In honour of his 10-year anniversary on the stage, we're celebrating Davido all week, here at B.Side and documenting his decade-long career of incredible achievements. First up, here's a definitive ranking of his most iconic guest appearances.
It’s been 10 years since a young, starry-eyed Davido introduced himself to the world. Since his alluring arrival with the Naeto C-assisted “Back When” and the showstopping “Dami Duro”, he has more than earned the rights to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest acts ー 2face, Psquare, Olamide, Wande Coal, Wizkid and many others ー as he’s delivered time and time again, making him one the most decorated artist the country has ever seen.
Asides from his personal work, Davido’s intrinsic ability to hop on another artist’s song and enhance it beyond the original while mostly staying true to his sound, is unparalleled. He has become a cheat code of some sorts. You want a hit single? Feature Davido. It’s like clockwork. Over the past decade, he has guested on several noteworthy and chart-topping singles both home and abroad. From collaborating with Pitori Maradonna on the infectious Ke Star down to holding his own against rap heavyweights, Falz and Olamide, here’s our top 10 list of Davido’s best guest appearances.
10. “Doe” - Larry Gaaga ft Davido
Davido’s insane 2017 run would probably go down as the best of his career. After delivering the three-peat: “If”, “Fall” and “FIA” and other bangers like “Pere” and “Like Dat” he still had enough in the tank to supply Gaaga Muzik boss Larry Gaga one of his best performances very early on the following year. Fresh’s signature slow-tempo beat served as a playground for Davido as he whipped through it effortlessly proving that he was in the form of his life.
9. “Bahd Baddo Baddest” – Falz ft Davido & Olamide
Falz’s “Bahd Baddo Baddest” was one of the best and hottest songs in the year of its release. The three heavyweights, Falz (Bahd), Olamide (Baddo) and Davido (Baddest) all combine well, sliding through Sess’s ebullient beat with relative ease as they masterfully display their strengths and versatility. The highlight of the song however comes in Davido’s indelible melodic, trap verse. In the midst of delivering brilliant, braggadocious and vaunty lines came, “Mr Dele na my boy”, a controversial and objectionable jab at 61-year-old journalist and publisher, Chief Dele Momodu. Those infamous lines, even though simple, would probably go down as one of the most memorable and cheeky moments from a Nigerian pop star.
8. Hookah – Danagog ft Davido
Two things were inescapable in Nigeria back in 2016: dabbing and Danagog’s “Hookah”. While the Kiddominant-produced record is duly credited to Danagog as the owner, in truth the carry job was done by Davido. He seemed on a mission, delivering a highly spirited performance, an extremely melodious and captivating hook while also slipping in and out of melodies and flows in usual Davido fashion.
7. “All I Want” - Russ ft Davido
The worlds of Davido and Russ colliding at the time it did seemed highly unlikely. Even though they’re both Atlanta-natives, their music was uniquely distinct from each other. Davido’s fast-paced, percussion-heavy sound differed greatly from Russ’s hip-hop and R&B-infused sound. They however made it work on “All I Want” with Davido being the star of the show. Even though Davido leaned more into Russ’ world, he delivered a stellar, euphonious and bilingual hook and verse; a double treat highlighting just how versatile he can be.
6. “Gallardo” - Runtown ft Davido
In the early part of 2014, Douglas Jack Agu aka Runtown released “Gallardo”, the single that would catapult him to mainstream success. While he had been releasing sleeper hits like “Successful” prior to “Gallardo”, it was the Davido-assisted single that launched him to the public’s ears. Davido’s dynamic and zestful performance ー one of his personal best ー over Wizzypro’s bubbling synths was instrumental in the record becoming an eventual party starter and also a launching pad for the self-acclaimed Soundgod’s illustrious career.
5. Ke Star (Remix) - Focalistic ft Vigro Deep & Davido
Focalistic’s “Ke Star'' was one of the most addictive records of 2020. Vigro Deep’s addictive and buoyant percussion and synths served as a solid bedrock for Focalistic’s catchy ad-libs and rhythmic rapping and singing. This year, Davido was thrown into the mix for the remake of the already impressive banger and he certainly impresses, delivering one of his better guest verses in recent times.
His lines: “It goes down when my gees connect, no disconnect / I dey catch cruise forget / If you talk you collect” which roll off his tongue with relative ease and panache are undoubtedly the highlight of the record.
4. “Shoki (Remix)” - Lil Kesh ft Davido & Olamide
Lil Kesh’s "Shoki (Remix)" went down as one of the biggest and most influential Afrobeats records in the last decade. The monster hit at the time of release was synonymous with ubiquity. It was everywhere, in every sense of the word. It spawned several remakes and remixes. It was also accompanied by a dance craze that required fluid and coordinated body movements. While the original song was a standard track, an underground hit of some sorts, it was the remix that took it to entirely new heights, it became an event. The remix featured Lil Kesh’s former boss, Olamide and the Midas touch of Davido. Davido’s exquisite opener raised the bar and set the tone for what would go on to be a massive Afrobeats moment in recent history.
3. “One Ticket” – Kizz Daniel ft Davido
Gearing up for the release of No Bad Songz, his sophomore album back in 2018, Kizz released the vibrant lead single, “One Ticket”. The dynamic banger opens up with a memorable verse from Davido who delivers a brutally honest, emotional and energetic performance. While this performance isn’t his best, lyrically, you’d be hard-pressed to find another multifarious verse in his catalog that deploys him as what he really is ー human. He sings “Baby you blow my mind i no go lie” in the same breath as “See baby if you want to leave biko leave / No do shakara, no dey carry your shoulder” simultaneously displaying vulnerability and strength.
2. “Carolina” – Sinzu ft Davido
Saucekid (now known as Sinzu) was at the peak of his powers in 2011. He released the infectious “Carolina” which soundtracked a large part of that year blaring from every available speaker in the country. His smooth, buttery flow coupled with his effortless swagger was on full display here, making the record an irresistible listen. The major appeal however comes from the anchor of the song, Davido’s impeccable hook. Prior to the release of “Carolina”, Davido had only one official single to his name – “Back When”. He was still largely anonymous at the time. He however repaid Sinzu’s faith in him, delivering arguably one of the best hooks of his career.
1. “Bobo” – Mayorkun ft Davido
“Bobo” still remains one of the finest songs of Mayorkun’s career. The smooth, mid-tempo record contains everything that makes Mayorkun, Mayorkun. From his sweet-sounding melodies and catchy ad-libs down to his unfaltering vocals and chucklesome one-liners. His two potent verses – where he sadly narrates his experience of being ghosted by a love interest for a wealthier guy – contains all these and much more before he passes the baton to Davido who takes it home, delivering arguably the best guest verse of his career.
“She say she’s a fan, she wants to blow me / Whether na standing or ceiling sha ti femi,” is probably the hardest line Davido has ever sung on a record. While it might not be earth-shattering or head-spinning, the double entendre and wordplay are very clever, witty and above all, admirable from Davido. Jay Z would be impressed. His delivery here is also impeccable, making this verse possibly his most compelling and enjoyable.