Battle of champions. Theirs is a huge rivalry; they have released songs hitting at each other and held concerts on the same day, in the name of battling for supremacy. Today Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine share the stage for fans to judge who is the best. Edgar R. Batte talked to the two musicians about the cause of their bad blood and more.
What has Bobi Wine been up to lately?
Bobi Wine has been up to a lot of things since he is a singer, a businessman, entrepreneur, father and social activist, so it depends on which Bobi Wine you are asking about.
I saw a Facebook post recently in which your wife Barbie was congratulating you on a good role you portrayed in movie … which one is it?
The movie is called The Bridge of Love, also titled Olutindo.
Talking of the title, are you creating a bridge of love with Bebe Cool this time round since you’ll be sharing the same stage for the first time in a long time?
No, this was just a movie role and a movie is a movie. I am not like Bebe Cool who lives in movies and fantasies. Besides, I don’t need love from Bebe Cool.
Some of your fans think part of the main highlights at this concert is that you guys are burying the hatchet and starting a new chapter as former nemeses…
This is not a make-up show, this is not a reunion. This is a battle of a champion and a contender.
Who is the champion and who is the contender here?
I am the champion and Bebe Cool is the contender or challenger.
So, how are you going to battle, whose idea was it anyway?
Originally, we conceived this idea with Chameleone and it was supposed to be a battle for supremacy. However, we did it with utmost harmony and respect for one another. It was healthy competition. It was a battle of the champions because we were both champions and as you saw I won that battle.
Just one week after that, Bebe Cool asked to challenge me on stage. I said no because one, our levels of intellect are far apart, two, he was not worth it in all aspects and three, because I know his brain, I knew he would not handle a peaceful, friendly showdown and most importantly it would not inspire anybody because I would be “defiling” him.
However, after he persisted for over a year and he started going around saying I was scared of him, I decided to take him on. I came up with so many conditions that I thought would stop him, because I did not want to step on the same stage with him. Among the tough conditions I gave was that I take 85 per cent of the dime from this show, which he accepted. He just wanted the honour of stepping on the same stage with me and here it is. He better be ready. I want to show him the difference between milk and chlorine.
You guys have more than once physically fought, do your fans have any reason to fear this music battle could turn physical?
Well, violence might be there but at least not from my side. I don’t fight weak people and two, the level of my maturity does not provide room for that I guess Bebe Cool has grown up also and, of course, people start fighting when they stop reasoning.
Away from the musical battle tonight, tell me, what is the root of your differences with Bebe Cool?
I don’t have any practical differences with Bebe Cool, I just don’t have anything to do with him. We are different in all ways. He just failed to understand that people can co-exist harmoniously in society. He has no respect for anybody, not even for himself, not even for leaders, not even for culture, not even for his parents.
I used to think to think he would change with age but incidents like stepping on the royal table, the queen’s table with his dirty shoes and very many unthinkable things that he does to himself and his parents made me want to distance myself from him.
I have been seeing Bebe Cool since I was a child and guess what, he is the perfect example of something I don’t want to be. He has a problem with himself. If I was a pastor I would say he needs a miracle but now that I am practical person I think he has a medical problem and he needs quick medical attention.
You two seem to play musical politics. Two weeks to your battle you released songs dissing each other. Did you plan this?
When we signed the contract for this battle, we agreed that the battle was on and yes we agreed to release songs dissing each other. He released a song called Film Star where he says, “omubanda afa” – that the bad guy dies. But he did not say which movie it was because there are movies like Robocop and Terminator where the mubanda is immortal and guess what, after he did that song I showed him that I am not the type of mubanda he was singing about, but the immortal mubanda- Terminator.
Anyway, when he released that song about a month ago of course he expected a retaliation. And as you saw his song was a jab and mine was a left hook knock-out.
Do you two see no good at all in bridging fences as former crewmates and friends?
Like I said I don’t harbour any hard feelings with Bebe Cool who was my friend, my employee and junior not in age but in rank. Many of his type have left Fire Base Crew, wise ones still talk to me and are thankful to the hand that made them, the fools on the other hand hate and want to bite the hand that once fed them.
Bebe Cool would have been my friend but he’s just not my type. I want to keep friends that are developmental not friends that spend all their time and dime drinking and gambling.
I have so many ambitions and having a friend like Bebe Cool slows me down. He’s already advanced in age. I want to retire by the time I am his age. By that time I want to be set. Having Bebe Cool as a friend would make me feel like it is okay to be a loser yet it is not.
What led to your break-up and bad blood between you and your former Vice President Buchaman?
Buchaman came face to face with reality at one point. In Fire Base, I train people and I train them by example. Now Buchaman has ‘Bebe Coolish’ ways of drinking all he makes and spending it on women and car sound systems. While people like Nubian Lee were busy investing the money I was paying them, Buchaman was busy changing cars and when he was not productive anymore, like any other loser, he looked around for who to blame. And who stands a better chance of blame than your former boss.
Besides, Buchaman had been dealing with Bebe Cool and trading secrets from my camp to Bebe Cool and that’s why he got the kick in the a**.
How is marriage treating you so far?
Marriage is beautiful especially if it is blessed and it’s official and I encourage my brothers like Bebe Cool to wed their wives before they grow old. It costs a few millions.
How much did you spend on your wedding?
Loads … quite a lot, probably as much as Bebe Cool needs to complete his house.
When were you last in church?
Which is your church?
Every Catholic church is my church.
What’s your last word?
To my fans, I love them and I invite them to the Battle of Champions tonight. I am sure it’s going to be a nice show. To the haters, keep hating some more and take some water in the intervals because you’ll explode. To Bebe Cool, you can be like me if you work hard, so change your thinking and, of course, drinking habits.
What has Bebe Cool be up to of late?
Basically I have been more concentrated on family since September because my wife is expecting a baby boy – another member of the family. I have been giving more time to my family especially after my my son lost an eye. It was more reason for family to be together. He underwent an operation in US, which was another hardship.
What exactly happened?
He bought a toy from Quality Supermarket in Ntinda and when he was playing with in the morning, the propeller cut his eyeball. We first treated him at Georgina Clinic before we opted for Boston Children’s Clinic in US where the other operation was done.
It was a very hard time because I had to make a choice on whether to spend money on other things or my son. Today, you have a handsome healthy son and tommorow you have to spend so much because of a funny accident.
How much did you have to spend on his medication?
I spent about $45,000 (about Shs108m) and I am happy because the eye can now see at least one metre away. My wife is due as I speak.
She is expecting and you also have a concert with your nemesis Bobi Wine. Are you dealing with the tension that comes with both?
There are two sides to the coin. I am on tension but excitedly waiting for that one call that my wife has given birth to our new son.
Are you equally excited about the forthcoming musical battle with Bobi Wine?
Yes I am, because finally I will prove to the nation that my nemesis is just a comedian, just a person that takes advantage of others to exist in the music industry. Without Bebe Cool or Chameleone, Bobi Wine can’t exist. All he can do is sing his versions of my songs and put bad words in them or stop the music and abuse his elder brother Bebe Cool. When it comes to singing, he has not had a hit song in the last five years so there is nothing for him to offer at the concerts. I am doing this show for fans to have a good day in the year.
Why don’t you use this moment to bury your hatchet?
You bury a hatchet with people who have common sense. You don’t bury a hatchet with drug addicts because when he’s sober he could speak sense but when high on drugs, it’s a difference story. There’s nothing to bury there.
What’s the exact root of your differences with Bobi Wine?
Disrespecting me. One time he called me late at night when his wife had told him my wife Zuena was leaving my home. Barbie told him that he wanted to speak to her friend. So Bobi Wine called me and said he was the god for my home to exist and for my happiness to be, that I should beg him to save my marriage. It is not like he didn’t have marital problems. On several occasions his wife left him and she always sought solace talking to my wife Zuena- you know what women talk about.
Zuena gave her advice to stay in the home. Barbie always caught Bobi doing nasty things with girls, with condoms in the car and girls sending him love messages to his phone thanking him for the good sex last night.
How do you know all this?
Because I know they live a pretentious life anyway, it’s a pretend-to-be-happy marriage. I am not surprised that women are throwing kids at Bobi and his “happily married” woman is smiling. As Bebe, I call it a time bomb for Bobi Wine.
Anyway, the root of our problems is because I feel disrespected by a young man I helped all the way from the days when he had beef with Chameleone. I gave him a hit song – Funtula, which strengthened his position in the music industry then.
I know his game plan is to cling on other artistes and I can guarantee you that if I had not accepted to take him on in the musical battle, no one would have heard the name “Bobi Wine” because he has no hit.
So, are you saying you accepted the battle to help him out?
I also agreed to be on the same stage with him because my cheque is big. I am the concert organiser and I am the one who came up with the idea and I paid Bobi Wine through another person. I then decided to give the show to KT Promotions to organise, much as I hear Bobi Wine bragging he’s taking 85 per cent of the returns.
Why would you pay to share stage with your nemesis?
Genuinely speaking, I came up with the idea for fans to have fun because I had taken a long time without performing with Bobi Wine. I want people to make a final judgement. I want to punch him off my back once and for all.
Do we have reason to fear you two turning the musical battle physical?
With him and his gang associated with drugs anything is possible. I’ve been guaranteed by KT Promotions and Silk Events plus the regional police commander that this event is going to be 100 per cent protected with 1,200 policemen and military police both at Lugogo and Resort Beach. Guaranteed security was one of the conditions in the agreement I signed with KT Promotions, so his goons will be deterred from fighting.
Is there a day we can anticipate seeing you and Bobi Wine genuinely share a meal or courtesies because there are fans out there that emulate what you do and they feel beefing is not healthy.
I gave him a condition to stop using drugs before we can be friends again. Until he stops abusing drugs, I cannot associate with him and his family. I don’t want people to start making statements like, ‘birds of a feather flock together’. I don’t want him to taint my good image.
How is your building project going?
I will restart in a month’s time when my wife has delivered and my son is medically on track. Then I will be able to spend on building. People who criticise my project for not being complete have to know that it’s not one house like they compare me with Bobi Wine and Chameleone. These are four up-scale houses in an up-class neighbourhood. Building a house in Kiwatule is not as simple as building a house in Magere.
What’s your last word?
I want people to know that I am not angry, neither am I disturbed by Bobi Wine but too much of anything is bad. I have kept quiet for a long time and I will only speak at the battle and from then on you’ll never hear any word from me about Bobi Wine again.
No chance of making up. Bobi Wine says he cannot associate with Bebe Cool unless he stops drinking and gambling, while Bebe Cool says he cannot be friends with a “drug addict.”
Who is taking home what? Bobi Wine says he only agreed to be part of the show after he was guaranteed 85 per cent of the show’s proceeds. On the other hand, Bebe Cool says he is the concert organiser and it is he who paid Bobi Wine, therefore he is taking the largest chunk.
Dissing songs. Bebe Cool recently released a song title Film Star in which he said the film star always triumphs at the end of the movie while the mubanda (gangster), a title Bobi Wine uses to refer to himself always dies at the end of the movie. Bobi Wine retailiated by releasing his own song titled By Far, where he says he is better than Bebe Cool by far.