From 2002, Ugandan music industry started improving gradually, by experience one can’t deny the fact that songs like Akagoma brought a different feel to the music many were accustomed to for years. Funtula later became more exciting than Akagoma. With much airplay, the details of the voices behind Funtula were Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool, both under Firebase crew.
Bebe Cool who hailed from a fairly wealthy background had abandoned Education with 3 points at Senior six (S.6) from Kitante Secondary school where he happened to enroll with Bobi Wine but later dropped out of education to pursue a career in Music.
On the other hand, Bobi Wine came from a humble, struggling family and he still has a strong attachment to the ghetto renowned Kampala slum of Kamwokya. He pursued music but was still determined to excel in his Education that he scooped a degree in Music Dance and Drama at Makerere University. Armed with this background, Bobi Wine walked his way from ‘zero to hero.’
Any honest music fan will tell you that while both Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool are talented Artistes and believed sworn rivals, each one of them has had his own reign. In 2002/2003 many witnessed a revolution in the Music industry, Singer Jose Chameleon became a household name whose music out competed the then Lingala Music with roots from Zaire/Congo.
Chameleon’s pseudo success put Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine in a box with their success diminishing. Bebe and Bobi equipped selves with a strategic plan to outcompete Chameleon. They started biffing Chameleon time in time out. This did not however go well when the former realized they were making Chameleon more famous than they were.
At this point, Bobi Wine and Bebe Cool plotted to plunge a healthy biff which biff was to focus on each other. It was at this moment that Bebe Cool left Firebase in a strategic planed move that put the two in a staged bitter feud.
Prior to the biff, before 2004, Bebe Cool was already the bigger artiste in Uganda and everywhere. His songs were more popular coupled with his ‘show-business’ expertise. At this time Bobi Wine was only getting started but his nemesis was already doing well.
Things changed from 2004 until 2008 as Bobi Wine took over from Bebe Cool with hit songs like Maama Mbiire featuring Juliana Kanyomozi, Wendi, Adam ne Kawa, Abalungi Balumya, Ghetto, Omwana Wabandi ‘Bada’, Kiwaani and Mazzi Mawanvu among others. He became the darling of the Ugandan audience.
During this period, we witnessed a massive comeback where Bebe Cool under the East African Basement crew with Nazizi and Wyre together rocked Africa in Songs like Fire Anthem, Kube and Combination together with Peter Miles and Meshan.
However around 2008, Bebe Cool rethought his whole strategy after realizing that Bobi Wine; his “cloned” known ‘sworn rival’ was doing so well musically and financially than him. It was during this time that his wife Zuena left their marital home sighting a couple of relationship issues. This temporary and plotted separation of Bebe Cool and Zuena was a move for the former as he went on to record and release several emotional songs including Agenze, Bamugambe, and Trouble that all became hits.
Bobi Wine grabbed the opportunity and went on to release what he termed as ‘Edutainment’ songs namely Carolina and Wesotinge. These were directed to Bebe Cool with personal advice on how real men handle their family matters.
In the same mix, it was during the same time that the Goodlyfe dynamic duo of Radio and Weasel were brought on board to spice the biff, they took over the charts with a quarter of their songs directly and indirectly bashing Bebe Cool and they later clung to fame.
All this free drama climaxed with Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine organizing album launches on the same dates; 2nd October 2009 and at venues separated by only about 2 kilometers. Ghetto Gladiator Bobi Wine held Carolina launch at Hotel Africana People’s Space while self-proclaimed ‘Big Size’ Bebe Cool launched Agenze at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds. Both album launches sold out. Zuena also returned home.
With a few revelations, it is clear that at this point in time, the two are now taking different directions with their endless bickering only intended to keep them in the news locally. Bobi Wine has taken to a political career that saw him becoming the Member of Parliament for Kyadondo East and Bebe Cool is still actively investing in Music as priority.
This same situation can paint a picture that Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine biff is now irrelevant and the former has nothing to lose other than ending their long staged biff. This is evident from 2016 at one of his show rounds in Busabala beach during fallen Bob Marley birthday celebrations where Bobi Wine first hinted to work with Bebe “This year.
“I’m not going to fight anyone. What we’ve always had with Bebe Cool is basically our ego and immature things he either does or I do. The only difference between us s our ideology on different topics and I don’t have any problem with him and I can work with him at any one point.” Bobi Wine said.
Another happened during Bobi Wine’s parliamentary Campaign trails at Nakivubo when he said, it is funny how people think him and Bebe Cool have a big issue between them. Bebe Cool has in many circumstances hinted no feud between him and Bobi Wine, on Thursday, February 10th 2015, he wrote heartfelt condolence message on his social media page following the loss of Bobi Wine’s fallen Dad.
In what may look as a shocker to many, Gagamel star Bebe Cool two weeks ago threw a belated birthday bash for his fans and pals at Cayenne Bar in Bukoto while he was celebrating 40 years. Chameleon and Bobi Wine were all present to celebrate with his contemporary and both choked on cake. Many didn’t expect anything close to that but we can only expect a huge revelation of the two smiling at whoever took their feud that serious.
In many situations biff can mostly be misinterpret to bitter feud. It’s evident that Jamaican star Mavado and now Jailed Vybz Kartel graced over a decade of believed biff. However it became irrelevant after his sworn staged nemesis ‘Vybz Kartel’ was imprisoned. It is clearly seen that sine 2014 Mavado has been off chart with no hit song. This is basically because Jamaicans enjoyed seeing them hit back at each other a situation that favored their relevancy in the industry.
In many accounts most Ugandan musicians cling to the industry through biff, for the same reason one will not deny the fact that these two Artistes have used the biff to their advantage to create hype. For starters Radio and Weasel separated with Chameleon to form GoodLyfe crew with then Chameleon’s manager Jeff Kiwa.
We have witnessed King Saha and Gravity biff, Gravity, Kamenyo (Fefe Busi) biff, Bafana and Bebe Cool, Berbie Jay and Bitone, Sheebah and Pallaso, currently Apass and Bebe Cool biff, A point in time when Khalifa Aganaga and GoodLyfe’s Radio and Weasel were sworn nemesis and later reunited by Chameleon. After Aganaga reunion, he is almost irrelevant in the music industry with no more hit song. With these disclosures, biff is healthy if not misinterpreted and it guarantees your relevancy in the music industry to a greater extent.
Imagine a music industry without Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine feud! would the former have won sympathy from fans, would they have gained all they have to show today, would they have been a household name, would they have garnered all the fans they have now, would they have got influential wives as believed, would Bobi Wine have climbed a political ladder with much support anyway?, would their background have reflected their success now? All these set a ball rolling. All in all, biff in music is mostly staged to spice the industry