A concerned fan has penned down an advisory message to Burna Boy who claimed nobody paved way for him up his music ladders.
The fight for One Africa is call and message shared by the 21st century Africans.
Africans carry on the baton left behind by their leaders in sharing and fighting to win back the lost African unity.
The entertainment industry has been the major front in preaching this message – the movie industry led the bandwagon to the production of Big Brother Africa and collaborations among Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industry in the early 2000’s.
The music industry later picked it up and we now see a lot of artists making music together regardless of nationality.
The call for One Africa was so loud as we often remember the sufferings of our forefathers and press more harder for a liberated Africa that stood on the principle of love and brotherhood.
The sweetest part for any African right now is when an African climbs a world stage to crate their own narrative and still not forgetting the narrative handed onto him by the gone fathers.
About few weeks ago, Nigerian star Burna Boy took to tweeter claiming it was his sole effort that afrobeat got accepted internationally and given the recognition it deserves.
Truth be told, Burna Boy gave us good music since his entry onto the scene in 2012 and his African Giant album that got him that Grammy nomination is a real giant with every song a hit. BUT
Burna here is the thing, you and Fela are not in the same class, musically or otherwise. You sing Afrobeats/Afrofusion, Fela created Afrobeat and yes there is a difference.
Fela popularized Afrobeat and his activism shook nations, Uk included. Afrobeat is a combination of Highlife, Fuji, Jazz, and West African traditional music. Build your legacy. Share your message.
Fela understood what “One Africa” meant and the power of it that he began singing in pidgin language so his music could penetrate areas that language would have been a barrier.
He knew his music could cause a change, his message was powerful and the music was the tool to pass his message, so he spoke what could be understood by all, thereby getting his message to all.
Without the help of the internet/global village move Brenda Fassie, Fela, King Sunny Ade, Angelique Kidjo were able to share their music with Europe and America. Fela and Sunny Ade toured both America and Europe in their prime and they didn’t come back fighting for dominance. To say no one paved the way for you is to deny these men.
They may not have sung your type of beats but they surely took African Music to the world outside of Africa before you came. My guy, we can not say you have not built but to say you started from ground less than zero is a lie. Just so you know, in 1984 and 1999 King Sunny Ade was nominated for a Grammy award. His 1984 nomination made him the first Nigerian to be nominated.
After massive success in Nigeria, in 1982 King Sunny Ade toured Europe and North America where he was received greatly. Without the backing of a foreign record label and the hindrance of the language barrier, King Sunny Ade was successful on foreign soil. Jon Pareles, The New York Times newspaper music critic, in his 1987 article called KSA one of the world’s great bandleaders and about his music he wrote: “but while American listeners may not know the Yoruba language or recognize traditional African dances, they clearly understand the music”. King Sunny Ade is one of the artists in Gini Gorlinski “The 100 Most Influential Artist of All time”. Also in 1991 Sikiru Adepoju was the first Nigerian to win a Grammy Award for his contribution to the ‘Global Drum Project
Back to our Millennium era, Oluwa Burna deserves the credit for bringing foreign light on Afrobeats but Oluwa Burna remember say D’banj was the first artist in Nigeria to get signed to a foreign record label(2011). The Good music group signed him with a cameo appearance from Kanye West on the “Oliver Twist” video. Shortly after that P-square had Rick Ross rapping on their “Beautiful Oyinye” remix.
There was already hunger for African music in foreign soil, you identified it and we appreciate you for jumping on it and doing the work to feed and sustain the hunger.
With the backing of your Los Angeles based record label, Atlantic Record and your hard work international recognition should not be too difficult. With the International Record help and wide reach, your music can be targeted at people hungry for it and you more likely not to be shooting blind.
In my opinion, “Accepted” is not the word. Popularized, brought you to foreign light, take to other nations, etc but not accepted. We were already accepted long before you came.
When we were accepted, we were not begging for their validation, we just wanted to share African Music to the world and we wanted to share our message. Lately, what many artists define as acceptance is simply validation seeking.
Universal Music Group is an American owned company and it stands as the biggest company in the music industry, Broadway is an American owned company and they gross one of the highest in music and movies. These two companies stand as giants in the music font and have rights to some of our African created content. This means the majority of the profits on this content go to them, not to the creator nor Africa.
When will these childish beef of who dominates bring us to the point where we can and would build an industry for Africa? Understand that Africa is not one country or three. It is West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, and South Africa. We can’t give up our freedom for validation from captors.
We cannot accept a system that only imprisons us because of money and fame. Remember the mirror that made our forefathers accept slavery? It is now fame and money
Build this industry and don’t forget how united the old ones left it for you not your selfish interest and ego.