Dammy Krane vs. Wizkid, Olamide vs DeeVee…Making sense of the music content copyright wars (Long Read)

by Tosin Adeda

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So after all the hullabaloo that came with the Headies awards, with Olamide and Don Jazzy stealing the headlines and taking the shine off Eva’s proposal, what really has been happening in Nigerian music? You know you are the guru, me I just watch from a distance.

Oh well, the Headies, stirred up a whole lot of controversy, but everything has been settled. Sources say the richest man in Africa Aliko Dangote, was the one who settled the Olamide vs Don Jazzy fight. For those who doubted the realness of the reunion, Olamide joined Tiwa Savage, a member of Don Jazzy’s record label to shoot a video off her recent album RED.

I have been seeing news on social media about artistes stealing each other’s songs, as in complete songs o, beats, lyrics and melody. Don’t they have talent? Who are they? Do you know them?

Yes o, so many controversies of recent about stolen songs by different artistes. To be frank, it’s not a new issue in this part of the world. As a matter of fact, Nigerian music way back was about Nigerian artistes jumping on popular foreign songs, and doing samples of the songs. Remember the group Maintain?

Those guys that did I catch cold way back? I know my music from way back o, even if I’m not as vast as you are. But why was sampling so popular in that era?

Sampling was very common way back in Nigerian music, when we had artistes trying to fuse the pop culture with the African sound. Then, when anyone wanted to listen to a pop song, it had to be foreign. It was so bad that even radio stations and clubs played only foreign songs. It was a tough time for Nigerian artistes who wanted to do something different from the typical Nigerian genre of music (African sounds like fuji, highlife, juju, apala suffered). In an attempt to get attention, they would get the instrumentals of popular songs and do their own version, that way they could get the audience to listen, using the instrumental as the bait. It worked out quite well. Also, it was quite difficult to make beats back then, as only a few available producers had the requisite technology.

Interesting, revealing points you made there, so back to what I initially talked about, all these stealing of songs and the approaches that affected artistes have taken to address them. Last week, I heard that Wizkid and Dammy Krane had a club brawl and it got bloody. What is wrong with all these young men with money? I also got information that it was caused by a stolen song.


Sure it was about a stolen song. On the 12th of January, 2016, Dammy Krane took to his Twitter page and called Wizkid all sort of names. He also accused him of stealing and threatened to beat him up. My sources say he once wanted to beat up Wizkid, but people intervened. Initially, Dammy Krane wouldn’t say what exactly wizkid stole. He ranted for quite a while and threatened Wizikd but Wiz kept mute. Days later, Dammy Krane again took to his Twitter page, apologized to his fans and Wizkid, saying he saw him as a role model, but had to vent because Wizkid stole “Baba Nla” from him. He also went ahead to say Wizkid stole some of his slangs (this I find laughable and ridiculous.)

We thought all this was over, since the accuser had vented, calmed down and apologised to the supposed “thief” Wizkid. But alas, the club incident happened and it kind of shocked me really, because it was Wizkid that was able to draw blood. According to reports and sources, Wizkid threw a glass cup at Dammy Krane that cut his lips and made him bleed.

Na wa oh! On top this song stealing matter? Quite immature from both artistes and violence is something that should be discouraged. I hope their egbons have been able to calm them down though. Youthful exuberance sha.  I heard that Olamide and D’banj’s producer had an issue too about a song that featured on Olamide’s last album Eyan Mayweather titled Don’t Stop.

Olamide Baddo is one of the biggest Nigerian artistes in recent times. When D’banj’s producer, by the name of DEEVEE came on Twitter to rant, you could tell that he was very bitter and aggrieved. You could tell he was tired of the repeated occurrences. Only God knows how many songs he has lost to artistes like Olamide. If you recall, some unknown artiste once claimed the dance moves that characterized Bobo, the song of 2015 was stolen by Olamide .After the DEEVEE rant, Olamide said nothing on twitter, neither did D’banj. But in an interview, D’banj later addressed the issue in the most humble manner.

According to him, even though he agrees that the song was his initially, and Olamide got the idea from his studio, he wouldn’t say Olamide stole his song, but he would rather see it as his younger brother getting inspired by him. Wise words


The last one I heard of is that one Tunde Ednut comedian like that, got slammed with a law suit. I thought he made music only once a year, during Christmas?

Unfortunately, Mr Ednut decided to act backward like his last name. Mr Shizzi, a producer, accused Tunde Ednut of stealing the song Kosowo from him. Tunde Ednut did not deny but said he only had Wande Coal to answer to. Unknown to him, the song he stole from Wande Coal’s studio, was produced by Shizzi for Mr Coal for a supposed project.


Mr Ednut despite the controversy still went ahead to release a video for his stolen song, a move I consider very disrespectful and shows a lack of regard for the intellectual property owner Shizzi.

Shizzii I must say is the most mature of all the other victims as he didn’t even rant on social media, he went straight to the law, and hopefully Tunde Ednut gets to pay for stealing and being cocky and arrogant about it.

So Tosin Adeda, like I said earlier, you are the music guru, what exactly is the problem with these artistes? Se talent ti tan ni? No more inspiration? Because it’s not even as if they even write deep and conscious lyrics, so what is wrong with everybody?

Some are talented, some are not, the demand in Nigeria right now for the afro pop genre of music is very high and the competition is very tough. All these artistes want to stay hot and remain relevant because any slip and they are down the ladder. They have to keep up with demand and drop songs from time to time, and they have to be hot.

Now the sacrifice for being on top means you really do not have time to make music like before, you have no time to sit and write songs, this is so because being hot comes with its sacrifices. You are always in shows, always on the road, always on radio and TV, granting interviews and so on. Sometimes they hardly have time to even sleep.

If you’ve noticed, other artistes doing genres like R&B, Soul etc hardly have such issues. Their music is not the “fast food” kind of music, they are not trying to please everyone, plus their music is majorly about content and lyrics compared to the pop artistes who only care about a catchy beat. Such artistes like Asa, Brymo and Timi Dakolo, cannot afford not to create time for creativity, hence they do not drop music every now and then.

So what do you think is the solution to all these stealing of songs? Me I don’t even have a problem with sharing ideas, my own is just ask the owner of the song, abi that one hard? You enter your guy studio, you hear song wey you like, why you no just follow am talk, say guy this song how far, se you go give me, I like am. Because from all what you’ve explained, if these artistes had communicated well, it wouldn’t have made news at all.

I’m of the opinion that people who have no business doing music need to stay off music, music cannot be forced, music is serious, music is tough, and music is for the smart. People with the creativity level of spelling their names backwards for a stage name should please quit music.

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Also, I think it is high time Nigerian artistes dropped the illusion of being multitalented and face the reality of things. As an artiste you should know your strengths and your weakness. Nigerian artistes want to produce beats, sing, rap, mix, master and so on. Nigerian artistes need to learn to concentrate on their strengths and leave their weaknesses for other people who are specialists in such fields.

Lastly, this one goes to the big artistes, I’ll like to state that employing the services of song writers is not a crime. Nigerian artistes act like getting the services of song writers sends a blow to their credibility. Hello, this is the modern age, music is global, and music is professional. If you can’t write, or are too busy to write, please employ the services of song writers.

It is good that some of these big artistes have producers signed to their label but I think they should go one more step and employ song writers. Let them make the music and craft the melody and leave it for you to sing, after all you are the boss and you pay their bills.

Good points, let’s hope they listen and take your suggestions. See you next time.






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