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From Rivalry to Collaboration; A Timeline of Bnxn and Ruger’s Journey to Alliance 

Artistic rivalry sometimes edged by fans or directly by artists is not uncommon in the Nigerian music industry. It usually stems from an irrational need for comparison, when there’s little to no reason to.

For decades now, the most common artistry rift, particularly fueled by fans, is the tug of supremacy between the supposed Afrobeats Big 3, Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy. With each one claiming to be the best out of Africa, their steaming beef occasionally blows out of proportion.  

Fairly, tooting one’s horn as a creative is irrefutably gratifying, but it becomes problematic when appraisal is executed disrespectfully and at the expense of another’s reputation. 

As it stands, Burna Boy and Wizkid appear to have a friendly relationship and their collaboration on Ginger and B.D’or proves that in the grand scheme of things, partnership supersedes rivalry.  

Ruger & BNXN
Ruger & BNXN

For Bnxn and Ruger, their rivalry, if it had been there longer than it showed, must have been a private affair until an incident with a fan catalyzed the public outburst. On  the trivial  side of it, it could be believed  that chaos effectuated by fans is usually borne from the earthly need for peace to be disrupted,  which brings to mind a popular quote, “Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.” This is indeed why artists must remember how uncontrollable the public perception of their craft is, especially in a case of comparison with other artists. 

While for many artists, their rivalry deteriorates to a lethal point where neither of the artists can foster an iota of cordiality, Bnxn and Ruger, towing a timeline of rivalry to partnership have made a remarkable example. 

July 14, 2022

The feud between Ruger and Bnxn started when Ruger used the hashtag #AskRuger in a tweet inviting followers to ask him anything.

When a provocative Twitter user asked Ruger if his record label boss, D-Prince, had ever informed him that Bnxn is a greater musician than he is, the Q&A session took a whole other turn.

Ruger responded by posting a conversation with D’Prince in which he was praised. Afterwards, he made another post claiming to be a better artist than Bnxn because unlike him, he possesses the ability to produce hit songs devoid of features.

Bnxn replied within 24 hours via his IG story, boasting of being a far more successful artist than Ruger in every category, career-wise or financially.

August 21, 2022

Bnxn made a tweet celebrating his album getting to the number one spot on Nigeria’s Apple Music Album Chart. The tweet was captioned “What if I, What if I, What if I…Cook” which seemed to be coined from Ruger’s hit single ‘Girlfriend’.

On the same day, Ruger called out BNXN, telling him to get a solo hit before talking to him, and fat-shaming him in the same tweet.

23rd November, 2022

This beef continued, with Ruger posting tweets inferring that Bnxn tries to force hits by using ads and influencers to promote his music. 

On the same day, Bnxn also made a now-deleted tweet, claiming that artists like Ruger are engaging streaming farms to boost their numbers. Bnxn attempted to back his claim up by reminding fans that the artist hadn’t headlined any venue since he came into the game despite topping the charts, implying that his numbers were not organic.

Ruger clapped back on Twitter (X), asking Bnxn to nicely list five of his songs without features that could make a crowd go crazy. He also made a tweet on the 24th of November, with a summary of his tours across Africa, saying he headlined in some of those venues.

26th of February, 2024

Considering these sequence of events, fans of both of these artists were understandably shocked when they took to their social media platforms to announce a collaboration, Romeo Must Die.

11th of April, 2024

Both artists took to social media to announce the drop of another joint single, POE. In Ruger’s tweet, he also teased an upcoming joint project with Bnxn, titled ‘RnB’.

Listen to POE here.

18th of April, 2024

The much anticipated conjoined project, RnB, finally arrives. At this juncture, it is safe to say Bnxn and Ruger’s burning rift has sunk into a river of erasure and deeper into alliance.

Listen to RnB here. 

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