So Burna Boy caused fans to unsheathe their swords when he tweeted that he is the best Nigerian artiste since Fela Kuti
FACT! I always knew I was and I am THE BEST. Everyone you think is the best KNOWS I’m BEST since Fela Kuti. But @timayatimaya told me something a long time ago that made me not care about being the best. “The World can do without the Best” the world will still spin regardless.
— Burna Boy (@burnaboy) February 12, 2020
He was challenged by several social media users for seemingly disrespecting other artistes who came before him and paved the way for the acceptance of Afrobeats music globally.
But Burna Boy was having none of it as he replied:
Lol. NOBODY paved shit for me. Everybody dey find them own. I bin Out here, if you knew the way they made us look weak by begging and paying the western world to like us you will see that no table was set and I’m the one that brought you the Respect you currently enjoy. https://t.co/oPS1HjPrEl
— Burna Boy (@burnaboy) February 12, 2020
So now, let’s examine the facts.
EVERYBODY PAVED WAY FOR EVERYBODY
By dictionary meaning, to pave the way means to “Make progress or development easier”. This means people like John Dalton made it easier for future scientists to improve on his work and create better theories for science.
With this definition in mind, Burna Boy needs to accept the fact that somebody paved the way for some others. Without people like 2Baba, 9ice, D’banj etc, the spotlight would have not been on Nigerian music.
Their input was further improved by people like Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and Davido who made more strides while riding on the successes of the aforementioned pioneers.
Now Burna Boy is the Nigerian who’s enjoying the spotlight and he owes this to people who started this one way or the other. Nobody has to introduce you to anybody to pave way for you, they just need to put in enough work so you don’t have to do as much.
BURNA BOY BLEW BY MISTAKE
For those who are unaware, Burna Boy’s current global acceptance was a mistake and did not come via any grand planning or strategy.
Here’s what happened:
So Burna Boy released his “Outside” album in January 2018. The album included songs like Sekkle Down, Ye, PH City Vibration and many others.
In June 2018, Kanye West dropped his album “Ye” and in usual Kanye fashion, he delayed the release of the album, prompting fans to search for “ye” on streaming platforms only to see Burna Boy’s song, “Ye”.
Because the song was dope enough, these fans took to the song and made it big.
And that was how Burna Boy became big, globally!
NOBODY HELPED ANYBODY
Like Burna Boy rightly mentioned, everybody was hustling to make it big while “paving the way”. When 2Baba, 9ice and D’banj were trying to break into the international sphere of music, they were not doing it because they wanted to pave way for anybody. They were trying to become global stars themselves.
How did Wizkid become a global star? Enter Skepta! The British rapper is a close friend of Wizkid’s and put Drake on the remix to Wizkid’s smash single, Ojuelegba. That’s how Wizkid got his international fame! And he did not stop there, he continued to hustle FOR HIMSELF!
What about Davido? Armed with his father’s wealth and insatiable drive for success, Davido has hustled to work with the best artistes and producers globally, defying those who make fun at his seeming lack of talent. Again, he was trying to make it himself when he made these moves.
So is Burna Boy going to be any different. I believe the answer is NO!
IS BURNA BOY REALLY THE BEST AFTER FELA?
This is extremely arguable as this is dependent on a number of factors.
Genre: Burna Boy is miles ahead of very many Nigerian musicians as he has the ability to rap (like in Phyno’s LINK UP), do RnB, pop, reggae, Afrobeat and any genre there is. Very few artistes like 2baba and Wizkid can boast of that range.
Cultural Influence: This is something Burna Boy does not have yet. I remember when Wizkid and Ice Prince made everybody wear buttoned up checkered shirts and Ray Bans. I know how Naira Marley and Zlatan have affected young people. Same with 2Baba bringing inspiration to young people. Burna Boy cannot point to anything he has influenced asides good music which he gives us.
Achievements: This is another thing Burna Boy does not have a lot of, save for his Grammy nomination, there is basically nothing he has done that has not been achieved by Wizkid, Davido, 2Baba and D’banj.
So now that we have analyzed this, it’s safe to say Burna Boy was both right and wrong! #OkBye