Five Nigerian Music Collaborations That Didn’t Need To Happen

July 17, 2019

It should be obvious why collaborations are a big deal, especially on this side of the world. Every collab is a two-for-one deal. How many times have you fiddled with ideas of which of your faves would sound great on a song? (I still have fingers crossed for a Burna Boy and Tomi Thomas song.) When two A-list musicians join forces, the combination of styles can result in some truly evergreen music. Some may come to mind like King Sunny Ade and Onyeka Onwenu’s “Wait For Me” and MI’s “Nobody” with 2baba.

Sometimes, though, we get assaulted with music that should never have left the studio it was created in. You see two big names on a cover, only for your expectations to be dashed by music that sounds like multiple road accidents.

As a tribute to the times when Nigerian artistes have let their bad friends (“This one na jam, David”) get the better of them, here are 5 of such collaborations that no-one needed to know about.

  • Olamide & Davido – Summer Body

Despite emerging with the celebrated class of 2010, Olamide never really reached the international acclaim that his peers, Davido, Burna Boy and Wizkid are currently enjoying. Some would say the language barrier is the reason. “Summer Body”, in retrospect may have been an attempt to rubbish those claims. Unfortunatly, Olamide reinforced them.

Instead of creating the summer hit he was aiming for, Olamide reverted to his 12-year-old self and adapted a nursery rhyme for his hook. If you thought Davido would help, you thought wrong. Probably encouraged by Olamide’s (lack of) direction, Davido pretty much recorded what sounds like a loud conversation with himself, sent it as a verse and that was it.

  • D’Banj, Slimcase & Mr Real – Issa Banger

Every time this song comes on, I can’t shake the feeling of someone reluctant to let go of their youth. Just as Slimcase and Mr Real were coming off the crest of the shaku-shaku wave, D’banj tapped both for this 2018 single. Whether he was trying to evoke his youth or he just thought a collab with an artiste who repeats verses over 3 songs was a good idea, we’ll never know. Issa Banger sounds like what happens when you invite your funky landlord over to hang out with your cousins from Agege. 2/10; absolutely do not recommend.

  • Olamide & Skepta – Sheevita Juice

What better way to prove that you can hold your own as afrobeats continues its journey across the world than to tap a UK rapper who is evidently proud of his Yoruba roots? Right? Right? So why does Sheevita Juice, an otherwise smooth collab between two rappers who are essentially two sides of the same coin, sound like something they recorded to settle a fight?

The song starts with the glee and abandon of a typical Olamide single. It continues until Skepta comes in with a verse that sounds bent out of its original shape. On some days, the bounce on “Sheevita Juice” is a strong enough distraction to get you nodding. But most times, you can’t help but notice how out of place Skepta sounds on the canvas Olamide created.

  • Wale, Davido & Olamide – Fine Girl

Everyone gets what Wale meant to do by putting Davido and Olamide, his Naija brothers, on one of the main singles off his 2017 album, “SHINE”. What we don’t get is the series of bad decisions that made the song what it is. Despite having two of Afropop’s best hitmakers, Wale forces them to make sense of a generic reggae beat. You can’t blame them for giving him what he asked for. Olamide decides it is a good idea to suggest he’d like to apply his tongue to a woman’s rear end for no real reason. Davido’s verse is the song’s only saving grace, but by then the damage has already been done. Oh, and in the music video, Chief Obi makes an ill-advised stereotypical cameo in the first few seconds.

  • Yemi Alade & Rick Ross – “Oh My Gosh”

Yemi Alade gets a lot of slack and a lot of it unwarranted. In the case of her collaboration with Rick Ross, it isn’t. Sure, she’s developed a massive fanbase in francophone Africa and she has the numbers to show. But festivals of monotony like the one she created on “Oh My Gosh” are weapons for her very active army of haters.

Oh My Gosh” starts with all the flash and luxury you’d expect when any artist, even P-Square, joins forces with a Miami rapper. But barely 10 seconds in, Yemi lifts the veil and shows you it’s a scam. This is just another typical tungba song from the one-dimensional ministry of Miss Alade. Even Rick Ross’ flossin can wipe the highlife off this song. If you’ve heard any Yemi Alade song since 2014, you’ve heard this one too.

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Segun Akande

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