet and their weight as African artists.

Their fans then follow suit. That’s why Burna Boy haphazardly launched an ill-advised tirade at the organizers of Coachella, calling himself an “African Giant.” Thank God for a great spin and a great album, but that tirade still doesn’t make any sense.

3.) The power of make-belief: In 2020, things are sometimes accepted at face value. If you think and behave like you’re inferior, people will treat you like second-rate products.
If you say you’re the best, people will also accept it at face-value if you sound convincing. That’s why the wrong people get the right jobs in tech entertainment and major labels.
That’s why Davido recently tweeted that, “Drake the Davido of America think about it…” This is also an incidence of devaluation of African artists in the west and Europe. They are tired of fighting for stuff, so they would rather move with the superstardom that Africa affords them wherever they find themselves in the world. It also helps their cause that they are in demand.

3.) The power of make-belief: In 2020, things are sometimes accepted at face value. If you think and behave like you’re inferior, people will treat you like second-rate products.

If you say you’re the best, people will also accept it at face-value if you sound convincing. That’s why the wrong people get the right jobs in tech entertainment and major labels.

That’s why Davido recently tweeted that, “Drake the Davido of America think about it…” This is also an incidence of devaluation of African artists in the west and Europe. They are tired of fighting for stuff, so they would rather move with the superstardom that Africa affords them wherever they find themselves in the world. It also helps their cause that they are in demand.

As logical and compelling as those three points seem, the downside of these three factors is that the stan bases of Nigeria’s biggest superstars use them to push some awful and ignorant narratives.

Alaye, there is no way in the world that Wizkid can help Drake – at least, not like every stan thinks. Even if Wizkid could have helped Drake by introducing Drake to a new African audience, Drake did 10 times more than that for Wizkid. Do you people think we are living in a simulation controlled by stan culture?

Wizkid was always going to get his day in the West and Drake jumped on that wave like he has done to everything in recent years. But starting from 2016, Drake became the highest-selling artist in the world. By the end of the decade, he became the most-streamed artist in the history of music streaming.

Of all his albums, only Sunset Demo Tapes didn’t debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. About four years into his career, Drake became the artist with the most No. 1 singles atop the Rap Charts. Some will argue about what his co-sign means in the world today, but Drake’s co-sign remains the most powerful co-sign in the world.

While he has benefited from some of his co-signs – like Wizkid – to learn new sounds, conquer new horizons and maintain his lead, the careers of his co-signs improve significantly after he jumps on a track with them. In recent years alone, BlocBoy JB, Giggs, Popcaan, Migos and more went nuclear after he jumped on their tracks.https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/fQRKn5kfq/

Before then, it was Majid Jordan and The Weeknd – who is now one of the biggest artists in the world. Guys, American superstars like DJ Khaled and Meek Mill get Drake to give them hits. When Meek Mill and a young OG like Chris Brown get on tracks with Drake, they give him the first verse. That’s how powerful Drake is.

He is able to stay powerful because he stays forever aware and knows almost every upcoming artist in his region and outside of it. Earlier in 2020, Kamaiyah told Vlad TV that Drake was speaking with her in the DMs way before anybody knew her.

Anywhere Drake goes in the world, he would fill out a 40,000 capacity venue. After Drake jumped on a track with Wizkid, our Nigerian legend’s star stock rose to an all-time high. More features with foreign artists got recorded and released. Earlier in 2020, Wizkid became the first Nigerian artist with two billion streams on Spotify.

A significant chunk of those streams are from ‘One Dance’ and ‘Come Closer.’ Wait, Wizkid’s first appearance on the Billboard 200 came right after ‘One Dance’ and a song from that album – Sounds From The Other Side– featured Drake. In fact, that song is the biggest song from ‘Sounds From The Other Side.’

There’s is no part of the world where Wizkid can co-sign Drake. Even though ‘One Dance’ was truly Wizkid’s, there is simply no way it would have gotten into the Billboard Hot 100 if he had released it as his own record. Meanwhile, Drake would have had a No. 1 or at least another top 20 record that summer, if ‘One Dance’ never came his way.

That’s what you call a co-sign. If Wizkid was the one who helped Drake, then ‘Come Closer’ should have been as big or even bigger than ‘One Dance’ around the world.

People like Enfield might be saying this stuff to spite us, but it’s just the sad truth and we have to live with it. Our time is coming, but we would not get there by delusions and ignorance. We will only get there by understanding what we are and pushing to change it.

Aside from that American pop culture influences Africa more than Africa influences America. Now, you might say that Hip-Hop is the most influential segment of American pop culture at the moment and that Hip-Hop comes from African-Americans who are essentially Africans. You will have a point, but there is a reason those people identify as African-Americans and not Africans.

You might also argue that America feeds off the rest of the world to sustain its own culture. Again, you will have a point. But there is a reason why a lot of things become cool after America endorses them. There’s a reason why America can gentrify things and Nigeria can’t. It’s because the balance of power is with America, not Nigeria.

Drake might be Canadian, but his superstardom was ‘Made In The USA,’ word to Yelawolf.

Moreover, Drake would sell-out a 30,000 capacity venue in 2015 – before he made a song with Wizkid. Whereas, if Wizkid had sold out a 2,000 capacity in America in 2015, 70% of the attendees at that show would be Nigerian/African/people with a strong African identity.

The delusions are wild

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The delusion is the problem with this conversation. During a conversation about Lil Baby’s lacklustre performance on ‘So Crazy,’ a very uninformed Nigerian stan asked me, “So you think Lil Baby is bigger than Davido?”

Fam, it took Lil Baby’s ‘My Turn’ three weeks to amass one billion streams on Spotify alone. Conversely, it took Davido three years to amass one billion for songs off A Good Time across all platforms. Easy on the Arizona…

You might argue the fact that Africa’s bad relationship with streaming plays a role and you might have a point. But again, Lil Baby has a Billboard No. 1 album, Davido didn’t debut in the Billboard 200. In the UK, he peaked at No. 6. Davido’s A Better Time isn’t close to achieving that.

Your assumptions cannot erase reality.

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