Drake made a decision, one he has a right to. Deal with it.
Drake’s absence, and that is understandable.
Wizkid is Africa’s most loved artist, symbolizing the collective hope of Africans that the culture can be spread further into different markets via music. And he has had plenty of success with the mission. Collaborations with international stars have given him a strong footing in other markets, and also Sony has backed him up with a contract.
But it is his affiliation with Drake, which still represents his biggest achievement yet. This is the second outing for both stars who ruled 2016 with the phenomenal ‘One Dance’, breaking every possible streaming records in the process. On Spotify, they gathered over a billion streams, the highest any artist has ever pulled off in the streaming age.
But that was Drake’s project. And although Wizkid did not appear in the video, people were less angry. Drake is a bigger artist and could do without the guy from Nigeria trying to get his foot in the door. He even managed to do that effortlessly with a distortion on Wizkid’s vocals.
It’s Wizkid’s turn to claim some of that success on his own project. It’s aklso a chance for Africa to possess some bragging rights. Drake is currently the world’s biggest artist, and if he appears on a project with an African artist, that’s a huge endorsement and boost. We needed that win. Africa needed that win.
But Drake did not show up. The video was shot in the US, at a time when the singer was on tour in Amsterdam. And after that, they couldn’t make it work for him to add contributory clips on the project. Wizkid was alone in the visual, miming to both his verse, his chorus, and Drake’s verse.
And Nigerians lost it. Drake is trending on social media all across the African continent, and it is not a good look. People are not just disappointed, they are outraged.
But the feeling of disappointment and loss are Nigerians grounded in emotion. But if we look beyond how we feel, and understand that music is business, and everything is structured in that manner, then we would understand.
Drake is a busy man. He has enough on his plate already. He recently just released an album (or playlist?) titled “More Life”, and he is promoting that. He is also touring numerous countries, trying to get paid and make money. He can’t abandon his scheduled dates, and head back to the US for Wizkid video. Frim a business point of view, it’s not worth it.
How about the business of recording music together. Has Drake and Wizkid ever been in the same studio? From all evidence, that has not happened.
Drake and Wizkid’s romance didn’t start from any physical meeting. Drake was introduced to Ójuelegba’ by a mutual friend of Wizkid – rapper Skepta – who got Drake to remix it. All of that process was made official and managed via emails. There was no meeting.
While Drake was working on his “Views” album, and needed a little something extra. His A&R team reached out to South African producer, DJ Maphorisa, via email. According to a story he shared with Genius, everything was done via email, with files sent across both parties.
“I was recording Wiz when they sent [the files],” Maphorisa said, referring to Wizkid’s background vocals on the song. “There was nothing really there. We started working on it—I added some production.”
Maphorisa said they finished “One Dance” in only a week—it’s one of four tracks they recorded. But they never met. Everything was via email.
So without a relationship, and with no business arrangement to compel Drake to show up, everything is left in his hands to choose to show up. And no one truly knows the dynamics between both parties. Drake has the right to decide whether to show up or not.
In the end, he didn’t make himself available, and the video has a gaping Canadian hole. The outrage on Twitter is understandable, because people are pissed. But, it is misplaced. Drake made a decision, one he has a right to.
Wizkid, you, your mama, your homie, and everyone else can live with it. You will be fine.
Just take your mind off it and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Hug your loved ones. Eat and drink. Let happiness flow through you. Trust me, you will be fine.