First off, I would start by acknowledging both individually beautiful songs. When debating which song is bigger than the other, many factors come into play which can be categorically grouped into two: (1) Online presence and (2) Offline appeal. For the sake of this article, we are dwelling predominantly on point (1)—Online presence—which entails DSPs number, chart positioning, social media and celebrity cosigns. Let’s start wirh DSPs numbers.
• DSPs Numbers:
Of all the DSPs (digital streaming platforms), only YouTube, Spotify and Audiomack numbers are readily available and these are going to help in determining which of the songs in Love Nwantiti and Essence is bigger.
Looking at the total streams of Love Nwantiti on various DSPs, it is easily guessable that it should accumulate more streams based off of the many remixes; we have the official remix wherein Joeboy and Kwame Eugene (of Ghana) add a verse each and the other ones which include the francophone, acoustic version, North African, Spanish and the DJ Yo & DJ Ax’el versions whereas Essence has only two versions, the original (featuring Tems) and its Justin Bieber assisted remix. On the YouTube side of things, CKay made sure to buy in on the hype by releasing the video to the North African remix featuring ElGrandeToto (from Morocco) in addition to the official remix official music video.
All that rambling without numbers make no sense right? I understand. Let me cut straight to the chase. Truth be told as far as streaming goes (or at least DSPs numbers we are exposed to), Ckay’s Love Nwantiti (LN) flaws Wizkid’s Essence (E) on Spotify (over 250M (LN) to 107M+ (E)) and YouTube (225.6M+ (LN) to 107.4M+ (E)). The only platform (where streaming figures are readily available) in which Essence leads is Audiomack (19.191M (E) to 15.282M (LN)). So we can categorically conclude that as of now, LN > E on DSPs, giving it a 1-0 lead. (Bear in mind that the DSPs numbers for each song include their originals and remixes and in the case of YouTube their lyric videos and official audio (if available)).
• Chart Positioning:
I want to believe majority of the Wizkid fans reading this sub-heading are already filled with laugher and joy knowing their fave’s single easily supercedes whatever CKay is trying to achieve with his (as of now). They’re probably even laughing out loud, much like the “Haq haq haq, you dunno abou rit” meme but for righteousness sake and in fairness, I just need to dive into the individual songs’ chart positioning.
By now, most of us know that Wizkid’s Essence remix peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in conjunction to it being the most Shazamed song in USA (as at September). That’s not all, it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, spending a cumulative 29 weeks on that chart while also simultaneously charting on over 50 countries Apple Music Top 100 songs, breaking the record for the first Nigerian artiste(s) song to enter the Top 10 of the US Apple Music Top 10 in the process. Oh! Did I fail to note that it was even added to the Billboard’s “Top 50 Songs of 2021 so Far”?!
For CKay’s Love Nwantiti, it has been an unexpected glorious run for a song which original version was released in 2019 turning out to be the talking point two years later in 2021, thanks to the remix that was relatively unknown until it blew up on relatively new video-sharing medium, TikTok and ever since, it has been a Cinderella happily ever after story. How? It almost instantly became the No. 1 Shazamed song worldwide, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Global (or World) Chart, entering the Top 40 of the Hot 100 songs on Billboard.
Judging based on the individual songs’ peak and chart positioning (including those that are not discussed in this write-up), it is safe to say, Essence edges Love Nwantiti comfortably. A 1-1 draw is clearly in view.
• Social Media and Celebrities Cosigns:
Yes, Essence had and is still having massive social media coverage be it on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok but without sounding bias (or maybe, I might be), I personally do not think the present rave of Love Nwantiti especially on TikTok and Reels (on Instagram) would be intimidated by the magnum opus social media moment of its competitor, however, it is only common knowledge to admit that E has more celebrities cosigns coming from Rihanna, a (cover) remix from DaBaby, American OAP Charlagmane Tha God, Billboard articles, Grammys, Rolling Stone and so on, not forgetting American veteran rapper and business mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs, used it as the theme for his party in June and it being tipped as ‘Song of the Summer’ for 2021. Without saying, Essence confidently takes the 2-1 lead over Love Nwantiti. When you also consider the certifications for each song, the facts solidify and even make more sense.
In conclusion, we can admit Wizkid’s “Essence” is bigger than CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” going by the above metrics. This takes nothing away from Ckay’s unprecedented rise to fame through the global smash-hit record LN turned out to be.
The question still remains: Ckay’s Love Nwantiti or Wizkid’s Essence—which song is bigger?