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Burna Boy vs Davido: Who is a Better Musician?

Burna Boy vs Davido has been the new sensation ever since the duo fell out in May 2020, leaving fans wondering why two of Africa’s greatest musicians are going for each other’s jugular. In what seemed to be a harmless post from Davido, Burna Boy would not spare any chance to take up his RPG into a knife fight.

Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid are perhaps the most influential musicians in Nigeria right now and it only makes sense that the trio are often compared on certain grounds. But how did the May 2020 clash tear the duo apart so bad that several diss tracks were released to shade themselves?

Davido had shared an edited image of himself and Wizkid created by a fan which he captioned:

“The 2 greatest of all time ! No cap”

A seemingly angry Burna Boy felt disrespected having recorded a huge success with his ‘African Giant’ album which earned him a Grammy nomination he lost to Angelique Kidjo. Perhaps he thought he deserved a spot or the best of the trio, as he has always claimed. It wasn’t long before Burna Boy took to his Instagram page to shade Davido in a most surprising way:

“You cannot play football, everybody knows you cannot play football and you are an embarrassment to the team but your daddy bought the football team.”

Burna Boy’s quote was coming on the back of the story of how Davido’s father singlehandedly built a music department at Babcock, a department the school never had until Davido gained admission into it. Although Burna was vocal, there have been others who hated Davido’s guts and felt he got to where he is today because of his father’s wealth. Burna Boy thought so too but he was wrong. Davido has been one of the most consistent Nigerian musicians in the past eight years.

Burna Boy vs Davido: Who is a Better Musician?

Burna Boy vs Davido

Here’s how we went head-to-head in comparing Burna Boy vs Davido on who the better musician is:

1. Vocal

Burna Boy clearly wins the vocal strength against Davido. While every voice is unique and different, regardless of texture, dexterity and agility, Burna Boy’s vocal is perhaps one of the reasons he stands out greatly. The African Giant finds a way to pull his audience into his sound and make them absorb his message completely. Alphonse Pierre, one of Pitchfork’s writers while praising one of Burna Boy’s African Giant songs stated that the musician’s best attribute is his vocal versatility. Of course, Pierre is right. Burna stands out anytime, any day so long his vocal is called into question.

An aside: Burna’s main vocal weakness, like Davido, is his inability to pitch. You are more likely to hear some careful autotune accompany Burna’s voice when he needs to pitch, yell or scream. However, he manages his inability well and often sings within his range, unlike Davido.

2. Hit Songs

There is no denying that both Burna and Davido are incredible entertainers; but one thing stands sure, Davido has more hit, anthemic, club banger songs than Burna Boy even though the latter has many good songs that are globally recognized. Burna’s understanding of music is deeper than most modern-day Nigerian and African musicians’ that he is tilting towards pan-Africanism more than ever. Burna has so many good songs that are not necessarily hit songs.

3. Lyrics

Lyrically, Burna Boy is more gifted and well equipped than Davido. As a matter of fact, 2Baba seems to be the only Nigerian musician who is stronger than Burna lyrically (other than rappers, of course). Although Davido’s lyrics are not laced with gibberish and strange words that often leave you wondering what he is implying, unlike Wizkids, Burna Boy has transited from providing Nigerian-only materials to pan-Africanism which resonates with the black race.

4. Songwriting

As earlier mentioned in the Davido vs Wizkid post, Davido has a retinue of songwriters who periodically assist with writing lyrics of his songs. Owing to his poor lyrical strength, Davido has always struggled with freestyle performances, unlike Burna whose versatility allows him to ‘chew’ his lyrics effortlessly.

When it comes to songwriting, Burna Boy is much more packed and better than Davido.

5. Live Performance

Make no mistake, Burna Boy and Davido are big deals in the African music market but there is no denying that one understands music than the other. Although Davido studied music at the tertiary level, he is simply not the type whose understanding of music is heightened so much that he embraces live performances. Not discrediting the Afro-pop star who sold-out the O2 Arena with a live band in performance, he still had to fall back to lip-syncing to compliment the live performance despite “Tha Compozers”, a UK band play with him at the O2 Arena. Burna Boy wins this hands down.

6. Foreign Collaborations

Between Davido and Burna Boy, the latter is the most sought after for foreign collaborations and seeming enjoy being the centre of attention, like Davido. In his short climb to the top, Burna has been featured and has worked in songs by top A-listers such as Beyonce, Sia, Justin Beiber, Stormzy, Ed Sheeran (ft), etc, while Davido has featured or have been featured by artists such as Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Tinashe, Young Thug, Quavo, Popcaan, etc.

Conclusion

Burna Boy is an all-round better musician than Davido. Although the 30BG boss has more hit, anthemic songs than Burna who is clearly ahead with almost everything, including quality of songs. Davido has more fans and more reach across Africa than Burna Boy could ever dream. Outside the shores of Africa, Burna is gradually mopping fan bases across but it would take a while to win as much hearts as Davido.

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