Sunday the 21st, January saw popular Nigerian hip hop head, ODUMODUBLVCK of NATIVE Records, making a post on X about a person who allegedly faked Spotify streaming numbers. Later on, following subsequent conversations on the same social media, the rapper revealed the alleged artiste to be Prettyboy D-o.
Prettyboy D-o has been relevant in the Nigerian alternative afrobeats scene for about a decade and known for pretty much very similar things as ODUMODUBLVCK (whose breakout was only in the late months of 2022) is, being the defiance of their brand voice and musical fusions with bias for the streets.
This call-out was followed by tweets upon tweets, with some “secrets” of both Prettyboy and NATIVE Records being released over the internet, one of them being that Teezee wasn’t really a fan of ODUMODUBLVCK’s style, until it had market value.
However, in all these, ODUMODUBLVCK’s issue seems to be a rumor about Prettyboy D-o claiming to be a forerunner for ODUMODUBLVCK in the industry. But how much water does this claim hold?
Prettyboy is known for his fusion of Nigerian Alté and street pop music, evident in songs like ‘Wetin You Smoke’ featuring Olamide, ‘Lord Protect My Steppings’ with Pa Salieu. ODUMODUBLVCK on the other hand fuses hip hop with elements of grime, drill and highlife. His approach since his break into the mainstream market has often been described as alté and street, but the artiste always debunks such tags and would rather be simply called a rapper.
So when it comes to the music and sonic direction, no, Prettyboy and ODUMODUBLVCK do not make the same kind of songs.
However, their similarity lies in the brand voice and tone. The Nigerian music market happens to be not-so-diverse when it comes to branding, and so each time any two acts show up with similar PR elements, they often get the same perception from the consumers – as is the case with these aforementioned two.
Yet, X users argue that Prettyboy did give ODUMODUBLVCK soft-landing into the market; while some others think no such thing happened. But while we wait for more to unfold, something is sure – and it’s that industry beefs like these sure do make show business interesting, but there’s almost no numerical benefits for it.
Or perhaps this is all part of either or both artistes’ grand PR plan for 2024? I guess time will tell.